Front End

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  #1  
Old 05-02-08, 10:50 AM
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Front End

I'm hoping someone can tell me whether or not my car is safe to drive. I don't do alot of highway driving. I have a 1996 Buick Lesabre.I just drove from Lafayette to New Orleans, 135 miles. I noticed a slight shimmy in my front end. Not bad. It feels like you are rolling on a washboard. The roughness last for about 15 seconds then evens out for about 6 seconds then gets rough again for about 15 seconds then evens out for about 6 seconds. This continues over and over. I also noticed that at speeds over 60 miles per hour, if you apply the brake as I did when exiting the interstate, there was a vibration in the front end. I experienced a vibration like this once before when I had brake work done and it turned out that the rotors were not smoothed properly. My tires seem to be wearing normally. I'm just trying to figure out if the car is safe to drive back to Lafayette. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kathy
 
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Old 05-02-08, 11:07 AM
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sounds to me like you have a LIQUID IN A TIRE/ is it possible that you have put "fix a flat" in a tire? if so that is your problem. tha stuff is just to get you to a tire shop, to have the flat repaired.
 
  #3  
Old 05-02-08, 11:18 AM
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Not to be the party pooper.....

But you are questioning your safety , and this is not a 5 minute trip around the corner.....

If in doubt, or if your uncomfortable...have it professionally checked.

I realize an expense is probably not in the budget at the moment, but how do you put a "Price Tag" on a SAFE trip home?????


Just for an input, The braking at 60+ is a hint at a wheel bearing that is shifting when stressed, or a CV joint worn. A brake rotor would have to be drastically "OUT OF WHACK", to cause a vibration during "Non -Braking " situations.
sounds to me like you have a LIQUID IN A TIRE/ is it possible that you have put "fix a flat" in a tire? if so that is your problem. tha stuff is just to get you to a tire shop, to have the flat repaired.
Not to doubt you Newt, But a tire issue, at a consistent speed, should have a consistent vibration. Also, the tire "Imbalance" caused by "Fix A Flat" or "SLIME", is horriffic at best, and at Highway speeds is usually "Un driveable".
 
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Old 05-02-08, 11:23 AM
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I appreciate both answers. I haven't used anything like Fix A Flat. I wonder if the vibration thru the steering columm when braking is a different problem then the vibration I'm feeling when just driving. I may have two different problems. Thanks, Kathy
 
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Old 05-02-08, 04:04 PM
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I've had the very sensation you speak of: The HMMMMMMMMM (= smooth)......whump, whump, whump, HMMMMMMMMM......whump, whump, whump, etc. Harmonics issue. I can't explain the science of it, but they just call that harmonics. Does it more at certain speeds.

How are your front tires for condition/even-uneven wear? How old are they? Could a weight have come off? You could probably have at least the front 2 inspected/rebalanced for like $7 each, somewhere, and then go from there.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 05-02-08 at 05:15 PM.
  #6  
Old 05-02-08, 04:42 PM
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I will bet money that you have a worn front inner tie rod. The wobble type feel will change if you slightly turn the wheel one way, then get worse when you turn the other way. If it were a tire issue, it would be consistant once up to temperature.

The vibration in the steering while braking is caused by excesive lateral runout of the front rotors. They will need to be resurfaced if there is enough meat left to do so. If not, they will need to be replaced.
 
  #7  
Old 05-02-08, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Dummas View Post
I will bet money that you have a worn front inner tie rod. The wobble type feel will change if you slightly turn the wheel one way, then get worse when you turn the other way. If it were a tire issue, it would be consistant once up to temperature.

The vibration in the steering while braking is caused by excesive lateral runout of the front rotors. They will need to be resurfaced if there is enough meat left to do so. If not, they will need to be replaced.
with todays metlic pads- a brake shudder is more from thickness variation of the rotor disk
 
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Old 05-02-08, 07:05 PM
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well, it's me again, Ukrkoz The Stirrer

are you guys serious about all that science and complexity?

repetitive shake at hihgway speeds, just like person describes, is the 1st sign of unbalanced tires. unclediesel is right - it IS fixed by the trip around the corner, to any tire shop to have them rebalanced.

slight shimmy in steering during braking is the 1st sign of rotors being warped.

fortunately, person lives down in the bible belt, where shops still do not charge arm and leg for balancing and turning rotors. last time i paid for that job in gadsden, alabama, area - which was 5 yrs ago - it was 7 bucks per rotor and balancing was 6 per wheel, and done superbly!! and it was 20 here, in WA.

m'am, please, take your sabre - and i love those, they drive like a charm - to any reputable tire shop around, ask them to balance your tires and turn the rotors.

god bless and all the best
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-08, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by newtofta View Post
with todays metlic pads- a brake shudder is more from thickness variation of the rotor disk
Yup, aka excessive lateral runout.
 
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