2003 Toyota Corolla LE static and moving vibration issues

Tiny
MICKEYSCOOBY
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 TOYOTA COROLLA
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
I have 2 types of vibration in my 2003 toyota corolla LE - automatic transmission.

1st type: vibration in steering wheel when it is static and in gear (Drive mode). In neutral, it has very little vibration.

2nd type: when it is moving, I have vibration at 65Mph - 85 Mph and above. The vibration is both when in 'Drive' mode as well as when coasting in neutral. This vibration started when the car climbed over a roadside curb (only the front, driver side wheel hit the curb and bent the rim).
I have replaced the rim with new rim, also added new tire to it and also balanced the wheel.

Please let me know how to fix both the types of vibrations


What I have done so far:

I have replaced the front driver side wheel (damaged) rim and tire with new ones. I have also added new tire (same brand, same make) to the front passenger side. Both the front wheels are balanced. Both the rear tires are still old and not (newly) balanced. I will soon replace the rear tires as well with new ones (and also balance them).

For the static vibration issue, I tried to examine the engine mounts with a flash light, and they looked ok and with no cracks.

For the moving vibration issue, I set up the front driver side wheel on jack and tried to manually move/shake the wheel with my hand thinking the CV joint must have failed because of the impact to the curb. The wheel felt firm and ok.

Please advise
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 4:45 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
While you have the front end jacked up off the ground, run it in gear and watch the front wheels for sideways movement. Even though the wheels might be perfectly true on a balancer, there could be rust or debris on the back side of the wheels where they contact the brake rotor causing them to not sit flat. It's also possible for rust or scale to fall behind the rotor while a wheel is off the car. Either of those will make a vibration.

Also look at the tire wear for an alignment problem. In particular, rub your hand lightly across each block of tire tread to feel for one corner that's higher than another corner. Your hand will slide smoothly one way but catch on the block when going the other way. That is a sign that "total toe" is out of adjustment. The tires will walk away from or toward each other, then slide back after the sidewalls stretch just so far. That can set up a vibration. That kind of wear can take a while to show up with new tires so you might just have to have the alignment checked. Alignment technicians like to "read" the tire wear so they know what they can expect to find needing adjustment. With new tires they will appreciate being told the recent history. A common clue that total toe is off after hitting something that affects just one wheel is the steering wheel will no longer be straight.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 7:44 AM
Tiny
MICKEYSCOOBY
  • MEMBER
Thanks for your reply.

As far as the rust is concerned, I will have the wheel removed and the rotors checked by a technician before ruling it out; I did check the wheel and rotor a few months ago by myself and did not find any rust (did not disassemble the rotor but just superficially and visually checked it).

As far as an alignment problem is concerned, I have to say the car remains true and straight on a highway and does not veer to anyside. The steering wheel is also straight when the wheels are straight and there is no lateral 'play'. This shows that the wheels are aligned and that the 'Toe' is not out. Besides, both the driver side wheel and tire and the passenger side tires are new and balanced. So I guess wheel alignment to not be a suspect.

Any other suggestions? What about the static vibration issue? I am trying to avoid taking it to a mechanic only to be told to replace a bunch of stuff and eventually the whole suspension, etc, blowing a load of money and time only to end up with no good result. Appreciate your help as these vibration issues seems to be TRICKY ones !
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 11:09 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
When engine mounts deteriorate over time, they would harden and the capacity to absorb vibrations would greatly be reduced. This would result in minor vibrations and visually they would not seem bad but if you look closer, you would notice that the mounts have sunk lower from their original position.

As to the vibration at between 65 to 86 mph, since the range is rather fixed, I would say it is a problem with balancing. Some where along the drive trains to wheels something is unbalanced.

It could be the drive axle, it is not easy to bend the axle shafts so if the impact was not too great, it should not be the cause.

If the vibration is felt all over the vehicle, check the rear tires. For front vibrations, most likely you would feel it on the steering wheel.

Recheck the tire balancing. Were the tires balanced on or off vehicle?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 12:33 PM
Tiny
MICKEYSCOOBY
  • MEMBER
Hi, thank you for your reply.

Sorry, I did not make it clear earlier. The vibration could be well over 85Mph and I feel it may not be fixed in the 65 - 85 range. Only I did not get a chance to go over 85Mph so far because of speed limit concerns on all roads.

As far as the impact to the curb is concerned - I would say it was around 3 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was doing around 25 mph and jammed my brakes on seeing the curb a little too late in the rain; even then the car skidded and hit the curb. The rim was damaged enough to not get repaired; had to replace it.

As far as the tire balancing goes, the wheels were taken off and then balanced. Also the vibration while in drive mode or coasting at over 65Mph can be felt in the steering and front leg pedal area of driver and passenger.

Could it still be the CV joint? I think I hear a clicking noise after the car gets to 30Mph+, but I cannot confirm it because of the wind noise. Also, the passenger sitting next said that he could not hear any noise. I am not really sure because even if I think I hear the clicking noise, it is faint !

Could it be the harmonic balancer? Does the corolla have a u-joint?

Looking forward for your replies.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 3:09 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
No U-joints are employed and if it is a fault with the axle/CV joints, the intensity of the vibration would dissipate when the accelerator is released.

Cv joints would not click on straight ahead driving, unless the joint is badly worn.

If you think the problem is from the passenger side, swap the wheel with driver side and retest. If the problem is still with passenger side, you have eliminated the wheel as possible cause.

Since wheel balancing was performed off wheel, try on wheel balancing to check if there are any problems.

The other possible cause for vibration would be the wheel bearings and hub. Check the hub for lateral runout.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 6:53 PM
Tiny
MICKEYSCOOBY
  • MEMBER
Can you tell me what you mean by "on wheel balancing"?
I asked a techinician at firestone and he said he does not know what it means.

Besides that, I have an update.

For the moving vibration:

Essentially, all the four wheels are balanced, aligned and have new tires.

I tested up to speeds of 80 - 82 Mph and it looks like the vibration has gone! But over 82 Mph, a slight vibration still persists. I will test this further today and provide an update.

Static vibration:
The static vibrations still persist, especially during traffic stops, even when the engine has warmed up. I had the mounts inspected by a mechanic and was told that they were fine. I was also told the 2003 Corolla comes with a Hydraulic mount! Is that true?

I will get a second opinion from another technician and will provide an update next week.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 3:32 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
That was a typo. He meant "on-car" balancing. That balances the wheel, tire, and brake drum or rotor as an assembly. It's not used much anymore except when you're looking for an unusual problem, and the equipment will only be found at a few specialty tire and alignment shops.

I attended a class on the Toyota mount you're referring to but I can't remember which years or models it was used on. It was an electronic unit the pulses the engine to counteract the normal vibration. The teacher used a scanner to turn the system off, then we sat in the car with the engine running. Yeah, so? It felt just like any other 4-cylinder car. But when he reactivated the system, you would swear the engine had stopped running! It was perfectly smooth. If that's what you're feeling and not used to, other people might consider it normal.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, June 3rd, 2011 AT 7:38 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides