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Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: davemchine
Date: May 12, 2022 10:07PM
I have a 2007 Toyota Solara convertible, basically a Camry, with 75k miles. I have tires with very little wear, they were balanced less than a month ago, but I'm getting terrible steering wheel shake. Alignment was checked at same visit when tires where balanced. What should my next move be? It's a pretty aggressive shake.



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 12, 2022 10:12PM
When do they shake?
Could be bearings. Maybe suspension?
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: Spiff
Date: May 12, 2022 10:32PM
It’s the tires. What brand? Goodyear absolutely sucks when it comes to this. No matter how much I balanced the tires, the steering wheel wobbled. Michelin seems to be better. No more shake/wobble after switching. YMMV
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: rgG
Date: May 12, 2022 10:43PM
Maybe one of the tires is “out of round.” I had a new tire that had this problem and had to be replaced. It can cause steering wheel shake.





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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 12, 2022 11:01PM
As you haven't mentioned it, I'll assume this doesn't happen only when you apply your brakes.

If you haven't already done so, check the lug nuts first, and make sure they're tight.

After that, I'd check the wheel bearings and tire runout.

All this can be done DIY if one is physically up to it.

Beyond that, take the vehicle to where you bought the tires and have them check balance and runout.

They can also check suspension components, idler arm, tie rod ends, CV joints, steering knuckle, control arms, whatever is appropriate for your car.

Basically, you or your expert is shaking components looking for excessive play.

More info about when the symptoms started, and under what conditions, etc.

You said the tires have little wear— what does the wear pattern look like?

There could be a clue in that.






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Oh, and...
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 12, 2022 11:05PM
You said aggressive steering wheel shake.

Do you feel any shake in the tires?

Suspension issues usually cause wheel shake and maybe some steering wheel shake.

If you feel it only in the steering wheel, in addition to the suspension check, you should have the steering system checked as wheel.

A decent wrench should be able to find the problem fairly quickly and cheaply, though 'cheap' is relative.

Fixing the issue could have a very wide range of costs.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

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Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
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must suffer with him.

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There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

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An armed society is a polite society.
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: lost in space
Date: May 12, 2022 11:51PM
Tires out of round can be in balance but still cause shake. Get the tires rotated, switching front and back. If the car steers ok, other than the shake, it's likely a tire out of round.

BTW, no idler arm on a car with rack and pinion steering.



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: Diana
Date: May 13, 2022 12:53AM
Wheel out of round, the suspension, the front end... As others suggested, put the suspect wheel on the back and see if the shake follows the wheel. Also, check to see if a wear pattern has begun to be imprinted on the tire, as it may give you information about what is going on (as mentioned also above).

My first car was struck in the right side behind the driver, near the back wheel. It shook at speed ever since. I brought it in and had it checked repeatedly to no avail. The original rim was bent, and a "new" one was supposed to be used as a replacement during the repair. I suspect that it didn't happen.
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 13, 2022 01:23AM
Just because the tires are new-ish doesn't mean they don't have issues. See if there is a place nearby that will do the wheel balanced while they are on the car. Sometimes brakes can get out of balance and doing the whole thing will fix it.

With only 75k miles, I would guess the chance of the issue in this order (assuming not driven in snow since it's a convertible):
1- wheel balance (lost a balance weight)
2- brake worn out of balance
3- worn CV joints
4- worn tie-rods or ball joints
5- broken shock



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: Speedy
Date: May 13, 2022 01:38AM
You could have ply separation. Put on a pair of gloves and then run your hands across the face of each tire, front and rear. However, usually ply separation will behave like an unaligned front end and pull to one side.



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: Racer X
Date: May 13, 2022 01:43AM
Quote
Speedy
You could have ply separation. Put on a pair of gloves and then run your hands across the face of each tire, front and rear. However, usually ply separation will behave like an unaligned front end and pull to one side.

I had a bubble where I hit a pothole. popped out a few days later.



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 13, 2022 01:52AM
Quote
Speedy
You could have ply separation. Put on a pair of gloves and then run your hands across the face of each tire, front and rear. However, usually ply separation will behave like an unaligned front end and pull to one side.

Definitely want to wear gloves. I had a tire go bad, probably after hitting a pothole, with a broken belt. Found that by the thin wires coming out the side of the tread. I made sure to let the ungloved guy who came out to do the tire change before he stabbed his hands.
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 13, 2022 02:40AM
shake... when? braking? straight and level?





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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 13, 2022 07:13AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Just because the tires are new-ish doesn't mean they don't have issues. See if there is a place nearby that will do the wheel balanced while they are on the car. Sometimes brakes can get out of balance and doing the whole thing will fix it.

With only 75k miles, I would guess the chance of the issue in this order (assuming not driven in snow since it's a convertible):
1- wheel balance (lost a balance weight)
2- brake worn out of balance
3- worn CV joints
4- worn tie-rods or ball joints
5- broken shock

The vehicle is 15 years old with only 75k miles. My guess is that the suspension components are shot. I would jack the car up and pull on the top of the tire to see how much movement there is. I would then take each tire off and look at all the rubber components on the suspension. I would expect to see rips or dry rot in bushings and ball joints. If the shocks haven't been replaced, they are long overdue. The old school bounce test is a joke and doesn't confirm shock condition.
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 13, 2022 08:01AM
I just had a bad tire and the vibration happened at low speed (really bad tire). Does it ever go away?
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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: May 13, 2022 09:47AM
Steering wheel shake is god's way of telling you to get something fixed. Seriously. Even if the root cause isn't immediately dangerous, it will cause wear and stress on other components that are compensating for the root cause. When those components fail, things happen quickly that usually involve body shops, insurance, hospitals and/or mortuaries.

The investigative route I'd take:
1) check lugnuts
>are they all there?
>are they all tight?
2) check for obvious signs of impact/damage to rim and tires.
>maybe use your phone to peek behind the tires because damage can be hidden on the non-visible side.
3) get the car on a lift to check for play in the suspension and look for cause. The tire shop might do this for free as they might find tire/wheel damage that can generate a sale.

If the wobble only happens when braking...it's almost definitely a damaged brake component. Drums/rotors can warp, rust, etc if damaged or heated and cooled rapidly. Calipers can pinch against a warped disc causing wobble.

If the wobble only happens at a certain speed, it's likely a tire/wheel/alignment issue that only presents when a resonant harmonic frequency alignment happens (eg an out of round tire/wheel will cause the suspension to absorb rotational vibrations, but it can only recover so fast. At a certain speed the vibration will match the recovery frequency of the suspension and the vibration will actually amplify instead of being dampened)



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Re: Steering wheel shake, advice appreciated
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 13, 2022 10:03AM
....is the wheel's name 'money maker'.....'cause usually have to shake your 'money maker'.....



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