Steering Wheel Shimmy
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Thread: Steering Wheel Shimmy

  1. #1
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    Steering Wheel Shimmy

    I bought an 06 EX-L about 18 months ago. Van drove smooth on test drive but after getting it home I noticed that occasionally I would get a side to side shimmy in the steering wheel at speeds over 62 mph. It only seemed to be on certain stretches of road, but my other vehicles had no problems with the same stretches of road. So I had Costco tire shop rotate and balance all 4 tires. Still had the same problem, no change. I searched this forum and read about all the different possible causes and solutions. About a month ago I went to a different local tire shop to have the road force balancing done. They put my wheels on to a laser? balancer instead of the road force balancer and told me that all 4 tires had high spots on them, and indicated it was probably flat spots from sitting on the dealer's lot for a long time. They indicated that they could road force balance them but it may not due any good. They put my wheels back on without balancing. So I assumed that I had to get a new set of tires based on this information. I still had decent tread depth so I was hesitant to replace right now. Frustrated with the shimmy, I decided to rotate my tires myself and in doing so, noticed that when I broke loose the lugnuts, some were extremely tight and others were not all that tight. I used a torque wrench set to 92 ft/lbs. when tightening the lugnuts and no longer have the shimmy in the steering wheel. I am thrilled and frustrated! I am thrilled that the annoying steering wheel shimmy is finally gone after living with it for 18 months but frustrated that I didn't go back to basics when I bought the van and rotated the tires myself and confirmed the proper torque spec on the lugnuts. Apparently the wheels were not properly torqued when I bought the van, Costco tire shop apparently didn't torque them properly, and the local tire shop didn't torque them properly which I did witness, they just used the air gun. And because my van has alloys, the torque spec is kind of important. So, if you have battled with a steering wheel shimmy, ensure that your lugnuts are properly torqued and see if that helps your situation. I have "lurked" on this site since getting my van and read a lot but never posted. Hope this helps someone else.

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  3. #2
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    I have the same thing and was thinking of taking it in to a tire shop that has the road force balance (Hunter 9700?). The vibration happens between 62-70 but only on certain roads, seemed to be much less on smooth surface). So I wasn't sure if it's out of balance or just being sensitive. One of my previous set of tires had the same problem that the tire shop (who also said he had a lot of problem with other Odysseys) couldn't balance until I brought it to another shop with a better machine. I always torque the wheels at 100 ft-lbs and I am not sure if that's the cause (and not sure how) but I'll retorque and will see. Thx for posting.

  4. #3
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    Unless some were really lose not sure how the torque could play that much into it. For me though it was the road force and rebuilding a struck that Goodyear put together wrong. The combination of both smoothed it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frogbite View Post
    Unless some were really lose not sure how the torque could play that much into it. For me though it was the road force and rebuilding a struck that Goodyear put together wrong. The combination of both smoothed it out.
    Well frogbite, apparently the torque spec for the lugnuts did play that much into it in my situation. And this is why I shared my experience. It is a cheap and quick thing to check rather than replacing $1000 worth of parts which is what I believe you posted a few months ago. And I believe you still have a minor shimmy after spending all that money. I didn't post on here to be questioned by you or anyone else. I posted my situation to hopefully help someone else with a similar problem. I realize not every shimmy will be cured by torquing the lugnuts properly but it might help one person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodshak View Post
    Well frogbite, apparently the torque spec for the lugnuts did play that much into it in my situation. And this is why I shared my experience. It is a cheap and quick thing to check rather than replacing $1000 worth of parts which is what I believe you posted a few months ago. And I believe you still have a minor shimmy after spending all that money. I didn't post on here to be questioned by you or anyone else. I posted my situation to hopefully help someone else with a similar problem. I realize not every shimmy will be cured by torquing the lugnuts properly but it might help one person.

    Torque lugs helped some but didn't solve my shimmy issues. Roadforce helped more. I even hand torqued it myself with my calibrated torque wrench.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodshak View Post
    Well frogbite, apparently the torque spec for the lugnuts did play that much into it in my situation. And this is why I shared my experience. It is a cheap and quick thing to check rather than replacing $1000 worth of parts which is what I believe you posted a few months ago. And I believe you still have a minor shimmy after spending all that money. I didn't post on here to be questioned by you or anyone else. I posted my situation to hopefully help someone else with a similar problem. I realize not every shimmy will be cured by torquing the lugnuts properly but it might help one person.
    Are you kidding me? You didn't post here to be questioned? Plllsssssbbbtttt!!!!!!

    I guess you are not familiar with how forums work or you just don't like feedback in general. I just posted my opinion and I stand by my position that unless they are way too lose which was probably your case then it should not make that much of a difference . The question is, what is this threshold. When you say not very tight at all, where they so lose that you would consider them to be dangerous?

