Radial Tire Waddle Description
Waddle is side to side movement at the front and / or rear of the vehicle. It is caused by the steel belt not being straight within the tire. It is most noticeable at a low speed, 8 to 48 km/h (5 to 30 mph).
It is possible to locate the faulty tire by road testing the vehicle. If it is on the rear, the rear end of the vehicle shakes from side to side or “waddles”. To the driver in the seat, it feels as though someone is pushing on the side of vehicle.
If the faulty tire is on the front, waddling is more visual. The front sheet metal appears to be moving back and forth and the driver feels as though he is at the pivot point in vehicle.
Waddle can be quickly diagnosed by using Tire Problem Detector (TPD) and the following the equipment manufacture’s recommendations.
If TPD is not available, an alternative method of substituting known-good tire / wheel assemblies can be used as follows, although it takes a longer time.
1) Ride vehicle to determine whether the front or rear waddles.
2) Install tires and wheels that are known to be good (on similar vehicle) in place of those on waddling end of vehicle. If waddling end cannot be identified, substitute rear ones.
3) Road test again. If improvement is noted, reinstall originals one at a time till waddle causal tire is found. If no improvement is noted, install known-good tires in place of all four. Then reinstall originals in the same manner.
Equipment manufacture’s recommendations