My wife’s 2007 Saturn Vue AWD 6 cylinder makes a rumbling noise at 40 to 50 MPH. It may sound crazy but it feels like the car gets hit with a very strong gust of wind. I am however sure its coming from the drivetrain. I had it at the dealer (well the Nissan dealer who took over the Saturn dealership)awhile ago and they told me the tires were cupped. I replaced the tires and the rumble/vibration was still there. It was a good thing I needed tires or I really would have been mad, and of course the wife dosen’t say that its still there till 2 months later. Any ideas.
If the tires were cupped it’s an indication that the struts are worn out. When this happens, the struts no longer hold the tires to the road and the tires start bouncing up and down as the vehicle is driven. Where the tires come in contact with the road during this bouncing is where the tread of the tire is worn off causing the cupping.
If the struts are indeed worn out, the new tires are now bouncing up and down as the vehicle is driven, and this can cause the rumbling vibration you feel. Also, if the struts are worn out and the tires are bouncing, the new tires will cup out in no time.