98 Toyota Camrey Problem

I have had this car now for over 3 years. I have had no major problems (With the exception of one car accident) until now.

Originally the car would randomly start to shake when I went on the parkway and drove over 65 mph. When this happens the steering wheel would shake more then the rest of the car. In addition the shaking seemed to be coming from the right front wheel. I decided that it could be because I needed a new tire, so I replaced both front tires with new ones, and checked to make sure that all the wheels had the right amount of air in them. But this didn’t seem to make the problem any better. Now the car seems to randomly start shaking even if I am not going 65. (It starts sometimes when I am only going 40 or 50, and then goes away)

I also noticed that the front right wheel is much hotter then any of the other wheels. (This is probably from the extreme vibration)

Additionally, a few days ago I was driving and the car one again started vibrating, but this time the smell of burnt rubber was coming from the front right wheel. So I stopped the car to check the tire. The tire seemed fine but the smell was just overpowering. However when I began to drive home, slowly, the problem and smell completely disappeared.

Since this was an annoying, and possibly dangerous, problem I brought the car to a mechanic. Just from describing the problem they guessed that the Caliper was causing the problem. But when they went to drive the car, the car never shook, so they are unable to diagnose the problem, since its not happening for them.

I just wanted to get a second opinion on this matter, from the great cartalk community!

I usually listen to the show, and have only just recently registered on these forums.

Thank you for taking the time to read and respond to this issue.

The shaking could be from worn (loose) suspension components, such as: wheel bearing, or steering tie rod end, or upper or lower ball joints.
The smell of burning could be from oil burning on the hot exhaust pipes.

I agree with hellokit, but I want to add that if the right front wheel is hotter than the others, it is likely that you have either a wheel bearing that is about to seize up or a binding caliper in the brakes on that wheel. Thus, front end problems and possible brake problems.

You do realize that this car is currently a major hazard to both you and those who share the road with you, don’t you?

Yes, which is why it is currently at the mechanic. But I wanted to get second opinions to what they were saying. (Since they haven’t been able to figure out what is wrong yet)

Also the burnt smell, was that of melted rubber. (Very different from oil burning)

Additionaly, when I brake, and the shaking is occurring, the shaking tends to get even worse during the period that I have my foot on the break.

I have another quick question. If I had to personally, figure this out, what would I look for after I remove the tire from the car. (What signs o wear am I looking for if any?)

There may be more than one problem. The shaking during braking is from warped brake rotor(s). The other shaking is from worn/loose suspension parts.
Some people think that burning oil has the odor of burning rubber, or cork. To determine what your nose senses, dribble some oil onto a hot exhaust and smell it. Results?