My car vibrates

topic posted Mon, March 2, 2009 - 6:37 PM by  Toby
My car starts to vibrate at about 57 mph. I had the wheels balanced today, suspecting them. No deal. Anybody have any ideas? Bearings?
Tie rods?
posted by:
  • Re: My car vibrates

    Mon, March 2, 2009 - 8:36 PM
    My advice is attach a long, thick banana shaped thingy to the center of the front seat, position it just so, and drive about 57 mph or higher all the time.
  • Re: My car vibrates

    Mon, March 2, 2009 - 10:56 PM
    Make and model and year? Has the car been in any accidents in its lifetime on the road? Is it an automatic or a manual transmission?
  • Unsu...

    Re: My car vibrates

    Tue, March 3, 2009 - 11:22 AM
    A lot of miles on the tires? Rotated as you're supposed to? You just got them rotated so loose lugnuts aren't likely. Uneven wear or just letting them wear until they are no longer round will do it. It's a lot cheaper than other things so check it first. Next are the wheel bearings. If the car is old or you've hit a lot of potholes or curbs you may have a cracked bearing or two. The bearings should be checked and repacked every x 1000 miles. Every car is different but you shouldn't go further than 100K without checking them. The bearings allow the wheel to spin on the axle. Driving on bad bearings is bad because they will eventually disintegrate once they start going bad. And then as the song goes: "You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel."
    • Re: My car vibrates

      Tue, March 3, 2009 - 4:56 PM
      "The bearings allow the wheel to spin on the axle"

      I had no idea!!!!
      • Unsu...

        Re: My car vibrates

        Wed, March 4, 2009 - 4:07 PM
        I once had the misfortune of working with someone who enjoyed ripping people off for car repairs. "Muffler bearings" were a favorite when someone complained about a noise so he could laugh about how stupid they were to others. Thankfully, he went to jail for it.
    • Re: My car vibrates

      Sun, March 22, 2009 - 12:58 AM
      Many of the newer cars have sealed wheel bearings.... vibrations if felt most in the steer wheel will be assumed to be a problem with front end... If it is felt through the rest of the car it can be in the rear end or drive shaft.... Tires are most generally are the first things to check, flat spots separation of tread from core, make sure you have proper air pressure, especially with warm weather coming on soon... Missing balance weight will cause tires to vibrate and shimmy...

      Only at a certain speed or RPM is usually a harmonic problem... so most generally I would associate it with something that is turning or spinning... After tires I would check drive line on rear drive car... they have weights glued on and every now and again they can come off... After that check U Joints at each end of drive line, if needle bearing are dry they can wear at and cause vibrations... To check drive line just climb under and twist and shake by hand, it should not move...

      Any vibration is a serious problem to the safety of the vehicle... and should be addressed as soon as possible...
      • Re: My car vibrates

        Tue, June 23, 2009 - 6:38 PM
        So here's where I am now: Still get the vibration. Swapped Front and Rear on side where "hop" was detected at tire store. (They said the right front had a hop to it). After I swapped, vibration seemed to be more in the body than the hands. More in the leg than hands.

        Today I got the suspected bad tire replaced(was in Rear position). Still does the vibration thing.

        It's a 2002 Saturn sl1
        • Unsu...

          Re: My car vibrates

          Wed, June 24, 2009 - 6:33 PM
          Alignment checked? Not been in an accident? Time to check the Saturn car forums for others with this problem.
        • Unsu...

          Re: My car vibrates

          Wed, July 1, 2009 - 8:50 PM
          OMG. Saturn? Front Wheel Drive? Okay!

          You might check to see if the right front C.V. axle has the balancer on it or not.

          Very common problem with front wheel drive vehicles. Often manufacturers have to put balancers on the CV shafts. Most of the time they are made of rubber. Due to their location that rubber is usually exposed to lots and lots of grease and oil. The grease and oil soften the rubber of the balancer unit it falls or or out of place. Only cure here is replacement of the drive axle if not balanced. since the right axle is longer than the left any imbalance is quite noticeable.

          Also, you could have a problem with the strut bushings in the same way. soft and or wornout and missing. bounce up and down on the front bumper area and bounce the front of the car as high as you can with your body weight. Listen for loose clunking sounds.

          • Re: My car vibrates

            Wed, July 1, 2009 - 10:48 PM
            Yeah, but the vibration moved when I moved the front to rear.
            • Unsu...

              Re: My car vibrates

              Sat, July 11, 2009 - 12:47 AM
              Harmonics are tricky. In multiples they can work in combination to cancel each others effects or even aplify each others effects.

              you could have a combination of rotating masses that are out of balance.

              If you still suspect the wheels, you might try rotating the suspect tire/rim assembly one lug nut position at a time to see if it alters the dynamics of the vibration. I'd start with the drive axle on the suspect side. If you have four lugs then you have four positions the tire can be in in relation to the drive axle.

