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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my Corsa 1.4 SXi for a couple of months and am really happy with it however it feels really twitchy over 50mph since the past few weeks motorway driving- it's fine below that and stays in a straight line but over 50 feels like I'm in really strong winds and I feel like I have to grip the wheel to keep it straight - it's not pulling one way or the other just feels like it's being blown about; the steering wheel doesn't vibrate.

I thought it could need aligning but as I had new tyres on it a month ago assume that would have been done then?

I called a local garage to book it in to get it checked out but they said - when they found out I had winter tyres on - that this is my problem and that winter tyres aren't designed to go over 40mph!!?? I've not seen anywhere that that's an issue? He suggested getting normal tyres put on then call back if that didn't help but I don't want to fork out for another set of tyres just yet (until it warms up a bit) unless I'm sure it's that.

My husband thinks it's because my previous car was an old corsa 1.2 club and that as my new car has lighter handling due to the power steering etc that I just need to get used to it rather than being a problem with the car? Could my nervousness of driving on motorways due to previously feeling it was really twitchy really be the issue? I've been driving for years and this is the first time I've been nervous when driving at speed.

I'd appreciate your thought before forking out for new tyres or garage bills but then again I don't want to ignore it if there might be a problem.


Thanks.
 

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I've had my Corsa 1.4 SXi for a couple of months and am really happy with it however it feels really twitchy over 50mph since the past few weeks motorway driving- it's fine below that and stays in a straight line but over 50 feels like I'm in really strong winds and I feel like I have to grip the wheel to keep it straight - it's not pulling one way or the other just feels like it's being blown about; the steering wheel doesn't vibrate.

I thought it could need aligning but as I had new tyres on it a month ago assume that would have been done then?

I called a local garage to book it in to get it checked out but they said - when they found out I had winter tyres on - that this is my problem and that winter tyres aren't designed to go over 40mph!!?? I've not seen anywhere that that's an issue? He suggested getting normal tyres put on then call back if that didn't help but I don't want to fork out for another set of tyres just yet (until it warms up a bit) unless I'm sure it's that.

My husband thinks it's because my previous car was an old corsa 1.2 club and that as my new car has lighter handling due to the power steering etc that I just need to get used to it rather than being a problem with the car? Could my nervousness of driving on motorways due to previously feeling it was really twitchy really be the issue? I've been driving for years and this is the first time I've been nervous when driving at speed.

I'd appreciate your thought before forking out for new tyres or garage bills but then again I don't want to ignore it if there might be a problem.

Thanks.
I can't see it being the tyres myself, what you are describing sounds like something I experienced a while ago albeit mine was due to a change in suspension.

The best bet for you is to wait until tomorrow for someone more experienced to come along and answer your question but I'll give you my two cents anyway as it may be of help.

I would experience the "random" wobbling/lightness of steering even at very low speeds, a quick trip down to a garage to get the alignment done was all it needed and felt fine afterwards. This is expected when a change is made in the suspension, not so much after a change of tyres but it could still influence the amount you notice the tracking (how out it is, anyway).

Chances are when you got your new tyres they did the balancing as opposed to the alignment, unless it was made clear that's what you wanted them to do as alignment is usually between £20-40 on it's own. Check your receipt and see if the price seems accurate for just the tyre fitting and balancing (usually come together) or for that plus alignment.
 

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Since you had new tyres fitted a month ago, and you say this has only happened over the past few weeks I'd begin with the new tyres - unless it was doing the same before they were fitted.

They wouldn't check the alignment when fitting new tyres unless the old ones showed signs of the alignment being out and you had agreed to pay for the alignment check.

It's unlikely - but just worth mentioning - check if the tyres are directional and if so are they fitted the right way round. Also check the tread patterns, most tyres come with coloured bands which indicate which way round they should be fitted. It might be worth taking the tyres back to where they were fitted and asking them to check.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Thanks for taking the time to answer - I'll try your suggestions and let you know the outcome once it's sorted :)
 

