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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

This is my first post here, but I've been lurking for a while. I have a 2000 1.8 turbo manual transmission with 68k miles. I did a search for this and found some others with similar problems but no solutions.

The steering wheel shakes *only* during acceleration when going faster than 65 MPH. I had noticed this before, but never really take it on the highway. So, I did a test today outside of Nashville:

Had tires balanced and rotated.
Sped up to 90 MPH, wheels shaking above about 65 mph.
Once at 90, I push in the clutch. Wheel shaking instantly quits. Ride is silky smooth.
Once down to 70 MPH, sped up again - and shaking was back.

A little history - no real problems, except recently had to change the air intake valve when the check engine light came on. But, I had noticed the shaking long before that!

Anyways - thanks to the Newbeetle.org forums and all the users for this great resource.
 

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Revolution is my solution
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107 Posts
Check front ball joints. I had similar problem with my old BMW.
It solved when i changed the ball joints.
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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5,429 Posts
Hello Trommsdorff,

While it is possible that worn suspension components may be to blame for the shakes, a common cause of that malady can be directly attributed to tires having gone "out-of-round", which is exactly what it says and NO amount of balancing or suspension parts replacements can make them round again. Prior to replacing parts, one should ask oneself "How many miles do I have on this set of tires?". Did I buy high quality tires or was I just trying to get by when I changed out the original set. I've seen "out-of-round" events on tires with under 25k. miles of action. Personally, I use Michelin MXV radials for replacement tires on all of my vehicles (and typically get over 65k. miles of action before I must consider replacement).
From a purely economic perspective, I would suggest (if your spare is unused) swapping your full-sized spare with one of your front tires and purchasing one tire that matches that spare to replace the other front tire. Don't forget to have that spare balanced before you mount it. If the shaking is noticeably reduced, then replacing the two rear tires should eliminate the "shakes" altogether.
 

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member
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Or, you could just have your tires rotated first and see what happens. I agree that it could be a tire problem - but tread separation, not out-of-roundness, is the likely condition.
juice
 

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Where is home ....
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Has anyone said rotors (spelling?) yet?
Zoomer does this sometimes ... gotta change the rotors. *sigh*

- perhaps it is not related ay? :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Alan Margosian said:
Hello Trommsdorff,

While it is possible that worn suspension components may be to blame for the shakes, a common cause of that malady can be directly attributed to tires having gone "out-of-round", which is exactly what it says and NO amount of balancing or suspension parts replacements can make them round again. Prior to replacing parts, one should ask oneself "How many miles do I have on this set of tires?". Did I buy high quality tires or was I just trying to get by when I changed out the original set. I've seen "out-of-round" events on tires with under 25k. miles of action. Personally, I use Michelin MXV radials for replacement tires on all of my vehicles (and typically get over 65k. miles of action before I must consider replacement).
From a purely economic perspective, I would suggest (if your spare is unused) swapping your full-sized spare with one of your front tires and purchasing one tire that matches that spare to replace the other front tire. Don't forget to have that spare balanced before you mount it. If the shaking is noticeably reduced, then replacing the two rear tires should eliminate the "shakes" altogether.

Thanks for the response, but wouldn't out of round tires or worn rotors make the wheels shake at all times above 65 mph? Mine only shake when I am accellerating.
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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While I understand that your shaking issue occurs only while accellerating and at speeds exceeding 65 mph. I neglected to underscore the importance of establishing a firm foundation for "self-diagnosing" the cause of those symptoms. The onset of tread-separation might only affect only one segment of the footprint and may only become apparent during accelleration stress. If some technician has a more definitive answer for your issue, that would be preferable and certainly a more direct approach. But for me (being a "shade-tree' mechanic in a T-shirt and sneakers) short of a full suspension inspection, this may be a good place to start. If it were my ride, I'd look for the simple stuff first. I would jack up each front wheel and look at each tire verrry slowly with a BRIGHT light and look for any tell-tale signs (cracks or bulges). If you have an unused spare, you could swap it for either of the front tires to see if the "shakes" go away. That would cost you nothing (except gas and time) and help eliminate a possible cause. I'm certainly no stranger to being wrong, but I'm very interested in finding out the answer to your car's problem...Please let us know so that we may ALL learn from your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alan Margosian said:
While I understand that your shaking issue occurs only while accellerating and at speeds exceeding 65 mph. I neglected to underscore the importance of establishing a firm foundation for "self-diagnosing" the cause of those symptoms. The onset of tread-separation might only affect only one segment of the footprint and may only become apparent during accelleration stress. If some technician has a more definitive answer for your issue, that would be preferable and certainly a more direct approach. But for me (being a "shade-tree' mechanic in a T-shirt and sneakers) short of a full suspension inspection, this may be a good place to start. If it were my ride, I'd look for the simple stuff first. I would jack up each front wheel and look at each tire verrry slowly with a BRIGHT light and look for any tell-tale signs (cracks or bulges). If you have an unused spare, you could swap it for either of the front tires to see if the "shakes" go away. That would cost you nothing (except gas and time) and help eliminate a possible cause. I'm certainly no stranger to being wrong, but I'm very interested in finding out the answer to your car's problem...Please let us know so that we may ALL learn from your experience.
OK, that's a very good suggestion also. I am an idiot when it comes to cars and sadly I don't have the time to take off each wheel and troubleshoot it myself. So I took it to the dealership, and here's info I should have stated when I started this thread. I went to the stealership and had them balance all the tires, rotate them, check for anything weird, check with the spare on and off both the front tires, and test drive it to figure out the problem if that didn't fix it. They were "too scared" (their words) to take the care that fast and charged me $110 for an hour of labor just to take it for a spin and not take it up to 70 mph.

