: Wheel vibration.. driving me round the bend!
12-07-2001, 08:41 AM
I have had the wheels individually balanced a total of 14 times so far, by two different garages within the space of 2 months. and yes.. the car only has 4 wheels!
The problem is car/steering wheel vibration that appears to be caused by the tyre/wheel balance! It only happens in the 80 to 95 (kph of course!!!) band but it is annoying and will cause uneven tyre ware to say the least.
Itís a long story, but in short, a month ago I had a new pair of BFGoodrich 195/65/15 tyres on the front wheels, since then there has been high speed vibration.
Two weeks ago I had another set of BFGoodrich 195/65/15 on the rear wheels. The front tyres/wheels were balanced 3 times by the original garage and the rear twice.
Since then I have all four balanced by another garage.
On every occasion at least one wheel has been a little out of balance, and subsequently the vibration occurs at a different speed, implying that the wheel balance is the culprit! The speed at which vibration occurs changes by 5 to 10mph after each balance has occurred!
The car has just been MOTíed with no faults. The dampers seem OK, and we have checked all the rubber bushes and wheel linkages to ensure there is no play Ė with no problems noticed.
After the tyres were balanced, I have ensured on a number of occasions that the tyres are rechecked after a 90 degree rotation on the machine, in order to rule out a fault with the balancing machines.
The latest imbalance appears to be through the steering wheel, which badly vibrates at 90, having moved from 80 at the last balancing.
Has anyone had a similar experience?
Are garages just so incompetent that they canít do the job right?
Is my car jinxed? J
Thanks in advance for any suggestions
Sorry about the essay, but this is a pain in the rump!
12-07-2001, 11:45 AM
Yep!,I had the same sort of thing my last Senny,all the usual 'vibs' you mentioned.
The garage I went who was ATS,could find no fault,they even tried ballancing using the method for steel wheels (cause I had alloys),and that didnt work,but Iv'e since sold the car.
I know its of no consolation cause' I dont have the answer,but like yourself its allways bugged the [expletive deleted] out of me,and would like to know what the answer is,is anyone out there knows.
12-07-2001, 02:29 PM
I read a similar story in Car Mechanics a few years ago in the "Tips from the Trade" column. The problem was resolved by balancing the wheel on the car. It seems that some imbalance of the hub was throwing out the wheel balance when using the wheel off method of balancing.
12-07-2001, 02:37 PM
I'll have a further think about this but in the meantime it may help to know that if the sypmtoms are felt through the steering wheel, the problem is at the front whereas if you feel them thorugh the seat, the problem is with the rear. Now I'm scratching my head
12-07-2001, 03:43 PM
OK PaulD I have thunk!
Since you say that the problem has occurred since you fitted the front set of tyres, I am inclined to think that it is a problem with the tyre(s)/wheel rather than the hub or suspension. (No offence GeoffM). Geoff is right when he says that imbalance at the hub can cause its own balance problems with similar symptoms but your description sounds to me like it is a problem with a wheel/tyre.
To keep this short and comparatively straightforward, I would suggest the following.
1. Firstly, after the weights were fitted to the wheel, it should have been re-spun on the machine giving a zero reading. (A reading of 1 or 2 [or higher], is not properly balanced. It is an objective measurement and therefore there is no tolerance permittable).
2. If that was the case, put both front wheels onto the rear and the rears onto the front of the car. Go for a drive. If the symptoms persist but through the seat base rather than the steering wheel, then the problem is with one of those two wheels that would now be on the back.
Then if you change just one of them to the front and go for another drive, you will be able to tell which wheel is giving trouble by where you feel the vibration, ie steering wheel means the one on the front and seat base means the one on the rear. if through both then its both wheels.
If the vibration remains on the front throughout this tyre swapping, then you can eliminate the wheels/tyres as the cause.
If you have already completely removed as issues relative to this; bushings, shocks and wheel bearings etc., then come back to this BB again and I'll think some more.
12-07-2001, 04:31 PM
this might be too logical/easy, but if the problem did not exist before tyre change, it must be tyres.if it did check s/rack bolts
12-07-2001, 05:01 PM
I would agree with zep, if the vebration has only started since fitting new tyres, I would point the finger at the tyre/s. If you can fit another pair of wheels/tyres on the front and test drive. If this cures it I would take the tyres back. I have seen new tyres that don't run true when spinning.
12-07-2001, 06:18 PM
why do I use so many words?
12-09-2001, 05:11 AM
As an aside, it's interesting to note that in the car's manual it advises that wheel vibration can be obtained in the first few miles of driving and then disappears, giving an explanation as to why.
Obviously, that is not the case here. I agree with the consensus of opinion that it is the tyres that are at fault. If you know a friendly Saab dealer, ask him if he will put some front wheels off another 9000 which you know has no problem with vibration. If these vibrate on your car, then you know it is not the tyres that are the problem and vice versa. As a short term solution go with GEOFFM's suggestion of balancing the wheels on the car, it can work!
Sometimes you can get tyres which won,t ballance, what ever you do, the only thing you can do is take them back, and have them changed, but as GeoffM says you have nothing to loose by having the wheels balanced on the car, (if you can find any garage or tyre fiter which still balance wheels in this way)
it can work the peugeot gti wheels were a pig somtimes to balance if the non recomended tyes were fitted, and the only way was to balance them on the car.
if this method is sucsesfull for you, remember to mark the wheels position to the hub, if you have to remove them for any reason so they goes back in the same place otherwisw you are back to square one
12-10-2001, 06:36 AM
A colleague at work had a similar problem with wheels which just wouldn't balance. After several attempts, one of the fitters noticed that something was rattling around in one of them. Turned out that an old wheel weight had some how or other been left inside and since it kept moving around the balance of the wheel kept changing.
12-10-2001, 06:40 AM
Thanks for 'all' the suggestions guys. Most helpful in ones cogitations (no I'm not old!)
I booked into a place for balancing 'on the car', but the guy couldn't do the job cos of the alloys - which can get damaged with the jig which butts up to the wheel. Still looking, as this will at least point conclusively(?) to the tyres if the problem still occurs.
I have heard a scenario where the 'steel bands' within the wheel can shift (on a [expletive deleted] tyre) which gives varying balance. But the BFGoodrich fitted shouldn't do that, maybe!
Since the last balance, the vibration has moved up to 90 to 95.
So it is less of a concern.. honest!
But still annoying...
Hopefully will post the cause and 'fix' in the not distant future!
12-10-2001, 12:25 PM
Steel bands shifting in the tyre?? That's a new one on me, unless the guy is referring to the bands that wrap around (along) the trough of the rim. If you have those, (they prevent the tyre coming off in/after a blow out), do check they're tight. If you do have these, where did you get them. They're another useful safety device.