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05 Toyota Camry. Steering wheel shake at 60-85mph and smooth 1-60 & 85

imabass imabass
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 06/20/12
07:27 AM

05 Toyota Camry. Steering wheel shake at 60-85mph and smooth 1-60 & 85+. 2 new front tires.
Car has 105K miles.  I am a highway commuter typically 60-80 mph driver.  I bought nearly new used tires and personally installed them on the front.  The front tires are a different brand, tread, and size from the rears.  I decided to increase my size due to my significant time behind the wheel and I was hoping to get slightly better mileage.  Fronts are 215-65-16 and rear are 205-60-16.  The wheels are aftermarket wheels that were replaced at my last tire change.  The rear tires have 62K miles.  The current rears and the old fronts were feathering and had excessive highway noise and I always discredited the inexpensive Toyo tires to blame.  The front was aligned about 40-50K miles ago and no other replacement parts on the frontend other than the camber bolts that were needed when it was aligned. I have had the fronts balanced twice at Wal-Mart in the past 2 days.  The first balance did not solve the problem and the second on the wheel weights flung off at highway speeds before I really noticed if it cured the problem or not.  I bought a balancer and balanced them myself last night using a static balance.  I drove the car and runs great 0-60 and 85+ but not at 60-85.  I went home and added 3oz of balance beads in the tires.  No significant change was noted.   Before I changed to the larger fronts, the car ran and handled fine.  Tonight I plan to swap my tires/wheels with the ones on my dad’s 2004 Camry and I will drive each car to hopefully isolate the issues to either my tires or something else on my car. If my Dad’s car experiences my problems than I know it is tires and if his tires have the same issue on my car than I know I need to look past the tires find out what other mechanical issue that I may have.   I am driving about 800-1000 miles per week and I live 30 miles from the closest tire shop so it is a real PITA to get this kind of work diagnosed without taking a week off of work.  My thoughts are as follows:  Tire/Wheel not true, 4 wheel alignment issues, worn struts, ball joints or other front end wear, CV joints.  I have a feeling that it is not the balance or tires since it gets smooth again at 85+.  

waynep71222 waynep71222
Guru | Posts: 823 | Joined: 03/12
Posted: 06/20/12
08:03 AM

can you have some body in another car drive beside you to observe the tire shake at speed???    ask them to see if its vertical movement or are the tires moving left and right.

vertical movement would be not enough damping from the shocks...

left and right might mean you have reached/changed the harmonic frequency with the change of mass in wheel and tire change..  or there is wear in the rack mounting bushings or in the rack and pinion..   with the engine running.. and a friend holding the steering wheel straight..  grab the front tire and see how much left and right you can input if any..  

you might ask your family members if they have a camcorder.. some of the last non digital versions had a setting of 1,000 frames per second and could be used to video the tire shake. just a thought..

there is a forum member who drops in and gives great answers for tire issues..  

imabass imabass
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 06/20/12
04:29 PM

I also noticed something else on my way home.  highway speeds where the shake is the worst, it will go away while on a gradual turn on the highway.  I noticed this each time I hade to turn the wheel about 5* of so, it would quit shaking and then instantly return on the straighaway.  This is leading me to think it is a frontend issue as a side force is being applied and I suspect it is taking up the slack that maybe the balljoints, tie rods, CV joints or all of the above have.  I am at my parents and I will get a closer look at the componets as well as a test drive with different wheels and tires.  

imabass imabass
New User | Posts: 3 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 06/20/12
09:12 PM

Well just my luck that I left my special lug nut key at my house so I could not swap tires like I wanted.  I did visually and physically inspect the front end parts and I did not see anything that appeared to be out of spec.  I physically tried to move each component as well as I was unable to rock the wheels in either camber or caster directions.  I had my mom drive my car on the highway and I was able to view it from another vehicle.  I did not see any excessive movement in either direction nor did the struts appear to be worn and allowing any tire bounce.

I did notice that there was a significant improvement on the drive when I was on blacktop compared to concrete roads.  When I was on the blacktop, the wobble and other adverse conditions were very minor.  I am leaning on bad tires.  

Nick.Joel Nick.Joel
User | Posts: 151 | Joined: 06/12
Posted: 08/10/12
03:13 AM

Very suggestive answer Mr. waynep71222...up

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