But after re-balancing all the tires and rotating them, the problem was exactly the same as before.

Another thing I noticed today. I park my car in my garage, which is more-or-less heated by the hot water heater. Now, it takes about 10 mins to get on the highway, and the wheel always shakes when accelerating above 65.

I had to leave my car outside last night at a place that was right near the highway. It got COLD here (23 F, which is cold for these parts). But I was able to take the car onto the highway in less than a minute, and the shaking was so reduced it was barely noticeable. But after about 5 mins at 75 mph, it was shaking again. I don't know if that supports the theory about something internal (in the suspension) or the tires being the problem, but I thought you guys may like to know.
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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I'm interested by the fact that the symptoms are occurring when the tires have "warmed" in your garage or have built up heat from road friction.
Maybe we should have asked some questions that are more specific:
What brand and model are those tires?
What is the speed rating of your tires?
How many miles do those tires have on them?
It's entirely possible that those tires are short mileage/ high performance tires that have outlived the "performance" portion of their lives and you're just driving on what's left...I'm not trying to frustrate you by being narrowly focused. I'm just asking questions from afar and trying to help out. I'd like to see postings here from others with differing opinions...
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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By the way, I gauge the value of technicians by their desire to find out the cause of our automotive problems. Doesn't sound like they wanted to be bothered by asking you any questions (like any good detective would). It sounds like the stealership you went to was only interested in getting your $110. Don't know where you live but VW shop labor here in Sacramento is $110/hr. as well (OUTRAGEOUS!). Chevy shop labor is $75/hr. My neighbor three doors down is a service writer/ advisor for the local VW dealer. I'll try to remember to see him this week and see what he has to say about it...
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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Quick Update: Went to the local VW dealer this morning and asked a service advisor about your car's problem (my neighbor was off today, apparently he didn't draw the short straw).
This advisor seems to think that the cause is likely the "toe-in" adjustment on your front end alignment. And, yes, there could be overall suspension-wear issues to work with as well. Asked about possible tread-separation and other tire related issues, he stated that the "shuddering" would be so strong that you in NO WAY would want to be driving at those speeds. I've known this senior advisor for seven years (a lot longer than my neighbor)and trust his evaluations and opinions. Maybe an alignment will help in solving this issue...
Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
And now an update - I finally got it aligned, and sure enough the shakes went down a lot (but they're still there). It's much more livable now!
 

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2015 Acura TLX
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Thanks for the update. Now we've just got to figure out how to get rid of the rest of that shaking. The objective is to have it drive like new...
 

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dunno513
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Being a power applied "shake" couple of things I would check. Engine mounts, Clutch, axels and wheel bearings.

Front end alignment probably just re-distributed the shake somewhere else. (kind of like a death wobble on a mc front wheel. It amplifies itself very quickly with a loose hand on the bars, but dies down as soon as things tighten up.. aka death grip )

I highly doubt the brakes are your culprit.

I would be checking for clutch problems or axel problems.

You could also replace your shocks/struts.. This should "check" the shaking for a while, but if not fixed will just kill them again.
 

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I am currently dealing with the same issue on a 1999 2.0 5 speed.

History
New Struts
New Steering knuckle front left
New Front left ball joint
New left outer tie rod end
New complete axle assemblies on both sides
New/used transmission
New clutch, pressure plate, flywheel and throwout bearing
New output shafts
Front Alignment x 2
Tires balanced
Tires have less than 5000 miles

Therefore, with the exception of the right side tie rod end and ball joint, most of the guesstimates above are pretty much wrong.

I am going to replace the right ball joint, the transmission mount (it took a lot of fluid from a catastrophic failure) and another alignment and see what happens.
 

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Alignment problems have nothing to do with vibration or shaking.

Check for a bent wheel as well. Bent wheels are all over the place and many tire shops miss these all the time.

If you are running $90 or less part store axles, I would not take them if you gave them to me.
 

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suspension

I am currently dealing with the same issue on a 1999 2.0 5 speed.

History
New Struts
New Steering knuckle front left
New Front left ball joint
New left outer tie rod end
New complete axle assemblies on both sides
New/used transmission
New clutch, pressure plate, flywheel and throwout bearing
New output shafts
Front Alignment x 2
Tires balanced
Tires have less than 5000 miles

Therefore, with the exception of the right side tie rod end and ball joint, most of the guesstimates above are pretty much wrong.

I am going to replace the right ball joint, the transmission mount (it took a lot of fluid from a catastrophic failure) and another alignment and see what happens.
The CV axles will also cause vibrations like that once you get up to 40-50 mph. Well it feels like the motor starts shaking as you're accelerating. Especially cheap off brand china stuff.For CV axles parts you gotta use OEM parts.
 
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