Elantra steering wheel wobble/vibration

Discussion in 'Hyundai Elantra / Lantra' started by jmh_ottawa, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    2002 Elantra with 180,000 km highway driving...

    Here's the problem but my dealer and another garage have yet to solve the
    problem. I'm getting tired of paying to try things without a solution in
    sight...

    - steering wheel wobbles at lower speeds
    - at higher speeds it's a vibration
    - sometimes pulls to the left sometimes slightly to the right.. sometimes
    not at all.

    Here's what's been tried so far:

    - Tie rod ends needed changing (Possibly unrelated)
    - Several allignments (thankfully i didn't have to pay for all of them)
    - Several tire balancings
    - 4 new tires.. problem went away for a few weeks but is back again
    - Re-balance made no difference

    I suggested the rims may be the problem but i've been told several times
    that the balancing would sort that out... but balancing is really the fix
    if it was only a high speed issue right?

    Any ideas or suggestions?
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. jmh_ottawa

    irwell Guest

    So many eccentric circles involved, tires, rims,
    axles, that trying to get rid of the vibrations
    is a problem.
     
    irwell, Oct 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. jmh_ottawa

    hyundaitech Guest

    If your wheel is bent, balancing may not sort things out well enough.

    If it went away when the new tires were installed, I'd expect it to be a
    tire issue. It's possible that one of the tires is defective and not
    round or has a shifted belt or something. I'd expect primary assistance
    from the tire installer; i.e. the problem is likely due to the tires, so
    they should probably be checking and fixing the problem for free, if
    indeed tire related.
     
    hyundaitech, Oct 20, 2006
    #3
  4. That sounds like a bent wheel or a tires that's either worn unevenly or
    improperly mounted.
    That would be consistent with the low speed wobble.
    That sounds like worn front ball joints or tie rod ends.
    If the tie rod ends are worn, attempting to align the car is an exercise
    in futility. No reputable shop would do it.
    Are they wearing evenly? If the alignment is off, uneven wear will
    result and cause the problem
    If it's a wear problem, that wouldn't be surprising.

    How do you drive the car? Aggressive cornering, wheelspinning
    acceleration and hard stopping can all cause wear issues and/or internal
    tire problems.

    It sounds to me like the tires are the most likely culprit. If you had a
    seriously bent wheel, you would feel the wobble no matter what. Jack up
    the car and check to see if the tires hop or wobble when you spin them.
    Look for uneven tread wear. If you see any of these, you've probably
    found your culprit.
     
    Brian Nystrom, Oct 21, 2006
    #4
  5. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    I've had several new tires on the car so an actualy tire problem is
    becoming improbably. I've been told that it's a possible belt shift but on
    6 tires on the same car.. how many times can you replace tires at a cost
    and keep being told it's the belts.

    We're talking about 4 brand new tires that have seen less than 5,000 km...
    all recently re-balanced after the initial installation.

    After the tie-rod ends were replaced a while back an alignment was done..
    none of this work seemed to have any effect so i took it back and asked
    they re-check the alignement... which they did and said was fine.

    At that point the focus shifted to tires... the two rear tires were
    getting old so at this point ok 4 new tires and a re-balancing it is...

    Yes the problem did seem to go away but only for about 2-3 weeks at which
    point the problem returns.

    After visiting my dealer and another garage...no one can really give me an
    answer and i get comments like "well there's not much else it can be"...
    i've changed tires, tie rod ends, had multiple alignment and balancings
    done.

    I've been told that balancing would take care of any rim issue and that
    changing rims would be pointless but i'm starting to get tired at throwing
    money at a problem that isn't going away. So far it's getting close to
    $1000 over the past 6 months or so.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 21, 2006
    #5
  6. jmh_ottawa

    Tom Guest

    I've had the same IDENTICAL problem on my Kia Sedona van since it was new in
    2003. I kept taking it back but they never could fix it. Replaced tires
    twice. Did a tire load test. Alignments galore. The tires wear evenly and
    I've had them replaced once after 30,000 miles. Still wobbles at slow
    speeds on the steering wheel. This is from day one. I just live with it
    until I trade it in. The Kia dealer is totally useless after taking it back
    for oil changes and scheduled maintenance and complaining about the wobble
    each time.

