Driving on a washboard

I drive a 2004 Honda CRV. I have been having trouble with the car giving a feeling of vibration. I can feel it through the front of the car, particularly steering column, but one can feel it whether holding on to the steering or not. It comes and goes and can be felt at different rates of vibration correlated to the speed of the car. My husband thought it was the tires, then breaks, but replacing both has not stopped the problem. Any ideas?

A defective tire. An out of balance tire. A bent wheel. A failed CV joint. A bent axle.

In addition to the above, I’d consider having the wheel alignment checked.

Try switching the tires front to rear and see if that makes any difference.

The front struts might be worn.

When this happens, the struts no longer hold the tires to the road. This then causes the tires to start bouncing as the vehicle is driven at certain speeds. This is called tire hop.

First inspect the struts to determine if hydraulic fluid is leaking down the struts. Then go to each front corner of the vehicle, and start bouncing that corner by pushing down on the fender and releasing until the until that corner is oscillating up and down, then release the fender. The vehicle should rebound up and then stop. If the corner continues to oscillate up and down after releasing the fender, that strut is worn.


The tires and brakes are 3 weeks old, and the guy we deal with is great with tires. Balancing was part of the purchase as was alignment. I’ll consider the possibiltiy of a bad tire, but it was happening before that so I am going to consider failed CV joint, bent wheel and bent axle.

Sure sounds like a problem in the front wheels/tires/suspension. But your tire guy should catch problems with tires, wheel bearings, struts, tie rod ends. A ball joint maybe? Problems there can be harder to catch in a routine check. Possibly in the steering linkage or in the drivetrain (e.g Constant Velocity joints)?

I’d get someone different to look at it. Maybe your tire guy can recommend a mechanic he trusts?

Anyway, I’d attend to it smartly. Having a wheel come off can ruin your entire morning.

Thanks everyone for your ideas. Here’s how it turned out: The calibrator on the left front brake was frozen. The rotor would heat up after braking a bit, then when when driving I’d get that washboard sensation. In addition, 3 week old rotor needed to be shaved down and a connector between the stabilizer bar and the wheel was broken. When I drove it for the first time after being really repaired, I realized how careful I had been with the brakes for so long. Sometimes we get conditioned and don’t realize how bad it is until the problem isn’t there any more.
Anyway thanks everyone