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Old 09-18-2007, 08:21 AM
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Bad Vibrations

Ok, I'm having a problem with my daily driver, a 2001 Chevy Malibu LS.

Right about 63-64 MPH I start getting a vibration. It feels like it is almost a side to side vibration as opposed to an up and down or front to rear vibration. I can just about guarantee that the tires are not the culprit as they were balanced earlier this week. And I witnessed the balance job, so I know they are done correctly. I am pretty sure it is not the brake rotors, as I would feel the vibration in the brake pedal and steering wheel while breaking, but I dont feel that. I am just stumped as to what it might be. What else can I check to be out of balance?

Thanks in advance.

Chris

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Old 09-18-2007, 08:35 AM
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I trust those computer balancers about as far as i can toss one....Live in arkansas here and had a friend from NY come down to visit and he said he had a vibration went for a ride sure enough bad vibration. Jacked his minivan up checked the front end and had a bad wheel bearing....Put a new bearing in and road tested again same vibration.....The same corner we put the bearing in you could see the tire bouncing going down the road...But he just had them balanced he said.......So took it off and rebalanced it with on old time snap-on balancer..Walla no more vibration.
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Old 09-18-2007, 08:51 AM
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You could have a slipped belt in one of your tires and it will still balance OK but will vibrate at certain speeds. To check it out....put your spare on in place of the suspected tire...if it goes away then its the tire. You could also have a front wheel bearing or a rear axle bearing going bad.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:30 AM
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Generally vibration at 60 - 65 MPH is balance. Long ago, when I was working in a garage we had this kind of a problem, and I believe it was a BFG tire(that's what we sold). The inner latex had softened and a ball about 2" in diameter had formed and was rolling around. After a couple of attempts and a PO'd customer, I took the tire apart and found the culprit. I found several others after that but never that big.

Also, a 2001 can now be effectively 8 years old and you may be seeing some other front suspension problems like tie rods or R&P steering gear.

Dave
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:01 AM
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Hi,
Does the vibration go away if you increase the speed
& then comes back in around 75-80 mph? If so, I would
suspect the front end needs to be aligned.
Good luck,
rich

Last edited by richard stewart 3rd; 09-18-2007 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:56 AM
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is that car rear wheel drive or front wheel drive? if it's front wheel it could be a bad half-shaft or even motor or tranny mounts. It may not be old enough to bear replacement of mounts but it should only take a quick glance to know.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:17 PM
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Thanks so far guys,

I am going to bring the car BACK to Tire Kingdom to be balanced again (3rd time). This time I am going to tell them to put the tires on both their balance machines.

Henry - If the third balance doesn't fix this, then I will try rotating the spare until I find the culprit.

Irleands Child - How would I go about checking the tie rods and R&P?

Richard - The car could use an alignment, but I can't see how an alignment would cause a vibration this severe. I have yet to hit 75-80 since I had them balanced this past Sunday

joehalford01 - I'll check the mounts this week to see if they need replacement. How would I go about checking the half shafts?

Thanks again guys.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:19 PM
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not 100% sure, if the cv boots are cracked and leaking grease theres a good chance they have gone bad, if not, then they should be fine. i'm not 100% familiar with your car though and my front wheel drive knowledge comes from my 96 volvo. they are called cv boots on my car. basically rubber boots coming out of each side of the tranny to the wheels. they keep grease in and dust out, so a broken one does the opposite which leads to failure. hope that helps (also, only on front wheel drive, you didn't say which it was, so don't be looking for this if it's rear wheel drive)
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:33 PM
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Balance

maybe threw a wieght?Or the tire shifted on wheel?Or a belt shifted?Balance
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:44 PM
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Bad vibes

A bad inner CV joint can give you a vibration. But usually it'll be worse under acceleration. Usually you can grab the axle shaft at the inner joint and move it up and down easily if the inner joint is bad.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:47 PM
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Bad vibes

Dragging brakes can give you a vibration also, either the emergency or a caliper. You should be able to feel excessive heat in one of the wheels if dragging brake are the culprit. Check the wheel temp side to side. The fronts are normally hotter than the rears.
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Old 09-20-2007, 11:57 AM
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Well, I was able to get her onto the Interstate yesterday for the first time since the ballance. The vibration comes in at 63-65MPH and gradually subsides. Around 85MPG it is hardly noticable, but I can still feel it. Any thoughts?

Chris
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:39 PM
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I share your pain. My 70 Impala is fine to cruise at 65mph, but at 70mph, starts to shake and just gets worse. I've been through the balancing act, and I have good alignment too. I was thinking I might throw the rear end up on jack stands this weekend to see if it vibes with the tires off the ground. I've never done anything with my driveshaft, but I heard that could be it too.
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Old 09-20-2007, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Highrise
You could have a slipped belt in one of your tires and it will still balance OK but will vibrate at certain speeds. To check it out....put your spare on in place of the suspected tire...if it goes away then its the tire. You could also have a front wheel bearing or a rear axle bearing going bad.
Very true. Also I no longer have wheels balanced anywhere except at a shop that uses the Hunter Road Force balancing system, and techs trained to fully utilize it's potential. I've always been very fussy about wheel balance and detest any vibration. I've had the Vette to 120 mph with no problems and it has fairly sizeable wheels and tires, 295/35/18s on the rear on 10.5" wheels and 275/40/17s on the front on 9.5" wheels.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:22 PM
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I used to work for Goodyear as a service manager. Check these tires for out of round. Run a pc of masking tape around the tire and check the run out with a dial indicator. No more than .100" run out allowed. Check the wheel run out no more than .050" lateral or radial allowed. Do all this on the car and recheck on the wheel balancer. Sometimes the tire can be moved on the wheel to help get rid of run out. You can balance a square block but it won't ride smooth.
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