Vibration in steering wheel when accelerating

Tiny
DOCSMITH
  • MEMBER
  • 2016 KIA SORENTO
  • 2.4L
  • 4 CYL
  • 42,112 MILES
Car starts and runs fine. As you begin to increase speed from 40 mph zones to 55 mph, you begin to feel a vibration very slightly in the steering wheel, and definitely feel it, hear throughout the front of the car as you increase speed on up to 63-65 mph. Had all wheels checked for balance and air pressure. General Altimax RT43 tires have roughly only 13,000 on them. And they appear to be wearing very evenly. Jacked up each front side and verified that tie rods are okay.
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Sunday, April 7th, 2019 AT 5:14 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey DOCSMITH,

Do you have the 2WD or 4WD Sorento?

Have you tried rotating tires front to rear to see if this makes a change to the vibration at all?

A vibration starting at 40 mph and getting worse with an increase in speed does point to a potential wheel/tire issue.

Tires can separate internally and get out of shape which will give you this issue. The wheel will still balance up okay but the tire being out of round will mean you still get a vibration. This can happen on a tire of relatively low mileage.

Rotating front to rear will give you a good idea if you are dealing with a wheel/tire issue.
Front imbalance generally you will feel through the steering wheel/floor around the pedals where as rear you will feel through the seat.

A good tire shop should be able to inspect the tire and see if it is out of shape.

You will need to rule out a wheel/tire issue before proceeding to see if you have anything else in you drive-train causing the problem. Whilst rotating the tires it would be worth checking suspension/wheel bearings for play also.

Hope this helps.

Regards, Joe
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Sunday, April 7th, 2019 AT 10:37 AM
Tiny
DOCSMITH
  • MEMBER
Thanks Joe. A lot of effort to finally find the cause, read on.
It is a AWD, with differing drive mode options- Normal, Eco, Sport Mode, and Locking AWD. I alternated through all of these with no change. I did rotate tires, no change. My neighbor gave me two good ideas. Took it up to 50 to 65 mph range this morning and shifted into neutral while it was vibrating, as a means to check for drive train vibration. Still had vibration. Then while still in 50 to 65 mph range with vibration, turn off the ignition to test for engine vibration. Still had vibration.
Headed home and pulled into neighbors driveway to fill him in. He walked out of his garage to meet me, and began pointing at the front end driver side near the bottom. Got out and looked, the driver side corner of the undercarriage shield was hanging down! Turns out that three of the five holes holding the shield had popped through the bolt and washer, somehow. No visible damage. Removed the bolts, applied larger washers and returned bolts. No more vibration. Hard to believe. Fingers crossed. Thanks again!
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Monday, April 8th, 2019 AT 7:04 PM
Tiny
JOETECHPRO
  • EXPERT
Hey DocSmith,

You got there in the end, great work on finding the issue.

It can be frustrating trying to track down things like that and sometimes it is the simplest fix.

Glad you now are vibration free.

Thank you for using CarPros.

Any further questions we are here to help.

Regards, Joe
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Monday, April 8th, 2019 AT 9:21 PM

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