Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 20th February 2013, 19:56   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Name:  Post1_Resized.jpg
Views: 43834
Size:  312.6 KB

Cars are supposed to run smooth & stable on a flat road, at any speed. And they generally do. It's only when they DON'T drive smoothly, that the owner starts worrying. Once you realize that your car is vibrating, what should you do to troubleshoot?

The first diagnostic step is to identify exactly what's happening. Focus on the driving conditions that accompany the vibration. Does it only occur under certain driving conditions? If so, when? Does it change with vehicle speed? When is the vibration problem most noticeable? Is it a noise (sound only) or vibration, or both? Where does the noise or vibration appear to be coming from? Can you feel it on the steering wheel, brake pedal or seat?

The 5 common culprits that cause your car to vibrate are:
  1. Tyres & wheels.
  2. Brakes.
  3. Suspension & steering components.
  4. Driveshaft (FWD) / Propeller shaft (RWD).
  5. Engine.
Each of the above problems causes different kinds of vibrations:
  1. Engine speed sensitive: The vibration is related to engine rpm and nothing else (not vehicle speed or driving conditions). The symptom appears or changes in direct proportion to engine rpm in any gear. Vibrations could be present even when your car is idling or revving at a standstill.
  2. Vehicle speed sensitive: The vibration is felt at specific speeds only. It may become worse with rising speed, or even disappear after you cross a particular speed.
  3. Acceleration / Deceleration sensitive: The vibration is only noticed when the speed changes (such as when driving off, overtaking, slowing down or coasting).
  4. Random: The vibration comes and goes with no obvious connection to engine rpm, vehicle speed or road conditions.
Let's look at each of the reasons for vibrations to occur, what kind of vibration may be felt and what can be done to resolve the problem.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:59.
SS-Traveller is offline   (19) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 19:58   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

Reason #1: Your Tyres & Wheels

The symptoms here are speed sensitive, and might be completely unnoticeable until a certain speed.

Solutions:
Name:  Post2a_Resized.jpg
Views: 39437
Size:  186.7 KB

1. Have the wheels balanced. Visit a bigger shop with a good dynamic wheel-balancing machine.

2. Are there any obvious lateral movements / bulges? Replace damaged tyres that have bulged. Check for "runouts" on your wheels and tyres, both radially and laterally.

Name:  Post2b_Resized.jpg
Views: 40975
Size:  269.5 KB

3. Check for bends, warps and cracks on your wheels. Steel wheels tend to bend more easily, while alloy wheels may crack upon a severe impact. A bent steel wheel can be repaired on a wheel straightening machine, but there are few specialists for alloy wheel repairs in India.

4. Was your car parked at the same spot for a few months, without being driven at all? Your tyres may have developed "flatspots". Driving around for a few kms should bring things back to normal.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:58.
SS-Traveller is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 20:00   #3
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

Reason #2: The Brakes

Name:  Post3_Resized.jpg
Views: 42191
Size:  221.3 KB

Here, the vibration occurs only when you apply the brakes.

Solutions:
1. Is your car equipped with ABS? Your brake pedal WILL shudder if you slam on the brakes very hard, or on a loose / slippery surface. This is usually accompanied by a metallic clicking sound. Nothing to worry about. However, check that the ABS warning light (on the instrument cluster) isn't showing a malfunction.

2. Your brake discs are warped or uneven. Check for uneven wear of your discs / drums. Lateral runout of any one disc (or radial runout of any one drum) shouldn't exceed 0.1 - 0.2 mm. Have the discs turned / skimmed on a lathe. Authorised service centers don't bother with skimming discs / drums, they simply replace them. An after-market garage can perform this simple job at a fraction of the cost of new discs. For your safety, it's imperative that the discs be replaced if they are worn out or warped beyond the maximum acceptable specifications.

3. Are your brake pads / brake shoes worn out? They could be "skipping" on the disc / drum while braking. New pads of poor quality also tend to skip; always use OEM parts or better. Some cars may show poor or "grabby" brake grip with vibrations & noise when starting off from cold - this disappears as soon as the brakes warm up.

