I just picked up a 2000 Echo manual transmission, about 130k miles. Overall it's in really good condition, but I do notice a vibration coming from steering wheel on the freeway, it seems to get faster/slower depending on how fast I'm going/engine rpm. I can also feel it through the gas pedal. Tires were just balanced. I changed all the fluids and did all the normal maintenance. It could probably use an alignment, but it's not too bad. Axles look fine, boots are not torn or leaking.What are some typical causes of a vibration like this for this car? Could an engine mount or transmission mount cause this? I noticed the engine move a good amount when it was being smogged on the dyno and the guy let the clutch out a little quick. I get some play out of all the mounts, but how much is too much for these cars? Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Hello. What are your thoughts on my problem?
More often than not, the very first thing I would recommend is checking the tires whilst they spin in the balancer, look for a "high" and a low spot on the tires. For lack of a better term, a tire that is "egg-shaped" (that is a rather extreme analogy, but I hope you get the meaning), will cause a vibration, even though the tires are perfectly balanced.
The next thing is the tread condition. A tread that is worn abnormally, will give you a vibration, again, even if the tires are perfectly balanced.
Another thing to consider, especially at 130K miles, would be the front struts. If they are weak/worn, the oscillation of overcomes the weakend damping force of the struts, which can give you a vibration.
Bent rims contribute to vibrations, as do brake rotors that are out of balance.
Okay, I will check the tires again. It wouldn't surprise me as they probably only have 10-15k left in them and they are not of a high quality. The struts are KYBs, they appear maybe 3 years old if I had to guess.
I just did the brakes with Toyota pads, the rotors looked okay. The inner pads looked like they were wearing at a slight angle, the outside pads were wearing flat. I was not getting a vibration when braking so I did nothing to the rotors.
KYB are great struts.
No vibrations with the brakes on is good.
How are the tires wearing? Any un-evenness?
Yeah, I wasn't getting any vibrations from the brakes so I didn't machine the rotors. I really haven't had a chance to check the wear on the tires, but I will do that soon.
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I really can't rule out the wheels just yet. It does appear the tires do not have even wear. Another thing I noticed is sometimes when accelerating is I can feel the vibrations through the shifter, most noticably in 4th gear. If I give it a lot of gas I can really feel the vibration in 4th. Once I let up off the the throttle, the vibration goes away. Could that be a mount or is something going on with the transmission?
You mentioned excessive lateral movement in the engine initially, and I did not mention it in my response. Apologies.
Yes, worn motor mounts will give you a vibration.