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Amedee
Amedee, Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 21976
Experience:  ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
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2003 pontiac bonneville: speeds..vibration..highway..drivers side

Resolved Question:

My 2003 pontiac bonneville shakes at speeds between 50 - 60 mph and has a higher frequency vibration felt throughout entire car when going through a long dip in the road as if the half shafts are loading up? Car also shakes when turning right onto an interstate highway on ramp. Already put on new Michelins and replaced the drivers side front wheel bearing. Thanks, Dale
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Pontiac
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Hello!

 

Where do you feel this vibration the most? In the steering wheel or in seat of the vehicle?

 

DOes it happen more when accelerating or when de accelerating?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Mostly in the steering wheel for the shake, the higher frequency vibration in the road dips is felt throughout the car. Accelerating or decelerating doesn't matter as I have shifted into neutral during the event with no change.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Ok.. since it does not happen when braking, then that would rule out the brakes... pads and rotors.

 

However, since it is in the steering wheel, it is definitely in the front end. ANy loose front end part could do this. Loose tie rod, ball joint, shocks/struts or even a bad/bent axle shaft.

 

In rare cases, loose motor or transmission mounts can cause vibrations as well... but I don't think that is your problem.. but I just wanted to bring that to your attention.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No its not the rotors, I know rotor problems. I've been working on GM cars all my life (I'm 52 and a maintenance mechanic in a paper mill) and I've never had something like this that I couldn't put my finger on. I've been all over the net researching this and it seems to be a common problem on Pontiac Bonnevilles. Thats why I gave in to ask on "justaskpontiac". Your answer is vague and only tells me things I already know. It could be a lot of things, but I'm looking for specific experience on such models that can help me look for things without spending a thousand dollars for repairs and still deal with the same issue.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
RIght... I am telling you specific problem with these vehicles. I have seen bent axle shafts and bent rims causing vibration problems like this. I have also seen lower control arm bushings go bad causing the same type of vibration when driving and going over bumps. I would be willing to be that you are over thinking it. It is just going to be something simple.. I guarantee it!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The problem I have is common to the model of car I have. Many others on the net reported darn near replacing the entire suspension system , spending thousands only to drive away with no specific answer to their problem other than they just own a shaky car. I already have an appointment with a front end shop next week and was hoping that you would be able to know a bit more about this particular problem on this particular model. There are a lot of free web sites out there that recommend replacing lower control arms, ball joints, half shafts, tierod ends, wheel bearings, road force balance the tires, etc... I'm dissapointed you didn't recognize the issue letting me know you've seen this before on this particular model of car. Otherwise I might as well be like the rest of the masses and just believe what any mechanic says while forking over my cash. thats why I offered the 30 bucks, experience on this car and model. At least I know not to agree to pay for help on the net anymore.

Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Well, I am sorry you feel that way.

 

Good day!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: The solution to my problem was vague without any reference to experience on Pontiac Bonnevilles. The problem I have is common to the model of car I have. Many others on the net reported darn near replacing the entire suspension system , spending thousands only to drive away with no specific answer to their problem other than they just own a shaky car. I already have an appointment with a front end shop next week and was hoping that "justanswer" would provide me with some expert advice on my particular problem on this particular model. There are a lot of free web sites out there that recommend replacing lower control arms, ball joints, half shafts, tierod ends, wheel bearings, road force balance the tires, etc... I'm dissapointed the mechanic didn't recognize the issue letting me know you've seen this before on this particular model of car. Otherwise I might as well be like the rest of the masses and just believe what any mechanic says while forking over my cash. thats why I offered the 30 bucks, experience on this car and model. .
The solution to my problem was vague without any reference to experience on Pontiac Bonnevilles. The problem I have is common to the model of car I have. Many others on the net reported darn near replacing the entire suspension system , spending thousands only to drive away with no specific answer to their problem other than they just own a shaky car. I already have an appointment with a front end shop next week and was hoping that "justanswer" would provide me with some expert advice on my particular problem on this particular model. There are a lot of free web sites out there that recommend replacing lower control arms, ball joints, half shafts, tierod ends, wheel bearings, road force balance the tires, etc... I'm dissapointed the mechanic didn't recognize the issue letting me know you've seen this before on this particular model of car. Otherwise I might as well be like the rest of the masses and just believe what any mechanic says while forking over my cash. thats why I offered the 30 bucks, experience on this car and model.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.

Here is also a TSB for a vibration/shake on your vehicle from alldata.

 

Bulletin No.: 00-03-10-007F

Date: February 05, 2004

TECHNICAL

Subject:
Shake/Vibration in Steering Wheel, Floor, Seat at Highway Speeds on Smooth Roads (Diagnose/Balance Tires/Wheels)

 

Models:
1998-2004 Buick Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra
2000-2004 Buick LeSabre
1998-2004 Cadillac Seville (SLS, STS)
2000-2004 Cadillac DeVille (DTS only)
2001-2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2000-2004 Pontiac Bonneville (17" Tires only)

 

Supercede:

This bulletin is being revised to add the 2004 model year and delete the screened tire program information for all tire manufacturers except for Continental General. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-03-10-007E (Section 03 - Suspension).

