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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've taken my car twice to the Miami Fisker dealership for what seemed to me to be a wheel balance issue since I bought he car. Once I reach 60 I feel a subtle vibration in the seat of my pants and in the steering wheel, that progressively worsens with each mph. Driving more than 80 is unpleasant. When I merge on the highway and "floor it" I used to enjoy the acceleration in my former Mercedes. Now the faster the car goes, the worse it feels.

My first visit, the service advisor told me there was no wheel balance issue. Yet, the problem only got more noticeable thereafter. I actually watched the steering wheel shake side to side at 80. Six weeks later, at my second visit last week, he told me he felt the vibration, and he balanced the wheels. Apparently there really was a problem with the wheel balance. Thereafter, the vibration was better, but still annoying. He claimed any left over vibration or lack of a smooth ride, is just the way a Karma drives on the highway because of its 22inch wheels and 35 series tires. Yet my other car has 35 series tires and 18 inch wheels and is as smooth as butter even at 100 mph.

Are your karma's smooth at high speed or do all karma's lack a smooth highway ride? I want to go to the same dealer and take a demo out for a highway ride. But it's far away, and I am afraid the demo will drive similarly. What is the consensus ? Could I have a tire(s) that is defective/out of round?
 

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I have no issue / no vibration at any speed.
 

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No vibration for me. In fact, it is much too easy to speed in my Karma, at 80 in Stealth it feels like 60.
 

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No vibration for me either.
 

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I took a 300 mile jaunt today from Orange County to the High Desert, cruised at 80 most of the way....smoother and more comfortable than either an S5, S550 or Continental GT, all which i've taken long trips in, and less engine noise.....I would check your tire balance, I had that issue when it was brand new off the truck
 

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I very recently drove my Karma from San Francisco to Fresno and back in the same day, a distance of almost 350 miles, much of it on US 5 where the speed limit is 70 and everyone drives close to 90. I had absolutely no vibration or noise issue travelling in the flow of traffic. My car just turned 1 and has 15000 Miles on the original tires. What they told you is BS. This car is rock solid at higher speeds.
 

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.. much of it on US 5 where the speed limit is 70 and everyone drives close to 90.
Except for the Model S drivers going 55 mph so they can skip the single station supercharger bottleneck at Harris Ranch. :D
 

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Are your karma's smooth at high speed or do all karma's lack a smooth highway ride? I want to go to the same dealer and take a demo out for a highway ride. But it's far away, and I am afraid the demo will drive similarly. What is the consensus ? Could I have a tire(s) that is defective/out of round?
No vibration here either. I don't ever recall anyone else with this complaint on these forums.

I think your dealer tech is being disingenuous. Take the tech out for a drive at 75 mph in your car to feel the vibration, then have him select any other Fisker off of their lot for a similar 75 mph drive to see the difference. Maybe even do it twice with different demo cars. If what he alleges is true all Fiskers with the same wheels and tires would exhibit the problem and you can easily demonstrate that isn't the case.

Ultimately, I think it will boil down to you not accepting "living with it" as the solution.

Brent
 

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Maybe a tire/tires are flat spotted, or maybe there's problem with a tire. You might have bad tire and the only thing that'll fix it is new tires. Anyway, follow Brent's advice.
 

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No vibration until about 85-90 and I talked with the service department and they said it would be a matter of balancing the wheel. At the present time I don't find myself pushing it that much except for last week.
 

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Except for the Model S drivers going 55 mph so they can skip the single station supercharger bottleneck at Harris Ranch. :D
And also wearing fur-lined coats, mittens and snow boots. ;)
 

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Eric K.

How many miles on those tires?

Have your dealer run a match mount with the Hunter GSP 9700 balancer which they should either have, or have access to. This procedure starts by collecting the road force variation (RFV) of the entire assembly. The Hunter machine should walk them through the process step by step so they can determine if the tire or wheel is at fault. Its possible the match mount will eliminate the problem by simply rotating the tire relative to the wheel. It can also 'flag' either tire or wheel as high RFV 'assembly' contributor, and even after an attempt or two the match mount RFV value is still high. See last paragraph.

Other factors contributing to vibration - poor bead seating tire to wheel (new assemblies, not enough lubricant, etc.), tires flat spotted (per Sigurd, car sits too long without movement), tires built out of round / high component RFV values, wheels out of round (less common), and match mounting not possible because tire RFV too different from wheel out of round.

