2004 ES330 steering vibraton at high speed (>70MPH)
I am very new to this Club Lexus forum and not very sure if this is the right place to post my problem. I have purchased 2004 ES330 about 3 months back at 93100 from Boucher GMC/Cadillac/Buick at Waukesha WI.
During initial test drive there was an issue of Steering vibration in >60mph speed. According to the Sales Guy it was a simple balancing issue and solved immediately before final delivery of the car.
After purchasing the car, Iíve driven even around 75-80 mph speeds in freeway (for a sustained period) without any problem. But from last few weeks again the same problem has started. Now, even in 70mph, the steering starts vibrating & increases if I increase the speed.
When reported the same to the dealer, they re-balanced the tire and informed that there was fresh Tar on the tire which has made it heavy and caused the balancing issue & to solve that they've done the Road Force Balancing (I'm not very sure they actually did that or not). But while returning home, Iíve checked it once in freeways & the got the problem again.
While complained again, the dealer mechanic has test driven it and this time they've & informed it as Tire issue & asked to change the tire.
My ES330 is having Cooper CS4 touring and the tire condition is quite good (even dealer agreed).
Now theyíre providing two solutions. Either to change the tire to Michelin as Cooper is not a very good quality tire for high speed (even in 70s) like Michelin. Otherwise to remain with the same problem as according to them the steering vibration issue wouldnít affect the car or create any risk. Is it true?
Iím in a dilemma. Even Iím not very convinced that Cooper Tire canít even run in 70-75 mph Speed (Though Iím not driving continuously in this speed everyday in freeways, but sometimes during long drive).
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It's possible it's in the tires. If the dealer is confident in their assessment then tell them to change the tires but save your old ones. If the solution works then all is well, if not then they need to immediately change the tires back and refund your money... see how confident they really are...
Alternatively, have the bolt on a wheel/tire set from a different vehicle and go for a test drive with the technician. If the problem goes away then either your tires or your wheels are the source. If the problem remains then tell them to quit screwing with the tires and find the problem (this is something they should've already done).
They are correct in one thing though, Cooper tire is a second tier manufacturer and they don't compare to Michelin. I prefer to stay with Michelin or Bridgestone.
If it isn't the balanc, it is most likely the actual tires. I had my tires balanced 4 times in a week by 2 different places, the first place insisted that the tires were balanced, i didnt believe them and turns out that ALL FOUR tires were out of balance. After the second place did them it was fine for about month until it started happening again, turns out the actual tire itself was causing the vibration, it was a nicer to a yokohama avid envigor
hmm, this sounds very familiar!! I bet its the rotors, these guys have been so focused on tires/balancing, they didnt check any of the other possible causes. same thing happened in my case, a partialy seized caliper+warped rotor. I feel you pain though, such a nasty problem to troubleshoot!! but mdbrown is right, if you can bolt a pair of wheels from another car to yours, that would get your going in the right path.
Alignment will not cause a shake. Problem lies either in the wheel/tire combo or the front suspension/steering linkage. A lower speed rated tire does not shake when it is driven over it's speed rating. The speed rating determines how long the tire can hold up at a sustained speed, lowest rating is S which is good for 112mph. This all rose out of the need in Europe where there are long stretches of road with no speed limit.
I say tires. I had Cooper tires on my 04 ES and were crap . They would flat spot if the car sat for a weekend. Had them balanced several times. How many miles on the tires? I had Cooper 5000 sport, v rated. Pretty sure thats them. Still have a new spare in the trunk. Have someone look at the rotors, I still say tires.
Thank you all for your valuable comments.
At present, the vibration is not consistent, sometimes I can feel it after driving continuously in 75mph for some time, but not every time.
I'm having CS4 V rated tire. If this is a tire issue, then is it going to create any mechanical problem if i wouldn't change the tires at this point?
According to the dealer mechanic, most of the people don't bother/notice about this little vibration. So, is it a problem for almost every car, depending on the tire?
The tire will not cause any problems unless it comes apart. Most, if not all, balancers are not calibrated to balance for speeds over the local speed limit. If it's very minor and inconsistent then I'd say unless you find it objectionable then live with it until or unless it gets worse.