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ASbardella

Getting To The Bottom Of Vibration On The Motorway

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Hello again everyone. I share with my dad a 2002 Avensis 2.0 Auto (Old shape, 1AZ-FSE) that has for the last couple of years been plagued with some fairly severe vibration starting at about 60 mph, increasingly getting worse up to as fast as I dare to go, i.e. it doesn't only affect a certain range. I can't think of what specifically changed when it started (the majority of driving is in town, so it's not a problem), but I'd quite like to get to the bottom of it. From various research, it seems like it could be any of the following:

  • Loose lug nuts
  • Wheel Balancing
  • Wheel Alignment (rear adjustment nuts?)
  • Bent Alloy (or hub)
  • Faulty CV joint (sliding bearing)/drive shaft
  • Steering bush
  • Aerodynamics

The problem of course is that doing all of these one at a time is going to cost me a fortune (and drive me mental), so I wonder if I can work out a sensible order for doing it based on probability? Some other info that might be useful:

  • The vibration feels like it's coming through the body of the car, rather than say, wind noise - it's most felt in my left foot
  • It seems to be very dependent on the road surface - the newer parts of the M6, for example, it is a lot less noticeable on
  • If I'm at speed and shift into neutral, it doesn't get any better, which makes me think it's not the engine?
  • I had the front breaks replaced a couple of months ago and had him re-seat all four wheels, so don't think it's due to the lug nuts

So, does anyone have a bright ideas, or further diagnostic steps I could do?

Cheers!

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I would guess that it's unlikely to be aerodynamics or there would have been 1000s of similar complaints from owners of similar cars.

You should easily be able to quickly inspect your wheels for obvious damage (also check tyres for out of shape & damage).

wheel alignment afaik will lead to increased tyre wear but I don't think that it will cause vibrations (except of course the tyres have already worn very badly & unevenly).

I would start with wheel balancing - if they don't actually need to add weights they may well do it for free. Even if they do it's pretty cheap.

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My 06 D4D is a b*gg*r for wheel wobble. If the wheels are not balanced spot on it shakes itself to piece. I have read a number of comments on here about wheel wobble so I'd go there first. Relatively inexpensive but make sure you emphasise that the car is prone to wobble if they aren't spot on.

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You haven't said whether it affects the steering or not i.e. does the steering wheel wobble?

Start with the obvious and cheapest first.

Check the wheel nuts on all four wheels, whilst doing that examine the rims for signs of damage.

Examine the tyres for damage, uneven wear and that pressures are correct.

Check that the drive shafts are secure with no excessive play.

Balance all 4 wheels, I have had rear wheels out of balance which transmit the vibration through the chassis so it seemed at the front.

Check all steering and suspension bushes. Even worn anti roll bar bushes can cause problems.

Check engine and transmission mounting points are secure.

Wheel alignment both front and rear.

Last resort is a good friendly garage who can get it on the ramp for a thorough check underneath.

As already stated above it won't be aerodynamics or wind that is causing the problem.

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I had the same problem on my previous 05 plate Corolla, and after I've done: balanced all 4 wheels, changed front and rear discs and pads, had the car checked by the corner garage for faults (none found), then took the car to a T dealer for a "professional" check where they told me that i need to change the calipers :disgust: and then check again, ....... i end up selling it :clap:

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You haven't said whether it affects the steering or not i.e. does the steering wheel wobble?

Start with the obvious and cheapest first.

Check the wheel nuts on all four wheels, whilst doing that examine the rims for signs of damage.

Examine the tyres for damage, uneven wear and that pressures are correct.

Check that the drive shafts are secure with no excessive play.

Balance all 4 wheels, I have had rear wheels out of balance which transmit the vibration through the chassis so it seemed at the front.

Check all steering and suspension bushes. Even worn anti roll bar bushes can cause problems.

Check engine and transmission mounting points are secure.

Wheel alignment both front and rear.

Last resort is a good friendly garage who can get it on the ramp for a thorough check underneath.

As already stated above it won't be aerodynamics or wind that is causing the problem.

Cheers for all of this! In terms of steering wheel wobble, sorry for not mentioning it - I used to get a fair bit of wobble under breaking, but changing the front discs got rid of that; now the vibes come through the car but not really through the wheel.

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I had the same problem on my previous 05 plate Corolla, and after I've done: balanced all 4 wheels, changed front and rear discs and pads, had the car checked by the corner garage for faults (none found), then took the car to a T dealer for a "professional" check where they told me that i need to change the calipers :disgust: and then check again, ....... i end up selling it :clap:

See this is exactly what I'm worried about! :disgust:

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I had the same problem on my previous 05 plate Corolla, and after I've done: balanced all 4 wheels, changed front and rear discs and pads, had the car checked by the corner garage for faults (none found), then took the car to a T dealer for a "professional" check where they told me that i need to change the calipers :disgust: and then check again, ....... i end up selling it :clap:

See this is exactly what I'm worried about! :disgust:

That's something what happened because i did't check and change the front discs in time and i used bad pads who created a "hot spot" on the disc.... if it was the calipers :disgust:

I will never know now, but i learned a valuable lesson

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This is just a guess. The tyres may have a problem! What if the internal structure of the tyre has failed, and due to the speed of the wheel turning the tyre is could be out of shape. You said the vibration happens from 60 mph and get worse the faster you go.

I had a tyre problem that sound like a worn bearing. I realised it was faulty when it punctured and I change the wheel and the noise was gone.

What are age and condition of tyres?

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Tyres - good call!

Always the first place to check, especially the sidewalls on the inside that you don't normally see ;) .

Pete.

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Tyres - good call!

Always the first place to check, especially the sidewalls on the inside that you don't normally see ;) .

Pete.

I just changed mine as there was not much life left in them and still had the same problem :disgust:

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ok heres the thing.... u mentioned it has been going on for at least a couple of years so i am assuming that it has had a couple of mot's if not then at least one. all susspenstion components should be checked as part of the mot. so i would assume that would rule that one out. you said the brakes and disks have been done and new tyres i assume who ever did that would of torqued the wheel nuts up.

if u put the car on full lock does it make a knocking noise at any speed?? have u checked the inner cv joints for play what r the boots like?? although again if its been mot'ed that should of been picked up.

although i know very little about auto's have u considered the torque convertor... i think shifiting into nuetral would still produce a rattle although i could be wrong on that.

hope this helps

coop

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Interesting point about the tires - the last time I had the fronts done it was by Kwik Fit (and they were in a real hurry as it was just before closing) - that could well coincide roughly with the start of the problem. Is it worth sticking the spare wheel on each front tyre in turn and getting up to speed? (Although I always thought you weren't supposed to do motorway speeds on a spare unless you had to)

I think I'm going to have the tyres inspected and balanced at the weekend as the first step then.

Coop, thanks for all that - it has indeed been through two MOTs (from the council, so reputable) without issue, and I'm not hearing knocking. I do plan on getting someone to have a look at the CV joints at some point but I think I will move it down the list. On the toque converter, that's interesting - could it be transmission fluid overheating? But then, I would have thought in Neutral that would go away like you said. I'll check that tomorrow morning.

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Kwik fit just before closing? There's your problem my friend. Nothing wrong with Kwik Fit as such, but the Avensis is a pig if the front wheels aren't balanced spot on. It took my Toyota dealer 4 attempts to sort mine - and they failed. Halfords got is spot on - to my surprise.

You could swap the rears to the front and see what happens. If the vibration is still there but doesn't come through the steering then its the tyres that were on the front and are now on the back.

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stupid suggestion whats the speed rateing on the tyres

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Well now... definitely in need of a transmission fluid change! Will do that tomorrow then take it for a balancing on Monday. In terms of speed rating, the fronts are H and the rears are V - H is 130 mph so I would guess that's not it.

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Did you get to the bottom of this?

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I had something similar, it was the actual alloy wheel, the tyre guys were able to show me that there was slight dent on the balancing machine.

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I would suggest that it could be a wheel bearing. Had a similar problem with mine. The vibration would start over a certain speed. The whining noise that is associated with a bearing going is harder to identify if its on the front as it can be masked by engine noise. I fixed the problem my self as its quite simple to remove the hub. You just need access to a press to swap out the bearings. Bearing it self cost about 8 quid and had no problems since.

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