              Secondly, If a wheel has been out of balance for some time, it can cause enough wear on the moving suspension pieces it was connected to to make make even the slightestly imbalanced replacement wheel seem just as bad.

              Do you have alloy rims or steel?
  • Unsu...

    Re: My car vibrates

    Wed, March 11, 2009 - 9:57 PM
    I'd say the same thing as most others here. It would also help to know make year and mileage.....

    Check the motor mounts and transmission mounts. They are usually made of natural rubber. Natural rubber, as it happens, is quite incompatible with oil and greas and other automotive fluids and becomes soft and gooey and can tear. Natural rubber also does not like heat, and can become dry and tear.

    If the vehicle has a driveshaft, and is rear wheel drive, the u-joints on the drive shaft could be suspect.

    If the vehicle is front wheel drive, the Constant Velocity (or C.V.) joints could be severely worn which would cause a vibration. This would be quite serious and dangerous if it were the case. leading to potential loss of control of the vehicle at failure.

    Do you feel the vibration more from the body of the vehicle or more from the steering wheel?

    Another thing it could be is loose or improperly installed wheels. Make sure the lug nuts are equally torqued and that the rims do seat evenly on the rotor or the drum.

    Did the wheels receive a static balancing or dynamic balancing? static balance only balances the vertical plane. dynamic balancing balances both the vertical plane and the hortzontal plane of the wheel.

    If its rear wheel drive, a huge cause of vibration is a driveshaft that has been reinstalled out-of-phase. if the u-joints are out-of-phase it can cause serious vibration.

    If you have rack and pinion steering check to see if both the inner joints at the rack and outer joints at the steering knuckle are good. you will have to check this with the vehicle on the ground. up in the air will not work.

    another thing to check is your ball joints. there are a lot of different ways to do this depending on what type of suspension you have. it only takes a few minutes, but it is pretty vehicle specific. The joints have to be checked with the vehicle on the ground. again up in the air will not work. when the vehicle is lifted off the ground the joints move to positions they are not normally in, and therefore the wear is not visible.

  • Unsu...

    Re: My car vibrates

    Thu, March 12, 2009 - 12:36 AM have no idea just how lucky you are!

    you could be the lame ass moderator of this tribe... AND there are worse things in life...i mean, you could be stranded in Golden, Colorado!
  • Re: My car vibrates

    Thu, July 9, 2009 - 6:03 PM
    how long have you been driving on out-of-balance tires?

    if it's been a while, no amount of balancing will make up for the irregular wear that your tires no doubt have.

    if they're new, take krispys advice and seek a pro tire and suspension shop. i can refer a good place here in the SF Bay area... ;-)
    • Unsu...

      Re: My car vibrates

      Thu, July 9, 2009 - 6:51 PM
      I have found most tire shops that do more than sell tires are rip-offs and try to convince you there is something wrong when nothing is.
    • Unsu...

      Re: My car vibrates

      Sat, July 11, 2009 - 12:49 AM
      If you want good work I would recommend Custom Alignment in Santa Clara. They are not cheap. They will tell you what it is. the man has been dealing with vibration since before time was time.
      • Re: My car vibrates

        Fri, July 31, 2009 - 4:08 AM
        I know nothing about cars, so I will leave it to others to supply the details.

        However, I was on my way home one night when my car started vibrating awfully, and I finally pulled over and called Roadside Assistance.

        It turned out my Harmonic Balancer had worked it's way loose.
        I didn't even know I had one.

        30 minutes later I was back on the road and never looked at it again
        • Re: My car vibrates

          Mon, August 3, 2009 - 2:06 PM
          roadside assistance, is that through your insurance company? They fixed it right there on the road?
          very cool
          • Re: My car vibrates

            Wed, August 5, 2009 - 4:23 AM
            In Australia, we have Automobile Clubs

            I have been a member of the RACV (Royal Auto Club, Victoria) since the day I got my licence, 21 years ago.

            Even the basic cover is excellent, and it's all I have ever needed - For an annual fee of around $75, you can make 8 service calls which will dispatch a mobile mechanic to diagnose a fault nation-wide, 5 litres of fuel if you're silly enough to run out, and the first 20km of towing free if needed.

            If you go for the extra care options, they will bring your car home from another state if you break down and they can't fix it on the spot etc.

Recent topics in "Free Advice On Any Subject"

Topic Author Replies Last Post
It's a new dishwasher... JM 2 February 16, 2016
Bi-dating Site For Singles and Couples Unsubscribed 0 August 3, 2015
Whatever happened to Fisherking? leslie 101 July 14, 2015
nude gay meet Unsubscribed 0 August 25, 2014