Infuriating Vibrations While Driving

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Nashville, TN
I've had some mild-moderate vibration in the wheels/suspension of my '17 Touring for a while now. I had been attributing most of it to the stock Continental tires that were getting worn down and had incessant scrubbing noise from the tire bead against the wheel rim, or from a slightly out of round wheel. Discount Tire told me one wheel was bent when balancing, but I never really noticed any vibrations attributable to one specific wheel. I recently replaced all four tires and had the dealer road force balance them (so they say) as well as replaced front rotors and pads. I continue to get an aggravating vibration while driving. I've tried moving wheels to opposite corners, but no change in the vibrations. I've jacked up the car and tried to move the wheel by grabbing at the 9 & 3 positions, as well as 6 & 12, but can detect no play in either of the bearings. I do notice the same clicking type noise from both rear wheels when spinning them by hand, but this may be normal. On the left (driver) side, I can feel a slight vibration in the shock tube that's not present on the right side. See videos below. I also notice a very slight "womp, womp" noise on certain roads. The tire on the right rear looks to maybe be out of round while moving (see video). There is also a mild howl/growl noise that sounds like tire noise, but being new tires, should be quieter I think. The noise seems more noticeable when turning right. At slow speeds, say 30-45MPH I can feel a slight wobble up and down, but again only on certain road surfaces. I'd think if it were a bad wheel bearing causing noise and vibrations that the shake test would reveal some play in the hub. There doesn't appear to be any tears in the CV boots and no grease on the undercarriage anywhere. I'm not really sure where to go next in troubleshooting this issue. If I could be certain it was a front wheel bearing and it was obvious, I'd just take it to the dealer and let them handle it since the front wheel bearings should be covered under the 5/60 powertrain warranty. I'm worried I might have a bent half-shaft or worse, something wrong in the transmission. Anyone have any thoughts on what my next steps should be. I do have a set of 18" sport wheels/tires that I've had on the car for a while before replacing the tires. I could swap them over and do another road test I guess. I'm getting frustrated and just want a smooth ride again smile Right Rear Wheel Noise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq88HgliBkQ Left Rear Wheel Noise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKUGEb6LPUw
 

TnTA2

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I haven't had the car back to the dealer for this issue in a while. The last time it was in, the tech said they found a front rotor that was warped in the hub area and they replaced the rotor. I began to notice vibrations again shortly after that. In the past two weeks the car has had brand new front rotors and pads, as well as new tires. After looking at the video of the right rear wheel more closely, it definitely looks out of round. That tire came from the left front and swapping positions of the wheels doesn't seem to have made a difference in the vibrations.
 
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Have you asked the dealer to road test it and figure it out, or have you just gone in demanding particular parts be replaced?
 

TnTA2

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No, I've not went in demanding anything. I know how to handle dealer service departments. I explained that I was having some vibrations that weren't present when the car was new and some general observations. I even road tested it on my own near the dealer and explained exactly where, in their own backyard, you could drive and reproduce the issue. That was during the early warranty period. The 3/36 warranty is well and gone by now. The only likely cause of the vibrations that would be covered under warranty would be front wheel bearings. I'm going to have the wheels road force balanced on a Hunter Elite balancer by Discount Tire tomorrow and see if they can determine if the wheel is bent. If it's something else, or fixing/replacing the bent wheel still doesn't solve the issue, then I will approach the dealer and go from there.
 
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Terrebonne, OR, USA
What is the mileage? Is it a front wheel drive car? If so, could it be a cranky (worn) universal joint in a front drive shaft? The joint can 'go bad' even though the boot looks 'normal'...
 

TnTA2

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Originally Posted by RetiredGuyOR
What is the mileage? Is it a front wheel drive car? If so, could it be a cranky (worn) universal joint in a front drive shaft? The joint can 'go bad' even though the boot looks 'normal'...
Yes, FWD. Mileage is ~58,000. It could be a CV joint or a bent axle shaft, but seeing how that rear tire is wobbling up and down, it makes sense to start there. I'll likely wither be replacing that wheel or having it repaired.
 
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Pittsburgh,PA U.S.A.
A different vehicle, and also a know history of earlier years of them having vibrations, but still this may help. I bought a 2016 Honda CR-V in February 2020, and a week after I bought it the back end vibrated once while mildly accelerating from about 35 MPH to about 55 MPH. The 2015 version of this vehicle has a known built in rear end vibration problem that can occur at three different speed ranges, but this problem is supposed to have been engineered out of the 2016 model. Anyhow shortly after that I realized that when traveling on long straight roads I had to constantly pull the steering wheel to the left to get the vehicle to track straight. So I called up the Honda dealer in Wexford PA where I purchased it and they told me to come in the next Monday morning to get it aligned. They have a Hunter brand alignment machine that measures the angles on all 4 tires down to 1/100 of a degree, and both of the back wheels were slightly out of speck. They adjusted them back into the proper range and the vehicle now tracks straight without having to hole any pressure into the steering wheel, and the back end has never again vibrated, though I only have put about 1,500 miles on it since I bought it. When I told my independent mechanic about that machine he said he thinks those machines cost about $60,000 and I said that if I had took it to the local shop that does only alignments they do not have a machine like that and would have never seen that the back wheels were out of speck. So, does your vehicle track straight on straight roads without you having to hold any pressure into the steering wheel. It should be good enough that you can let go of the wheel for several seconds and it still tracks straight. If it does not it probably is out of alignment, and if so, probably you should get it aligned with a good Hunter machine before looking for problems elsewhere. Even if it does track straight, getting the alignment checked with a good Hunter machine might be a good place to start with when trying to find out why it is vibrating.
 
