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Steering Wheel Vibration


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I recently put on a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires in 225/45-17 on my 05 LGT. Tires are great so far. Only issue I am having is a steering wheel vibration above 60 mph. It is somewhat intermittent. I know, seems odd. It will be fine, smooth and steady, then a vibration starts. Front end does not shimmy or vibrate, only the steering wheel. I had the tires rebalanced with same results. I will be rotating them this week. Could this be one of the tires with poor runout on the tire/wheel combo? I've heard of this happening and a cure is to rotate the tire on the wheel and rebalance. Other than tire/wheel possibility, what else could cause this? Below 60 mph it runs flawless. Bushing in the front arms? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Brakes are new and have absolutely no vibration during easy or hard braking.

 

Thanks for the help!

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Any loose component in the front can cause a high speed vibration, ball joint, tie rod, bushings, bearing, and yes a tire. Doing a rotation is a good check, however when you have the front wheels off the ground check for play. This can be done by grabbing the top and bottom of the tire and rocking it, you should not feel any real movement. The same can be done with the wheel side to side. You can google how to check ball joints and tie rods if needed.
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I believe F1inspiredLGT had this same issue a few months back and he found that one of his wheels was bent.

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I think I've mentioned this before on here. There's a guy named capriracer that has worked in the tire industry for a long time and he is a member of a few different message boards. So anytime I hear of a possible tire issue, chances are the issue has happened before, so I google to see what his thoughts are.

 

Here's one thread below where someone has a similar issue

http://community.cartalk.com/discussion/2136786/vibration-after-tire-change

 

My question would be what type of balancing did you have done? Was it a roadforce balance or a standard static balance? I'm no expert, but I think a roadforce balance could help smooth this issue out.

 

http://www.hogantire.com/shop-for-tires/tire-q-a/road-force.aspx

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There are a lot of things that can cause the issue you are having. You will have to use process of elimination to figure it out.

Start with a tire rotation and see if that helps.

After that you need to jack up the front and try moving things. You will have to pull HARD to see if things move.

It could be any of the following :

Bad strut

Bad strut mount

Bad wheel bearing

Bad tie rod end

Bad lower ball joint

Bad lower control arm bushing

 

I had the same issue you do. I spent the money and completely rebuilt the front end suspension (with all the above parts I listed) because I only wanted to take it apart once for the next 100k miles. Mine ended up being a bad strut. The issue is completely resolved in my car.

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If the issue wasn't there prior, it's either a tire, balancing or the wheels are over-torqued. Could be a hub issue if they are over-torqued.Stock wheels or aftermarket?

 

 

They are aftermarket wheels. Have never had any issues with them. Been on the car for 6+ years. The vibration started with the new tires. Still will check out the front suspension components. I noticed today that by gripping the steering wheel firmly, the vibration "stops". Probably doesn't stop but the wheel doesn't show the vibration. Doesn't seem like it would be a severe issue, just don't want it to get worse.

 

Thanks for all of the input!

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I ruined my DWS on a track day. My steering wheel vibrated like mad from that. Swapped the fronts to the back and no more vibration.

 

Not really sure why you are searching for other issues though when it occurred when you changed out your tires. Seems like something was up with the tire swap.

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They are aftermarket wheels. Have never had any issues with them. Been on the car for 6+ years. The vibration started with the new tires. Still will check out the front suspension components. I noticed today that by gripping the steering wheel firmly, the vibration "stops". Probably doesn't stop but the wheel doesn't show the vibration. Doesn't seem like it would be a severe issue, just don't want it to get worse.

 

Thanks for all of the input!

 

If they are aftermarket wheels, do you have hub centric rings? Maybe they did not put back on.

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The tires were purchased from Costco. They seem to be very observant in regards to proper torque and balance. The wheels have never used the rings. Never had an issue. Curious about the "dot" to line up with the stem. Will have to look.

 

Great feedback!

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Visit a tire shop that has a Hunter GSP9700 balancer, and have your tires match mounted with your wheels for the lowest road force variation. You need a road force value no higher than 17lb, but preferably 15lb or lower. Most Subaru dealers will have a Hunter GSP9700.

 

http://www.gsp9700.com

 

http://www.barrystiretech.com/unifandbal.html

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things to check

 

1. is the little dot on the tire lined up with the valve stem?

2. lugs properly and evenly torqued

3. tires balanced?

 

No little dot on my Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3 tires in 225/45-17, what's with the little dot?:eek:

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There should either be a yellow and/or red dot on the sidewall of the tire. It's possible michelin didn't put these on the tire.

 

This link goes into more detail on the dots.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=17

 

This link goes into more detail on the dots under "Force Variation"

http://www.coshoctontire.com/balancing.htm

 

And one more just out of boredom.

http://www.tirebusiness.com/article/20070813/ISSUE/308139967/are-you-seeing-dots-those-color-coded-sidewall-markings-serve-a

 

In your shoes I would really go for a roadforce balance from one of the locations listed in the attached image. If you do this and are curious, I would ask what the roadforce value of the 4 tires are. Since you are getting vibration, I would guess that one of the tires has a high road force value that is either close to or outside acceptable limits. If one wheel/tire has a high road force value that can't be corrected, the tire is probably defective and the source of your problems since this problem occurred with the new tires.

 

A little more on road force value

http://www.gsp9700.com/technical/limits.htm

9700.thumb.jpg.3c3cc1690e0451af0063c90ca2eb55f2.jpg

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Update - tires rotated and balanced. Tech said tires were almost perfect before re-balancing. Still have some vibration above 65 mph. With an easy 72k miles on the car, what would be the next thing to check? I suppose all of the links and ball joints. Would the lower bushings cause this? The car tracks straight with no issues in alignment. Struts? No one has mentioned the steering rack. I would assume the rack would cause sloppy steering.

 

On with the investigating.....

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http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/soooo-many-vibration-threads-217316.html?t=217316

 

Take a look here and perhaps you'll find some things that you may not have thought of. There are a LOT of things that can cause vibration and wheel balance is definitely the most prevalant, but again, take a look and maybe it can help. :)

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