Front end vibration 1994 Buick Century

buick
vibration
century

#1

My 1994 Buick Century sedan has significant front end vibrations (you can hear and feel them) when:

->35 MPH - worse as speed increases

-Coasting (foot off gas)

-Steering wheel slightly left - like when adjusting lane position



Vibrations are wheel related but don’t feel quite like a balance problem. Not brake related.



Putting my foot on the gas usually makes the vibrations stop or lessen.



My mechanics (good guys) checked out the front end 3 times, they say nothing is bad enough to fix (ball joints, rack/pinion, etc.). Wheels were balanced/rotated just before I noticed this problem, and balanced since.



My tires are new - under 10k miles, lots of tread left.



The only thing I can think of at this point is a tire defect - separating tread, bruise, etc. that might not be caught by a general mechanics’ shop.



I drive I95 regularly so really want to NOT be disabled on the highway…



Any thoughts?


#2

Wheel end related vibrartions tend to show up in the 50 to 70 mph range - and shouldn’t change when you turn the steering wheel or change when coasting, braking, and accelerating. So I don’t think you have a tire/wheel problem.

Since the problem appears at 35 mph, I would look at the CV joints.


#3

CapriRacer, The one time I had CV problems (another car), the noise was a rapid “clicking” sound that did not feel/sound particularly like it was wheel related - but I am open to CV issues.

The vibration appears as low as 35 MPH (sometimes lower) but is definitely more noticeable at higher speeds. Quite significant at 60-75MPH on highways.

So … CV joint problems can feel like they are wheel related? Can they appear if the CV boots are still good? I ASSUME my mechanic would have noticed/told me if the boots were degraded.

Also, I should have said, this car has about 105k miles on it.


#4

Just verified with the mechanics, the boots on the CV joints were intact - and since they were intact, they could not diagnose further without destroying the CV joints. They say it’s possible CV joints can go bad while the boots are still good.

Is it possible to diagnose bad CV joints if the boots are intact?


#5

How about rotating the tyres front to back. If there is a tyre related issue, you should be able to feel a change. If not you can rule out the tyres (well maybe 97% rule them out. Every time you are sure it can’t be this or that, it turns out to be this and that. ?


#6

Rotate the tires and see if it changes. Belts can separate inside the tires and tire moves side to side. Had this happen with tires at 20k miles. They only found it by spinning the tire on the balancer and watching tread swim back and forth.


#7

Thanks everyone for the quick replies. I will rotate the tires, see what happens and report back. That’s the cheapest troubleshooting for now. Might take a week to do this though.