Good afternoon all,
Vehicle is a 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer with 123,000 miles. During moderate to hard acceleration in a straight line, especially in gears 1 to 3, the front of the car vibrates. The harder I accelerate, the worse the vibration gets. Once I get into 4th gear and get up to 40 MPH, I can put the pedal to the floor and while it will do it, it is very slight. Check engine light is off.
Interestingly, on the way to work there is a 25 MPH cloverleaf and coming out of the cloverleaf onto the highway, it did not do it until the wheels were pointed straight ahead.
Deceleration, even when agressively downshifting, is vibration-free.
I do not beleive it is ignition related - the car idles fine, has plenty of power under hard acceleration, and doesn’t do it when going around that cloverleaf. (As a side note, about a year ago a plug wire went bad, leaving one cylinder with no spark. In this case the engine vibrated violently, but was obviously down on power.)
There are no strange noises in the front end. No clicking around corners typical with a failing constant velocity joint, and no mechanical thuds or sqweaks over bumps I’d expect from a failing ball joint or bushing.
I am having some unusual tire wear on the outside edges of the tires, like you would see with under-inflation, but tire pressure is fine. In my mind, this points to bad ball joints.
It still has the original constant velocity joints and axles as well as the original ball joints. The one motor mount I can see looks okay. I’m thinking in order of liklihood (most likely to least likely):
- bad axle
- bad ball joints
- bad motor mount
Anything else I need to check? Wheel bearings? If I do replace the axles, I will replace the front wheel bearings while I’m in there.