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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had four new tires put on by town fair tire about a week ago. I had no vibrations or shaking of any sort before I went to get the tires mounted and I was driving with worn tires. I got the exact same set of tires I had before but after the mounting I've been having a slight vibration that gets much worse at highway speeds. Sounds like when a window is left cracked open and you're going fast... except underneath you. Anyways, I thought it was a balancing issue so I brought the car back to be rebalanced. Still the same problem and twice more I've brought the car back to be rebalanced (at a different location to maybe get a more capable tech) and I've explained the issue to the store. After this fourth time I'm told I have two bent rims and that's what's causing the issue.

I didn't have any issues before the mounting and I didn't come in to get tires because I had hit a pothole and gotten a flat and decided that I needed four new tires anyways so I'd go ahead and do that. My tires were great before with no issues but they'd just gotten worn naturally. I've since spoken to a few town fair tires stores and asked them about their mounting process, pretended to be someone thinking about getting tires and worried about bending rims, and they all say that their machines barely touch the tire. One guy said, the only way for the tire to be bent was if the tech dropped the wheel from high up. Another said they'd have to throw the wheel from the roof in order to bend it. Simply that the machine didn't produce the necessary force to bend the rim.

I don't know much about these machines or the tire mounting process but I do know that nobody is going to admit to the possibility of damaging your rims (great way to score off customers). I've brought the issue up with town fair tire corporate and the customer service manager said that it would be impossible for the rims to be bent by them but that he'd be willing to refund my balancing charges as a courtesy for the almost 7 hours I've spent at town fair tire this week trying to work the issue out. Because I don't know much about the issue I wanted to know if it is actually possible to bend the rim with these machines. I'm fairly confident the first tech who mounted my tires originally wasn't the greatest because he left the stickers on, rotated my tires incorrectly, and inflated my tires to 40 psi when they should be 32. I've read things online of people having issues like this before at various tire places. I want to press for two new wheels (OE replicas, not even OEM), which would be to the tune of $250 total for both wheels but I want to know if it's even a possibility for them to bend the rims first. If anyone with more knowledge about wheels and tires could help me out, I'd be really grateful!
 

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How do they know the rims are bent? How do you know they aren't? You hit a pot hole hard enough to destroy a tire, that is enough to bend the rim.
Take the car to a shop with a Hunter Road Force machine. I doubt that the OEM rims would get bent just mounting tires. Its very possible that one or more tires are defective. A Road Force machine will tell you for sure what the problem is.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
After balancing the tires 3 times without success they replaced the 4 tires I bought with 4 more of the exact same tire just in case there was a defect with one of the tires. They also did a balance on them and told me the tech noticed two bent rims. How he found this out or how he saw this I can’t say but he was taking the tires off and mounting new ones. That still begs the question of why I wasn’t told about bent rims when the tires were first mounted.

I know they weren’t bent before because I didn’t have any vibration before these new tires and because I had a mechanic check out my car for nose diving while braking and a grinding noise which I thought was shocks and maybe a wheel bearing. He checked out everything and did a test drive with me and a few while he had the car and there was no vibration or anything. He also said that the rim wasn’t at all bent when he had the car. That was one day before I went to get the tires as he was the one who told me my tires were worn and I needed new ones. I got the car back from my mechanic at 7 and had a 9am appointment with town fair tire the next day and I didn’t hit any potholes or anything on the way there. Unlikely that I’d be able to bend 2 rims in such a short time frame

I believe town fair tire does use hunter balancing machines as well as alignment machines plus I’ve had 2 different locations do it a total of 4 times. The 3rd and 4th of which we’re set up by management as I’d made them aware of the issue. I’d expect that they’d have made sure their best/most experienced tech was the one doing the balancing so it was done right. I could be wrong and maybe all the techs were incompetent but it seems unlikely. Just curious if the machine would be able to even bend the rim. Maybe if they dropped it from whatever height the machine is? I can’t imagine that being more than 3-4 ft though
 

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I would take the car for a second opinion from an independent shop. Its quite possible that Town Fair is not doing something correctly. Have them check the tires for belt damage, check the rims for runout etc. Don't trust Town Fair, they will screw you over if you let them. I've had plenty of dealings with that company I won't take my car there again.
What tires are on the car?
 

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I used to install and balance tires "back in the day." The machines that install the tires on the rims haven't changed all that much in terms of overall design. No, it isn't possible for a tire mounting machine to bend a rim.

You'd have to drop a rim from very high, or hit a pot hole...

The tire mounting machines apply a lot of downward force onto one side of the sidewall of the tire to drop half the tire bead below the rim. Then a tire lever slides underneath the rim (at a point where the tire bead is below the rim) near the side of the tire bead that is not yet seated and rotates around the rim until the remainder of the tire bead has been pulled underneath. If you've ever used tire levers to remove or install a bicycle tire, it isn't all that different.

Yes, you can scratch a rim in various ways when installing tires and valve stems, but bending a rim is not possible.
 
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