    I am glad this worked for you, but there are other possibilities as well. Such as moving the wheels around made the difference. For example having a shaking wheel on the back will feel different than one on the front. Also you may have aligned the wheels with their high spots well with the disks where they balanced each other out.

    Once again, you are not the forum police and others on forums may or will always pop in with their opinions whether you like it or not. There is no disrespect meant and if you take it that way it all on you side only.

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    frogbite- Yes, I am well aware how forums work. You have to read a lot of opinion and fluff in order to find information that is worthwhile. And this is why I don't post unless I have some value to add to the conversation. No one on this particular thread asked for your opinion on lugnut torque spec but you apparently think yours is somehow warranted anyway. My original post didn't ask a question or ask for feedback. I simply stated my situation and never implied this would fix everyone's steering wheel shimmy. The point of my post was that because I had my tires looked at by two different tire shops I assumed that they did everything correctly. And in hindsight, they didn't torque my lugnuts to the proper spec and this is what caused my steering wheel shimmy.

    Regarding your question to me on whether my lugnuts were too loose. No they were not too loose. I would say 2-3 lugs on each wheel were over tightened with the rest probably close but maybe a little under spec. There was a very large variance when I broke the lugnuts loose.

    I have not asked you any questions so hopefully you will not continue to fluff up this thread with more of your opinions without adding value to the conversation. You have already stated in one of your other posts what you did to try to fix your wheel shimmy on your van and that after spending a grand you still have a minor shimmy. On top of that, you stated you also have a minor shimmy on your Ridgeline. You own two Honda vehicles that have minor wheel shimmys and yet you feel compelled to state your opinion, though not requested, that incorrect torque on lugnuts wouldn't have any effect on wheel shimmy. I think I will side with the engineers at Honda over you on this topic.

    For frogbite or anyone else who may not know how to check the torque on their lugnuts, here is a quick summary: Break loose the lugnuts on one wheel, jack up the vehicle until that wheel is off the ground, then tighten each lugnut to spec using a torque wrench, tighten the lugnuts in a star pattern. Lower that tire back to the ground and repeat on other wheels. It is important to have the wheel off the ground when torquing the lugnuts on that wheel.

  9. #8
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    Woodshak,

    Because this is a free country and these forums are open to members I will respond with my opinion. I am well aware of how to torque lug nuts. You should never every assume that others will not give their opinion. Yes, the forum was extremely helpful for me coming to almost a solution. I have a feeling the shimmy will be completely gone once I replace the bearing plate on my other strut.

    Have you tried to put your tires back the way when it shook? You changed more than one thing when you rotated your tires. I am not trying to pick a fight here and really don't care for your attitude. You didn't ask, for my opinion, but guess what you will get it. In no way am I saying that your problem was not the torque value of the lug nuts and the fact that we are discussing it is fine with me. There are lots of things that can cause this issue and if every single user posted a single post that explained their particular situation nobody would find the answer anywhere. As a matter of fact, your post would better fit at the end of my post or another one so others don't have to read through hundreds of posts.

    This fluff as you call is meaningful discussions and part of the problem solving process. Your low shots at me in way makes you look any more intelligent and any less of a bully.

  10. #9
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    woodshak, cool it there a bit buddy. Every other member on here as the same rights to post their opinions as you do and once you post a thread here, you should be open to all feedback/counter theories/questions .... get the idea?

    What you call fluff is what most others call discussion and yes quite often, the discussion might not be heading in the right direction but neverthless, every one has equal rights to post here. If you do not want comments to your article, perhaps you can blog it (yes Odyclub now has a blog feature).

    As to your topic, shimmy in the 3rd gen (and to a certain extent both the 2nd gen and 4th gen) is a controvesial topic. Infact we had a member on here early on in the middle of the 3rd gen cycle who actually took a huge loss and dumped his Oddy as he could not stand the shimmy so expect a LOT more questions from others as you claim that you resolved the infamous wheel shimmy by merely correcting the torque of your lugs.
    When I use this smilie ===> I am NOT calling you stupid.

    The value of a forum such as this one is not in that one can post a question and receive an answer, but in that the question has most likely been asked before, and the answer is available to him that will but only use the search function.

    2007 EX-L R&N, Slate Green with Olive (couldn't muster up the courage to trade my 1999 baby) ... Ours

    2001 Emerald Green Pearl Accord V6-LX (Replaced the POS Taurus) ... Hers ...
    ..... Tranny replaced 6/4/08 @ 67,977 miles.
    ..... Tranny strarted slipping only 8,414 miles after the replacemnt.
    ..... 2nd tranny replacement 9/21/2009 @ 76,659 miles.
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    frogbite, the tires that are currently on the front of my van are the same two that were on the front of the van when I bought it and when I had the shimmy. I had Costco balance and rotate them about a year ago and I still had the same shimmy. Just this week, I rotated the tires myself and thus, I posted. So your opinion or theory about that doesn't pan out. I don't know why you are being so skeptical about my situation. I can certainly understand how frustrated you must be after laying out so much money to fix your shimmy and to still have it be a problem. On two different Honda vehicles to boot! But to be so arrogant by doubting another member's post on the situation is what rubs me the wrong way about you.