4. Mostly older cars: A seized, rusted, dry or worn out brake caliper pin can cause vibrations while braking. Also likely if you have driven through water / mud and parked the car without a proper cleanup.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:57.
SS-Traveller is offline   (15) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 20:01   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

Reason #3: Suspension & Steering Components

Name:  Post4_Resized.jpg
Views: 41904
Size:  291.1 KB

The symptoms here are usually sensitive to vehicle speed. They include:

1. Vibrations at the steering wheel. Side-to-side movement of the wheel is felt through the palm of your hand, especially at higher speeds (commonly described as shimmying):
Look for a broken wheel bearing, a loose / worn out tie-rod end or a loose steering box.

If you drive a Jeep, read this thread (The infamous Death Wobble).
2. High-pitched vibrations & noise at the front (without sway of the steering wheel) OR vibrations & noise from the rear. These increase with speed:
Broken wheel bearings : Broken bearings also result in uneven tyre wear for that wheel.

Jack up the car, hold both sides of the wheel and try to shake it from side to side to detect play. Do this for both front wheels. If there is play, it could be a broken wheel bearing, suspension strut / control arm or a loose bolt . A ball joint breaking or coming loose will also produce a swaying steering.

Defective Linkages : Ask someone to turn the steering from side to side, and observe whether there is any play in the steering linkages. Replace linkages as required.

Jack up and rotate each of the wheels and listen for any grating noise and / or vibrations coming from the center of the hub. Replace the wheel bearing as required.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:57.
SS-Traveller is offline   (13) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 20:03   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

Reason #4: The Driveshaft (FWD) or Propeller Shaft (RWD)

Name:  Post5_Resized.jpg
Views: 44405
Size:  209.5 KB

Symptoms are usually acceleration / deceleration sensitive. Vibrations can also occur when the vehicle is being driven at a steady speed.

1. With FWD cars, vibrations related to driveshafts are uncommon. If the car seems to bob up and down in the front:
Did your front suspension suffer a severe hit recently? The suspension components could be bent or damaged. Bent suspensions are accompanied by unusual tyre wear.

Is there a 'crackling' or 'kat-kat-kat' noise from the front end when taking a tight turn in reverse? Classic case of a worn out / broken CV joint. Excessive wear will lead to vibrations while driving. Either the driveshaft needs to be replaced, or the CV joint can be refurbished.

Did you have a refurbished driveshaft installed? The CV joint may be too tight.

Worn CV joints don't commonly cause vibrations, unless a ball is broken inside the joint.
2. RWD - The rear of the car seems to bob up and down. The whole body shell vibrates in direct proportion to speed:
Look for worn out universal joints (U-joints) on the propeller shaft. A worn U-joint or eccentric propeller shaft tends to vibrate more when decelerating from high speed.

Either the U-joints or the entire propeller shaft needs replacement. Inaccurate replacement of new U-joints will perpetuate vibrations!

Did you hit the underbody hard or beach your car recently? If the propeller shaft was hit, you can end up with an imbalanced shaft.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:56.
SS-Traveller is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 20:06   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

Reason #5: The Engine & Gearbox

Symptoms may be sensitive to rpm, acceleration, deceleration or even occur randomly.

1. Worn out / Damaged Engine Mounts:
Name:  Post6_Resized.jpg
Views: 41189
Size:  158.9 KB
• Let the engine idle, switch it off and restart it. If the engine appears to be shaking / moving in an unusually high manner, despite sounding like its running consistently, then your engine mounts need a replacement.

• Inspect if the engine / gearbox mountings have deteriorated. Replace them with new ones.
2. Sudden vibrations from the engine bay area, which might stop randomly:
• An unbalanced or loose cooling fan, or one with a broken blade(s). Vibrations will occur in a random manner, as and when the fan starts running.

• Defective cooling fan clutch or A/C clutch. Switch on the A/C and observe if noise & vibration appear to be coming from the area of the compressor.
3. Engine Misfire:
• A misfiring engine creates vibrations in a random manner. The running of the engine will not sound consistently smooth. Search through Team-BHP to know more about the possible causes of an engine misfire.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:55.
SS-Traveller is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 20th February 2013, 20:10   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default

While we've learnt the most probable causes for vibrations in a car, prevention is always better than cure. Please bear the following points in mind:

1. L-3 : Listen (to) & learn (the) language (of your car).
Your car talks to you in a language all its own, and it's up to you to be able to interpret what she is saying (What's that sound?). If you are a complete noob in this area, here's a fun link to listen to those sounds, and perhaps recognize some of them.
2. T-4 : Tyre Treads Tell Tales.
An unbalanced tyre or wheel, a broken wheel bearing or an alignment gone bad....all of them will cause changes in the tread pattern of your tyres, even before your car starts vibrating (although misaligned wheels don't cause vibrations, they cause your car to pull to one side). Your ability to read the tyre tread pattern will preempt bigger issues in the future. Go through this useful resource.
3. W-5 : Wobbly Wheels Won't Work Well.
If your car or steering start to wobble suddenly, slow down and stop safely. Check that your wheel nuts & steering linkage nuts are in place and tightened. I know of malicious people who have partially loosened the wheel nuts of badly parked cars blocking their driveway, and of tyre shops that haven't fully tightened wheel nuts after a balancing procedure. The consequences of one of your wheels flying off the car at speed aren't hard to imagine.
Drive safe!

Image Credits : The pictures of this Article have been sourced from various Team-BHP threads. Thanks to BHPians for shooting & sharing them.

Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2013 at 09:54.
SS-Traveller is offline   (18) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 10:03   #8
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,753
Thanked: 89,432 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Technical Section. Thanks for sharing, Rating thread a well-deserved 5 stars!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 10:36   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
anachronix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Madras
Posts: 3,250
Thanked: 1,241 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Great thread! Thanks

I test drived a classic Fiesta recently and noticed that there is strong wobble or vibration in the steering while taking turns. It feels like its on rails when going on a straight line but it gets shabby when the steering input is given for a turn. I thought it could be a busted rack! What can cause these wobble/vibration!?
anachronix is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 11:31   #10
BHPian
 
swami.n's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: TN-10
Posts: 252
Thanked: 182 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Thanks for the great thread sstraveller. Rating 5 starts. This would be of lot of people as the vibration issues keep popping up once the vehicle ages.
It would be of great help if you could add some links to related threads.
swami.n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 12:53   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
SS-Traveller's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 6,629
Thanked: 10,861 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronix View Post
...Fiesta...noticed that there is strong wobble or vibration in the steering while taking turns.
What can cause these wobble/vibration!?
FWD car wobbling / vibrating on turns usually points to a driveshaft issue. Either a bent shaft or a broken ball inside the CV joint.
SS-Traveller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 13:54   #12
BHPian
 
roamingrao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 335
Thanked: 165 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Sir, Thank you for sharing the diagnostic parameters relating to the issue of vibration.

I wonder / request if this thread could also discuss the issue " My car sways to the left / right upon braking"

Common parameters being brakes, tyres and alignment, what else could contribute to the sway ? Please advice.
roamingrao is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 19:39   #13
Distinguished - BHPian
 
dhanushs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bathery/BLR
Posts: 3,446
Thanked: 4,057 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Wonderful thread SST!.. once more!..

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Your brake discs are warped or uneven. Check for uneven wear of your discs / drums.
Sometimes, when the brake pads are of bad quality, the discs gets damaged, causing a judder while braking.

IMO, its better to the replace the pads and get the discs skimmed together.
dhanushs is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 22:37   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
parsh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,517
Thanked: 956 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Great article SS. Thanks for putting another ready reckoner together.

I would go a little further and put in the Clutch Vibrations as well, which is highly important, pertinent to the cause and can be quite damaging as well as dangerous.

