CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Front-end vibration on Honda accord 2004 automatic Ex

I have a 2004 Honda Accord EX (4 cyl) with 102k miles. I bought it brand new and kept it completely in shape with regular service. For the past few months I start getting front end vibration at braking, mostly when slowing from high speeds and without any repair this vibration has now became common at all speed… my diagnosis - I need to replace to turn disk/rotors… please advise on my diagnosis!

While I have not remedy the rotor issue yet, I started getting this new vibration at 60 to 80 mph… Below and above this range of speed i have no vibrations - the car will drive fine. This type of vibration in my experience for front wheel drives is mostly due to balancing or bad tires. so i took the easy way … and as i already needed tires well i dished out the dough and replaced all four with Michelin Primacy hoping that it will resolve the speed related vibration… Well it did not?

I continue to drive as-is without addressing the real problem - coz I’m not sure what is causing the vibration… now new additional vibration started on acceleration; any time I hit the gas pedal (normal acceleration or kick-down) I get vibration very similar to when a stick shift’s gearbox required replacement/repair of the worn out pressure plate’s (fingers/springs gets bent or weak) or the thrust bearing needs replacements/repair/grease packing. I’m from the old school stickshift transmission, my knowledge in automatic is very little - I have repaired Acura’s automatic transmission before but I don’t think repairing once will make me an expert in automatic.

So to summarize my issues or current state:
Issue# 1 front end vibration on braking
Issue# 2 front end vibration 60 to 80 mph speed only
Issue# 3 front end vibration on acceleration at all speed
The list above is in sequential order as I have experienced.

Sincere regards,
Asif

It sounds like your tired old car has multiple problems:
Issue #1: Brake rotors are likely needed, as you have surmised
Issue #2: Either a tire balance issue, or worn-out front-end parts most likely
Issue #3: Possibly worn-out inner CV joints

Thanks for the response.

I would not worry about Issue #2 or #3 until you take care of #1 and see how the car feels. The rotors could be badly rusted and go out of balance.

Have you had any maintenance done recently besides the new tires? I.e., did you have the brake pads replaced recently?

I would NOT jump on those rotors too quickly. Everything you describe could be due to bad CV joints. You should have the boots looked at to see if they have split or torn, they are about the right age.

The vibration during braking can often be cleared up with a couple of hard applications of the brakes at around 60 mph. It heats up the rotors and cleans them off. Brake pulsing and vibration can be due to a build up of residues from brake pads, especially new brake pads and when the principle driver rarely does any hard braking (the principle driver is a good driver and plans ahead).

Markmast: The rotors are not rusted… I’m in north Texas so rust is not a problem compared to southern part of Texas

Keith: In terms of brake pads I did replaced them a while back and just recently checked they are still in good shape - no residue issue - fyi I have habit to use genuine parts when it comes to performance and safety.

The more I read about similar issue/symptoms I am more and more wanting to blame the it to the inner CV wear and tear. I can visualize it when I accelerate the wobbly drive shaft from the “inner joint” that may cause it… but cannot do the same for the outer ones… plus i checked the the outer recently and all looks good - of course visual inspection not sure what the status inside the cover.

I guess in the interest of time that I have less off, I may take the car at the dealership for them to charge me an arm and a leg for repair :wink: If this was simple to diagnose, I would have fixed it myself… I just don’t want to make this car repair a project.

Much appreciated ya’ll help!
Regards
P.S. I’m always open to more feedback!

Asif, If the vibrations first started at about 5000 miles after the pad replacement, then that would be consistent with a build up of residues which are very difficult to actually see. It won’t cost you anything to do a hard braking from 60 mph, why not try that first?

Balance the rotors for sure change the break pads.

I’d check the front end steering and suspension components. My guess? Warped rotors and bad tie rod end

@avapte

. . . Balance the rotors?