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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I have a 2001 SS LX. I changed the steel wheels for 2001 EX wheels purchased from www.handa-accessories.com. I also had the tires rotated at this time.

Our Ody is equipped with the Firestone Affinity tires that many here are so fond of.
The tires probably have about 35-40% tread left on them.

At about 75-80mph, the steering wheel shakes. It isn't a violent shake, but I wouldn't want to drive the van 4 hours to Disney like this. I cannot remember it shaking at all with the steel wheels. I took it back to the shop that did the tire-rim swap/rotation and they checked the balance and told me everything was alright.
I test drove it again but found the shake to still be there.

The Firestones lead a somewhat rough life with LOTS of stop and go traffic (read my post "Brake Job" in the Maintenance Forum), and probably have some wear that tires ridden mainly on the highway wouldn't have.

MY QUESTION (didn't think I would ever get to it):

Could the tires be balanced on a machine but still vibrate on the road?

We've had our Odyssey for only 1.25 years, and I don't really want to have to buy new tires now, but if I must...

Thanks for any suggestions,


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Nelson
2001 Odyssey LX
2001 Civic EX Sedan
1990 Mustang LX 5.0 Coupe
http://fiveoh.homestead.com/main.html
 

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A couple of possibilities:

1. Firestones are prone to wearing out-of-round, This wouldn't show up on a balancing machine. A good mechanic can check this visually though while the tire is spinning on the machine. Sometimes reseating the tire on the wheel helps.

2.Try balancing the tires while on the car. Only some high end shops will have this equipment but it gives the best possible balance that can be offset by weights.

3. Check your alignmenment. Even though you may not feel a pull, there can be an error that would show up as a steering wheel shake.

4. Power steering fluid level. Did you check this?

5. Assuming none of the above works, have the dealer check your rack and pinion, CV joints and steering components.
 

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The above sounds good, but, first, move the tires back to the original positions and see if the vibes go away. When I rotated my tires, I came up with such a problem and I have to think it is a tire problem, which would not have been felt on the rear.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That almost sounds like work.


Would my alignment change from simply changing the wheels? As far as I know, all the dimensions are the same.

I might try JerryO's suggestion first, as that's something I can tackle...

Thanks for the advice.



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Nelson
2001 Odyssey LX
2001 Civic EX Sedan
1990 Mustang LX 5.0 Coupe
http://fiveoh.homestead.com/main.html
 

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Stop the insanity. Yes it is the tires. Firestone Affinities present the same problem with some Saturn vehicles. That tire stinks ! I own an Ody 2000 LX. I fought this exact problem from day two of ownership to almost a year. Notice also, the shake will come and go or intensify and decrease depending on the rotational position of each tire to the other. Go around a long bend in the freeway and feel the change stay until you "unwind" with a bend in the other direction. It's very weird. Because of that fact, I would not believe it was tire related and gave the dealership hell. I was convinced it was trany, CV joint or tie-rod related. The dealer even started to buy in to those thoughts also. I personally watch my tires being rotated, spun and balanced MANY times at different shops. I also did my own test by jacking up one side at a time and running the wheel free, then removing it to check rotor balance, etc. They looked very "true" to me and the tire shop folks. My dealer even swapped rims and tires from an EX. I thought I still felt it so I wasn't convinced. Finally, the dealer worked with the regional rep and put on 4 new Michelin Symetrys(sp?) free of charge. I don't care for Michelins tire's hard rubber tread compounds, sloppy sidewalls and lack of traction, but hey, they were free. I told the dealer I did not want the wheels "balanced on the car". That would only mask the problem. It worked, no more shake in the steering wheel. I have switched to my snow tires now and still have no shakes. Whew. Remember, the tire is warranted by Firestone not Honda. Firestone isn't very welcoming on warranty replacements anymore. Gee wonder why? Hee, hee. Hope this helps.
 

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Tire rotation is the best cure for Steering shake and similar problems. Failure to rotate causes the scallop edges on the tires. When this occurs, the tire will never be perfect again. Best to put the scalloped tire to the rear. The perfect rotation is about 3500 miles but I have decided on 5000 miles when I do the oil change service. This makes it easy to keep up. Tire rotation will give a min. of 30% more mileage but even better is the mileage is trouble free to those of us who are very peculiar. I got 48K on my Firestone tires on my old '99 EX and replaced because I got a good deal on new Michelins.
 

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Good advice, A.B. I'll bet you kept them aired up properly, too.

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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Steering wheel vibration - same problem

I have a 2001 EX Odyssey and have the same problem that you are describing. I have Michelin Symmetry tires. I had them balances and rotated and the vibration keeps coming back about 2 months after balancing and rotating.

I had the tires checked out by Tire Kingdom 2 times in the last 6 months and they don't find a problem with the tires. I have also called Michelin and there are no recalls on these tires.

Which leads me to believe that it is a problem with the van, not the tires. Everytime I balance and rotate the tires, the vibration comes back after about 2 months. I feel the vibration when I drive about 70-75 mph.

I just had the tires balanced so the van is not vibrating now. However, it will return in about 2 months. I will then take it into the dealer (Braman)

What did you do to resolve your vibration problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've heard that we should have our tire/wheel assembly balanced on a Hunter DSP9000, or something like that.

IF you go tot he Hunter website (the company that makes alignment racks and stuff like that), you can punch in your zip code and find out who in your area has one of those machines.

I did (I'm from Miami, too) and I think Braman is one of the places that has one.

Hopefully that will help.....

I have the same vibration, but mine started after I swapped the stock LX wheels for stock EX wheels I ordered from www.handa-accessories.com AND rotated the tires at the same time at a neighborhood tire shop (a SMALL shop).
 

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When you balanced your tires on the Hunter DSP9000, did that stop the tire vibration problem? These Michelin Symmetry tires are the original tires that came with the van (2001 EX). I have approx 17,000 miles on these tires.
 

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Put balance weights on both sides of alloys

I've heard from several sources that you get a better balance if the service guys put the balancing weights on both sides of the alloys. I know it is not as pretty but it seems to make sense.
 

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SoFlaOdyssey said:
I have a 2001 SS LX. I changed the steel wheels for 2001 EX wheels purchased from www.handa-accessories.com. I also had the tires rotated at this time.

I would swap the tires back to where they were befor the rotation, if that doesn't work, it could be the new rims are bad, so if you still have the steel rim's, try putting the tires back on steel rims. These are the 2 thing you changed right befor you started feeling the steering wheel shakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
befree: I have not had my tires balanced on the Hunter DSP9000 (or whatever is the exact model), and still have the vibration around 70-75mph. At speeds under or over that, it is smooth. Too bad that vibration is at the very speed that I drive on the highway. :(


rlpenny: It's funny, I originally asked for weights on the inside only, and that is when the vibration problem started. After I took it back, an employee at the tire place suggested that I should put weights on both sides, as it would get a better balance. There was a change when going to weights on both sides, but I still have the vibration. :(

JoesYum: I've considered the possibility that the wheels are bad, but am optimistic that they are not. I have no idea which tire came off of which location on the car as I wasn't watching when they rotated the tires. I "trust" that the rotated them properly. It's time to rotate again, so I may just rotate and hope that the problem either goes away, or is diminished.

I have the original Firestone Affinity tires. We have about 16,000 miles on our 2001 and the tires are at least half gone. When I replace them, I'll try and: 1) get some better tires, 2) get them balanced on that fancy Hunter machine.

I'm not sure exactly how it works, but the Hunter machine is supposed to balance the tire with a load on it (?), like if it's rolling on the road. The operator is supposed to be able to tell if there is a problem with the tire or wheel with this machine. We'll see.
 

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Re: Put balance weights on both sides of alloys

rlpenny said:
I've heard from several sources that you get a better balance if the service guys put the balancing weights on both sides of the alloys. I know it is not as pretty but it seems to make sense.
If the wheel is properly dynamically balanced there could be weights on both sides of the wheel. Frequently, they're the same size and across from each other, but not necessarily. Also, to get a finer choice of effective weight a mechanic might use two weights on the same size. When performing a static balance, it is common practice (at least it was when I was a mechanic, many years ago) to split the weight 50/50 to minimize dynamic unbalance.

FWIW,
Mel
 

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My '99 Odyssey has vibrated slightly at highway speeds since the day I picked it up. In the first 6 months I was back to the dealer 5-6 times for wheel balancing and rebalancing. They checked the alignment, measured all kinds of esoteric tolerances and pronounced that it was the tires (Firestone Affinity's).

So then I battled with Firestone. The best I could get out of them was to replace the tires with another set of the same. No thanks.

Finally, at 45 k miles I replaced all 4 tires with Toyo 800 Ultras. Much better performance and wet/snow traction. Same vibration problem. Took vehicle in to wheel balancing specialists (off warranty by now)... they found a slightly bent rim. Replaced rim... no improvement.

Gave up. Thinking about wrapping 2" of foam padding around steering wheel to absorb vibrations... just kidding.

Also of note - for some reason the problem is worse in cool, wet conditions.
 

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SoFlaOdyssey said:

I'm not sure exactly how it works, but te Hunter machine is supposed to balance the tire with a load on it (?), like if it's rolling on the road. The operator is supposed to be able to tell if there is a problem with the tire or wheel with this machine. We'll see.
The procedure you are refering to is called "road force" balancing. There may be other terms to describe the same thing, but yes, the machine actually applies pressure to the tire as it is being spun to simulate being on the vehicle. I watched the guys at America's Tire do it for my aftermarket wheels/tires because of the vibration I was getting. They did an excellent job and are able to detect things that a normal balance job can't. Not cheap, but it sure fixed my problem! Good luck...
 

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OK, now I HAVE all the above-described problems: front end shimmy/shake that starts at about 65mph!

I have an '02 EX with alloy wheels and Michelin Symmetry tires with 12,000 miles.

I rotated the tires at 6,000 and 12,000 miles using the criss-cross method described in the owners manual. When I visually inspected the tread I was able to eye-ball a bit more wear (noticeable but not serious) on the edge of the tires -- it was either the inside or outside edge, depending on where the tire was mounted. (I would have to go back and analyze each tire and trace which locations it was mounted on.) For instance, the rear tires are now on the rear contra-lateral side and the front tires and now on the front contra-lateral side.

I took it to the dealer and had all four tires balanced, and this did not help.

I hate going back and forth to the dealer -- I just do not have the time and energy. My next steps would be to (1) 4-wheel alignment, (2) new tires.

Has anybody solved this problem? Suggestions/help, please!
 

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P.S. I remember earlier posts about replacing bushings or struts or other parts in the front suspension -- but this was in response to problems with pulling to the right or left.

Has anyone replaced suspension parts to cure vibration or shimmy?
 

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Top Ten Reasons why I don't go to the dealer dept: So I'm driving around after getting my wheels balanced and the antilock brakes are kicking in under moderate breaking, indicating a wheel is locking up, and tires are now squealing in the turns in the parking garage.

So I checked this morning, and all tires are 3 to 4 pounds low, and wheel nuts are all over the place with most around 150 ft-lbs plus, requiring an 18 inch breaker bar to loosen, and some at 70 ft-lbs.

Anyway, here is the post about pulling and front end shake. Anyone have this problem or a solution?

An update on mine. I just got my oil changed and tires rotated front to back. The pull is gone, so I think it is definately in the tires. Unfortunately, the periodic steering wheel shake is back! I have the unfortunate distinction of having two different brands of tires. The fronts are Firestone Affinities that the dealer put on when we bought it because we complained of both the pull to the left and the shake. The rears are Goodyear Aquatread 3's that were on it when we looked at it. We bought it in December and have put 15K on it since so there's no way I'm going to get the dealer to do anything for me now. After complaining about the pull and vibration at purchase time, they swapped two of the Goodyears for the Firestones and both went away. At the first oil change and tire rotation, the pull returned with the Goodyears in the front and I've learned that the vibration comes and goes, so it was probably just gone when we picked it up. It does seem to happen more with the Firestone's in the front. Overall I'm dissapointed at how sensitive the Ody is to tires. My Escort has never given me any vibration or pull over 100K miles and when I bought it there were 3 brands of tires on it, only one of which was the right size! Not to mention that I've learned that it was majorly wrecked before I bought it too.


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