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Bent wheel, defective tyre, wheels out of balance, alignment and uneven tyre wear, defective or worn shock absorbers, excessive wear or lash in the steering/suspension components, binding front brake(s), front brake discs warped or excessive axial runout...
Most commonly it is wheel imbalance that is the culprit.
There are a number of things that could cause a front end vibration, and while it may seem to be coming from the left front, it may not necessarily be so. That said, however, lets list them from the left front first.
1. I am assuming this is a 2WD vehicle, as 20 inch rims on a 4x4 are odd to say the least. Therefore, it is possible that the front bearings were not adjusted properly when installing the new front rotor. Too loose or too tight could bring on the issue. Jack the left front corner up and try to shake the wheel side-to-side and up-and-down. If it only shakes side-to-side, it could be the outer tie rod end. If it only shakes up and down, check the upper and lower ball joints. If ot goes both ways, it's probably the bearings. Chances are if you felt the vibration, readjustment won't be enough. You'll probably have to have the bearings replaced.
2. Be sure that the wheel is fastened properly to the hub. If it has gotten wedged or skewed, it could cause issues (not likely).
3. Check the idler arm for excessive wear. When this wears out, the tires will constantly track in (or out) depending on alignment, then "jump" back to straight, causing a shake in the steering.
The most common of all problems in a steering system is excessive steering wheel play. Steering wheel play is normally caused by worn ball sockets, worn idler arm, or too much clearance in the steering gearbox. Typically, you shou Id not be able to turn the steering wheel more than 1 1/ 2 inches without causing the front wheels to move. If the steering wheel rotates excessively, a serious steering problem exists.
An effective way to check for play in the steering linkage or rack-and-pinion mechanism is by the dry-park test. With the full weight of the vehicle on the front wheels, have someone move the steering wheel from side to side while you examine the steering system for looseness. Start your inspection at the steering column shaft and work your way to the tie-rod ends. Ensure that the movement of one component causes an equal amount of movement of the adjoining component.
Watch for ball studs that wiggle in their sockets. With a rack-and-pinion steering system, squeeze the rubber boots and feel the inner tie rod to detect wear. If the tie rod moves sideways in relation to the rack, the socket is worn and should be replaced.
Another way of inspecting the steering system involves moving the steering components and front wheel BY HAND. With the steering wheel locked, raise the vehicle and place it on jack stands. Then force the front wheels right and left while checking for component looseness.
The kia rio uses rack and pinion steering, which does not use an idler arm. Did someone tell you you had an idler arm?
For cars that have classical steering designs, the idler arm is a part of the steering linkage that makes the front wheels turn about the same on both sides. Actually, the wheel on the side of the turn turns a little bit more. The idler arm is necessary for the wheels to turn properly. When the joints in the idler arm wear out, the right wheel is allowed to move back and forth on it's own. This causes vinration, excess tire wear, and possibly an unsafe steering condition if the wear is excessive. .
I'm guessing the lower ball joints are shot. This will cause the tires to lean in on the top and and wear the inside of the tire. I could be wrong! Try jacking the front wheels up and support the vehicle on jack stands, now grab the tire top and bottom and try to rock it in and out. If there is movement, you will have to have someone watch to see what is moving, while you rock it. If it's the ball joints, they will need to be replaced before you can align it. This can be spendy, there's a lot of labor involved.
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
There are multiple reasons the front end could be shaking.
1. Tires are out of balance or one has become separated causing a knot.
2. One of the front bearings is going out.
3. One of the 2 front cv drive shafts are wearing out or bent.
4. Inner and Outer Tie rod ends needing replaced
Above are the 4 main causes of vibration in the front end being able to be felt in the steering wheel. i would first take the vehicle to the tire shop and have them check the balance on all 4 wheels. Also, while they have the wheels off, ask them nicely if they could check out the front end for you.
Most vehicles are two wheel drive (2WD) and some are four wheel drive (4WD). All have differential gearing this means that each wheel can turn at it's own speed and this is essential when cornering as the inner wheels traverse a shorter path than the outer wheels. Without it the outside tyres would all tend to skid to some extent as they try to rotate on a surface which is moving faster or slower than the tyre's rotation speed. This is known as lock up and it causes excessive tyre wear, fuel consumption, steerring and suspension component wear and an unpleasant snatchy ride.
On off-road surfaces, lock up (differential lock) is a good thing as any tyre which loses traction does not cause the others to do so. As the surface is slippery or unstable the other tyres can easily skid against the surface without excessive wear whilst cornering.