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2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

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Old 01-09-2011, 01:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Steering vibrations at high speeds

Hi All,

I have been facing a strange issue with my 2000 Avy since the past days which is close to 119 K miles now.
I have felt noticeable vibrations in steering wheel as soon I cross 65-70 mph. What's strange is that this behaviour does not repeat
every time I reach such speeds but only intermittently.
My first doubt was that the wheels were out of balance so I reached out to Costco Tire Dept and they confirmed that all the wheels were
perfectly balanced.
One point worth mentioning that One of my front wheels was stuck in snow which braced North East after the Christmas weekend. I did
drive about 10-12 miles with one of the wheels covered with ice when this issue first surfaced. However, the ice is completely gone now
but the intermittent virbrations remain.
Could I have caused some damage to the front suspension components by driving with one of the wheels snow covered on that day which has caused this issue?
Has anyone else experienced this before ?
~A
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Old 01-09-2011, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I experienced something similar when my car was new. It was my rotors that were warped and needed to be turned. There was absolutely no vibration in town, only when it got up to highway speeds.

My theory was that it was cause by a panic stop that activated the ABS. Someone pulled out directly in front of me while I was doing about 35mph. I fully expected my front bumper to contact her driver's side, and I was stunned when it didn't. Luckily, the people behind me were able to avoid me, and I am now a big fan of the anti-lock brake system.

I doub't you've damaged anything by driving with some ice build up, but let a mechanic check it out for you.

Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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broken belt in a tire will also cause that sort of vibration
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buchaja View Post
I experienced something similar when my car was new. It was my rotors that were warped and needed to be turned. There was absolutely no vibration in town, only when it got up to highway speeds.

My theory was that it was cause by a panic stop that activated the ABS. Someone pulled out directly in front of me while I was doing about 35mph. I fully expected my front bumper to contact her driver's side, and I was stunned when it didn't. Luckily, the people behind me were able to avoid me, and I am now a big fan of the anti-lock brake system.

I doub't you've damaged anything by driving with some ice build up, but let a mechanic check it out for you.

Good luck.
Forgot to mention, I just got all my 4 rotors replaced 4500 miles ago. Do I still need to check for warpage ? Also can warped rotors caused vibrations intermittenly and not always at high speeds ?

btw my brake pedal does pulsate vigorously when I apply brakes while the vibrations are felt.

~A
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BiXLL View Post
broken belt in a tire will also cause that sort of vibration

Are there any visible signs of broken belt in a tire ? btw the tires are also new (Michelins) purchased from Costco about an year or 16000 miles ago.

~A
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For me the my vibration problem was caused by uneven rotors due to wear at about 89k miles. An alignment person diagnosed and I changed out the rotors and brake pads and the problem has been fixed. I understand from a radio show in the DC area that new rotors are not always true round. I would have an alignment person take your car for a road test to determine the fix.

hope this helps,
Norman
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njavalonguy View Post
Forgot to mention, I just got all my 4 rotors replaced 4500 miles ago. Do I still need to check for warpage ? Also can warped rotors caused vibrations intermittenly and not always at high speeds ?

btw my brake pedal does pulsate vigorously when I apply brakes while the vibrations are felt.

~A

This seals it for me. Have the rotors looked at.

I don't know about the intermittent nature of your problem, but it definitely sounds like your brakes need attention. Take it back to the place you had your work done first and see if they will fix it free. It does seem too soon for new rotors to need truing, but as the above poster said, they could have come like that.

I've got just about 20K - 25K miles on mine now, and they are just starting to shimmy slightly. I don't know if they will need turning before I replace the brakes for the first time.

I just got the Michelins from Costco too. Good choice! Love the new tires.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Did they do a dynamic balance. A static balance could still leave a lateral vibration in place.
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolvibe View Post
Did they do a dynamic balance. A static balance could still leave a lateral vibration in place.
I am not sure what that means but the balancing was done by the Costco Tire technicians from whom I bought the tires from.

Which places do the dynamic balancing ?

~A
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A dynamic balance balances both the inside and the outside of the rim not just the center. A balance machine is only as good as the tech using it. Have the front tires rotated to the back and see if the vibration moves or changes. Need to isolate the offending tire or rim.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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back with an update

Update :

This ultimately turned out to be a shot front Caliper issue. The Caliper boots had started leaking and the piston assembly which drives the brake pads had got jammed with snow and ice build due to the winter storm in late Dec.

On account of this, the brake pad wouldn't retract fully and kept rubbing against the driver side front rotor causing a visible ring mark to form on it due to friction.

I finally had to get both the front calipers and hoses ( alongwith the front rotors and pads ) changed from Pepboys costing me another $ 350 on top of $ 540 which I had paid them 4 months earlier for all 4 pads and rotors replacement.

~A
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njavalonguy View Post
Update :

This ultimately turned out to be a shot front Caliper issue. The Caliper boots had started leaking and the piston assembly which drives the brake pads had got jammed with snow and ice build due to the winter storm in late Dec.

On account of this, the brake pad wouldn't retract fully and kept rubbing against the driver side front rotor causing a visible ring mark to form on it due to friction.

I finally had to get both the front calipers and hoses ( alongwith the front rotors and pads ) changed from Pepboys costing me another $ 350 on top of $ 540 which I had paid them 4 months earlier for all 4 pads and rotors replacement.

~A
Glad you found the problem, but: Both front wheels? And Pepboys couldn't just turn the rotors they just put on 4 months ago?

Seems they are at least partly responsible for not catching the stuck pad the first time.

Just saying. Sorry it cost you so much.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Warped rotors won't cause vibration unless braking. If it only happens when below freezing, there could be water in the tire that freezes and acts as a wheel weight that throws the tire out of balance. Some shop air used to inflate tires has lots of moisture in it. Nix that if Costco used nitrogen to fill tires. Otherwise, most likely a tire/wheel problem. Go where you didn't buy the tires and have it checked out.
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Old 06-01-2011, 11:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I had the same symptoms (pulsing brake pedal and highway speed shaking) with my 2000 with 162,000 miles. One of the front calipers wouldn't release, causing that rotor to run at about 400 degrees F (and warping it), compared with 120 degrees F on the good side. Replacing the caliper and machining the 1 year old rotors did the trick.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckoff View Post
Warped rotors won't cause vibration unless braking. If it only happens when below freezing, there could be water in the tire that freezes and acts as a wheel weight that throws the tire out of balance. Some shop air used to inflate tires has lots of moisture in it. Nix that if Costco used nitrogen to fill tires. Otherwise, most likely a tire/wheel problem. Go where you didn't buy the tires and have it checked out.

It was the stuck caliper which was causing this issue and I am no longer facing this issue ever since both the front calipers and hoses were replaced.

Thanks,

~A
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