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Old 05-12-2014, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Shimmying in steering wheel >65?

So I love my new Corolla, have gotten all the little quirks out of it except the cruise control and the shimmy in the steering wheel when I go above 65MPH, and I can't find out what's causing the shimmy... I did a front end alignment/all 4 balanced today but it still just won't go away... It also seems to kinda drift from right to left on it's own once in a while. It's especially noticeable when i go over a hill, as I come down the small hill (and I'm talking really small, maybe a 100 feet from one end to the other of the hill) it does it. I'm at a loss and I really like this car, I just want to get this figured out before I return to work on Friday.

P.S It drives butter smooth from 0-60 no matter how hard I slam the gas, at 60 it starts but it's barely noticeable, then at 65 it just jumps in severity.

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Old 05-13-2014, 12:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be worn out bushings or ball joints. Take the tire off and use a pry bar to push and pull the suspension around. You can usually tell what is bad when there is too much play.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A wheel is probably out of balance

Also
Your alignment may be off but you could have worn front end parts, dried out rubber bushings and worn ball joints(they usually make a light knock noise when going over bumps) or other worn parts, tierod ends etc. etc.

I would not pay for a alignment until I inspected the front end for worn parts and rubber bushings , replace what it needs then take it for an alignment.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This morning I got the front left strut replaced (was clicking when i hit bumps, was completely worn) and an alignment/balance done AND tires rotated so that eliminated everything tire related... I can crank the wheel all the way to the left and right and punch it and it sounds 100% normal, no rubbing or clicking present, I know what worn joints sounds like, my 87 camry was so badly worn the mechanic i took it to refused to drive it.

P.S. My moms car does the same exact thing (Honda CRV) and my dad said the mechanic said a rubber thing on the axel is worn out, if someone named it here, I would know it by name, but I can't think of the name of it off the top of my head. I think it was Tierod but im not 100% sure.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Could it be a warped brake disc? Perhaps the caliper pistons slide pack and forth somewhat when driving at slow speed but can't speed up to where they won't touch at one point in rotation when driving fast. Jack it up and see if the wheel gets turns "jerkily" if someone very lightly touches the brake pedal.
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simonas View Post
Could it be a warped brake disc? Perhaps the caliper pistons slide pack and forth somewhat when driving at slow speed but can't speed up to where they won't touch at one point in rotation when driving fast. Jack it up and see if the wheel gets turns "jerkily" if someone very lightly touches the brake pedal.
I think they were checked but I'll do that tomorrow morning. I just hope it's an easy/cheap fix. I don't want to have to pour money into this thing.
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Over here it costs $4 to get one brake rotor turned, but that is with the rotor removed. Also, I'm in Eastern Europe, so that means something like $20 in America. Probably better off just buying new.

Also check the wheel torque. Over torquing or not having the torque equal can cause the disk to warp. If your wheels were tightened down with an impact wrench, you can suspect that the disk is warped because of over-torquing. This is just what I've read--I've never had any personal experience.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltothewolf View Post
I did a front end alignment/all 4 balanced today but it still just won't go away... It also seems to kinda drift from right to left on it's own once in a while. It's especially noticeable when i go over a hill, as I come down the small hill (and I'm talking really small, maybe a 100 feet from one end to the other of the hill) it does it.
When you took it in did you tell them about the problem or just ask for an alignment and balance. The alignment technician should have inspected for worn or damage parts. If you discussed the problem, take it back tell them it's not been corrected. Heck, take it back anyway.

If the tires were not rotated when balanced there could still be a tire problem or bent rim. Many time here you see people running into curbs and driving over parking stops. But the technician that balanced them shoud have noticed. If it does it at lower speeds over a hill or bump more likely something worn or loose.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Put apiece of tape on your steering wheel with the wheels pointed so the car goes absolutely straight. The tape needs to be exactly at the 12o'clock poistion on the wheel'
You can do this while driving the car so you know it is going straight down the road.

Once you have done this. Turn the steering wheel all the way left and right.

Your piece of tape shgould show you the the steering wheel goes the exact amount of turns left and right, say 1.75 left and 1.75 right. It has to be the same in both directions.

Many alignment shops do not do this and it is critical. If the rack is not centered going down the road you will get a shimmy, especially true with rack and pinion steering. Check it yourself to be sure it is right and that's free.

Now look at the tie rod assemblies. Count the exposed adjustment threads on both tie rods. They should be very close to exactly the same number of threads.

With the wheel exactly centered and the tie rod adjustment threads the same, you are ready to go to the alignment shop.

The really good alignment shops know all of this, and they will check the wheel center and tie rod length, but checking it yourself will give you an indication of the shops professionalism.

They should also check for bent wheels, out of round tires, and any other thing that might affect the alignment and they should road test the car after the alignment up to the maximum speed limits in your area. Few shops are that meticulous.

I used to check this stuff only when there was an issue like a shimmy. Typically it happens when something is bent. I have seen cars need crossmembers replaced to cure the problem.

My guess, without looking it over personally is that the bad strut was due to some kind of impact. Replacing the strut solved the obvious problems. Now you need to find the not so obvious problem.

If the first test shows the steering wheel to be centered exactly and the tie rods adjustment threads are the same, then you can safely assume the rack is properly positioned and nothing is bent-twisted. Everything else is minor.

regards
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post

Few shops are that meticulous.
So true.

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