Problem: Steel Wheel(s) Go Bad?
I'm a long time lurker on this site and don't post much but I'm baffled w/an issue so I thought it would be good to seek some input since I've searched all day and can't find any info. Sorry in advance for the long post but....
I have an 08 Malibu LS that we bought new in Aug/08. It has the 16" 5 spoke steel rims w/hubcaps. Currently we have almost 89k on the car, it's been a great car too. At 50K the stock tires needed replaced, so I put Goodyear Comfortred on and bought the warranty so I could have peace of mind and get free rotations & balancing. So every 5K miles they rotate & balance them, and they are currently at 8/32's & new are at 12/32's so they have been wearing well.
Before Thanksgiving, I drove the car (it's my wife's DD) and noticed it had a little shake in the seat, so I set up a little earlier appointment to get them balanced because we were going on a road trip for the holidays. Took the car in, picked it up and the guy at Goodyear couldn't get the tps to set, so I set up another appointment to come in because none of them read. We went on the trip and the wheel was shaking like the tire was out of balance badly, so at the follow up appointment to get the sensors set, I told them the shake was still there and went from the rear to the steering wheel. After about 2 hours they told me one of the tires was out of round badly and another was kind of out and that they tried 4 brand new tires and they were all the same because they mounted and checked all of them. They checked the wheels for damage and they by themselves balanced out fine. They said they would give me a new one and would order 8 new tires to make sure they had one would work and went on to explain how new tires might have a bad batch, blah blah blah. They also let me pay $33 to add an additional tire for the so-so one, so I would have 2 new which I didn't think was a bad deal. They moved these two back to the rear of the car where they were originally so the shake wasn't in the wheel.
Today, I went in to get it fixed again. After about 45 minutes the service manager came out and said "I want to show you something." I went out, he spun the wheel and held a hammers handle next to the inside of the wheel and it would rub off and on and he said the wheel was bent and that the other wheel was bent, but not as bad and could be almost completely balanced out. They tried 4 different styles & brands of tires with me standing there and they were all the same.
So, I guess I'm confused because both of these wheels were on the rear when all this started and we had no major issues before then, just a mild shake that developed and got worse just recently. Then, they were moved to the front which moved the shake to the steering wheel. I asked them how was it possible to damage two rear rims, when the front two were not damaged? I just don't understand how that could happen or how they went bad? Neither me, or my wife remember hitting anything, plus it makes since to me that if we did, it would damage 2 wheels on the same side or just the front two if we pulled over the curb or something.
So anyway, they put the old tires back on and sent me on my way. Junk yards want 100+ for used rims and the dealership wants 200 for 1 new one. I just don't get it. Any thoughts.......