I have a 1998 Honda Accord 4 cylinder with roughly 150k miles. When the weather is cold outside the steering wheel will shake until the car warms up. I have taken the car into the shop and they checked the engine mounts, tie rods, etc and they told me that the car is fine. The tires are not unbalanced nor are they packed with dirt or debris. The vibration only occurs when the car is cold and it goes away once the car warms up. Also, the vibration will stop when I simply place a small amount of pressure on the steering wheel with my hand or knee. The vibration does not occur when I am driving at low or high speeds and it usually only occurs when I am stopped at stop signs or lights.
I have done the regular maintenance on the vehicle and I have replaced the timing belt, spark plugs/ wires, belt(s), etc, if that make a difference.
Thanks for your time!
Is the shaking in time with the engine RPMs or the vehicle speed?
Is there excessive ticking when it’s cold?
If it’s with the engine, it’r highly likely that one cylinder isn’t firing as robustly as the others. A compression check might show one low reading. Maybe two. It could be due to wear. Could also be a valve lifter having a hard time getting pumped up. They can get sticky over the years.
If it’s in time with the wheelspeed, you may have a defective tire.
Thanks for your suggestions!
I would say, yes, it does shake with the engine’s RPMs but it does not shake when the car is revved up or when I am driving the car. There is some ticking in cold weather, enough to notice it, but it isn’t excessive. I would not say that it is timed with the wheel speed. The noise generally goes away when the car is warmed up.
So, would you suggest getting the compression checked in the engine? Or if it is a sticky valve lifter is there a solution?
Make arrangements with your shop to leave the car overnight to be tested when it’s cold. A tech should be able to tell pretty quickly. At 150K, I’m guessing a sticky lifter or valve, but it’s hard to tell from here.