    Tom
     
    Tom, Oct 22, 2006
    #6
  7. jmh_ottawa

    Wayne Moses Guest

    Reply to message from "jmh_ottawa" <> (Fri, 20 Oct 2006 21:
    50:08) about "Re: Elantra steering wheel wobble/vibration":

    j> We're talking about 4 brand new tires that have seen less than 5,000
    j> km...
    j> all recently re-balanced after the initial installation.

    j> After the tie-rod ends were replaced a while back an alignment was
    j> done.. none of this work seemed to have any effect so i took it back
    j> and asked they re-check the alignement... which they did and said was
    j> fine.

    j> At that point the focus shifted to tires...
    j> the two rear tires were getting old so at this point ok 4 new tires and
    j> a re- balancing it is...

    j> Yes the problem did seem to go away but only for about 2-3 weeks at
    j> which point the problem returns.

    j> After visiting my dealer and another garage...no one can really give me
    j> an answer and i get comments like "well there's not much else it can
    j> be"...
    j> i've changed tires, tie rod ends, had multiple alignment and balancings
    j> done.

    Jim

    In all these discussions l am yet to see any mention of rotating the
    wheels. Either l missed that in your posts or it was the only thing you did
    not do for this problem.

    l agree with others that the focus is on the wheels / tires," and since the
    tires have been changed I can only suspect that you may have a bent rim or
    two in front.

    Wheel balancing should show up side to side variations from true but maybe
    it did not.

    Why not rotate the wheels and tell us if that made a difference?

    Best Regards
    Wayne Moses <> Sun, 22 Oct 2006 10:13:16 -0500

    === Posted with Qusnetsoft NewsReader 3.3
     
    Wayne Moses, Oct 22, 2006
    #7
  8. There's a difference between belt shift and uneven wear. The former
    WOULD be improbable on six tires, but the latter would be very probably
    if there is an underlying problem with the alignment or worn front end
    parts (joints).
    It doesn't take long to trash a tire if the alignment or balance is out.
    Who did the alignment? I've found that shops that specialize in
    alignment are far more likely to do a good job than dealers or tire
    stores. In particular, chain tire stores - or any chain stores - tend to
    be problematic.
    If the work has been done properly, that's true. For balancing, find a
    shop with a Hunter balancing machine and a technician that knows how to
    use it. Again, dealers and many tire stores - chains in particular - are
    lousy at this.
    Unless there is a visible wobble in one of your rims, that's not the
    problem.

    Here are a couple of other possibilities:

    - One or more of the brake rotors could be badly out of balance (I've
    heard of this happening with Elantras). If that's the case, no amount of
    balancing of the wheels will solve the problem, unless they're done on
    the car (not common these days). Even then, when you rotate your tires,
    you'll have to get them re-balanced.

    - The lug nuts may be over-torqued, under-torqued or inconsistently
    torqued. If they were not installed using a torque wrench, they're not
    likely to be correctly torqued. A reputable tire/wheel shop will ALWAYS
    use a torque wrench on lugs.
     
    Brian Nystrom, Oct 22, 2006
    #8
  9. jmh_ottawa

    Mike Marlow Guest

    As well, bad shocks will cause tire problems. Have you (the OP) looked at
    the shocks yet?
    Though I've never seen torque related problems be as common as the concern
    for them, it remains that today's wheels do indeed want to be torqued.
    Rotors can be warped from improper torque. It's not as big of a problem as
    it is given credit for, but it is an area to look at when running out of
    ideas.
     
    Mike Marlow, Oct 22, 2006
    #9
  10. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    The alignements were done at the dealer and another garage.. both said they
    were slightly out but not by much.

    The rotors had been changed not too long ago but that was well after the
    problem first showed up and has had no effect since.

    The wheels have been rotated so many times that i now don't know where
    they were originally when the problem first started.

    Now i think about it more the rims themselves may be the issue as when
    they were once rotated i do remember having a heck of a time getting them
    off the rear. Perhaps they were damaged at that time... although i do
    remember mentioning this to the tech's and they said a balancing should
    sort that out..

    One thing i've yet to try is a st of new rims if only on the front to
    start.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 23, 2006
    #10
  11. When wheels don't come of easily, a big hammer is the tool of choice. No,
    balancing won't make them straight again. Have you tried raising the wheel
    and spinning it with an indicator in place? Does not have to be fancy, a
    couple of pieces of wood and a dowel that just about touches the rim.
     
    Edwin Pawlowski, Oct 23, 2006
    #11
  12. jmh_ottawa

    irwell Guest

    With 100,000 miles, just junk it and get another
    car. once you have all these eccentric circles
    out of whack you will never get it right.
     
    irwell, Oct 23, 2006
    #12
  13. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    I think the first step is to verify the rims aren't the problem... i'll
    likely wait till this storm passes and i get some nicer weather before
    checking them out... if a new ones are needed then rims don't cost too
    much but it's a place to start and it would give me some peace of mind
    that they have at least been checked.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 23, 2006
    #13
  14. Did they do a four wheel alignment or just the front?
    Then their not likely to be the problem.
    That may eliminate balance as the cause.
    That's not uncommon, as the Hyundai rims fit the hubs tightly. If you
    clean off the mating surfaces and apply an anti-corrosion product, you
    shouldn't have the problem again. BTW, the easiest way I've found to
    loosen the wheels it to remove the lugs and whack the upper part of the
    tire with your hand from the outside. That usually pops them right off
    and won't damage anything. If the wheel is really stick, you can loosen
    the lugs SLIGHTLY and drive the car a SHORT distance to break the wheels
    free, then remove them normally.
    Unless you really wailed on the rims with a hammer, they shouldn't be
    damaged. Balancing won't help a bent rim.
     
