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My steering wheel shakes/shimmies while driving. what's the problem? alignment? tires? rotation? what?

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Tires, unless it happens when the brakes are applied, that would be warped brake rotors.

Posted on Sep 24, 2008

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Does the shake & shimmy happen at a specific MPH? Is it OK up to say, 45, then shakes? If so, you may need your tires balanced. An alignment condition would not cause a shimmy, unless the alignment was so far out that the tires were worn abnormally. You would see this wear...
...Take a good look at your front tires...Does the tread look good, or are the tires worn out? Then, run your hand "around the clock"; both ways. Is the tread "smooth" one way, and "rough" the other way (like shingles on a house)??? If so, you need a tire rotation. Also, make sure that your tire pressures are set to what is printed on the door frame, or inside the glove box. Hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 24, 2008

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Have a front end suspension check done to eliminate any worm ball joints -shockies- worn suspension rubbers-- steering problems. If ok have a wheel alignment done and have the rear end aligned first as it affects the front alignment. The violent wobble is castor wobble and indicates negative castor possible from sagging suspension springs. The camber is out at that results in the car following every dip in the road. The camber has to work in conjunction with the toe-in measurement and if the 2 are not correct then you will have problems.

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did you get it aligned !! if not, that may be why. good-day !! if you let go of steering wheel while going straight and it vears either way it means its out of alignment.

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Shake and shimmy in a 1997 Silverado. They replaced the pitman arm and steering arm yesterday and 2 wheel aliignment.


Sounds like you need another shop, Most of the items that would cause your problem should be found by the shop alignment tech. Some things to check, tires: mismatched size or type, separating belts. bent, warped or unbalanced wheels, steering box play (internal slop), loose steering box from frame, congealed fix a flat in one of the tires, worn out or broken shocks, loose wheel bearings, problem could be in the rear tires and felt through the seat. if shimmy is while braking , your rotors will need surfacing or replacing. Not a lot of info was provided. 2 wheel drive or 4, big tires or stock, how quickly did problem start... Good luck

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Front tires may need balanced. Have the alignment checked. Try rotating the tires from front to rear.

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1995 Ford Crown Victoria - shakes/vibrates @ highway speeds.


Alignment has alot to do with the tires not shimmying.. Like zero toe setting. Loose componants like tie rod ends and the idler ar worn. You can ck for excess front end play by holding the front and back of the wheel and pushing and pulling on it, like rocking it. OR have someone rock the steering while you watch where the play is from underneath. By rocking I mean turn the steering wheel back and forth. Look at all th joints and pivot points for excess play, which is, movement not immediate to the rest of the steering system. Tire balance is very important. Wheel hop is a sign of a bad tire and it overtaxes the shock absorber. Shocks don't cause shimmy because they are a vertical movement controlA shimmy is lateral or side to side.Wheel balance weights must be spit. If a 2 oz. weight is needed to balance the tire, Oe once should be on the inside of the wheel and one ounce on the outside directly across from each outher.. Loose wheel brgs will cause shimmy, but they would not last long. Caster setting on the wheel alignment will also cause shimmy. Like on a shopping car. too much caster causes the wheel to start fluttering and is very hard on other componants. This may be why you have worn tie rod ends and a bad pitman arm. Worn control arm bushings and ball joints directly affect titre wear and can only be feltwhen the front end hits a dip and detected by side wear on the tire edges. Summary: replace the tie rod end and have the car aligned. Good Luck, -Ned_ sorry about the book

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Have you tried rotating and balancing your tires? Are you sure that the road surface is entirely smooth? When was the last time that you had your alignment checked? All of these could be possible causes. Your symptoms point to a balancing issue in my opinion. Start small and then work your way up. Let a tech drive it and see if they can identify it.

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