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I have a 2003 CTS with 30,000 miles. There is a vibration in

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the steering wheel that is...
I have a 2003 CTS with 30,000 miles. There is a vibration in the steering wheel that is not constant. May go for day with no vibration. Replaced tires, brakes and rotors.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cadillac
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Answered in 5 hours by:
12/3/2015
Cadillac Mechanic: Matt, Engineer replied 2 years ago
Matt
Matt, Engineer
Category: Cadillac
Satisfied Customers: 22,454
Experience: Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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The vibration could be the one of the following

bent wheels

One other thing to check for which isn't covered by a balance check is out of round or bent wheels, if you use a dial gauge on the axle to measure the run out on the wheel rim this will ensure that the wheels are round and true

Worn suspension joints - jack the car up so the wheel is off the ground (you’ll need to do this for all 4 corners) and shake the tyre from top to bottom and from side to side (with someone holding the steering wheel on the front) there should be no play in either direction. Any play in 1 direction will usually require a joint to be replaced, if there’s play in both directions then the wheel bearing may be at fault. If theres play only up and down its the strut top mount - to find this one you have to shake the suspension strut it self up and down with the wheel off the ground - so you may need to remove the wheel to check this one.

Now with the car jacked up on that side with the wheel about 2 inches off the ground use a steel bar under the wheel and lever the wheel up and down slightly, you should be able to look at the end of the axle and see if the suspension arm is moving up and down separately to the axle.If so replace the bush

To feel if there's a worn strut top bearing then lightly hold the spring by hand and have your assistant move the steering from left to right with the wheel on the ground - a worn bearing will feel 'notchy' through the spring. The wheel needs to be on the ground for the test to load up the bearing

Worn drive shaft joint - typically these won't produce any vibration unless badly damaged but they can be noisy or 'clonk' for a long time beforehand, turn the steering to full lock and look at the drive-shaft rubber boot there should be no rips or tears in it and the suspension should be clean and dry of any grease. If you reverse at a reasonable speed with the steering on full lock a worn joint will 'click'.

Worn mountings - check the tightness of the engine and gearbox mounts and their condition - this is best done by using a jack to take the weight of the engine off the mounts and seeing if any cracks or splits open up in the rubber.Also check the tightness of the mounts bolts

Broken or defective driveshaft vibration damper - some models feature a rubber mass about halfway along the driveshaft - this functions as a vibration damper so 'tuning out' vibration - the rubber needs to be not cracked and the damper firmly fixed to the shaft and running true - anything other than this and the entire shaft will have to be replaced as they are bonded in place

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Matt
Matt
Matt, Engineer
Category: Cadillac
Satisfied Customers: 22,454
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Experience: Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.

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