Condition

Some customers may comment on shaking/vibration in the steering wheel, floor or seat while driving at highway speeds (typically between 60-72 mph (96-115 km/h)) on smooth roads.

Cause

These specific vehicles may be sensitive to various rotating mass assemblies, especially if they are considered to be out-of-balance.

Correction

1.Visually inspect the tires and the wheels. Inspect for evidence of the following conditions and correct as necessary.

 

^Missing balance weights

 

^Bent rim flange

 

^Irregular tire wear

 

^Incomplete bead seating

 

^Tire irregularities

 

^Mud/ice build-up in wheel

 

^Stones in the tire tread

 

2.Set the tire pressure to 30 psi (205 kpa) COLD.

 


 

3.Road test the vehicle with the Electronic Vibration Analyzer (EVA) essential tool for a sufficient distance on a known, smooth road surface to duplicate the condition. Record the Hertz (Hz) reading as displayed by the EVA onto the tire data worksheet shown. This should be done after a tire break-in period of at least 10 miles (16 km) at 45 mph (72 km/h) or greater, in order to eliminate any possible tire flat-spotting.

 

4.If the road test indicates a shake/vibration still exists, check the imbalance of each tire/wheel assembly on a known, calibrated, off-car dynamic balancer. If any assembly calls for more than 1/4 ounce on either rim flange, remove all balance weights and rebalance to as close to zero as possible.

 

Important: Some GM dealers may have a Hunter GSP9700 Road Force Balancer. This will simplify Step 5 by not requiring dial indicators. If a Hunter GSP9700 machine is available, it may also be used to measure the radial force of the tire/wheel assembly. A guideline here is 18 lbs or less.

 

5.While on the balancer, measure wheel runout. If radial or lateral runout exceeds .020 in (0.50 mm) for aluminum wheels (.030 in (0.76 mm) for steel wheels), replace the wheel.

 

6.After confirming wheel balance and wheel runout, if any changes were made, road test the vehicle again.

 

7.If the smooth road shake/vibration still exists:

 

Important: The completed worksheet must be attached to the hard copy of the repair order.

 

^Record Radial Force Variation readings if you have access to Hunter GSP9700 Wheel Balance equipment. Use the worksheet shown in this bulletin to record the readings.

 

^If one or more of the tires have RFV readings in excess of 18 lbs, match mount the tires to get below 18 lbs. Readings of 12 lbs. or less are preferable for critical customer concerns.

 

^If the RFV can not be reduced to an acceptable level, replace the affected tire with one obtained locally.

 

^The screened tire program is no longer in effect for Bridgestone/Firestone, Goodyear and Michelin. Low speed screened tires are available from Continental General only, and only for the Buick LeSabre.

 

^Road test the vehicle to ensure the shake/vibration has been resolved.

 

8.Replace both lower control arms on vehicles built prior to the VIN breakpoints shown. On Aurora, Bonneville, DeVille, Park Avenue, Park Avenue Ultra and Seville models, a newly developed hydro-bushing lower control arm with improved damping characteristics has been released. This control arm is not used on the LeSabre. The new lower control arms may provide an incremental improvement to the vehicle ride. Customers who have become "tuned in" to the shake condition may still feel some shake in the vehicle after the new lower control arms are installed. Refer to Lower Control Arm Replacement, (refer to the Parts Information table below for SI document ID numbers).

 

Important: THE CONTROL ARMS SHOULD ONLY BE INSTALLED ON VEHICLES IF, AFTER THE TIRE AND WHEEL DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIRS HAVE BEEN PERFORMED, THE VIBRATION CONDITION STILL EXISTS.

 

Amedee, Pontiac Technician
Category: Pontiac
Satisfied Customers: 21976
Experience: ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
Amedee and 5 other Pontiac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The problem turned out to be a cv joint. This you didn't mention. And I read on your profile where you like to help people learn to use the internet to make money. Well consider putting yourself in the shoes of people like me who are experienced mechanics looking for expert help (thats what the web site said, expert pontiac mechanics) in diagnosing a problem. would you want to fork over the money for info that didn't help. I already had the service bulletin you sent in your last reply a couple of days before turning to your web site. Tons of info out there on the web for free. I'm considering accepting tyour answer just to get this over with and rack it up to experience. But I plan to contact the web site customer service and let them know their pontiac experts are'nt experts.
Expert:  Amedee replied 4 years ago.
Hello!

Sorry for the delay!

With all due respect....Please re read my Second post or the first answer I sent to you (not the initial info request).

The second paragraph clearly states that a bent axle shaft could be the cause of your shake. Here is what I sent to you word for word.

"However, since it is in the steering wheel, it is definitely in the front end. ANy loose front end part could do this. Loose tie rod, ball joint, shocks/struts or even a bad/bent axle shaft. "

The CV joint is the same thing as the axel shaft. Replace the axle shaft and the CV joint gets replaced with it as well.

I knew it was going to be something simple...

Anyway, I am glad to hear it is fixed.

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Amedee
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ASE Master Technician advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector