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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need some words of encouragement, and some advice from everyone. I am still experiencing about 2-3cm of vibration travel left to right in my steering wheel at speeds above 50mph. The vibration is most evident at 50-60mph and can be felt solely through the steering wheel. I can make a video if need be. The vibration can be kept under control by me firmly grabbing the wheel with one hand, but if I loosen my grip, it travels 2-3cm left to right at a steady pace. If I accellerate to 70-80mph the vibration subsides.

This is the strange thing, I can not replicate this vibration every time I drive. Sometimes my steering wheel stays as stable as stone and the vehicle drives like it should, other times it shakes. It is not road dependent, as I make my commute every day, and notice the vibration at random times.

I have had 2 alignments and 2 balances from different shops. I brought in the Right Pull TSB Alignment specs just to make sure they were aligning my car correctly. The second shop I had do my balance said that the balance is perfect and can't get any better. I notice that my steering wheel has a tendency to be driven more often tilted to the left to correct "Crown Sensitivity" in the road than to the right when I'm in the fast lane. I'm beginning to wonder if I am noticing the dreaded right hand pull.

I am about to take this issue up with the dealer and have some concerns about how to approach this issue. I know precisely the dealer's response "Oversized wheels and tires may void warranty". It is stated on my service history in Capital letters. Considering the amount of drivetrain vibration, right pull issues, and tire wear issues we have all read on this forum with stock wheels/tires, I don't believe my case will be too hard to present.

I regret buying this car the longer I own it. :( I have enough time and money invested into the vehicle to continue struggling on, but if these constant headaches continue with the car and the dealer, I'm going to cut my losses.

I knew going into this purchase about all the issues I had read about on this forum, and compared with all the forums of all the other cars I was interested in, this car seemed problematic. Acknowledge this or not... I know I'm not the only member that suffers a love hate relationship with their 300c.

Throw me some advice here. :eek:
 

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I have had problem with tires being out of round and no mather how I balanced them the shake did not go away until the tires did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tsottile said:
I have had problem with tires being out of round and no mather how I balanced them the shake did not go away until the tires did.
Thats the interesting thing. These are 2 brand new tires. I replaced 2 that had nail/screw damage and had them put on the front.
 

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Rogue,
It sure sounds like you have out of round and/or out of balance tires. Have you tried having the tires trued to the wheels? We had a similar issue with a 1998 Corvette and the truing solved the problem.
Also would suggest a dynamic balance of the tires on the car as another potential solution.

Good Luck!

:)
 

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On the car balance maybe what jim suggested, it works wonders for the balance issue but no balance will fix an out of round tire which usually is noticable at most speeds. One thing that may be plausable is bad ball joints, have them checked, your issue reminds me of my 87 300E whch 3 stealers missed and a private shop found right away. Seem far fetched? My X5 front control arms went bad :eek: at 19K and acted exactly like warped rotors.
 

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Not you rogue!!
I'm sorry to hear your issues.
All I can add aside from what others have added is (what I'm sure you have already done) play with tire pressure and if you still have your stock.... give them a try.
 

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Rare but if you have a brake pad, that is not releasing 100%, then the rotor can warp slightly (like an empty frying pan on a hot stove top). Every time the high spot on the rotor gets to the brake pad it will drag and pull the steering wheel to that side.

Sounds more like a unbalanced tire. If the folks that balanced your tires put all of the wheel weights on the inside of the wheel, so they would look good, then rebalance them with the weights on both the inside and outside. This should take care of the problem.

>>>>>>>>>>>Dixie
 

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Rogue,
Interesting that my car is in for a similar vibration (which I believe to be warped front rotors) which started at about 18,000 miles. Car now has 21,000 and the shake is unbearable. Dealership told me it is my driving habits. I told them to stuff it. My car is a queen. Service manager is going to true the rotors and put new pads on for free. He looked at the amount of meat I have on my front pads and decided I was not overly hard on my brakes. I have also noticed a droning at speed that was not there before. I am thinking suspension/bearing problems or uneven wear. I have had my tires rotated according to schedule every 11-12K miles. There is plenty of tread. Ball joints are a good thought, too with a side to side wheel motion. To me an out of balance tire feels like high frequenct relentless vibrations through the wheel, you are experiencing side to side motion which leads me to believe it is some sort of suspension setting or component that is being problematic for you. Sorry you are so frustrated. I know the feeling. But I keep thinking back to the days when my mechanic and I were "best friends" if you know what I mean. Things are definately better than they used to be!
 

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Rogue and Folks

I understand exactly how you feel. I have had my car 12 months and have had just about every problem that has come along (maybe not but alot). I will never buy a first year model again. Not only did I buy a first year but I bet ya my car was part of the first few build lots. Most problems have been solved but there has been alot of patience required and also much aggravation. I keep thinking what is next. I want to hate this car but I can't. Power / looks/ stereo, etc. My bubble was burst a while ago though. You buy yourself a present and have to go thru this crap.

I have 12,000 on my car and have had your problem. The dealer replaced all the rotors and I have had the tires rotated and re balanced. This all has helped alot. I think a bad balance can cause your back and forth vibration. I had the vibration on hard braking also. I still do feel slight vibration from the steering wheel at times. Funny thing I only had your problem when I left work to go home and jumped on the Parkway on ramp and mashed the car. As it went thru 50-60 MPH accelerating fast to 80 the steering wheel shook. It did not do it after the car warmed up more. Since the new rotors and balance it is much better.

I took my fathers Buik LeSabre out for a spin the other day and there was all kinds of vibrations and shaking in the steering wheel. Took out his Malibu and the same thing. Noticed things in my sisters Volkswagon also. What I am saying is we should work thru these issues cause these cars (300C) are awesome. We are not going to get perfection. Maybe I am just settling but I am gonna keep the car for a while and try to not notice evrything that bothers me - yea right that will work.

Bob
 

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Just a few thoughts from someone that has fought hard-to-track-down vibrations.

Tire balance can do it, even after several trips to the high speed balancer, and more than one tire shop. To get the BEST balance, have it done on the car by an old pro. There are still good shops there that will do this, it has solved several problems that seemed to be impossible to find.

Also, it is possible to put brand new tires on and have them be bad from the first mile. It is possible to get THOSE replaced and STILL have a bad tire.

Try rotating the tires, just swap the fronts side to side to start with, see if the problem changes. If it does, then swap only one SIDE front to back. Still there? Swap the other side front to back. This is the best way to track down a bad tire.

I have one set of tires that when I rotate them one way they seem evil. But rotate them again and they are perfect. Go figure.

and it could be something else, but I hope something above helps.

Dyno Don
Illinois
300C Magnesium, still in love at only 1100 miles.
 

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rogue said:
Thats the interesting thing. These are 2 brand new tires. I replaced 2 that had nail/screw damage and had them put on the front.
First and foremost, it would be necessary to actually try and isolate, and then identify the cause of the problem (tires/wheels, braking system, front-end suspension components, transmission, etc.) via a step-by-step trial/elimination process. I'm probably the last one to give you any technical advice, but since I've had nearly twenty years experience in the tire industry (automotive/commercial/industrial/agricultural/and retreading), as well as also having my tire-related knowledge/experience utilized in the past regarding numerous tire-related issues, I only felt it appropriate to 'chime in'.

In regards to a possible tire-related issue, here is my suggestion. If your tires do not display irregular wear, then have your tire dealer (preferably a manufactures' company-owned location) do a radial and lateral run-out of your tires (new and old)...with them all inflated to proper recommended air pressure. If these run-out measurements result in above acceptable tolerance readings (they should know what these are), then the tires should be replaced for an 'out-of-round' ('cannot balance') condition; however, they may also try and utilize the following method to help possibly alleviate the cause of the problem. Re-balance the tire/wheel assemblies in order to determine where the tires' high spot and the wheels' low spot might both be located. [Yes, wheels too are not necessarily manufactured correctly and many tire shops often overlook this]. They should then mark these noted locations with tire chalk as their reference point, remove the mounted assemblies from the balancer (or run-out machine if so equipped), move the entire assembly onto a tire machine, and then deflate the tire without dismounting it from the wheel. With both tire beads now 'broken loose' from the wheel's rim [yes, wheels and rims are two different things] spin the tire around the wheel to where the tire's high spot is adjacent to the wheel's low spot. Re-inflate the tire to its recommended air pressure (making sure that both beads are properly seated to the wheel's rims), then re-balance the tire/wheel assembly on an up-to-date (and properly calibrated) computer wheel balancer and note the readings. Perform another radial and lateral run-out, and if they are now within tolerance, then you're 'good to go'.