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I can offer some knowledge on the tyre front as its my job ;)
I very much doubt that they would of adjusted the alignment even if they did check it as the adjustment would deffo cost.
Did you notice the sensation before the tyres were fitted at all?
Winter tyres are designed to work in cold temperates and in warmer conditions they become rather 'blocky' which can lead to adverse wear and handling.
When you have new tyres fitted it can greatly enhance underlying problems which would of gone un-noticed with old rubber. For example, any sort of ball joint play.
The balancing generally causes a vibration or shake through the steering (front wheels) or vibration through the seat (rear wheels), most times the vibration will kick in about 60-70 mph but if its balancing you will be able to drive through it and it would dissapear at say 80 mph.
Also like taurus has said ensure the tyres are fitted correctly and to the correct sides if they are rotational / directional. But some tyres have an inside and an outside edge so check that also just incase.
You could try having the rear tyres swapped with the front tyres (front to back) and see if that makes a difference, if it chances the feeling on the road then its the tyres.
Most likely because they are winter ones, but its not true that they are not designed for over 40mph because its the speed rating on the tyre that determines the speed not the seasonal brand.

Also do you only have winters on the front of the car? or all around? Because when fitting winter tyres its recommended to fit all 4 or failing that to fit the winters to the rear as they grip like **** in the icy conditions and it would mean your front end grips and your back end spins round! Just FYI ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for your reply :)

Thanks for the info - I have the same winter tyres front and back.

I didn't notice it before, in fact I didn't notice anything driving it back home the day we bought it about 6 weeks ago, and that was 90 miles away - even when I had a quick blast to 95mph for a quick test :)

Pretty much the minute I got it home the snow set in and it's been pretty bad since on and off so I've been driving more slowly due to snow/ice so I might have assumed any lightness or twitching was due to the wear on the previous tyres, plus may not have got to a speed where it becomes an issue.

I'll take it in for a check so I can see if anything shows up; £30 to check alignment would be a small price to pay for peace of mind :)

Just out of interest would the fact that they inflated them with nitrogen make any difference or if they've been over or underinflated? I've not checked the current tyre pressure.

Thanks again :)
 

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The fact they are filled with nitrogen won't cause the effect you are experiencing - but if the pressures are wrong then it can affect handling.

(Last time I had tyres fitted the guy said he was going to use nitrogen so I'd never need to check the pressures again :eek: - I told him to use air instead as I check my pressures every week.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Never check them again? Not surprised you didn't listen to him:) The garage told me it means you check them less often but still need checking at least every month :)

I'll get the pressure checked to see if they inflated to maximum instead of recommended for my car.

Btw I checked the speed rating on my winter tyres and it says maximum 130mph - think it safe to say that's never going to happen but that they should at least manage 70 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorted!!!!

So I took the car in and mentioned all your suggestions - he checked the tyre pressures and said that they were set for Eco level rather than the other (whatever that is) so he's reduced them to the other settings.

They then did an alignment on all 4 tyres (I believe a lot just due to front) and they front ones toed out a bit and should toe in a bit instead and the 2 back ones were both out as well - now all adjusted.

I drove back and took it up to nearly 70 (well I was on a duel carriageway) and it feels solid, I took my hands off the wheel and it drove straight and felt safe for the first time!

He also mentioned that it looked like 2 different people had balanced the back and the front as weights were distributed differently on both - I believe they should be should be on either side whereas 2 of them had weights in the middle?? I haven't noticed any issue with vibration but will go back to where they were fitted and get them redone if I notice any issue but as the car drives well now I'm not too concerned as I'll be putting summer tyres back on in April.

Thanks again for all of your advice.
 

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Glad that they have sorted it for you and that it seems to be driving and that you feel safe!
High pressures would cause it to feel light and it would bounce more on the road giving a twitching sensation I imagine, just due to the fact that over inflation pushes the center of the tyre out stiffen up the 'give'.
Nitrogen won't have any effect as said but it doesn't mean never checking pressures again! lol. Basically they are bigger molocules so you get less of a loss over time, it is also more stable as it doesn't fluctuate as much in hot and cold pressures so you get longer tyre life and better MPG. (supposedly hah).
Balancing weights should be on both the inside and outside edges of the rim, depending on if they are steel or alloy depends on if the weights are knocked onto the rim lips or stuck to the underside of the alloy. They should be balanced so that only one area of the rim has weights on it, if they are scattered about then its counter balanced and not right really. They can be done in such a way that they only need one point (middle or a side) of balance (static balaced) but again this is not brilliant.
 
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