9 Reasons Your Car Feels Weird After Getting New Tires

There’s perhaps nothing quite as exhilarating for a car enthusiast than the prospect of getting new tires. It’s a tangible upgrade that signals fresh starts, renewed performance, and enhanced safety. 

After all, new tires should ideally translate to a smoother ride, right? However, this is where a common misconception tends to surface. Many of us tend to believe that new tires should instantly improve the driving experience. 

But, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your car might feel a bit off or weird after getting new tires. This can be quite disconcerting and is a topic worth exploring. So, let’s delve into the reasons why your car might feel different after that exciting tire upgrade.

Reasons Cars Feel Weird After Getting New Tires

1. Tire Wear-In Period

Just like a new pair of shoes, tires need to be “broken in” for optimal performance. This is known as the tire wear-in period. 

During the manufacturing process, a release lubricant is used to prevent the tires from sticking to the mold. 

This lubricant, which remains on the surface of the tires, can contribute to less traction in the initial period of use. 

Furthermore, the treads on your new tires are at their thickest and stiffest when they’re brand new. 

This can result in a stiffer ride than you’re used to, and it may take some time for the tires to adapt to your car’s weight and your driving style. 

Typically, it takes about 500-700 miles of driving under various conditions for new tires to achieve optimal performance and handling characteristics. 

So, if your car feels a bit “weird” after getting new tires, don’t panic. Give it some time and let the tires wear in.

2. Different Tread Pattern

A significant factor contributing to a different feel after getting new tires is the tread pattern. Tread patterns vary significantly across different tire brands and models. 

They are designed to provide specific handling characteristics and are optimized for different driving conditions, such as dry, wet, or snowy roads.

When you change your tires, especially if you switch to a different brand or model, you’re also changing the tread pattern. 

This new pattern may handle differently than what you’re used to. For instance, some treads are designed to offer better water evacuation for improved wet traction, while others may emphasize low rolling resistance for better fuel efficiency. Tread block sizes and shapes also affect noise levels and ride comfort. 

Furthermore, if the tread pattern on your new tires is the opposite of your previous ones (for example, directional vs. symmetrical), you might notice a significant change in your car’s handling and ride comfort. 

Thus, differences in tread patterns can explain why your car feels different after getting new tires. As with the wear-in period, give yourself some time to acclimate to the new tread pattern’s unique characteristics.

3. Incorrect Tire Pressure 

Incorrect tire pressure is another factor that can make your car handle differently after getting new tires. 

Both underinflated and overinflated tires can alter your vehicle’s driving characteristics and overall performance. 

Underinflated tires may feel unsettle and squishy, leading to poor handling and increased stopping distances. 

They also have higher rolling resistance, which decreases fuel efficiency and accelerates tire wear. Additionally, underinflation can cause excessive heat build-up, resulting in a higher risk of tire failure.

Overinflated tires, on the other hand, can feel overly harsh and bouncy. They offer less contact with the road surface, leading to reduced traction and poorer braking performance. 

Overinflation can also cause uneven tire wear, primarily in the center of the tread, and makes the tires more susceptible to damage from potholes and other road hazards.

Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your new tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. 

You can typically find this information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the tire information placard located on the driver’s side door jamb. 

Regularly checking your tire pressure and adjusting it as necessary can help maintain optimal handling and performance.

4. Wheel Alignment Issues

Wheel alignment, also referred to as tire alignment, is another vital aspect that can affect how your vehicle handles, especially after getting new tires. 

Wheel alignment involves adjusting the angles of the wheels to the car manufacturer’s specifications.

Poorly aligned wheels can lead to several problems. If the wheels are not perfectly aligned, your car may pull to one side or feel unstable while driving. 

It can also result in uneven tire wear, reducing the lifespan of your new tires. Moreover, improper alignment can adversely impact fuel efficiency, as misaligned tires can increase resistance, requiring more power to move the car.

