Front end vibration

Tiny
DAVID W. GENSLER
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 3.8L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 200,000 MILES
Front end, and steering wheel vibrate at increasing levels, as speed increases, at speeds between forty five mph to seventy mph.
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Sunday, February 19th, 2017 AT 1:00 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The best suspect is a broken tire belt. If you do not know how to check for that, have the tires inspected at a tire and alignment shop. If they do not find a broken belt, they will inspect the steering and suspension systems, but this is usually caused by something has to be moving during the inspection. A bent wheel is a good example. You cannot tell it is bent by looking at it unless it is spinning.

There are problems in the brake system that can do this too, but most of them have to do with improper service procedures. The clue is the vibration will start right after that work was done.

Have the inner and outer tie-rod ends checked as well as the rack and pinion and its mounts.

Check out the guide below, it will help

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/steering-wheel-shakes-when-accelerating-or-braking

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Sunday, February 19th, 2017 AT 7:23 PM
Tiny
EMTMAN43
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 83,000 MILES
I get a vibration in the front I can hear and feel in the steering wheel. It starts at 45 to 70 MPH. I have had the wheels balanced 3 times in 3 months, had a front end alignment, replaced the Right CV's and shaft and still no luck. My funds are limited, would you be able to "steer" in a better direction.
Bob
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi:
What you described sounds like wheel balance. Has your mechanic checked for a broken belt in the tires or a bent rim?

If you rotate the tires, do you still have the same problem?

Let me know.
Joe
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EMTMAN43
  • MEMBER
Joe,
I replaced all 4 tires because they were out of round. This cleared up 90% of the problem. The car runs quieter much less vibration, it still vibrates some at 60-65 miles an hour. What else could it be. The driver side CV's? I don't hear any unusual sound from the bearings.
Bob
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi Bob:
If you had the tires replaced, there are still some other things that could cause a vibration. It could be caused by a bad steering component, alignment, or a bent wheel. I'm sure that they checked the wheels when they replaced the tires, but they have missed something.

When you're driving, can you drive through the vibration? In other words, if you drive 70, does the vibration go away? If it does, I whould have the tire balance checked again. Also, can you feel the vibration in the steering wheel or the floor, seat?

Joe
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TONY19KART
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 DODGE CARAVAN
  • 200,000 MILES
I have recently taken the vehicle to a shop, and had the tires replaced, and the rims from the back moved to the front. The steering wheel shakes side to side all the time when I am driving it. It is the worst at slower speeds. I have tried changing all kinds of stuff on the front end. I specifically told the tire store to check all the front end parts to see if it is good, and tight. He said it was in excellent shape, but the idiots did not test drive the van after the alignment. Have you any clue? I have not changed the rotors, and hubs yet. That is it! I am not sure if a bent spindle / front axle is a possibility?
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
EMTMAN43
  • MEMBER
Joe,
It vibrates st around 45 and gets worse when I accelerate on the freeway. I cannot get it to smooth out. The tires I bought are Sumitomo Touring. They do seem to ride a little rough at low speeds and they are not overinflated. I was wondering if there are some problems I'm over looking common to Dodge. I don't think it is tie rods because I can ride the highway fairly straight and don't seem to have much play.I don't have any humming to indicate wheel bearings. Could it be struts with 84,000 miles? I tried the ole push hard but don't see a problem. Maybe at my age I don't have the ooomph.
Bob
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
2CEXPT
  • MEMBER
Have the wheel alignment, steering and suspension recheck
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi Bob:

I'm sure you're strong enough to check the struts. However, I too am starting to feel my age. Is this what we have to look forward to?

Regardless, there are no specific problems specific to Dodge. However, I do have another question. Do you seem to feel it worse under an acceleration? Has anyone checked motor mounts or the trans mount? You could be getting a drive line vibration through the frame if a rubber bushing is bad on one of the mounts.

Let me know. I'm sorry I keep coming up with different things to check, but when I'm not there, I have to ask.

Also, is there any noise associated with the vibration?

Joe
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
No test drive after an alignment? That's like not looking in the mirror when trying on a new suit! The last step is always, "verify the repair". As a former suspension and alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership, I was never so arrogant as to think my alignments always turned out perfect the first time. A projector or mirror can slip on the wheel without you knowing. A wheel could turn left or right while you're performing the calibration procedure, or a projector could simply be out-of-calibration. I even saw my readings change when the guy next to me started using the acetylene torch. It interfered with the infrared light beams from the projectors. As careful as I tried to be, at least one out of five alignments needed some followup tweaking after the first test drive, and my bosses never once yelled at me for taking too long. They were very happy that almost no one came back with a complaint.

If the shaking only started with the new tires, one has a broken belt, or, if an old-style tire changer was used, a steel wheel could have gotten bent. You'll see those by running it in gear with the front end jacked up or with the van on a hoist. If nothing obvious shows up, have the tires balanced on a "road force" balancer. If that shows all four tires to be acceptable, suspect a worn inner cv joint housing. The clue there is the steering wheel shaking will be worse during acceleration up to about 35 mph. It will smooth out when not under load as in when coasting or cruising at a steady speed.

Check the tire wear patterns too for signs of feather-edging. If that is real bad, you'll be able to see it. When it's not so bad, the blocks of tread will feel smooth when you run you hand one way over them, but you'll feel the sharp raised edges going the other way. That is a sign that "total toe" is not set correctly and will always affect both tires equally. If both front tires are off by the same amount, the steering wheel will still be straight. If only one wheel is set incorrectly, the steering wheel will be off to one side on a straight road.

When total toe is off, the van will follow the tire with the most weight on it, (usually the right tire), and the other one will walk to the left or right, then spring back when the sidewall can't flex anymore. That can set up a shaking feeling.

A bent hub is very rare. They are too tough to bend while doing any kind of service work. If you slide into a curb, the wheel or strut will bend long before the hub will.

Also look for spots of rust or corrosion that got stuck between the wheel and rotor or between the rotor and hub. That wobble can be too small to see on a hoist but it will cause a shaking. Cast wheels often have chunks break off that stick to the rotor, then when any wheel is mounted there, that corrosion gets overlooked but it prevents that wheel from sitting squarely against the rotor. The same thing can happen behind the rotor while the wheel is off and not there to hold the rotor tightly against the hub.

There are also one or three access holes in the hubs. Water and salt can get up there and form raised areas of rust on the back side of the rotor. Those spots must be scrapped off when the rotors are machined. If they aren't, the rotor will wobble on the brake lathe and a new wobble will be machined into it. If the rotor is reinstalled on the hub in a different orientation, that rust spot will hold it away in that area so it doesn't sit squarely against that hub. That will make the rotor AND the wheel wobble.

One last clue to a tire problem can be found on front-wheel-drive vehicles during a test drive. If the characteristics of the two front tires are different, the vehicle may pull one way under acceleration and the other way during moderate to hard braking. You may solve that by switching just the two right side tires or just the two left side tires.
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)
Tiny
FASTMAMA
  • MEMBER
It sounds just like the problem with my 2000 Dodge Caravan. The vibration gets really bad when you drive over 70 mph, but there is no noise. I had 4 new tires put on, balanced, and new shocks and struts. Almost nothing changed, and it is still giving me headaches to drive.
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Tuesday, July 9th, 2019 AT 12:31 PM (Merged)

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