Could A Vibration Be Worn Front Struts And Rear Shocks?

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  #1  
Old 09-01-14, 07:55 AM
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Could A Vibration Be Worn Front Struts And Rear Shocks?

My wife's 2007 Chevy Malibu SS has a pretty significant vibration like a very out of balance tire(s) that starts at about 55 mph and mostly goes away at 62 mph or so. Then comes and goes over 65 mph.

The car has 79,000 miles and Goodyear Eagle LS tires (same as the car came with when new) with about 5,000-8,000 miles on them. When the replacement tires were new there was a more serious vibration over 50 mph that turned out to be a bad tire that Goodyear replaced.

The tires were originally balanced on a Hunter Road Force balancer and the car drove pretty smooth. During last winter, I took the summer tires and wheels off and put the mounted snow tires on. Other than the normal noise and roughness you get from fairly aggressive winter tires, the car drove well with no vibration.

Once I had the winter tires and wheels taken off and the summer tires and factory wheels put back on in the spring the vibration mentioned above started. I had the guy who services my vehicles rebalance all the tires a couple of times as well as to swap them front to rear but the vibration didn't go away or change. Everything in the suspension has been checked as well and is tight. The vibration seems to change somewhat depending on the road. Less pronounced on a smooth road.

So my question is whether its possible or likely that the original worn out front struts and rear shocks could be what's causing the vibration because they are not keeping the tires planted to the road?

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments about whether the struts and shocks could be the problem since we really like this car but the vibration is getting to be a real nuisance.

Plus, I do not want to spend $500 to replace the struts and shocks if they are unlikely to eliminate the vibration.

Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 09-01-14, 10:30 AM
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I'd guess the tire might be separating on the inside (but twice in a row seems unlikely) or a ball joint is wearing out. Or something in the rack and pinion.
 
  #3  
Old 09-01-14, 12:48 PM
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If it's struts, struts would have shown themselves during winter tire use.
How long was winter tire use?
How did you store original tires? If you had them vertical, thing is, depending on rubber softness, tires develop flat spots. Then you have basically locally out of round tires.
You sysmptoms are AWFULLY balance related. Take her to a different shop and rebalance there.mJust don't go to Firestone. If it's alloys, tell them to use sticky weights.
Also, have you ever used s FixFlat type product? Tires with that stuff inside can not be balanced, as you have loose mass of gunk floating inside. Has to be unmounted and cleaned off it inside.
 
  #4  
Old 09-01-14, 04:01 PM
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cvan7071 said -
ball joint is wearing out. Or something in the rack and pinion
This car has been very well taken care of and the entire front end is tight so I do not think its a worn ball joint or something in the steering.

ukrbyk said -
If it's struts, struts would have shown themselves during winter tire use.
How long was winter tire use?
How did you store original tires? If you had them vertical, thing is, depending on rubber softness, tires develop flat spots. Then you have basically locally out of round tires.
You sysmptoms are AWFULLY balance related. Take her to a different shop and rebalance there.mJust don't go to Firestone. If it's alloys, tell them to use sticky weights.
Also, have you ever used s FixFlat type product? Tires with that stuff inside can not be balanced, as you have loose mass of gunk floating inside. Has to be unmounted and cleaned off it inside.

I certainly agree that the symptoms clearly point to a tire balance problem especially since 1 out of 4 of these new tires were bad initially and wouldn't balance which is why Goodyear replaced it. Its also the reason I had the garage I go to rebalance all the tires on 2 additional and separate occasions after putting the summer tires back on this spring. The wheels are factory alloy wheels and all the weights are stick on weights. Plus, none of the tires which only have about 5,000-8,000 miles on them ever had a flat repair or a FixFlat type of product used on them.

Winter here in Central New York is awfully long so the winter tires were on from about Nov 1, 2013 to April 1, 2014. During this time the mounted summer tires were stored horizontally in my dry heated basement.

I was planning to wait until we put the winter tires on in a few months to see if the vibration goes away or is still present as a way to determine whether the problem is with the summer tires or in the car itself.

However, I may take the car someplace else to have the summer tires rebalanced because the car that has been a pleasure to drive is now very annoying.

Any other thoughts anyone?
 
  #5  
Old 09-02-14, 05:32 AM
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worn struts and shocks don't cause vibrations as a rule. the most accurate way to zero in on the cause of any vibration is to measure the frequency of the vibration...wheels/tires, driveline components, engine accessories, etc...all vibrate in their own freq range. you can purchase a cheap sirometer and have someone drive it for you while you dial the sirometer in to determine the frequency. this will either prove or eliminate the wheels and/or tires as the culprit. by your description, my gut tells me that it's in the wheels and/or tires.
 
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