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I'm getting vibration through the steering wheel starting at…

Customer Question
I'm getting vibration through...

I'm getting vibration through the steering wheel starting at about 50mph.

Mechanic's Assistant: How often does the vibration occur, and when did you last have the tires balanced?

I just bought the honda element 2 weeks ago but didn't notice it right away until I went on a highway with a 65MPH limit. Brought the car back and they checked the balance and said everything looks good as to the alignment.

Mechanic's Assistant: What year is your Element?

2006

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Element yourself? What have you tried so far?

No, the dealer wants to look at it again this coming week but I don't trust his mechanic.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

No, thats it

Submitted: 7 months ago.Category: Honda
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
1/1/2018
Mechanic for Honda: Matt, Engineer replied 7 months ago
Matt
Matt, Engineer
Category: Honda
Satisfied Customers: 23,462
Experience: Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
Verified

Hello and welcome to Just Answer

Typically a vibration in this speed range is down to the wheel / tyres being out of balance, so it can easily be resolved by any tyre retailier but as you've already had that checked

the vibration could also be the following

Tyre defect - any cracks or bulges on the side-wall of the tyre (inside and outside) these will throw the tyre out of shape and produce vibration - take a good look over the tyre sidewalls and bear in mind that anything that looks suspect when static will probably be ballooning out and far worse at speed so if any doubt then replace the tyre. Also check if the tyres have been fitted the right way round as some types are directional

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

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Mechanic for Honda: Matt, Engineer replied 7 months ago

My goal is to give you the best advice that I can and I hope that I've helped today. Please remember to rate my service by selecting from the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave. If you need more help, use the reply box to let me know.
If you're not pleased, also let me know because rating bad does not result in a refund, there are better options. Rating now will not close this post nor prevent further replies
Thanks Matt

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I forgot to mention that the car has a 145,000 on it.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
According to the mechanic said he checked those components and could find nothing wrong? He thinking the problem may be in the steering shaft and or steering box?
Mechanic for Honda: Matt, Engineer replied 7 months ago

Hello

usually a problem with the steering box won't suddenly appear at a certain speed though?

you tend to have a component that vibrates at a certain speed that sets it off, a loose steering box doesn't tend to vibrate on its own

if there's slack in the steering box of shaft joints though this should also be tackled

and on many steering boxes you can tighten up the gear mesh to reduce any slack in the system so thats worthwhile

if the car has a steering damper then its also worth removing that and checking its resistance as these need to be stiff to move

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