I have a 1998 Toyota Camry LE. I replaced the wheels and tires about three months ago and now I get a wobble in the steering wheel between 60-70 or is a decelerate quickly. I have had the tires and wheels checked twice even paying for a “road force balance”. From what we can see the wheels and tires are fine. What else can cause this? I have heard something about the CV axle, but I want to go to my mechanic with a list of what I want checked.
Do you have the old set of wheels/tires? If so, does the same thing happen with them?
Or, if you move the present wheels/tires to new positions, is there a change?
The idea is to find out if the problem is in the wheels/tires, or elsewhere.
If by decelerate you mean applying the brakes, then maybe your brake rotors are warped.
A partial list:
.Large difference in tire inflation between the two front tires (maybe)
.Tires not properly balanced (but you’ve checked that)
.Loose lug nuts (Surely those have been checked/retightened several times by now)
.Worn out tie rod ends
.Defective ball joints
.Broken strut mount(s)
.Broken strut rod (I’m probably the only person ever who has had that happen)
.Loose nuts/bolts anywhere in the steering/suspension
.Very bad wheel bearing
.Warped disk rotor (but only explains stopping problems, it’s not engaged when cruising down the highway)
.Stuck/dragging disk caliper.
.Steering problems (maybe)
.Major wheel alignment issues (maybe)
I don’t have the old tires, and we did rotate the tires. No effect.
I’m willing to rule out the tires and wheels for the moment. I’ve had those looked a a few times. Unless there is some problem that would not be noticed by balancing, site check and rotation. On the last visit, we did find one of the control are bushings had worn out, but after I had that replaced, there was still no change.
Some of the other problems you listed would be worth checking, but it look like I could spend a small fortune just trying to get it diagnosed.
New tires and new wheels, what kind of wheels? Genuine Toyota wheels? Or, an aftermaket wheel? If you have genuine Toyota wheels one may be defective, or a tire can be defective. Figuring out which is tricky you have to isolate which wheel tire combo is the problem, then try a different tire, then a different wheel.
If the wheels are aftermarket wheels trickier still. Aftermarket wheels are made to fit more than one kind of car. To make them fit different cars they use “centering rings” to compensate for different manufacturers hubs.
Without centering rings, or the correct centering ring, the installer might not get the wheel mounted properly on the car and the result is the same feeling as out of balance tires. Without a centering ring getting all four wheels on the car with no vibration is not likely and it is hard to track which wheel is out of balance because it can change everytime you remove and then bolt up the wheels again.
Well, you did ask for a list.
Actually, many of the items can be checked simply by grabbing each wheel at 3 and 9 O’clock and shaking vigorously. Then repeating at 6 and 12 O’clock. Any movement other than maybe a slight, slugish turn of the steering is bad. Bad wheel alignment will probably eventually show up as cupping or uneven wear on the tires. I’d worry about ball joints only because I’m far from certain that all mechanics know how to check them properly … and they can kill you if they fail.
A sort of crude check for brake related problems would be to drive the car for a while without braking in order to let the brakes cool off, then let it coast to a stop. If either front wheel (the metal part, not the tire) is noticably warmer than the other, check further. Watch out. Brake parts can easily get hot enough to raise blisters on your fingers.
After market tires and wheels. We went over the balancing, centering rings, etc. I have read in other forums that Camrys seem to get this at about 150k miles, so I really don’t think it is the tires or wheels.