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    Thread: Whole lotta shakin goin on - but it's not the tires, wheels, or alignment (maybe)

    1. Member
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      02-28-2017 08:52 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      Holy ****, I'm going through the same mess with my Mazda3 right now. First thought it was wheels/tires, but I tried both my sets and rotated and balanced a lot and there was not an ounce of change. Second thought it was transmission mount, swapped that, nope. Something was clunking and I discovered a bad ball joint. Changed that, better, but nope. Clunking is still there but tie rods and axles all seem solid. If it isn't a sway bar or maybe inner tie rods (?), I'm out of ideas. My struts all seem to be ok. Same exact symptoms as you.

      I'm praying to god it isn't the steering rack, although my steering performs normally otherwise and I doubt it would clunk that loudly without feeling it a LOT in the steering wheel over bumps.

      Been chasing this for a year and a half now.
      Control arms? My bushings were shot when I got rid of my 05 3, which had about 85k on it at the time.

      OP - Are the tires Continentals? If so, that's your problem.
      Expose your cracks and love will fill them.

    2. Member XClayX's Avatar
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      02-28-2017 09:13 AM #27
      I had a similar issue a week or two after a brake job. Basically had to re-do the brake job to find it. Turns out there was rust build up on the matting surface between the wheel and rotor. Wire brushed it off, cleaned it up and noise went away.

    3. Member nobbyv's Avatar
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      02-28-2017 09:25 AM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      There's no visibly obvious sign of damage to wheels or tires. (Would a rim bent badly enough be easy to see?) Flat spotting might be possible.
      I went through something similar when I attempted to get snow tires mounted to the OEM wheels. I put aftermarket wheels/new tires on right after buying the car, and only put the OEM wheels on this winter after getting snows mounted. I had both a VERY slightly bent wheel (couldn't see it at all with the naked eye), as well as a "bad" new tire. It may be worthwhile to try a Road Force balance; tires that are "balanced" still may have flat spots or even broken belts that will only show up during a Road Force check.
      Last edited by nobbyv; 02-28-2017 at 09:28 AM.
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      02-28-2017 09:37 AM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
      Control arms? My bushings were shot when I got rid of my 05 3, which had about 85k on it at the time.

      OP - Are the tires Continentals? If so, that's your problem.
      I verified it's not the wheels or tires by running the car up to speed supported by the ball joints with wheels off and disk hubs bolted down.
      Note: Did it right from new. Two dealers visually checked all driveline components. The service manager of the first dealership said there is a vibration but he has left the company shortly after that visit.
      Two warranty alignments were done within the first 5 months because of poor direction stability(Continental summers and same brand winters)
      Last edited by Ed52; 02-28-2017 at 09:40 AM.
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      02-28-2017 10:02 AM #30
      take the spare that you have, and the spare from your wife's car (they should be the same) and put them in the front. Go drive around, see if the issue is still there. if still there, put the originals back on and put both spares in the back. if still there, put spares on one side of the car then the other.

    6. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      02-28-2017 01:45 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by nobbyv View Post
      It may be worthwhile to try a Road Force balance; tires that are "balanced" still may have flat spots or even broken belts that will only show up during a Road Force check.
      Funny you mention that. The selling dealership says they did in fact perform a Road Force balance (their exact words), and it says so on the pre-sale service ticket too. They echoed what you said, that a bent rim or a tire with a flat spot would've shown up, so they're confident that's not it, and that it wouldn't have passed CPO inspection anyway.

      They called me first thing this morning to discuss the above, and offered to get me right in to the service bay whenever my schedule permitted. (It's half a work day just to get there and back.) They did ask that I drive the car for a few days first to see if it doesn't "settle out" on its own. Luckily I don't have any road trips planned in the near term.

      Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
      Control arms? My bushings were shot when I got rid of my 05 3, which had about 85k on it at the time.
      Unlikely at 26k, but anything's possible.

      OP - Are the tires Continentals? If so, that's your problem.
      Bridgestone.
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      02-28-2017 06:16 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post

      They did ask that I drive the car for a few days first to see if it doesn't "settle out" on its own. Luckily I don't have any road trips planned in the near term.

      Bridgestone.
      That's funny...
      My Dealer told me to drive a 1000 miles (1600km) and report back. 16000 miles later still waiting for it to settle.
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    8. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-05-2017 12:15 AM #33
      I think I have at least part of an answer. Or just more questions.

