Diagnosing a front end rattle/wobble/shimmy?

Taka Mizutani t44tqtro at gmail.com
Mon Mar 5 15:34:06 EST 2007

If you can get the car on a lift, inspect very carefully the swaybar and the
control arm bushings- these
can both present in a similar fashion to warped rotors or a bent wheel.

I've never heard of CV joints doing that- they usually click and groan
before they die.

If you can try the summer tires, at least you'll eliminate the wheels and
tires as a possibility. With old
tires, you might have tires that are out of round or possibly with a bad
belt or a bent wheel, but there's really
no way to tell without taking them off and putting them on a balancing
machine. Hunter GSP9700 would be
the most definitive way.


On 3/5/07, Keith Franchetti <skidfranc at gmail.com> wrote:
> Can anyone help with this new problem I'm having with my '91 200TQ20V?
> Here are the symptoms:  A little wobble in the steering wheel at low
> speeds,
> which quickens along with MPH.  At highway speeds in a straight line, it's
> just an annoying vibration--like a bent rim or a tire going bad.  But I'm
> on
> the bullet proof stock 15"ers.  Could be a tire, I guess they are old Hakk
> 1s, but I've checked the front ones out pretty carefully and they look
> even
> and good treat still.  Worst symptom:  Above, say, 50 mph, maybe less
> even,
> take a long curve toward the right side--just that certain amount of
> turn--goes away with too much or two little turn of the wheel--but when
> you
> hit that certain amount of turn at speed, the vibration turns to a rather
> alarming thunking which is fast (corresponding to wheel
> rotations).  Sounds
> and feels like loose lug nuts at that point.  But I've checked!  They're
> all
> secure.  Reminds me of an inner half axel (inner CV joint?) problem I've
> had
> twice with a '90 Saab 900.  Thing could all of a sudden seem like it was
> going to shake itself to pieces.  But then it would go away for a while.
> Would feel like a big chunk of ice frozen to one side of inner wheel
> (which
> it was once).  But it's not that in this case.  In Saab's case though, I
> don't think it was as specific to the amount of turn.  Also, with the
> current Audi 200 problem, it's so constant.  Doesn't come and go.  The
> low-speed wobble and the high speed  pretty much always there.  It's in
> the
> shop for alignment (which it needed anyway--good luck to them, since it
> doesn't have a strut tower bar) anyway, since it has a new tie rod end.
> They say everything feel tight up front.  They think it could be a
> strut???  I could see that if it's in conjunction with a failing tire
> maybe.  Guess I'll switch on my summer wheel/tires to see if that
> eliminates
> it.  But I'm mainly wondering if anyone has had experience with failing
> half
> axles/inner CV joints, if if there were similar sympoms.  Thanks.
> Keith
> --
> .......__o
> .......\ <,
> ....( )/ ( )
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