Once it's been determined that the tire/wheel assemblies are okay, then you can delve into the front-end suspension components, braking system, etc. This is actually the proper way to match a tire/wheel assembly without having to add too many wheel weights in the process. As you can see, it's a tedious process and very rarely will you even find a tire technician these days who has any knowledge of this particular procedure. Balancing 'on-the-car' is actually only a 'quick fix' and an 'easy way out' for those locations without the required time and knowledge to isolate such 'ride condition' problems. ;)
 

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Hey Rogue.. I've got the shimmies too but only since I had the wheels & springs put on. it hits me from about 68-80

I've been to one "tire pro" and they re balanced & checked the alignment and it's a little better but still too much to overlook. They also told me me "All your rims are bent so we couldn't balance them perfectly." if they are then they all came bent from the manufacturer cuz i've been babying it ever since they went on a week ago. I still don't want to believe that one right now or I'd freak I think :D so I need try one more balancing

I found a shop close by that has a load balancing machine but not actual "on the car" balancing.. I need to find the Audio Advice of wheels & suspension ;)
 

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Guys 300c's are VERY sensitive to big tire packages. I have found that the after all the so call proshops have tried balaning the wheels and tires. You need to take your car to a truck and bus tire shop and have it put on a ON CAR BALANCER. This machine balances all rotating assemblies and I have had 100 percent results. These tire shops do not know how to calibrated there machines most of the time either so they can't balance the wheel properly. Trust me find an On car balancer and your shakes and shimmys will be over.
I you can't find a custom wheel shop that has one. Go to a diesel truck and bus repair shop. You may need to bring your own wheel weights because they done speciallize in chrome wheels. But they do know how to balance 22 1/2 inch wheels all day long.
 

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It should also be noted that many passenger tire facilities still do not have computer wheel balancers even capable of properly balancing today's larger-sized passenger tire/wheel assemblies, and although most commercial tire facilities do have the proper equipment/experience to balance the large-sized commercial tire/wheels assemblies, the majority of these machines are not calibrated for passenger tires. ;)
 

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70-80 vibrations

LWood, what happened to your situation? When I brake at speeds between 70-80 my steering wheel vibrates really bad but goes away once I am under 70. Just to check took above 80 and it does not happen. Only in that range. Dealership gave me three new wheels, thinking it was that. Any advice out there? got mine in 9/04.
 

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jcdc said:
LWood, what happened to your situation? When I brake at speeds between 70-80 my steering wheel vibrates really bad but goes away once I am under 70. Just to check took above 80 and it does not happen. Only in that range. Dealership gave me three new wheels, thinking it was that. Any advice out there? got mine in 9/04.
I am having my wheels (with the corrosion problem) replaced monday. I am hoping what I have is an out of balance problem that will be fixed with the wheel replacement. I no longer think it is brakes now that I've had a couple people drive it. I tend to go right for the worst case scenario. So, I'll post Tuesday afternoon with results.
-Bill
By the way, the dealer uses a local tire shop (which I also use) to do this work, so I may very well put new tires on as well. I HATE these Continentals. If I had to bet money, these two changes will fix my problem. ;)
 

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LWOOD, I am with you on the Contis though they did well in the snow. I hate the Jello steering jiggles on bumpy pavement at low to moderate speed, freeway seems OK. These self seal Contis have been blamed, I hope it's the tires and not a design flaw in the steering. I have found only one up grade at tire rack and that's the BFG KDW in 245/55/18 wich is the perfect stock OD. They are cheap at about $100 and most reviews at TR are glowing though some were disappointed. I really want a set of Michelin or Bridgestones, perhaps Yoko. DC saw fit to equip us with a bastard sized tire that is for an SUV and has few options from quality brands.
 

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II kings 9:20 said:
LWOOD,DC saw fit to equip us with a bastard sized tire that is for an SUV and has few options from quality brands.
NO KIDDING! It was easier to find Saddam than to find tires for this car that are sized appropriately. I am sitting here clakcing away at my calculater finding something within a couple mms of stock that I would want to own!
I also wonder if I can press the dealer into selling me back my corroded wheels for winter use...Or if that is pushing it. They may have to send them back to DC C.S.I. for analisys! ;)
 

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Rogue, rebalance the new tires. Were they put on the front or rear?.. And you said this happened when you bought the new tires correct?
 

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Need to find a shop or your dealer that has invested in a balancer for todays tire and wheel set ups. I had a vibration in my AWD the dealer who has a Hunter Road Force balancer balanced mine and it is smooooooth as can be. Charged $20.00 each but its fixed. Hunter has a web site that lists shops that have this machine. Just type in your zip ...Goog luck.
 
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