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Old 09-26-2016, 02:55 PM   #1
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Warranty

Who should warranty the wheels and tires on an Airstream Interstate? The AS dealer or MBZ dealer? I'm having a tough time fixing the steering wheel shimmy on my Interstate, dealer aligned and re-balanced the wheels and its still doing it at 65mph and up. The MBZ dealer does not have a road force balancer. I had them torque the wheels at 133ft/lbs and set the tire pressure at 61lbs. The alignment was covered under warranty but the wheel balance was not. I read some Conti tires are hard to balance and others had to have the tires changed out to fix the problem. Anyone experience steering wheel shimmy/shakes at 65mph and up?
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:38 PM   #2
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I haven't had a problem with shimmy/shacks at any speed. I did have an alignment issue that caused uneven wear on my front tires. I never bothered to get the alignment checked until I had 30,000 miles and added new tires after having a rear tire go flat giving me four bad tires just before a trip to Alaska.

I was unaware that alignment could have been a warranty claim - I was too busy traveling.

Since the Interstates have tires mounted on new Alcoa wheels installed by Airstream I would imagine that balancing would not be covered under the Mercedes warranty. If it had the stock steel wheels installed by Mercedes - then maybe. That said Airstream should be responsible to provide you properly balanced wheels/tires as delivered to you.

You need to find a shop that can get your wheels/tires properly balanced. A lot of Mercedes dealers do not have the proper equipment to balance the wheels on a 3500 Sprinter with dual wheels.

I'd press Airstream to pay for getting a proper balance.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:42 PM   #3
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If you want the wheels speciality balanced I would say it is up to you.
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:53 PM   #4
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I took mine to a TCI Tire Center and had them roadforce balance the front wheels. Very smooth now.

I believe they are nationwide but by all means take your AI to someone who services commercial and light duty trucks as well as RVs. Should be able to help out.
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Old 09-26-2016, 04:54 PM   #5
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On pages 7-2 and 7-3 of the Airstream manual there is a section entitled Component Identification that offers partial lists of who is responsible for what. Amusingly under Sprinter they list "wheels, tires", while under Airstream they list "Alcoa Dura Bright Rims". Typically tires are separately warranted by the manufacturer, and you would likely find literature on this among what you received.

At this point, I would look for a large authorized retailer for the tire manufacturer, one with sophisticated balancing equipment, and ask them to sort it out. The highest probability might well be that you have a defective tire.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:58 PM   #6
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I took mine to a TCI Tire Center and had them roadforce balance the front wheels. Very smooth now.

I believe they are nationwide but by all means take your AI to someone who services commercial and light duty trucks as well as RVs. Should be able to help out.

Looks like there's one in Irvine. I'll let the dealer try one more time, if it's still the same I'll take it down to get it road force balance at TCI. What brand tires are you using?
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:03 PM   #7
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On pages 7-2 and 7-3 of the Airstream manual there is a section entitled Component Identification that offers partial lists of who is responsible for what. Amusingly under Sprinter they list "wheels, tires", while under Airstream they list "Alcoa Dura Bright Rims". Typically tires are separately warranted by the manufacturer, and you would likely find literature on this among what you received.

At this point, I would look for a large authorized retailer for the tire manufacturer, one with sophisticated balancing equipment, and ask them to sort it out. The highest probability might well be that you have a defective tire.
I'll take a look at my manual. My AS dealer has nothing to service a Sprinter, therefore if it's chassis related I don't bother telling my AS dealer and go straight to the MBZ dealer. I just unsure about the wheel and tire. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:05 PM   #8
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I haven't had a problem with shimmy/shacks at any speed. I did have an alignment issue that caused uneven wear on my front tires. I never bothered to get the alignment checked until I had 30,000 miles and added new tires after having a rear tire go flat giving me four bad tires just before a trip to Alaska.

I was unaware that alignment could have been a warranty claim - I was too busy traveling.

Since the Interstates have tires mounted on new Alcoa wheels installed by Airstream I would imagine that balancing would not be covered under the Mercedes warranty. If it had the stock steel wheels installed by Mercedes - then maybe. That said Airstream should be responsible to provide you properly balanced wheels/tires as delivered to you.

You need to find a shop that can get your wheels/tires properly balanced. A lot of Mercedes dealers do not have the proper equipment to balance the wheels on a 3500 Sprinter with dual wheels.

I'd press Airstream to pay for getting a proper balance.
What brand tires are you using?
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Old 09-27-2016, 07:24 AM   #9
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Looks like there's one in Irvine. I'll let the dealer try one more time, if it's still the same I'll take it down to get it road force balance at TCI. What brand tires are you using?
I am running the original Continentals. I have a friend who swapped out his fronts to Michelin and the issue was immediately cured so do believe the Contis may be part of the problem.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:28 AM   #10
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What brand tires are you using?

The original tires were Continental, at 30,000 miles I switched to Michelin and now have 76,000 miles with normal wear patterns all around.


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Old 09-27-2016, 10:13 AM   #11
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I had same issue with mine when purchased. Took it to mercedes who did the front end alignment under warranty and then balanced all wheels. I was reimbursed from Airstream for the realignment. I would first call Airstream to get the approval for the wheel balancing.
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Old 10-03-2016, 06:38 PM   #12
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I changed my Conti in the front got Michelin big improvement at 30k. Now got 65k and still good front tires but now I need to replace the 4 in the rear.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:19 AM   #13
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I also had a shimmy at the same speed. Changed out the Conti tires with new ones and it solved the problem. It seems to be a real wear issue with the brand, so if the issue returns I will change to Michelin.
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