The last example can actually mean that a tire built with some RFV is difficult to match mount to a wheel that happens to be built with extremely low radial runout. The opposite situation can also apply. Matching is key, and your dealer can help.

Disclosure - I'm an employee of Fisker Automotive
 

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Here at Fisker of OC, we've eliminated most high-speed vibration issues with a road-force balance. A regular balance just didn't fix the problem in some cases. Could have them try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Eric K.

How many miles on those tires?

Have your dealer run a match mount with the Hunter GSP 9700 balancer which they should either have, or have access to. This procedure starts by collecting the road force variation (RFV) of the entire assembly. The Hunter machine should walk them through the process step by step so they can determine if the tire or wheel is at fault. Its possible the match mount will eliminate the problem by simply rotating the tire relative to the wheel. It can also 'flag' either tire or wheel as high RFV 'assembly' contributor, and even after an attempt or two the match mount RFV value is still high. See last paragraph.

Other factors contributing to vibration - poor bead seating tire to wheel (new assemblies, not enough lubricant, etc.), tires flat spotted (per Sigurd, car sits too long without movement), tires built out of round / high component RFV values, wheels out of round (less common), and match mounting not possible because tire RFV too different from wheel out of round.

The last example can actually mean that a tire built with some RFV is difficult to match mount to a wheel that happens to be built with extremely low radial runout. The opposite situation can also apply. Matching is key, and your dealer can help.

Disclosure - I'm an employee of Fisker Automotive
There is 2,300 miles on the tires, but the problem has been present since I got the car with 490 miles on it; just seems like it's getting worse.

I spoke with the Miami Fisker Service manager today. He says he already did the above Hunter testing and found nothing out of the norm. He ( and I ) don't seem to know where to go from here. Any suggestions? Replacement tires?

We are going to do a demo versus my car comparison test drive at highway speeds as soon as possible. I want to know what another (hopefully normal) Karma feels like at 80mph. If necessary, I will find another demo to try also.

If I let go of the steering wheel at 65+ mph, most of the time the wheel visibly shakes from side to side, with a rapid, but mild tremor; so it is not my imagination.
 

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As I mentioned above, I had the same exact issue when I picked up my Karma which had just been unloaded from the truck......I took it straight to a high end tire retailer with whom I've been doing business with for many moons.....he found that one of the front tires was slightly out of balance, balanced it, and I've never had issue since.....6500+ miles.....butter.......
 

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Since the problem comes from the front of the car, have your dealer also check steering linkage, ball joints and front end geometry. It could be one wheel out of whack that is causing the vibration. Any free play on steering rack could produce such vibration. Also, check that you have not damaged the rim of the tire, however this should have been discovered while balancing the wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Since the problem comes from the front of the car, have your dealer also check steering linkage, ball joints and front end geometry. It could be one wheel out of whack that is causing the vibration. Any free play on steering rack could produce such vibration. Also, check that you have not damaged the rim of the tire, however this should have been discovered while balancing the wheels.
Unfortunately, I also feel it in the seat of my pants (rear of the car).
 

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From my own experience it is sometimes difficult to determine where the vibration originates. Sometimes I would swear my rear wheel would vibrate and then I found out I had damaged front rim.

First issue is to determine the source of vibration. Perhaps going downhill with car in neutral could determine whether the vibration is connected to rear drivetrain and occurs only under power. If there is no vibration while coasting then next thing could be bearings in rear wheels or differential. If it is coming from the front, check wheel play (raise the car, have someone hold the steering wheel and try to wiggle the wheel from side to side) and actually do the same for rear wheels. This would determine state of wheel bearings. There should be no play. If everything looks ok, then check for play with driveshafts, however they should be moving slightly between wheel and gearbox - at least that is my experience from race cars. I am not sure if Fisker uses tripods or spline driveshafts, perhaps someone can let us know. Sometimes one ball on the tripod gets damaged and that could cause vibration as well.

My best bet is that vibration comes from damaged wheel rim, next time someone puts the wheels on the balancing machine, stick around. Less possible is damaged spring or damper given the freshness of the car. Dampers and springs can be checked on the shake rig.

Looks like lot of detective work is ahead of you, your dealer should do this for you anyway and they should know what to check. Either way keep us posted about your findings.
 
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