    Brian Nystrom, Oct 23, 2006
    #14
  15. No, a big hammer is a BAD choice. See my other post for simple, safe
    ways to break stuck rims free.
    Exactly.
     
    Brian Nystrom, Oct 23, 2006
    #15
  16. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    I did recently rotate the tires and have everything re-balanced so it's
    unlikely that it's a balancing issue... That somewhat even brings into
    question a rim issue but it's the most obvious place to start consiering
    that i'm fairly happy that it's not the tires themselves.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 23, 2006
    #16
  17. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    It was a 4 wheel alignment and it was done when the tie-rod-ends were
    replaced.. i also took it back and had it re-checked twice.

    Some force was used to remove the rear tires so this could be the culprit.
    Since then anti-seize compound was used to prevent them from sticking in
    the future which has worked really well.

    So let's say the rims are replaced and that solves the wobble it still
    brings into question the pull to the left and right which does seem to
    come and go. It's not sever but it is noticable and isn't consistantly
    pulling one way.

    It's higher milage yes but apart from the steering issue it's been a
    pretty good car and is still in very good running order. It's all highway
    miles and rarely sits in traffic.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 23, 2006
    #17
  18. Are you sure it's not just the crowning and tire depressions on the roads?
    I certainly wouldn't replace it for such minor problems.

    BTW, what are you running for tire pressures? I find the Elantra handles
    much better with front/rear pressures of 36/32. The recommended pressure
    of 30 psi all around guarantees severe understeer and uneven tread wear
    on the front tires. You could try them at 34/30 if you like a softer ride.

    A common modification by Elantra owners is to install a stiffer rear
    sway bar, which really helps to balance the handling. The stock 13 mm
    sway bar is too soft, allows the body to roll excessively in corners and
    creates excessive understeer. Most people are using the 19.2mm sway bar
    from the '03 Tiburon GT, but some use the 18mm sway bar from the
    standard Tib. Either way, you should see a big difference in balance and
    sure-footedness on the road. These are bolt-on parts and they don't
    affect the alignment or require any other changes/adjustments.
     
    Brian Nystrom, Oct 23, 2006
    #18
  19. jmh_ottawa

    jmh_ottawa Guest

    Are you sure it's not just the crowning and tire depressions on the
    roads?

    Yes... there is a slight pull to the left but on occasions it is noticably
    pulling right. Someone mentioned it could be the strut bearings although
    once again quite a bit of work to remove and reinstall everything for a
    "maybe"

    It's tough to say if cornering triggers the pull to change as it's not
    excessive but is noticable.

    Exactly... once more major things arrise fine but to date the only items i
    haven't expected to go would be the transmission speed sensors and a wiper
    motor, oh and the purge valve. Not too bad a list compared to some out
    there haha..

    much better with front/rear pressures of 36/32. The recommended pressure
    of 30 psi all around guarantees severe understeer and uneven tread wear
    on the front tires. You could try them at 34/30 if you like a softer
    ride.

    I've had them at 32/32 recently but i will try a slightly higher pressure
    to see if that has any effect.
    sway bar, which really helps to balance the handling.

    Something that could be worth doing on a newer car but given it's age it's
    a "let's see how long it last" scenerio now.
     
    jmh_ottawa, Oct 23, 2006
    #19
  20. jmh_ottawa

    jc Guest


    We had the exact problem you describe with my wife's 2001 Elantra. It
    was at the dealer for warranty work so, while it was there, I had them
    mount and balance a brand new set of Kumho ECSTA 714s. Almost
    immediately we noticed the steering wheel wobble. Several returns to
    the dealer for rebalancing and a 4 wheel alignment were fruitless.

    Finally, I brought it to my regular mechanic who, after remounting and
    rebalancing them, ran a dial indicator on the edge of the wheels and
    discovered that 3 of the 4 were out of round. No salvage yard in my
    area had any wheels for car and the dealer wanted an insane figure for
    new wheels (I think it was over 120 USD each), so I ended up getting
    some American Racing aluminum alloy wheels for $70 each. End of wobble.

    BTW, the Kumhos are light years better than the Michelin MXV4s that
    they replaced.

    John
     
    jc, Oct 23, 2006
    #20
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