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Tremor After New Drive Shaft Fitted


Berti
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My 07 Plate Avensis 2.0 D-4D Tourer was in my opinion the nicest car I've ever owned and a real joy to drive even after 2 years of ownership. Unfortunately, however, that has changed since the recent fitting of a new drive shaft some weeks ago. At about 23 mths old with 17K on the clock it started dropping Oil on the drive in small intermiittent amounts. The Toyota Dealer said there was a small split in the LH drive shaft seal and as this seal spins with the shaft - if it happened to be parked with the split at the bottom it would leak. A NEW SEAL WAS FITTED UNDER WARRANTY ........ and all appeared ok. However, after about 6 weeks the Oil dropping started again. This time the dealer diagnosed that for some inexplicable reason the shaft was damaging the seal so A NEW DRIVE SHAFT WAS FITTED UNDER WARRANTY.

Several days after, when the car was used at motorway speeds, I discovered that once speed exceeded 60 mph a tremor could be felt through the car, sometimes felt marginally through the steering wheel, such as a slight imbalance, but not always but also felt through the car. The wierd thing was that as one progressed along the motorway it seemed to vary in severity to the point that on times one would suspect that it had gone or was bearly noticeable but later it would come back. By this time the car had done 19500 miles and still had the original Good Year Eagle Tyres.

As I was due to take the car to France the following week and as the tyres were getting close to 2 mm tread on some parts I decided to have four new Good Year Eagle tyres (exacktly the same tyres as originals) fitted and balanced. To my dismay this did not solve the problem and I had to put up with things on holiday. As French Motorway surfaces are so much smoother than ours the tremor when travelling on them could also be heard as a sort of oscillation. On some of our rougher surfaced motorways the assocoiated sound tends to be masked by road noise.

The problem is that as the tremor mysteriously comes and goes in severity I can't reproduce to it's most severe on demand on a test drive with a technician. However, Toyota World in Cardiff got the car up on the ramp and found that they could see some sort of throw on one of the front wheels but when the wheel was removed and put on the balancer it was ok within a few grams. Changing the wheels around apparently made no difference.

After further investigation they decided TO FIT ANOTHER NEW DRIVE SHAFT UNDER WARRANTY. Mysteriously, afer 2 days in dock, as I was on my way to collect the car I got a call to say that as the new shaft ordered was damaged - bent I think they said - they needed the car for a further day.

AFTER ALL THIS I WAS OPTOMISTIC OF A SATISFACTORY REMEDY - and my initial test along the M4 on Wednesday at speeds up to 75-80 mph indicated that all was now well. If I was being picky there might have been a very very slight trace but this I down to perhaps a very slight tyre imbalance. I covered 30 odd miles and was satisfied things were now sorted. TO MY HORROR, today as I accelerated to overtake into the RH lane of a dual cariageway (road not straight but swinging in a curve to the left) there was a very noticeable tremor/shiimmy through the sterring wheel, like a very bad wheel imbalance problem, but as I straightened out it went away and was again much as it was during my test the day before.

JUST HOW DOES ONE CONVINCE THE DEALER THAT ONE IS NOT BARKING MAD AND THAT SOMETHING IS STILL WRONG WHEN THEY'VE DONE ALL THIS WORK WHEN THE SYMPTOMS COME AND GO AND ARE SO DIFFICULT TO DEMONSTRATE??

If anyone has experienced a sililar problem and has any pointers as to what it might be - please feel free!! I would appreciate any help that will restore my baby to former excellence!

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Hi Berti,

I'm no expert but if the problem's still apparent after changing the driveshaft, the cause may be elsewhere. It could be a loose or prematurely worn wheel bearing, although there's usually an accompanying whirring noise. Jack up the suspect wheel and, grasping the tyre top and bottom, try rocking it. You'll feel any appreciable movement.

Another avenue of investigation may be a weak or failed shock absorber. With the car on the ground, try bouncing the front one side at a time. With a couple of hefty bounces, it should return to rest after one or maybe two complete up and down movements. Any more than this would suggest ineffective damping, which can transmit throught the steering.

I had a similar vibration problem in an old Audi 100 which turned out to be a bulge in a rear tyre, but I note that you've had all 4 tyres replaced.

Hope this helps.

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Hi

I have the same problem with my 57 plate TR 2.2 hatchback, I bought it with the fault on, it took me along time to convince the garage of the fault.

Up to now they have

Balanced the wheels 4 times

Full 4 wheel alignment 2 times.

New drive shafts both sides

New discs both sides + hubs and bearings

new gearbox 2 times as first replacment was defective.

The problem is still there and it is going back this weekend for more work. If your garage fixes your car I would be interested to hear what they find.

I will let my dealer know about your car as toyota technical said they have never heard of this problem before.

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Hi

I have the same problem with my 57 plate TR 2.2 hatchback, I bought it with the fault on, it took me along time to convince the garage of the fault.

Up to now they have

Balanced the wheels 4 times

Full 4 wheel alignment 2 times.

New drive shafts both sides

New discs both sides + hubs and bearings

new gearbox 2 times as first replacment was defective.

The problem is still there and it is going back this weekend for more work. If your garage fixes your car I would be interested to hear what they find.

I will let my dealer know about your car as toyota technical said they have never heard of this problem before.

Although I emailed the dealer on Friday to flag up the latest developments with this problem, I have not as yet gone back to request further action as I wanted to drive it some more. Whatever they've done this time around they've managed to improve matters to the point that anyone who doesn't know the car might be forgiven for not realising that the problem still exists. Problem is that I know the car and having driven it over the weekend at motorway speeds up to 80 mph I am now convinced that the tremor is still there. I can both feel it and hear it - the car is not as smooth or as composed as it used to be but since they've fitted another drive shaft the tremor is now more subtle - akin to a slight wheel imbalance. Convincing the dealer, however, is probably going to be difficult. Invariably, when a dealer has provided what he considers to be an effective remedy and you say not so the first line of defence is to ask you to test drive with their technician to demonstrate the problem - not easy in a case like this! I now need to establish just what's been done in the way of checking wheel balancing and alignment, etc. in addition to just how many drive shafts have been fitted. I'll keep you posted.

Cheers

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