September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443946
So I just bought my wife a used car to replace the minivan she was driving, and noticed it had a shimmy.
September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443950
I think we are on to something, big-c and I need you to talk to the wife for more answers.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443951
1998 honda accord.. ~150kmiles. sound happens all the time, basically sounds like a pod racer (Deep throbbing noise in time with the wheel) when getting going. Gets louder as you get going, eventually evens out, but then the shimmy comes at about 55 then evens out again by 60. With the wheel off the rotor is VERY loose. It looks and feels that if I took the brake caliper off the rotor would just fall off by itself, on both sides.
The noise seems worse when turning sharp left, which is why i took the driver side wheel off first.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443952
I was looking at that pic of the center hub nut, is that on right torqued right because it looks like the tab on bolt was not bent to lock in the nut. a bit hard to tell from the pic. but that is what i see. I wonder if they are suppose to be those captive rotors and someone pull the hub from the bearing to change the rotor and messed up. Hope that is not the problem.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443953
Well, I was able to find some replacement bolts, I”ll run them in with some antiseize and go for a drive. No clue about if they’re supposed to be capitve rotors or not.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443954
I wonder if it is a bad bearing when you say it is louder making left. Take a look at center hub nut like I said in other reply.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443955
Are these regular rotors, or captive rotors? I only found regular rotors listed on Advanced Auto Parts website for the ’98 Honda Accord. If these are regular rotors, the rotor itself will appear loose without the lug nuts securely tightened. That is normal.
From the added info, it is sounding more like a bad wheel bearing. I would suggest removing the brakes and rotors. Place the vehicle in neutral (e-brake “on”) and spin the hub by hand. Listen and feel for any play. If the hub is bad and making that much noise, I would think you could tell by this technique (noise or loose-ness). Keep us posted.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443956
The bolts that sit in the rotor are only there to hold the rotor on the hub while the car is being assembled. Once the wheel is on, those bolts are just along for the ride and serve absolutely no purpose. I only ever reuse them when I’m working on an L series Saturn or a piece of Euro-trash, since they don’t have studs to locate the rotor on the hub.
As far as your noise goes, based upon your description I’d say you’ve got a bearing going bad. One way to check is to get both front wheels off the ground, put the car in neutral and turn the front wheel as fast as you can with one hand on the coil spring. If you’ve got a bad bearing, you’ll be able to feel a faint vibration in your hand. Eric also posted a video on his channel about finding a bad bearing. Granted, he was using a Saturn but the same procedure applies.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443947September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443948
well to be honest once you put the wheel and lug nuts on there should be no play on the brake rotor . There are a lot of cars that don’t have those retaining bolts. two to hold them on and two for helping to take them off. I believe they are there to keep the rotor on at the factory so it won’t fall off and kill someone. Ask the wife when does she notice the shake, when applying brakes, going down road at constant speed, accelerating, turning, at what speed. etc. Could be flat or bubble on tire, wheel out of balance, warped rotor, etc. lets do a little more digging, good luck.September 4, 2011 at 11:00 am #443949
When do you experience the “shimmy”? Is it when you drive regularly, during acceleration, all the time, or only when braking? Also, what vehicle are we dealing with please?
With regards to the missing “hub bolts” that you are referring to,they may not be absolutely needed. (please correct me if I am wrong). The main support are the lug nuts that hold the wheel to the hub assemble. The fact that both tires did not have any play in them is a good sign. The large center hub nut helps keep the hub assemble and spindle shaft together. The rotor itself looks brand new. When changing the rotors on this vehicle, does the hub have to be removed? If so, you might want to re-check the tightness of the center hub nut.
Check your tires for proper wear. Is the entire tread surface of the tire even? How do the edges of the tire look? Is the inner or outer edge of the tire worn down? If there is an alignment issue, especially with toe, this could create a shimmy. Keep us posted.September 6, 2011 at 11:00 am #443957
Ok, was able to find some replacement bolts, and they didn’t do any good.
I Inspected the break pads and they were even, no chipping/uneven wear.
I put the car up on jacks, and Oooooh so carefully did the check Eric did in the video (I’m sure my neighbors thought I was drunk in the cul-de-sac). And the sound is fairly even, only slightly louder on the driver’s side. With the car in neutral, BOTH wheels are not easy to spin, and there is no play.
And since I’m following up: The AC is weak, only really works at higher motor RPM’s. I assume it’s just low on refrigerant, and was going to buy a can from the local auto-place as it seems like a fairly straight-forward operation. I don’t know what kind of refrigerant is currently in the car, is it going to cause problems just adding standard 134?
I’ll post a video later today or tomorrow of the “Pod Racer” sound.September 6, 2011 at 11:00 am #443958
Does this mean that the wheel bearing on the driver’s side is the culprit? Or not? Also, when both front tires are off the ground, they will not hand spin freely when in neutral. That is because as you spin one wheel, the other wheel will spin in the opposite direction.
With regards to the A/C, this vehicle takes R-134a. There should be a sticker somewhere in the engine compartment that indicates the type (again, R-134a) and amount (lbs. or kg.) that the system holds. Ensure that the fan comes on when the A/C is turned “on”. Also, air could be in the refrigerant system as well. If there is air in the system, then there is also moisture in the system as well. A “top-off” of refrigerant will not get rid of any air or moisture in the system. The A/C system would still be compromised. An overcharge of refrigerant will also impede the system’s ability to cool properly.
There are definite advantages to having a complete evacuation, vacuum, and recharge for the A/C system performed by a trained professional with the correct equipment. Leaks can also be detected too. It does cost more, but is worth it in my opinion. Keep us posted.September 6, 2011 at 11:00 am #443959
OK one problem at a time. First the screws don’t need to be there as the wheel holds the rotor on just fine, the screws are there to aid in assembly of the brake caliper and pads, they serve no other function.
Your vibration sounds very much like tire balance and to be honest the tires may be the source of your noise, in fact it’s my #1 suspect. Honestly if you don’t run Michelins on that car your going to have tire issues. I’ve seen some Toyo and Yokahamas that work pretty good but if there are Dunlop or Firestone on there it’s either going to be a problem or will be soon. BTW wheel bearings don’t normally cause vibrations nor do loose suspension parts, it’s mostly tire balance or tire problems that cause these issues.
As for your AC, make sure both fans are working when you turn the AC on, if not this may be the problem but I don’t recommend AC work for the DIY as there is way more that can be wrong and if you don’t know what your doing you could just make things worse, for those reasons I recommend taking your AC work to a professional.September 7, 2011 at 11:00 am #443960
Groovy, Thanks Eric & BigC!
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