Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:11 pm Post subject: Shake question
My '04 Impala shakes going down the road. It's not a major shake, but is most definitely noticeable. The alignment is straight as an arrow. I've driven over a mile on a highway with my hands off the wheel and the car tracks straight with no deviation in track at all. I've jacked up the front end and it's tight under there. Tires are good too and wheels are not bent. Whats left?
Sounds like a seperated tire, or a really really bad front end part that BBE mentioned. But I would start with the tire, drive real slow with someone or you looking at the tires one at a time and see what is moving different from the other 3. Look for a big bulge in the tread of the tires or a wheel moving in or out in an abnormal manor. If it is vibrating that bad at low speeds then it should be fairly obvious.
If you jack the car up and check the front end look for these things, at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions push in and out, feel for play or listen for clunking. There should be none. At the 6 and 12 o'clock push in same way and listen for the same things. If you have play in the 3-9 then its either a inner or outer tie rod. If it has play in the 6-12 then its a hub bearing or possibly a control arm bushing, look under the car and see what is moving.
I would place my bet on a separated belt on a tire...that is the most likely culprit, especially if you start feeling it at 5mph, and that would be the first thing I would check. You will not always notice it unless you put it on the wheel balancing machine and lightly place your hand so you can feel the tire tread as it spins. Sometimes they can shift slightly and not be noticeable to the eye, but you will feel it that way.
If that checks out ok, start checking out the other front end parts as BBE has suggested.
I usually only feel tie rod issues at the higher speeds and you'll feel it more in your butt. It will generally smooth out when you brake. You can check it by rocking the wheel back and forth as Albert mentioned, but take care to support the control arm as well so the wheel is as if it was sitting on the ground. Don't jack it there, just support the control arm after you jack it.
_________________ - 2001 Impala Base - Navy Blue Metallic
- 3800 Series II
RIP 10/23/2010, 191,197 miles - traded on a 2003 Tahoe Z71
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