Alignment


#1

I have a 1999 Plymouth Grand Voyager. I have a multi year alignment package with a national retailer whereby I can get a free alignment any time. About a month ago I began to notice a shimmy in the steering wheel when driving at low ( about 25 mph) speeds. I took it in to get an alignment. Right after leaving the shop I noticed the shimmying again. I did not have time to go right back and tell the shop. So a couple of weeks later I go back to get an aligment and ask that they give me the printout of the alignment results. This done I leave the shop and as I am pulling away I notice that they had the parking brake on. I release the parking brake and as I get up to about 25 mph the shimmying in the steering wheel is back. My question is this- I assume the shimmying is an out of alignment condition and that an alignment should stop it? Is there any other cause for the shimmmying? Can the parking brake be in any way related to the shimmying? Is the shop really doing the alignment(by the way I bought my tires from them also)?


#2

If it’s only at low speeds I would suspect the tires are cupped on the outside or inside. Have you tried rotating the tires to see if the problem goes away?


#3

I agree with Loafer, but I would suggest rotating them even if it is not just low speeds. Rotate front to back and see if there is a change. Does it go away or does it just feel different. If so you know it is almost certain to be the wheel or tyre.

BTW have the tyres been balanced lately?


#4

The speed is a little low for tires.

I suspect CV joints - An alignment won’t fix this!


#5

It could be a tie-rod. There are several things that can cause a shimmying…Alignment is one of them. however a good alignment shop would/should inspect these components.


#6

Hi,

I had the same problem with a 98 Ford Windstar. The steering wheel would shimmy from 5 mph to 25 mph and stop at higher speeds. I could take my hands off the steering wheel and watch the wheel move back and forth. It turned out that one of the front tires was bad with a shifted belt. My mechanic verified this with a visual inspection, I couldn’t tell myself. I agree with the other posters about rotating the tires front to back.

Ed B.