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Intermittent, heavy vibration - How do I check suspension??

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Old 06-10-14, 04:37 AM   #1
BearsLexus
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Default Intermittent, heavy vibration - How do I check suspension??

I have been experiencing an intermittent, heavy vibration which at first was only at higher speeds when turning slightly left (just off from straight). It's rather nerve-racking, as it sounds and sort of feels like one of my wheels is going to come off.
It's become more common - lower speeds, on deceleration, turning slightly left... turning right it doesn't do it. It's less likely on acceleration. Low speeds it's not present. Hard lefts, like on a highway ramp, it's not present.
To me, it seems like it's coming from the passenger rear, but my wife (in the passenger seat) thinks it's coming from more in the middle of the RX.

I've already checked all my lug nuts and made sure that all my wheel weights are present. Tires are all properly inflated.

My initial guess is suspension, but I suppose it could be a wheel bearing or who knows what... I don't really know... I don't have the cash to just change my suspension if this isn't the problem.

How do I go about checking my suspension and wheel bearings? I've had the RX since 109K and it's now got about 165K, and I doubt the suspension's ever been changed. I've not dealt with automobile suspensions before, but I'm not afraid of it and I do have a lift I can use.

Any insight would be fantastic.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:06 AM   #2
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AWD/FWD?

By your description, I would have thought it is your half-shaft or cv joints.

Suspension check means more than shocks and springs and for a complete check, I would suggest going to a suspension shop. They have the lift which does more than raise the car. They can lift the vehicle by the tires so the suspension can be loaded or unloaded. They have long levers to apply force to check if the rubber bushings are worn. You can pay them for the checkup, but they generally do this for free to generate business.

Please have the above done.

There is a run out dial that shops use. For gross check, raise the wheel in question (jack stand for safety) and hold the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and rock it. You should not get any play.

Salim

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Old 06-11-14, 11:16 AM   #3
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Could be a whole host of things but I suspect a wheel bearing or CV joint. There's also a ring on the rear wheels that can break. Sounds like a trip to the dealer/mechanic for a diagnosis. I agree, you don't want to just throw new parts at it until you find the problem!
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Old 06-13-14, 04:16 AM   #4
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Ok, so I just got paid and have arranged for my brother-in-law who's a mechanic to come over tomorrow to help me out. Just wish I could diagnose it so I could get parts ordered in to my auto parts store before he shows up :P
Oh, Salim, it's an AWD
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Old 06-13-14, 04:51 AM   #5
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Is it a roaring type sound?
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Old 06-16-14, 03:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VIPER91 View Post
Is it a roaring type sound?
No, it's a thumping type sound... especially when I am decelerating or slightly turning left on the highway, it can be heard the best, though it can be heard as low as 35 to 40 mph... a rapid thumping which goes away when I either get back on the gas or slightly turn right.

After having read a lot about wheel bearings over the weekend, I think this should be a project for a shop to deal with... I don't have an x ton press and die grinder air tools and such.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearsLexus View Post
No, it's a thumping type sound... especially when I am decelerating or slightly turning left on the highway, it can be heard the best, though it can be heard as low as 35 to 40 mph... a rapid thumping which goes away when I either get back on the gas or slightly turn right.

After having read a lot about wheel bearings over the weekend, I think this should be a project for a shop to deal with... I don't have an x ton press and die grinder air tools and such.
Bearing is unlikely, but it can be verified by 12-6oclock rock. Bearing noise just keeps getting louder with speed and does not come and go.

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Old 07-14-14, 06:43 PM   #8
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BearsLexus, Did you get your issue with vibration solved?
My 2002 with 142,000 miles is doing the exact same thing, but its when I'm turning slightly right (both on the gas and coasting) and when braking. Your description is spot on with what my car is doing. Interested to hear what was the cause and how you fixed it. Thanks
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Old 07-20-14, 03:16 PM   #9
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I had a similar issue, on the highway there was a strange intermittent shaking/vibratioln from the front. I replaced the left front CV axle and boots, and vibration has never came back.
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Old 07-21-14, 04:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexrally View Post
I had a similar issue, on the highway there was a strange intermittent shaking/vibratioln from the front. I replaced the left front CV axle and boots, and vibration has never came back.
Embarrassingly, no, I haven't gotten this fixed yet; I don't often take highway so I don't often encounter the symptoms. With money so tight lately, I've had to put it off a little.

@Lexrally - I've pretty much determined that this is my issue. What did your fix cost and did you do it yourself? If so, did you happen to make a DIY? I'm not sure this is anything I want to do myself unless I don't need more than basic tools.
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Old 07-21-14, 08:16 AM   #11
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The job can be done with basic tools other than socket for front hub axle bolt. Cost of shaft complete would be around $100 from many sources, such as RockAuto.com etc.
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Old 07-21-14, 04:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexrally View Post
I had a similar issue, on the highway there was a strange intermittent shaking/vibratioln from the front. I replaced the left front CV axle and boots, and vibration has never came back.
Did the vibration feel the same both when on and off the gas? In other cars I've had a bad cv was most noticeable when accelerating. I'm thinking mine could be a wheel bearing because I only feel it when turning the wheel slightly right at speeds over 50 mph or so and when braking. Or maybe a tie rod end or worn bushing?

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Old 07-21-14, 06:23 PM   #13
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Only when accelerating. The parts and labor cost me less than $250. This is for the l/f axle only.
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Old 07-28-14, 03:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD3 View Post
Did the vibration feel the same both when on and off the gas? In other cars I've had a bad cv was most noticeable when accelerating. I'm thinking mine could be a wheel bearing because I only feel it when turning the wheel slightly right at speeds over 50 mph or so and when braking. Or maybe a tie rod end or worn bushing?
Mine has been most noticeable when ABOVE 50 mph, but when DECELERATING - coasting or on the brake, and mainly when going slightly left. Usually, starting to accelerate or coming into a right hand curve makes the sound / vibration go away / be less noticeable.
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Old 08-27-14, 11:21 AM   #15
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I replaced the front right wheel bearing and mine still has the same vibration, so it wasn't the wheel bearing. Now I'm thinking it might be the lower control arm bushings....?

Last edited by RD3; 08-27-14 at 05:45 PM..
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Old 08-27-14, 11:21 AM
 
 
 
 
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