Getting a wheel alignment when you install new tires ensures that your tires are perfectly aligned, contributing to smooth and comfortable driving. 

It also helps maximize the lifespan of your new tires and improves fuel efficiency. So, it is highly recommended to get your wheel alignment checked and adjusted by a professional when you get new tires. 

Keep in mind, wheel alignment can get compromised due to various reasons, such as driving over potholes, hitting the curb, or due to regular wear and tear. 

Hence, it’s important to get your wheel alignment checked regularly, not just when installing new tires.

5. Suspension and Shock Absorber Adjustments

Just like wheel alignment, suspension and shock absorber adjustments play a key role in how your vehicle handles on the road, particularly after the installation of new tires. 

The suspension system and shock absorbers work together to absorb shocks from road bumps and potholes, ensuring a smooth ride. 

They also help maintain the tires’ contact with the road, which is crucial for safe steering and braking.

If your suspension system is out of adjustment or your shock absorbers are worn out, you might experience a bumpy ride, poor handling, and uneven tire wear. 

This is because the tires may lose contact with the road surface temporarily when the vehicle hits a bump, reducing your control over the vehicle. Moreover, excessive bouncing can cause the tires to wear out unevenly, reducing their lifespan.

New tires can sometimes highlight existing problems with your suspension system or shock absorbers. 

So, if you notice any changes in vehicle handling after installing new tires, it might be time to have your suspension system and shock absorbers checked and adjusted.

Remember, similar to wheel alignment, the adjustment of your suspension system and shock absorbers can be affected by various factors, such as driving over rough roads, accidents, and regular wear and tear. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to get them checked regularly to ensure optimal vehicle performance and safety. 

By maintaining your wheel alignment, suspension system, and shock absorbers, you can maximize the performance and lifespan of your new tires, ensuring a safe and comfortable driving experience.

6. Different Tire Size

Changing the size of your tires can have a significant impact on your vehicle’s performance and safety. 

Each vehicle is designed to work with tires of a specific size, which is carefully selected by the manufacturer to match the vehicle’s weight, suspension system, and power.

When you install tires that are larger or smaller than the recommended size, it can disrupt the vehicle’s engineering balance.

Larger tires might provide more surface contact with the road and potentially improve traction, but they can also put additional strain on the suspension and braking systems. 

This is because larger tires are typically heavier, which makes it harder for the suspension to absorb shocks and for the brakes to stop the vehicle.

On the other hand, smaller tires may decrease the vehicle’s ground clearance, making it more prone to underbody damage from road debris or potholes. 

They might also result in inaccurate readings on your speedometer and odometer because these instruments are calibrated based on the recommended tire size.

In addition, changing the tire size can affect the load carrying capacity of the tires. Each tire has a load index, which indicates the maximum weight the tire can carry. 

Installing tires with a lower load index than recommended can increase the risk of tire failure, especially when the vehicle is loaded.

Therefore, if you’re considering changing the size of your tires, it’s crucial to consult with a tire or vehicle professional to understand the potential implications and ensure the changes won’t compromise your vehicle’s performance or safety.

7. Unbalanced Tires

Unbalanced tires can cause a myriad of issues for your vehicle. The term “unbalanced” refers to an uneven distribution of weight around the tire’s circumference. 

This is typically caused by small weight differences in the tire, rim, and wheel assembly. When tires are not balanced properly, they may wobble or bounce as they rotate, leading to an uncomfortable ride and increased wear on your tires and vehicle.

As tires wear down, they naturally lose their balance. This is why it’s crucial to have your tires balanced regularly, especially when you install new tires or if you start to notice signs of imbalance, such as vibration in the steering wheel or uneven tire wear. 

Unbalanced tires can lead to premature tire wear, reducing the lifespan of your tires and increasing your costs over time. 

They can also put extra strain on your vehicle’s suspension, leading to additional wear and tear on these components and impacting the overall ride quality and performance of your vehicle. 