    I'm sure some members will find your two cents on this thread to be worthwhile. Some may think you should get some change back.
    Last edited by woodshak; 02-28-2013 at 08:10 AM.

  12. #11
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    Can you guys please agree to disagree?
    When I use this smilie ===> I am NOT calling you stupid.

    The value of a forum such as this one is not in that one can post a question and receive an answer, but in that the question has most likely been asked before, and the answer is available to him that will but only use the search function.

    2007 EX-L R&N, Slate Green with Olive (couldn't muster up the courage to trade my 1999 baby) ... Ours

    2001 Emerald Green Pearl Accord V6-LX (Replaced the POS Taurus) ... Hers ...
    ..... Tranny replaced 6/4/08 @ 67,977 miles.
    ..... Tranny strarted slipping only 8,414 miles after the replacemnt.
    ..... 2nd tranny replacement 9/21/2009 @ 76,659 miles.
    1999 Sterling Mist Nissan Maxima SE with Bose and 6 Disc CD Changer in the trunk ... All Mine

    1993 Maroon Ford Taurus GL (Was a POS after the clock turned 60K Miles) ... Traded for the Accord

    alexmish1's Customer Acceptance Checklist
    alexmish1's Rattle Kill

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    Oh of course. But the issue is I don't disagree with woodshak and never did. Was simply stating my opinion. I just said it was hard to believe, but taking that to mean I don't agree is pretty far fetched. How is questioning something to get the full picture is being arrogant is beyond my understanding. It is very hard to judge someones intentions by looking at written text until you see stuff such as:

    I didn't post on here to be questioned by you or anyone else.
    Oh, and by the way, the shimmy on my Ridgeline is completely gone since I rotated my tires 3 weeks ago when I did an oil change and VTM fluid change. Could it be that I simply torqued the tires to the correct spec? This is the first time I did my own oil change since I vowed to never go back to my local Honda dealer. Or was it simply because I rotated the tires? Well I will know in about another 4k miles when the back tires go back on the front. Once again, just changing the position of a tire in reference to the thick spot on a rotor could make a difference. Just look at the Hunter Road Force docs that itguy pointed us to months ago.

    So torque... possibly. Other factors a possibility, yes of course. This was my point to begin with. I have spent far more money than woodshak as many others have and have been fairly scientific about the approach even as far as paying the stealer hundreds of dollars to do diagnostics to point to the issue (each time asking for the master tech). Another poster Chobes who also had the same problem was in the exact same boat as me, and I never did find out how he made out with his van, even went to the same dealer as me to try and get it sorted out. Maybe I will follow-up with him to see if he ever sorted it out.

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    I had shimmy problems on several different occasions on my 05 Ody. We are at 120k miles and the 5th set of tires. (Including the orig. set). Set 3 were Goodyear Comfortreds. Great at first, but after 12k or so miles they developed a weird shimmy. Tire Discounters rebalanced several times and when spun on the balancer they looked "true". They said Odys are rough on tires and also said that one of the wheel weight brands they used (easy weight, magic weight ??, don't remember) has proven problematic. They ended up warranting the tires as that appeared to be the problem, and I agree. They actually take care to torque the lugs properly and I have been real impressed with there customer service. The Comfortreds were replaced with the GY FuelMax. Shimmy was gone so the problem was solved...for the time being. Fast forward about a year and 12k miles and the shimmy or mushy feeling came back. It was less noticeable when the tires were rotated and the problem tire was mounted on the rear, but soon it didn't matter as several tires seemed to have the same issue. Balance, rebalance, rotate..nothing helped so Tire Discounters warranted this set and, having no luck with Goodyear, we went with the Yokohama Touring S. It's been about a year and 15k miles and so far no problems. I did notice the GY had uneven kind of depressions in the sidewall, like there could have been a separation in the belts. I also read that this is only a cosmetic flaw, but I am not sure I believe that theory.

    On the uneven lug torque. Early Hondas and other small cars with very light weight front disc brakes were known to warp if the wheels were not torqued evenly and to the correct spec. When you apply the brakes it would about shake the steering wheel out of your hands. I suppose the same can happen on newer vehicles so it is plausible that uneven torqued lugs could induce some shimmy.
    2005 Odyssey EX-L with a lot of those little goldfish crackers under the seats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woodshak View Post
    It is important to have the wheel off the ground when torquing the lugnuts on that wheel.
    How do you do that? What will hold the wheels (fronts) from spinning with your wrench? The Odyssey wheels turn even in Park. I normally tighten the lugs off the ground with an impact wrench to make sure the wheel sits correctly, then lower and torque.

  16. #15
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    I have my wife or someone press the brakes. It does not take a lot of brake pressure to hold it enough to tighten them.

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