I would quote few things known from some of the sites out there:

1. http://www.tpub.com/basae/93.htm

Quote:
A pulsating clutch pedal is caused by the runout (wobble or vibration) of one of the rotating members of the clutch assembly. A series of slight movements can be felt on the clutch pedal. These pulsations are noticeable when light foot pressure is applied. This is an indication of trouble that could result in serious damage if not corrected immediately. There are several conditions that can cause these pulsations. One possible cause is misalignment of the transmission and engine. If the transmission and engine are not in line, detach the transmission and remove the clutch assembly. Check the clutch housing alignment with the engine and crankshaft. At the same time, the flywheel can be checked for runout, since a bent flywheel or crankshaft flange will produce clutch pedal pulsation. If the flywheel does not seat on the crankshaft flange, remove the flywheel. After cleaning the crankshaft flange and flywheel, replace the flywheel, making sure a positive seat is obtained between the flywheel and the flange. If the flange is bent, the crankshaft must be replaced.
Other causes of clutch pedal pulsation include bent or maladjusted pressure plate release levers, warped pressure plate, or warped clutch disc. If either the clutch disc or pressure plate is warped, they must be replaced.
2. http://www.ehow.com/list_6806680_cau...ibration_.html

Quote:
What Are the Causes of Clutch Pedal Vibration?

Misalignment
Misalignment occurs when the clutch assembly is not correctly aligned with the flywheel. This causes the clutch to engage unevenly, placing an unbalanced load on the clutch and flywheel surfaces. The usual result is chattering, pulsating and vibration of the clutch pedal.

Broken Diaphragm Spring
The diaphragm spring controls the amount of pressure applied to the pressure plate and clutch disc, and seats them against the flywheel. If the diaphragm spring is damaged or broken, this causes the clutch plate to engage the flywheel unevenly when applied or released, which in turn causes vibration and pulsation of the clutch pedal.

Warped Clutch Disc
The clutch disc is the portion of the clutch assembly that actually connects the flywheel to the transmission when you engage the clutch. It's made of a material similar to that of brake pads, and operates on the same principle of friction. In order to operate properly, all the contact surfaces of the clutch assembly must be smooth and flat, including the clutch disc. If the clutch disc becomes warped due to wear or overheating, it will not engage smoothly with the flywheel and pressure plate. This results in chattering, vibration and clutch pedal pulsation.

Improper Throw-Out Bearing Installation
The throw-out bearing is the part of the clutch assembly that engages and disengages the clutch. When you press the clutch pedal, the throw-out bearing moves forward and pushes on the pressure plate fingers, which releases the spring pressure and pushes the pressure plate against the clutch disc.

An improperly installed throw-out bearing will not contact the pressure plate fingers evenly or smoothly. This causes the pressure plate to push against the clutch disc unevenly, leading to vibration and pulsation of the clutch pedal.
3. http://www.wikihow.com/Find-out-if-a...n-Has-Gone-out

4. How Clutch works and its common problems - http://auto.howstuffworks.com/clutch2.htm

Last edited by parsh : 21st February 2013 at 22:39.
parsh is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 21st February 2013, 22:59   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: hyderabad
Posts: 94
Thanked: 54 Times
Default Re: "My Car / Steering / Brake Vibrates While Driving" | What To Do

Hi All,

Any suggestion on reducing Body Sound. My Ambassador is doing lot of sounds after putting in Isuzu Diesel Engine.
jagadeesh.b is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Cayenne" we "XC-eed" in our "Endeavour" to "Safari"? Taking powerful metal off-road SS-Traveller 4x4 Excursions 55 10th November 2016 22:56
Brake Pads "cheen-cheen" Screeching Sound While Braking vebmetal Technical Stuff 74 16th February 2013 07:26
Yet another problem - My Hyundai i20 steering vibrates at 120 kmph nikibusa Technical Stuff 20 29th June 2011 18:05
Steering vibrates when braking nitrous Technical Stuff 28 7th July 2009 09:19


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 13:44.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks