Mechanics

SHAKING

1997 Lexus ES • 6 cylinder 2WD Automatic • 110,000 miles

1997 Lexus ES 300. Hot months only. 55mph or higher. Car begins to shake. Release the gas, still shakes slightly. Apply brake, car shakes rather violently. Must come to a complete stop before shaking ceases. Started happening after new tires put on. Have had the tires aligned, balanced (road force), and rotated. Brakes have been serviced. New rotors installed. Seems to be worse at the left front of the car - through the steering wheel. Please help, don't know what to do next. Thank you so much.
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Jill Tetsworth
June 25, 2011.



Normally, I'd tell you to make sure the nuts and bolts securing the rack and pinion are properly tightened. Then, use a medium-sized pair of slipjoint pliers to squeeze the tie rod ends. If they move more than 1/8 of an inch, replace them. Them, turn the wheel all the way to one side and squeeze the boot on the steering rack until you can feel the inner tie rod socket. Then have someone try and turn the wheel (not the steering wheel) by pushing and pulling on the front and back of the wheel while you squeeze. You should feel no relative motion between the socket and the tie rod arm. Next, raise the front of the vehicle and use a prybay to try and move the wheel up and down while observing the ball joint. Repeat on both sides. Make sure the struts are properly torqued, top and bottom. Then, make sure the CV boots are in one piece and not ripped. With the front wheels off the ground, rock the tires at the top and bottom to check for play in the hub bearings.

But that "Hot months only" part is weird.
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Rivermikerat
Jun 25, 2011.
Yes, the heat makes it happen. Doesn't happen in the winter months. I live in North Carolina, so we do have seasons. I was thinking that it had something to do with the air in the tires expanding and contracting with the weather. Or that the heat made them somehow unstable. Thank for the quick reply.

Tiny
Jill Tetsworth
Jun 25, 2011.
Driving actually heats the tires up much more than outside weather conditions will. You can drive on an icy road and the tires will heat up almost as much as if the road weren't icy.

Have the cooling system checked, also. I don't think it has any bearing on the issue, but that hot months only still has me confoozled. See if you can get a scan tool hooked up to the car and read the codes. Try and do this when the problem is occurring. It MIGHT be something with the transaxle, though I doubt it.

Rivermikerat
Jun 25, 2011.
Since problem started after tires replacement and seems more evident at front left, try rotating the tires to see if thr problem migrates.

Are the rims OEM?

KHLow2008
Jun 25, 2011.
Did that. See first entry. Thanks.

Tiny
Jill Tetsworth
Jun 25, 2011.
Are the rims OEM?

KHLow2008
Jun 25, 2011.
Not sure. I'm not the original owner and my daughter just took the car to work.

Tiny
Jill Tetsworth
Jun 25, 2011.
When tires were rotated, were the symptoms exactly the same or were there any difference in the shaking and source?

KHLow2008
Jun 25, 2011.
No difference after any of the work.

Tiny
Jill Tetsworth
Jun 25, 2011.
Since the problem hasn't changed with a tire rotation or alignment or wheel balancing, check the suspension components listed in my post to make sure they're properly torqued and not showing excessive wear.

Rivermikerat
Jun 26, 2011.
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