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573
Location
Washington, DC
Those Hunter Roadforce balancers can make good results. Had four Goodyear Wrangler A/T installed at local Chevy dealer (Road force balancer is mandatory dealer equipment by GM). Smoothest ride my truck ever had. I had bad luck with some coopers before that.
 

Nick1994

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That's a lot of bounce in the right rear, something is off. Rotate the tires left to right on the rear and see if you still get a bounce. But that noise sounds like bearings to me. Is there any drag or do they spin freely? Wondering if the brakes are slightly dragging for the noise.
 

TnTA2

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The alignment was done with a hunter machine at my local Honda dealer. The left rear was a bit out of spec and didn't really change. I don't think the rear is adjustable in these cars. The front was out a bit and the steering wheel was slightly off center with a faint pull to the right. Now it tracks pretty true for a fair distance. And yes, the metallic scraping noise is just the pads slightly contacting the rotors. I don't consider this abnormal.
 

TnTA2

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The saga continues....... Took the wheels to Discount Tire for Road Force balancing and called out my concerns over the one specific wheel. They sad that one balanced out fine, but one of the others showed a slight bend, not visible. The tech showed me the suspect tire on the balancer and it has same wobble I saw with it on the car. He said it was probably the tire itself causing the issue. I went across the street to the Honda dealer that mounted and balanced the tires originally and they want me to bring the car back for them to road test next week. I'm guessing they try to blame something else like a bent wheel and not the tire. I left the 18" wheels on the car for the time being and after driving on the interstate for a while, I started noticing the same kind of vibrations, but much less pronounced. There is a definite high-frequency vibration that feels like it's coming from the front end somewhere. I think the taller sidewall of the 18's is masking the vibrations that the 19's exacerbate due to the shorter sidewall. I'm really thinking the tire may be contributing to the vibrations, but much less than I originally thought. So now I'm not sure where to go next. I guess I'll let the dealer take a stab at it and just expect no results, or for them to try to charge me a exorbitant diagnosis fee.
 
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Your video of the right rear shows significant runout. Most likely it is a defective tire though it could be a bent wheel. I don't know why you keep beating around the bush on this. It's never going to roll properly. Take that wheel off and test drive with the spare on if that's what it takes to convince yourself.
 
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Originally Posted by mk378
Your video of the right rear shows significant runout. Most likely it is a defective tire though it could be a bent wheel. I don't know why you keep beating around the bush on this. It's never going to roll properly. Take that wheel off and test drive with the spare on if that's what it takes to convince yourself.
I agree and the longer you run with that wheel the greater the chance of other stuff getting worn. Get a new wheel.
 

TnTA2

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Look back at my latest post. I swapped over to my spare set of 18" wheels. I have similar vibrations in the front of the car, regardless of which wheel/tire set I'm running. This tire/wheel, whether defective, and by enough to cause vibrations, seems to be only part of my issue. If I've eliminated the suspect tire/wheel completely and still feel vibrations, then something else is also at play, no?
 
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Look closely at the outboard trans mount. Had one go bad early on a Honda I had. Similar annoying vib went away when I changed the mount. I was a pain to change BTW. Just a thought.
 

TnTA2

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Thanks. I plan to do a more thorough inspection of engine and trans mounts and suspension components. I have tried shifting into sport mode at speed to see if the vibrations change with engine RPM, but after several tests, I can't say for sure that 850 RPM higher has any effect on what I feel. I'm becoming more convinced I have two issues instead of just a bent wheel or a bad tire.
 

TnTA2

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Ok, I've been driving a few days on my spare 18" set of wheels and have come to a few conclusions. I still have some vibrations from the front of the car that I can feel in the steering wheel. Not bad, just noticeable. Perhaps more noticeable on the 19" wheels. I do not have any of the vibrations through the floor or the seat, which tells me the tire that was on the right rear was the source of the vibrations. I seem to have more road or tire noise above 45 MPH that I think I should and the new tires don't sound significantly quieter than the 18" Michelins with about 3/32nds tread remaining. This leads me to believe my suspicion that there are two issues may be true. Is it wheel bearing? Is it axle? Who knows. It's rather intermittent and varies in intensity. I drove on perfectly smooth brand new pavement and these tires are smoother but those front end vibrations could still be felt. So, as expected, my next step is to let the dealer investigate the suspect tire and hopefully come to the conclusion it's the root cause of the seat/floor vibrations and order me a replacement. I'm not sure about Pirelli tires now. I had to have one of these re-ordered when initially installed the sidewall had a huge area that looked like it was molded improperly or had been ground off. I was hoping for better quality control.
 

TnTA2

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Originally Posted by faltic
Look closely at the outboard trans mount. Had one go bad early on a Honda I had. Similar annoying vib went away when I changed the mount. I was a pain to change BTW. Just a thought.
I'm going to investigate the mounts but was just curious how you found out yours was bad? What process did you use to troubleshoot?
 
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