Aftermarket wheel problems on 2017 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Accessories and Modifications' started by Pixelriffic, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    My wife and I bought a "certified" 2017 Prius 4 touring in from a Toyota dealer in January. It happened to have "Liquidmetal" aftermarket wheels as pictured here. On the test drive, we never were able to get much over 50 miles per hour due to traffic and weather conditions. We bought the car, and later noticed significant vibration at higher speeds typical of a wheel problem. We returned to the dealer a few days later, they confirmed there was an issue with the wheels, and said it was not their problem. Interesting, since they sold the car this way in the first place. I asked that OE wheels be exchanged for the aftermarket ones, and was refused.

    I then went to a local tire shop. They happened to sell the same brand of wheels, and tires. Several visits, and a very long story short, they replaced three of the wheels with the same Continental model, and the problem still exists. On the last visit to this tire shop, one of the staff members suggested using a different lug that had a tapered end. Why these were not used in the first place, or this was not mentioned before, I do not know.

    What I don't know is that whether it's a quality issue with this particular make of wheel? I see other aftermarket wheels on Priuses, and assume owners don't have the same problem? This car is otherwise in fantastic shape, and we love it, but we feel burned on the whole thing.

    Any thoughts or advice is greatly appreciated.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    2,433
    2,231
    0
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Well, at least they look good.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,349
    38,870
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i had the same problem with a used ford ranger many years ago. dealer replaced all the wheels and tires no questions asked.
    most toyota dealers suck
     
  4. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    A service tech at the Dealer tells me that there is no way that aftermarket wheels on a Prius will not result in vibration at highway speeds. It is due to the plastic ring spacer used. I asked him if this is the case with all aftermarket wheels, and he says yes. I find this surprising, but have no other way to know for sure.

    I asked him if a set of factory 17" wheels from a Camry would work, and he claims only OE Prius wheels will. I have tried to reach the sales manager over the past week, and so far, he has refused to return my call.
     
    bisco likes this.
  5. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    2,290
    2,588
    47
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Wheels vibrating at high speed is a safety issue, I would put this across to the dealer and if he doesn't change the wheels, report it to the governing safety body. He has basically sold you a car that is unsafe, I don't know about the US but here in the UK it's illegal.
     
  6. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    I took the car to the service center two weeks ago, and they said it was up to the sales department. Initially, the sales person said it was nothing they could do, since they do not support aftermarket wheels. Multiple messages for a call back from the sales manager have been ignored.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,168
    27,871
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I'm not sure either, but reading up, it seems like hub centric rims are effective, and a solution to the oversized hub openings typical on aftermarket rims.
     
    Montgomery likes this.
  8. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    Mendel,

    Yes, this is apparently a problem with all aftermarket rims that require a plastic adapter ring. The dealer new this to begin with, and sold the car this way. And as a "Toyota Certified" used car at that.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,168
    27,871
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    Or could be those particular rims? Not sure. There's a lot of aftermarket rims sold, and they all use adapater rings, being "one size fits all".

    That said, I've always stuck with OEM, and the adapter ring is one factor for my decision.
     
    krmcg likes this.
  10. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    According to the service writer at the dealership, as well as other sources on the web, this is a problem with all aftermarket wheels that require a plastic adapter. As a result, they will never be vibration free. It's just a crappy workaround. Turns out, you should only used wheels designed to fit the hub. Sadly, OE wheels are $300 to $500 each.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,168
    27,871
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I'm sceptical: there's a lot of aftermarket rims sold. It's a big industry, and not a lot of problems like this? Could be one of your rims got slightly bent in a pot hole, or just a manufacture defect.

    Ok, see you've already had three rims replaced, so that's kinda out the window. Suspension or steering damage??

    That said, playing it safe with OEM rims is good. I'm using Corolla steel rims for snow tires, with correct hub opening. And I have some Prius Plug-In rims I'm still trying to figure out what to do with. Again, correct hub opening.

    Just for giggles, I wonder if the dealership or someone could put on an OEM snow tire set (with OEM Toyota rims) or something, just for a drive, see if the steering wheel vibration goes away? Or maybe they don't want to know?
     
    #11 Mendel Leisk, Mar 19, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  12. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    No. It is a wheel issue. Not a suspension issue. The symptom is distinctly different, and the dealer has confirmed this. It's also not exactly a matter of "giggles" at all that they have thrown up their hands. They refuse to support a car they just sold. This is the entire problem, and the purpose of this thread.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  13. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    2,290
    2,588
    47
    Location:
    South Yorkshire, UK
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Would this be a case for the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) or do they only cover new vehicles ?
     
  14. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    No idea, but might be worth looking into. I was thinking I would probably start with local authorities like the city or county attorney.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,168
    27,871
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    So put on a set of OEM rims (used you can pick up for under $400 for the set).

    Sort out who picks up the tab later.
     
    kithmo likes this.
  16. Michael N Bennett

    Michael N Bennett Junior Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    8
    7
    0
    Location:
    Campbell River, BC
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    ----Canada----

    I have been in the car business since finishing university in 1979 and work for a large dealer group. If the car was indeed "Toyota Certified" you may have some recourse with Toyota itself because, if I am not mistaken, "Toyota Certified" is a factory program.. If the car was sold with aftermarket wheels as "Toyota Certified" the dealer may not in line with the rules of the program.

    BTW, any 5 x 100 OEM Toyota wheel is hub-centric and will fit on your car. I run 15" Corolla steel wheels with winter tires for 6 months of the the year on 2016 Prius with zero issues. Camry and the Pirus V have a different bolt pattern of 5 x 114.3 so they do not work.
    Cheers,
    Mike
     
    kithmo and krmcg like this.
  17. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    2,433
    2,231
    0
    Location:
    Whittier, CA
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Thanks for the information.
     
  18. Pixelriffic

    Pixelriffic New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2020
    11
    5
    0
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    Hi Michael,

    I do appreciate your response. It makes sense that Toyota might have a dim view of this as they should. Worth contacting them I think. Also helpful to know other Toyo wheels would work. That'd open up my options for sure.

    Thanks!
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    39,168
    27,871
    80
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    I meant to say something like that, edit window expired. :oops:

    Again, my 2 cents: OP should at least temporarily swap in a set of Toyota wheels with correct sized hub openings (say a corolla snow tire set, dealership should have some), see if the steering wheel shimmy does in fact go away.
     
    #19 Mendel Leisk, Mar 21, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  20. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    1,655
    1,703
    2
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Having driven cars since 1974 and have experienced a myriad of different types of rims, I will say that rims will always create issues of some type. Balancing them is the main issue. After market rims tend to warp and bend easier than stock ones. Also, as mentioned above, they require special spacers, nuts and alway additional balancing weights. Keep in mind, every time you go over a hard bump on after market rims, they tend to go out of balance. I had horrible luck with rims over 17". 18" or higher always needed balancing for me. I learned to live with it and to budget going to the local rim shop to have stress fracture cracks sealed and the rims rebalanced. Wish you the best!
     
    krmcg likes this.
Loading...