Automotive Forums  Where Car Enthusiasts Go to Discuss Cars Online

Home | Active Posts | Search | Log In / Register | Terms | FAQs
Item Posts   


tpknox68 tpknox68
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/18/07
10:03 AM

2001 Toyota Sienna Minivan steering wheel vibration?
Our Toyota Sienna has an intermittent steering wheel vibration problem that shows up normally when we are on long trips. The tires are good, and balanced, with the right air pressure in them. (According to 2 different technicians) the rotors have been turned, the linkage is all tight, and not worn. The van drives like a dream most of the time, but occasionally you can feel the vibration start to happen, and like I said, on long trips (going at 60 to 80 MPH) , the vibration can get scary bad. When you put on the breaks it gets worse. When I pull over the stock alloy rims on the front tires are hotter than you would ever think they should be. They would instantly vaporize water put on them at that point. Occasionally, just on a short trip across town the vibrations start occurring, but it’s always unpredictable. I was thinking about getting new struts ($500-$800), but that is just a shot in the dark. Any ideas as to why this could be happening?  

tundrahq tundrahq
New User | Posts: 5 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 05/19/07
05:32 PM

It might be front wheel bearings (worst case but sounds right), and it might be a wheel balance (cheap, but doesn't sound like your problem).

Whatever  you do, take it to a mechanic asap. If it is the bearings, waiting will make it worse.  
Tundra news, reviews, and comparisons at

vanesa19 vanesa19
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 03/10
Posted: 03/27/10
01:56 AM

I am wondering if you were able to get the problem fixed.  Did you replace the struts?  We have the same van and year and we’re experiencing the same problem.  Just replaced tires yesterday, even had the dealer check it out; they claim to have no idea what is causing this.  Lately the vibrations are smaller in increment but consistent, causing tires to wear out unevenly (even after proper rotation), so the dealer got us to replace 2 year old tires.  Obviously something is causing the problem.  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4549 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 03/27/10
08:47 AM

tire shake at speed is hard to figure out sometimes...

do you have a two friends who can drive next to you on a highway at speed and see exactly what the tires are doing...    

if they are going up and down... it could be tire balance.. rotors out of balance.. worn struts.  

if they are wobbling left and right.. look for worn suspension and steering linkages...

play in the lower ball joints... worn suspension control arm bushings,   play in the tie rod ends.... slack in the rack and pinion...  

i worry about the other guys wheels getting hot like they describe... that the incorrect fluid might have been added to the master cylinder and the seals in the master and the antilock system will swell and prevent the release of the brake hydraulic pressure when your foot is taken off the pedal...   i have seen people who drive with their foot part way on the brake that this happens to also...

one more thing...    i have found bent hubs from where mechanics have used big impact wrenches to install the wheel nuts...

if the hubs are bent..  the rotors will wobble.. and you will feel it .. usually when slowing down from highway speeds...

this high speed braking wobble can also be loose steering or suspension parts..

usually when one has high speed tire shake..up and down.. at 60 to 80 MPH... its tires out of balance.. or worn struts..   look at the tire weights..   they should be in only one location on the inside of the rim and one position on the outside of the wheel..  if you have multiple wheel weights spread around the wheel at multiple locations on one side..  find a different tire balance shop....

does the car bottom out when you go through a dip...????   does the car rise and fall as you change the amount of throttle ??? or continue bouncing when you go over a bump..???  

maxwelle103 maxwelle103
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 05/10
Posted: 05/24/10
09:37 PM

My 2006 Toyota Sienna has a distinct vibration between 65 & 75 mph. At these speeds, I can feel the vibration coming and going for whatever reason. Its really annoying. It happened after the techs at midas did my oil change and tire rotation. It has never been the same after that.

Here are the things I've ruled out and cannot be the cause of the distinct vibration:
Front Left Tie Rod
Wheel balancing
Wheel Alignment
Anyone have any idea what the cause of this might be?  

waynep7122 waynep7122
Addict | Posts: 4549 | Joined: 08/09
Posted: 05/25/10
07:20 AM

tire vibration at that speed is tire balance....

try a different tire shop for the balance...    you might also want to take off your wheels...  take a  commercial quality round end cleaning brush and some soapy water to scrub the back sides of the wheel... get rid of any clumps of dirt....

several things to check.. also...

while the wheels are off...    

see if the face of the hub is actually flat... i have found them on other models where wheel lug nuts were overtightened  and deformed the flat mounting area of the hub... this causes the wheels to not be flat when mounted...   causing them to have a tiny bit of run out...   just enough that you would feel it at that speed...

there may also be a balance problem with any brake rotors and brake drums that were replaced...

are your lug nuts all the same shape????

the trick is if you have a place on a local freeway.. where you can have a pair of friends drive along side.. have the passenger of that car watch your wheels and tires while you are feeling the vibration.. see which wheel is doing it..    perhaps.. you just need new shocks...  

maxwelle103 maxwelle103
New User | Posts: 2 | Joined: 05/10
Posted: 05/30/10
10:00 AM

thanks for the input wayne..

