Vibration while driving between 50-65 mph

Tiny
YYS83
  • MEMBER
  • 2008 MAZDA 3
  • 2.3L
  • 4 CYL
  • MANUAL
  • 70,000 MILES
I have a standard 2008 Mazda 3 that is experiencing "violent" vibration at hwy speeds while driving, not when breaking. The vibration is felt on the front and most prominently on the right hand side. The shaking is not felt at speeds below 49 or above 65 mph. I have taken it to several places and every shop is giving me a different answer. The tires are almost new, name brand and good quality. I have replaced the front rotors and pads, and balanced and aligned tires once again. There seems to be nothing bent or damaged on the rims and it has not been in any accidents. One shop said I had to replace the shocks and struts, other said it was the axle, another said it was probably the bushings. Please help! I do not want to start spending all this money in replacing parts that might not be necessary and end up not solving the problem. What could it be?

One thing I must note, I replaced the original lug bolts with some wheel nut locks from Autozone to prevent my tires from getting stolen as it has happened to me before. I don't recall if the vibration started after or before I did this. However, when I got the second wheel alignment I had the shop replace 3 of these nut locks with the original bolts and only left one on each tire but was told by a mechanic that this wasn't the cause of the vibration.

Any suggestions as to what could be happening?

Thank you!
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 8:30 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If the tires are any concern at all, just rotate them front to rear to see if there is any change. Now the interesting thing is this. Since you feel the vibration in the floor more than the steering, that leads me to believe the issue is with the rear tires and not the front. When there is a problem with front tires, it is mostly felt through the steering. With that said, are the rear tires also new? Have you closely inspected the rear wheels, bearings, bushings?

As far as the shocks and struts, I don't see how speed would be an issue. If they are that bad and allowing a tire to bounce on the road, it would continue past 65 mph.

Although you mentioned you feel it most on the right front of the vehicle, do you feel it in the steering wheel? If so, has your mechanic checked things such as control arm bushings, tracking arm bushings, ball joints? Is there any strange wear on the tires. For example, are they cupping, wearing on the edges, or are they wearing straight across?
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 8:45 AM
Tiny
YYS83
  • MEMBER
Thank you for your quick response. The vibration is also felt on the steering wheel to the point that if I don't hold the steering wheel with both hands it feels I might lose control. All four tires are new, 5-6 mths old approx, and also had them rotated last week to see if this was the problem but it persists; no strange wear on any of the tires.

One of the mechanics did mention that it could be something as simple as the bushings but he wants to do an elimination process and start with replacing the shocks and struts before doing anything else. The right strut is leaking a bit and I was aware of this but it's not bad, I knew I would have to replace that eventually but I don't believe that's the cause of the problem. Another mechanic is firm on the problem being the axle. I am simply running out of ideas on what it could be and don't know what to ask a mechanic to check for. They all seem to start wanting to replace the most expensive stuff first :(
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 9:29 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
An axle is possible if a CV joint is worn. However, I really don't feel the struts and shocks are the problem. Whey you drive, does it feel like you need shocks? Also, was there any change when you rotated the tires or was it the same?
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 9:51 AM
Tiny
YYS83
  • MEMBER
The problem continued after the tires were rotated, no change. As far as the shocks, you really can't feel that the car needs shocks when driving but if you start bouncing on the hood, the left side is stiffer than the right, there is a bit of a bounce on the right, so shocks could be replaced now but from my experience they don't need to be replaced right away. No mechanic has said anything about the CV joints. Do you suggest that I start by replacing the CV axle and the bushings you mentioned?
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 10:32 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Before replacing anything, I would start checking for excessive play in bushings, the CV joints, axle bearings
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Monday, May 19th, 2014 AT 10:38 AM

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