Hello all, I’ve had my 2008 Santa Fe FWD since March of this year (2021). Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve noticed the development of some strong vibrations. I can’t remember if it was a gradual buildup or if it was suddenly worse, but I’m trying to diagnose it and fix the root cause without spending money on absolutely everything that I could do to it all at once.
“Rocking” back and forth at low speeds (0-30mph): The car feels like a boat being tossed by waves. At first I though it was the road, but then I realized that my car was the only one visibly swaying from side to side.
Scraping sound from front wheel at low speeds (0-30mph): If I roll down the windows, I can hear the front tires scrape on the ground intermittently (at the same frequency of the rocking side to side). It is the same sound as if the car wasn’t moving and I turned the steering wheel, scraping the tires against the ground as they turn.
Strong Vibration at medium speeds (30-60mph): The vibration is strongest in this range of speed. The motion goes from rocking to shaking around 30mph.
Steering Wheel Vibration at high speeds (60mph+): The vibration is the least at this speed range, but the steering wheel still vibrates at a really high frequency.
First I took it to discount tire and had all of the tires examined/balanced/etc. Everything was fine, nothing crazy. This didn’t change anything about the vibration.
Second, I took it to a mechanic and told him to give my suspension a complete inspection. He came back saying that my tie rod ends, driver’s side CV axle, struts, rear sway bar bushings, and rear rim all could use a replacement. However, he said that the main culprit was likely the tie rod ends, which were in bad shape.
After receiving my $4100 estimate from the first mechanic for all the work that my car “needed”, I took it to a different mechanic and told him to look at the suspension as well. This one confirmed that my tie rod ends were in rough shape, and he also said that my CV axle will need to be replaced within the next 6 months. So I had him replace the tie rods, hoping the issue would be fixed. It did made the vibration less by a bit, but all of my symptoms were still present, especially the low speed ones.
I really don’t know what to do. Should I try to fix the next best guess? Is there more I can look into for a possible diagnosis?
Any advice is greatly appreciated!