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steering wheel vibration
07-09-2016, 07:25 PM
Post: #11
RE: steering wheel vibration
I think I have a possible cause for my car vibrations. I'm starting to think that it's not so much a bad balance on the tire(s) as it is the tires themselves. To explain, I did a lot of driving on the bad struts before they were replaced (at least 20k miles). This was of course because I didn't have the money for new struts. I'm starting to think that all the driving with those old struts caused permanent damage to the tread on my tires. Is this possible? I might need to buy a whole new set of tires if that is the case.
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07-09-2016, 09:39 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2016 09:45 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #12
RE: steering wheel vibration
Really bad struts / shocks might cause enough wheel hop (and steering shake) to show visible wear, and usually it's in the form of what they call "cupping" which is an odd pattern worn into the rubber. You'd have to look close to see it and it might actually be easier to feel it by running your hand over the tread.

You've spent a lot of time hunting this down and I feel a decent shop could put a finger on a bad tire in a matter of minutes.

If you have NOT found any worn parts here's what I would do...

Go to a reputable tire shop with the idea that you may have to actually buy a couple of tires... BUT... ask that they take a gander and possibly attempt to balance the front ones first. If there's really a bad tire the guy who runs the balance machine will pick up on it right away and he'll be able to show you the deformed tread or bad spot.

Best case is you get a cheap fix (balance) or a cheap diagnosis. (it's not the tires) Worst case is you need tires anyway and you are in the right place.

Let us know how you make out.
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07-11-2016, 06:10 PM
Post: #13
RE: steering wheel vibration
Thanks for all the advice and knowledge that has been shared with me regarding my car vibration(s) but I have a more pressing problem that has just arose concerning my car. I'm not sure if this is the proper place to post it but i'll give you a quick description and maybe you can help me. Okay, I frequently travel by car to a city a couple of hours from mine. I have done this numerous times without issue. My last trip my car overheated. Now, I am always on top of fluid levels (considering I live in the desert) so I was amazed when I discovered that there was no coolant in my car. Once it cooled down, I put over 2 gallons of water in it (this was temporary until i could buy some coolant). Problem is, there are no visible leaks!! Anywhere! After filling the car, I drove home and it required another gallon of fluid and still no visible leaks. I'm at a complete loss of where to search. Thanks for any insight provided.
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07-11-2016, 10:32 PM
Post: #14
RE: steering wheel vibration
It would help to know the year, model, engine, and transmission to be of any specific help, but I can throw some general suspects your way. If it has an automatic transmission, pull the dipstick. If it is overfull and looks like a strawberry milkshake, the transmission cooler is at fault and; unfortunately, the transmission is most likely destroyed. If there is white smoke coming from the exhaust you likely have a cracked head or blown head gasket and that white smoke is the coolant exiting the vehicle. If the carpeting on the floor is soaked and there's a sweet smell in the drivers compartment, the heater core is leaking. I hope that helps. Let us know what you find.

Thanks for using the forum,

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07-11-2016, 10:59 PM
Post: #15
RE: steering wheel vibration
The info was in the first post but we've added a new problem.

Hello, my car is a 1997 toyota avalon with the standard 200hp v-6, approx. 70,000 miles since the motor and tranny were replaced (340,000 total vehicle miles) and I live in Phoenix, Az.

That said, Garner gives good advice but let me add my 2 cents...

If the car starts rough or with a skip first thing in the morning you could be looking at a head gasket issue. OTOH, it may be as simple as a leaking water pump or hose clamp that's not tight. You will have to fill it up then do a pressure test to see if it holds pressure. If the pressure goes away it can only leak in three places, which is externally (onto the ground) or internally (into the crankcase) or into the transmission via the radiator cooler.

If both dipsticks come up clean then it's probably an external leak. (at the moment)

BTW, if it turns out to be an internal leak inside the engine it "could be a head gasket" but there's no way to be sure till you disassemble things and find the bad spot in the gasket. It could also be more serious, like a cracked head or block. Yeah, you didn't what to hear that part but I figured I would warn you of the possibility. Hey, at least a bad gasket is easy to spot so if you are willing to tackle the project we can tell you what to look for when you get that far.
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