as for the balancing, i've tried multiple shops including toyota dealership, replaced all 4 wheels 2 times, both times even with new rims.
Wheels are off, nothing seems wrong -tech

well, i've tried replacing the shocks & struts and problem still exists.. needed new ones anyways as my minivan has 170k on it.
lug nuts are new
tried visualizing tires from a third perspective.. all tires seem not to wobble
Just replaced front rotors (needed new ones anyways).. and problem still exists
Tech just told me that the all the wheel bearings are good. One thing to note here, the vibration comes and it goes away slightly, then it comes back again then goes away.. also i can feel slightly on the steering wheel but it is not limited to it

the problem is one i am forced to ignore because i have a loan on it and 2 upside downs.. so selling this vehicle or trading it in is not the route to go.. so i just have to wait it out

one thing i know for sure, my next vehicle.. i'm doing all the oil changes & tire rotations.. because right after the visit at midas is when this problem started.. that time minivan had like 54k  

Kirkkw Kirkkw
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/12
Posted: 10/08/12
10:33 AM

There 2 issues which have not been mentioned that definitely can cause the vibration mentioned.

First: worn CV joints will DEFINITELY cause this.  The boot does not need to be broken for a joint to wear enough to cause this problem.  On a Toyota a half axle can be changes in 30 minutes once the car is safely on stands as the lower ball joint can be unbolted (2 nuts, 1 bolt) to get the axle out.

Second: alloy wheels, not steel wheels particularly aftermarket ones have plastic centering rings which center the wheel on the hub.  You would think the cone shaped lug nuts would center the wheel successfully but this week after 6 visits to 5 different tire dealerships we found this to be a source of my vibration.

ab_orf ab_orf
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 07/15
Posted: 07/22/15
10:15 PM

Hi guys my 99 sienna, I was driving it shuts off then start for 1 minuet or so then the overheat, after that the engine shaking and making noise.
so if any one know why?  please send message. thank you  

ab_orf ab_orf
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 07/15
Posted: 07/22/15
10:16 PM

Hi guys my 99 sienna, I was driving it shuts off then start for 1 minute or so then the overheat, after that the engine shaking and making noise.
so if any one know why?  please send message. thank you

i need a clearer description of what it does.. if possible.

there are so many issues.. that it could be.

i cannot tell if you mentioned if your engine is OVERHEATING... or not..  i see the word overheating but you have THE when it could be THEN overheats.

have you checked your engine coolant level in the radiator or the coolant tank..  these vans have been known to have leaky radiators after about 200,000 miles..

they are not that hard for a professional mechanic to install.. as you have to remove the front bumper cover.. but that is done on so many cars.. it is also easier with 2 people.. as there are brackets mounting the ac condenser to the bottom of the radiator that need to be removed and installed with both radiator and condenser held up in the air slightly..  

ab_orf ab_orf
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 07/15
Posted: 07/22/15
10:23 PM

I think u need 2 new rotors and pads make sure the calipers slider r free. thank  

Just Try It1 Just Try It1
Moderator | Posts: 1981 | Joined: 08/14
Posted: 07/23/15
12:33 AM

Icon Quoteab_orf:
I think u need 2 new rotors and pads make sure the calipers slider r free. thank

that is NOT the issue.. the high speed vibration. is caused by several issues..

usually its the wheels not being properly centered where they are mounted to the hub..

the hubs can actually be warped where the wheel studs are pulled thru. this raises the surrounding material.. causing even new rotors to warp and for wheels to not be seated flush on the rotor and hub..  one has to inspect the surface of the hub under the rotor with a small straight edge or metal ruler.

older wheel balancers were also built when the highway speed limit was 55 nationwide.. most of these should have worn out and been replaced but who knows.. some shops take good care of their equipment..  the older balancers may not in my experience balance tires properly for 80 mph speeds..

this thread started in 2007 and got updated in 2010..and 2012..

you should have pulled down the menu bar and started a new thread since you have a different issue..  

slholthe slholthe
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 10/15
Posted: 10/30/15
07:30 AM

We have a 2001 Sienna with 117K miles. Our steering wheel shakes at higher speeds (above 55) SOMETIMES. Some trips it is smooth sailing. Other trips it feels like the steering wheel is going to shake loose. If I pull over and sit for a couple seconds it usually stops the shaking. We have had the tires rotated and balanced. The front end has been checked and no issues found. The brakes and rotors are like new with no sticking. Any suggestions on our next thing to check?  

Just Try It1 Just Try It1
Moderator | Posts: 1981 | Joined: 08/14
Posted: 10/30/15
08:06 AM

find a mechanic with more experience..

find a wheel alignment specialist shop..  one that just does wheel alignment not sell tires.. there are a few around..  have them give you a written estimate ONLY after an having them inspect your vehicle..

you may have to pay for it.. but wheel alignment specialists are better at finding this kind of issues.  

Showbuyersguide Hide2
2017 Toyota Sienna
Button Getmyprice
Body Style:

Research Categories: