Vibration on Highway Help!

Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
Wife's 2005 Toyota Sienna 3.3 AWD vibrates badly on the highway and is loud. I thought an out of balance wheel so I rotated them to see if the vibration moved to another location but there was no difference. Figured it must be a wheel bearing so we took it to the shop. This is where things seem weird. They say that in the section of double walled pipe between the headers and rear cat (flex pipe and y pipe) the inner pipe has disconnected and is rattling around causing the vibration and noise. I can hear that it is lose and rattles in the pipe, but I don't feel an exhaust leak. Can this really cause that bad of a vibration? The whole car shakes and it is loud enough that it can be difficult to have a conversation. The vibration is worse around 30 and 70 when holding a steady speed. It almost stops when letting off the gas. I was going to have the shop repair the exhaust but each time I talked to them they quoted me 3 different prices from $300 to $550. I can buy both pipes online for $130 shipped vs $250 that they want for them, so I will be doing this myself and buying replacement o2 sensors just in case I can't get the old ones out. Thoughts?
 
Messages
27,894
Location
PNW
Sounds like their diagnosis is correct. Tires out of balance wouldn't create that much noise inside the vehicle that you can't talk. What if you just rev the engine up while it's parked ... can you get it to make noise and vibrate without the vehicle moving?
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
They are probably correct since letting off the gas lessens the vibration which isolates most suspension, Tire, steering issue. I would say it's engine, exhaust for sure just based on the fact that it lessens with no throttle.
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
Probably a good time to replace the o2 sensors anyway. They are cheap when you consider they can cost you gas for ages when nearly out of spec but not high enough to throw a code.
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
Ok so more help needed. I replaced the pipes and the noise level dropped, but not the vibration. I have identified that there are two separate vibrations/ sounds. One happens once i get up around 60. It is a vibration/shake that resonates through the whole van. If I let off the gas it immediately stops. The second is a progressive hum that gets louder as I speed up. Oddly enough when I take a left turn/bend going it stops, but it doesn't when going right. Ideas?
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
Did the wheel bearing 6 and 12 check and tie rod 3 and 9 and they are tight. I rotated the tires front to back and I think the hum moved to the back... Its hard to tell since its such a deep bass hum and seems to come from anywhere. It is definitely coming from the right and when I turn left it stops. Now I don't know if that could be causing the vibration at high speeds. Humming starts at 20 and increases in loudness, vibration is only there once I get above 60.
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: another Todd
A bad drive shaft or half shaft could also cause similar issues. I assume the shop checked those?
Can't assume they checked anything now... Likely send to another shop on Monday
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
So the Sienna went to the shop and they said they said the problem is the rear u joint. I asked the cost to fix it and they said can't do it since they are staked u joints and to go to the dealer. Dealer says they only sell the driveshaft complete and won't replace the u joints or just the rear section. Can I remove the drive shaft for a week or 2 with no ill effects? What is it as simple as removing the propeller shaft bolts at the rear differential and then the 2 center support bearings? It looks like the front connection is just a slip yolk but it looks like an oil seal. If it is then I can't just remove the driveshaft or I will lose the transfer case fluid. Does anyone know for sure? I would like to just take out the driveshaft and then try and replace the u joints as possible. There are 3 joints. Any advice?
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
Well I ordered the replacement u joints and will hope for the best that the existing ones can make it to the weekend. They are in horrible shape. The seals are disintegrated and I can see the needle rollers on the rear joint. Center bearings seem ok and so i ill stick to just replacing the u joints. If I can't do it I will have it towed it to the shop and then pay the $1,200. Lets hope the $100 fix works. I hate rust.
 

TWar

Thread starter
Messages
31
Location
Upstate NY
So it looks like I saved $1,000 today. Took out the drive shaft and replaced all 3 u joints with the rockford driveline u joints. The rear one was completely seized up. Took me 4 hours to do the whole job. Unfortunately the instructions were not completely correct. I pressed the u joint to one side, but could not grab the bearing cap as it was only flush with the yolk. SO I could not pull it out. I ended up cutting the u joint apart with a cut off wheel on my angle grinder.
 
Messages
1,066
Location
Minnesota
Shops can be good for throwing lots of parts at a problem and can eventually get it on your $. You should feel alot of satisfaction with your efforts-good for you! Dan Mpls. Mn.
 
This is why it is always best to look for problems yourself first before taking to a shop. A shop will point out the first thing your car (might) need as your problem then go from there. Now you may ponder whether the exhaust work was necessary or a waste of money. Congrats on changing your own u-joints, that is not the easiest job the first time you do it. Just an FYI, always move a newly replaced u-joint in all directions and movements possible before re-installing on vehicle. If you notice ANY roughness, or extreme tightness, you may have laid over a needle when assembling and it is now at the bottom of the cup sideways binding the center cross. No big deal if found, just disassemble, stand up the needle and re-assemble. If not found, the joint will not live too long.
 
Top