      After the alignmentment, the (front) caster angles are 7 deg. 25 min. on the driver's side, and 7 deg. 32 min. on the passenger's side. (A difference of 0.117 degrees.) This didn't get "flagged" because 7-25' is within tolerance, though it is the bottom end of the tolerance range.

      This would explain the slight pull to the driver's side:

      http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/176

      Because the weight of the vehicle causes the wheels to turn to the inside, the side with the least caster exerts the least force. This means that the wheels naturally turn toward the side with the least caster angle. We say a vehicle pulls toward the more negative caster angle.
      So, maybe a pothole or curb impact, and something got bent? OTOH these aren't what I'm experiencing:

      http://www.youfixcars.com/car-hit-a-curb.html

      I'm not getting any pulling or wobble at low speeds like that page describes. This may also be normal as a way to compensate for road crown:

      https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...e.jsp?techid=4

      For vehicles set up to drive on the "right" side of the road, the right side is aligned with a little more negative camber (about 1/4-degree) and a little more positive caster (again, about 1/4-degree) to help the vehicle resist the influence of crowned roads that would cause it to drift "downhill" to the right gutter. Since most roads are crowned, cross-camber and cross-caster are helpful the majority of the time, however they will cause a vehicle to drift to the left on a perfectly flat road or a road that leans to the left.
      Going back to the selling dealership Friday. I hate to take another day off work, but I need to get this sorted, especially now while the seller is willing to do so.
      Last edited by g-man_ae; 03-05-2017 at 12:23 AM.
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
      You can measure the power of a car, but you cannot measure the smile it puts on your face.

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      03-05-2017 09:45 AM #34
      I know you are saying you ruled out the tires, but my wife's old Lexus had a similar problem. Took it to many different tire shops that couldn't figure it out. Ended up being one tire size that was slightly different than the other three. Being AWD, it was causing a hop.

      It's worth a quick look to double check the tire sizes.

    10. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-17-2017 04:15 PM #35
      A few updates...

      First, I went back to the selling dealership.
      1) Shop foreman drove the car with me in it. Verified slight pull and shaking.
      2) Adjusted alignment within spec.
      3) Got a fresh set of tires for free. Continental ContiContact unfortunately, but free is free.

      The car that tracks arrow-straight now.

      At first the tires seemed to make little difference. The vibe simply shifted upward in speed and rearward in the car, i.e. vibe started at 70 mph instead of 60, with less shake in the wheel and more in the seat.

      I got to take a long drive and can now refine my initial observations:
      - front end vibe at 70-80 mph
      - rear end vibe at a 75-85 mph
      So things are smooth up to 70 and past 85. It's bad 75-80.

      I have more confidence that this was a tire issue before, and a wheel balance issue now. The next step is to get a Road Force balance.
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
      You can measure the power of a car, but you cannot measure the smile it puts on your face.

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      03-17-2017 05:13 PM #36
      Between this and all your threads in the passat forum, you shouldve just bought the brand new one instead

    12. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-17-2017 06:40 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      Between this and all your threads in the passat forum, you shouldve just bought the brand new one instead
      My budget meant either a CPO 2015 SEL Premium, or a 2017 R-Line. I can swap headlight and radio more easily than a powertrain, sunroof, and leather seats. I'd have brand new tires either way.
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
      You can measure the power of a car, but you cannot measure the smile it puts on your face.

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      03-17-2017 06:54 PM #38
      If the road force balance doesn't do it -- then I'd want new wheels to go with the new tires as well.
      Let them eat cake...

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      03-17-2017 07:40 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      - front end vibe at 70-80 mph
      - rear end vibe at a 75-85 mph
      So things are smooth up to 70 and past 85. It's bad 75-80.
      What are the speed limits on the roads you're driving/ why are you going that fast anyways?
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      03-17-2017 09:03 PM #40
      Clearly I've never worked on the car to know anything specifically about it, or the dealership that has worked on it. I do want to point out that Road Force balancing is a way to adjust the balance of the wheel and tire to overcome any deformation of the wheel and tire assembly. If you have a soft spot in the tire it will direct you to put a weight on the opposite side to counteract that. The way it works though is it loads the tire with some predetermined weight. That weight may or may not be the weight that is actually on the tire while in stalled on the vehicle, my money is on it being nowhere particularly close.

      What that means is if you Road Force tires at a 1000lb load but install them on a car where the wheel only sees 700lb of force, you can easily still end up with a vibration. The other thing about it, if you have a wheel that has an end play imbalance, like the wheel rim not true on the hub, that in and out vibration will transmit into the vehicle but putting weights on the wheel isn't a great way to negate that.