Moreover, unbalanced tires can compromise the safety of your vehicle. They can lead to decreased traction and handling, making it more challenging to control your vehicle, especially in poor weather conditions. 

Therefore, maintaining balanced tires is essential for both the performance and safety of your vehicle. 

To prevent these issues, it’s recommended to have your tires balanced by a professional every 5,000 to 6,000 miles or as recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer. 

This will help ensure a smooth ride, extend the lifespan of your tires and vehicle, and enhance your driving safety.

8. Uneven Tire Wear

Understanding Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear is a common issue that motorists often encounter, and frequently, it’s an indicator of other underlying problems with your vehicle. 

It happens when one part of the tire wears down faster than the rest, causing an irregular tread pattern. This can occur on just one tire or on multiple tires, depending on the cause.

There are various forms of uneven tire wear. For instance, ‘center wear’ happens when the middle part of the tire wears down more quickly than the edges. 

This is often due to overinflation, where excessive air pressure pushes the tire’s center onto the road. 

On the other hand, ‘edge wear’ is where the edges of the tire wear down faster than the center, typically resulting from underinflation, where insufficient pressure causes the tire’s edges to bear the vehicle’s weight.

Another common type is ‘cupping wear,’ characterized by worn patches or scalloped dips appearing around the tire. This could signal issues with suspension parts or wheel balance. 

Lastly, ‘heel-toe wear’ occurs when one side of the tread blocks wears down faster than the other, often due to insufficient tire rotation.

Notably, uneven tire wear negatively impacts your vehicle’s performance and safety. It can reduce your vehicle’s traction, making it harder to handle and potentially leading to accidents, especially in adverse weather conditions. 

Additionally, it shortens the lifespan of your tires, leading to more frequent and costly replacements. 

Regular checks for signs of uneven wear can help detect any potential problems early. Tires should be inspected at least once a month and before long trips. 

Rotating your tires, maintaining proper tire balance, ensuring correct alignment, and keeping optimal tire pressure are also vital preventative measures. 

9. Incompatible Tires

Incompatibility in tire type, size, or brand can significantly contribute to uneven tire wear. While it might seem convenient or cost-effective to replace just one or two tires at a time, using mismatched tires can create an imbalance in your vehicle’s performance.

Each tire brand and model has its unique construction, rubber composition, tread pattern, and overall performance characteristics. 

Mixing different types can cause uneven wear because they will respond differently to road conditions, speed, and weather. 

For instance, some tires may provide better traction in wet conditions, while others are designed for high-speed performance. This discrepancy can lead to certain tires wearing out faster.

Moreover, tires of different sizes or those installed on the wrong rim size can also lead to uneven wear. The incompatibility in size can result in a disparity in how each tire bears the vehicle’s weight, which over time, results in uneven tire wear.

An effective way to mitigate the risk of incompatibility is to always replace tires in pairs or, better yet, as a full set. 

Moreover, always ensure to use tires that are compatible with your vehicle’s specifications and driving conditions. 

Lastly, remember to continually monitor and rotate your tires to guarantee even wear and extend their service life.


In summary, there are several reasons why a car might feel different after getting new tires. A few examples include improperly inflated tires, tire compatibility issues, and unevenly worn-out tires. 

Understanding the underlying causes of a vehicle’s instability can help you determine which steps to take in order to restore balance and driving comfort. 

In addition to ensuring that your tires are properly inflated, it is also important to make sure that they are compatible with each other in terms of size, pattern, and performance. Moreover, always replace tires in pairs or as a full set and inspect your car regularly to guarantee even wear. 

By following these steps you can ensure that your vehicle is performing at its peak so you can enjoy a safe ride every time. 

If you have any questions about tire replacement and maintenance, it is recommended that you consult a professional for advice. 

A certified technician will be able to provide you with the best troubleshooting and maintenance solutions for your vehicle. 

They can perform visual inspections, recommend compatible tires, and help you select the right ones for your driving needs. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top