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Front-end shaking (Like a bent wheel)

**I have a 1992 Honda Accord that just recently started acting like I had a bent wheel. It starts at around 30 mph and obviously gets worse as I accelerate. I have rotated the tires to see if it was a balance issue, but it remains exactly the same. At 30 mph, if I let go of the steering wheel, it moves slightly. Again as if something is bent. There is no pulsing when braking. Wheel bearings were replaced a couple years ago. Along with all new front brakes. Any ideas or help is greatly appreciated. **

Unless you are mechanically inclined and have floor jack and jack stands this is most likely not a do it yourself item plus you would need alignment anyway. This is not safe for you or anyone around you, take this to a shop before it is to late.

You moved the wheels? Did the vibration move with the change? No? If Yes, then have the wheels checked for balance and trueness at a tire store. Maybe road force measurement to detect a broken belt

Have you hit a curb lately? Does the car “pull” to the left or right? No? If Yes, have the alignment checked, if its off, look for bent suspension parts.

If No to the 2 above, then the issue must be with the front end itself. Since you’ve had the bearings (fronts??) replaced I’m thinking the CV joints are going away. OR the (or a) engine mount(s) have failed. Good Luck! Vibrations can be a real snake-in-the-grass to find.

I do have a floor jack and jack stands. And I am mechanically inclined. Do you have any idea what is causing it? (I am aware that whatever it is, isn’t “good”.)

The vibration stayed in the front even after the wheel swap. I haven’t hit anything with it. Front or back. The alignment is out. But it has been for a little while. Even before this showed up. (Getting an alignment soon) If I roll the window down, I can hear the wheel making the sound it would make if it were bent. But none of them are bent. Front wheel bearings were changed, yes. The boots on each side look to be fine. I can’t see any torn spots. Other than excessive engine movement, how do you check for a bad motor mount on these cars? (This is my first Honda) It was pretty obvious when they went in my Blazer.

Not a Honda expert by any means but FWD cars have the engines installed pretty level for the most part so the drive axles are in the same plane. If your engine is sitting wonky, thats a pretty good sign the mounts or mount has failed screwing up your driveline angles. Also, open the hood, get in and start it. Is it jumping around? Put it in drive with your foot on the brake, does it move one direction by a couple of inches? Also pretty good signs the mounts are gone.

If the alignment has been off for a while, you may have cupped the tires although swapping front to back would fix that for a short while. It may also indicate a suspension bushing, has failed. Possibly the one on the lower front control arm nearest the ball joint.

Also reach up and shake the halfshafts. The boots may be OK while the CV joints are coming apart internally.

Thank you for your advice. Looks like I’ll be a mechanic tomorrow. :laughing:

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You seem pretty sure none of the rims are bent

No offense, but sometimes it’s not super obvious, until you clean off the typical road grime, and spin them, then you can see them wobbling, or see where the rim is out of round

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If you’re going to check the cv joints, check the upper and lower ball bearings also.

It sounds like a tire or wheel problem, but if you rotated them front/back, and it’s still shaking only in the front, that pretty much eliminates the tire theory.

hmmm … well, anything non-copacetic in the front wheel drive train or front suspension could cause this too. Wheel bearing, cv joints (on both ends of each half-shaft), strut mounts, engine & transmission mounts, steering rack mounts, are where to look first. Start by jacking up one front wheel at a time and pulling, tugging, twisting it. Any abnormal play there? Any abnormal sounds when spinning the tire by hand?

If the shaking stops when you let your foot off the gas, it’s probably an inner CV joint.

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