      Just for giggles too, we had a 1974 Camaro that we were doing a bunch of band aide work to a couple years ago and it had a persistent vibration to it, we tried balancing the wheels, rotating the wheels, balancing the drive shaft, nothing helped. Eventually I noticed that the left rear brake drum had core shifted when it was cast and then been machined true on the inside. So the outside of the brake drum was egg shaped when I put it on a wheel balancer but the inside was true to the hub so you didn't get any vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal. That was a weird one.

    16. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-17-2017 10:35 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by 7GIRLS3CUPS View Post
      What are the speed limits on the roads you're driving/ why are you going that fast anyways?
      This is the South, son. Speed limits are just guidelines
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
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      03-18-2017 09:39 AM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by 7GIRLS3CUPS View Post
      What are the speed limits on the roads you're driving/ why are you going that fast anyways?
      In South Dakota and Montana the highway speed limits are typically 80 mph. I was going 90 mph and was passed by cops 2 separate times. The second was in a truck, I set the cruise at 103 mph for about 10 minutes until the cop was so far ahead of me that he disappeared into the horizon.

      It's not a ridiculous request for a car to function as it should at 85 mph.
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    18. Geriatric Member Aonarch's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 11:04 AM #43
      Road Force balance should have been step one. A decent tech can watch it spin and feel it spin. You can see any imperfections by eye, and the computer will give a high road force number.

      You can also put the car in the air and spin the wheels, you should be able to see a bend.

      Also as stated wire wheel the hub to remove rust.

    19. Member Elite_Deforce's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 11:18 AM #44
      Quote Originally Posted by Bozzimus View Post
      If the road force balance doesn't do it -- then I'd want new wheels to go with the new tires as well.
      ^^
      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      Panache, bruh.
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    20. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 07:11 PM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by Aonarch View Post
      Road Force balance should have been step one. A decent tech can watch it spin and feel it spin. You can see any imperfections by eye, and the computer will give a high road force number.

      You can also put the car in the air and spin the wheels, you should be able to see a bend.
      Look back, you'll see that the dealership did this with the original tires. Not sure why the RF balance didn't catch that they were flat-spotted.

      Also as stated wire wheel the hub to remove rust.
      I missed that... the place I'm going to for the RF balance of the new tires is a wheel repair place, I'll ask them about it.
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
      You can measure the power of a car, but you cannot measure the smile it puts on your face.

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      03-18-2017 08:36 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      Not sure why the RF balance didn't catch that they were flat-spotted.

      If they are flat spotted the machine would have caught it, the question is did the tech and the used car department care that they were flat spotted.

    22. Member g-man_ae's Avatar
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      03-18-2017 09:47 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by NashGTI View Post
      If they are flat spotted the machine would have caught it, the question is did the tech and the used car department care that they were flat spotted.
      They cared enough to give me a new set of tires for free.
      Minivans are the sweatpants of automobiles. SUVs and CUVs are just wagons and hatchbacks suffering from obesity

      Quote Originally Posted by Cigar Aficionado
      You can measure the power of a car, but you cannot measure the smile it puts on your face.

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      03-18-2017 09:59 PM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by g-man_ae View Post
      They cared enough to give me a new set of tires for free.
      But did they care enough to give you new wheels?
      Let them eat cake...

    24. Member Elite_Deforce's Avatar
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      03-19-2017 10:32 AM #49
      Quote Originally Posted by Bozzimus View Post
      But did they care enough to give you new wheels?
      Again... ^^^^
      Quote Originally Posted by Elite_Deforce View Post
      Panache, bruh.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ernie McCracken View Post
      I don't trust the judgment of anyone who likes black wheels.
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      I find it ironic that long time Euro brand fans would assume long term reliability issues would destroy any love of a unique product.

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      03-19-2017 11:14 AM #50
      It sounds like the shop is a tad bit incompetent.

      RF would have said the tires were flat spotted and they would have been able to see if a wheel was bent.

      The shop needs to shake down the control arms and bushings too. This is really simple stuff, that a lot of shops fail at.

      Most Common Vibration Issues In Numerical Order:
      1. Bent Wheel (Modern day with large diameter wheels, usually it is the wheel not the tire)
      2. Out of round tire
      3. Bad control arm, ball joint, or other bushing
      4. Axles or related part
      Last edited by Aonarch; 03-19-2017 at 01:45 PM.

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