Steering vibrates a lot!


#1

I have a 2006 Mazda3 with about 112K miles on it and what I have noticed recently is that the steering shakes a lot. I looked up online for a possible cause and have found that wheel balancing could be a reason. I got wheels balanced and aligned but still there is still some vibration in the steering, so what do you think could be the reason? I have got rotors machined once before, like a year ago.

Thanks in advance!


#2

The possibilities include excess wear of front-end components such as ball joints and tie rod ends. This would be a significant safety hazard.

It is also possible that your tires may need a more effective type of balancing, known as Road Force Balancing. Only a few tire dealers are likely to have the Hunter GPS9700 machine that is needed for this job.

I would suggest that you call a few tire dealers and perhaps even a couple of Mazda dealers to see if they have this type of equipment. If Road Force Balancing does not resolve the issue, then you need to have a qualified front-end shop check for excess wear of front-end components.

I should also mention that, if the shaking only takes place when braking, then the probable reason is warped brake rotors. If braking has nothing to do with the situation, then you should focus on the previously-mentioned items.


#3

If its only when you apply the brakes then it is most likely your brake rotors.

Other than that, there are a lot of things up there that can cause a problem. Wheel bearings, tie rods, ball joints, defective tires… You need a good, local front end/alignment shop. Corporate chain stores are often not a good bet.


#4

Yes, it usually happens when I have to make a sudden stop from high speed or when I jump speed more than 65-70 mph on interstate. I just want to make sure that it is the rotors as dealer quoted more than $ 450 to replace front rotors.

Now, do I also need to change the rear rotors for it or just changing the front would be fine?


#5

If the problem is triggered by both sudden stops, and by high speed driving, it is possible that there are multiple problems. All the more reason to take this car to a highly qualified front end shop. As cigroller mentioned, avoid chain operations if you want the most competent work.

If that quote of $450 is just for the front rotors and no other repair work, then I would suggest that you not return to that very overpriced dealership.


#6

Yes, that is what Mazda dealership quoted - $110 for each rotor and 2 hours of labor for $210 and with taxes it is costing more than $ 450. I am still checking around but what could be the possible reason for vibration at higher speed?


#7

See my original post!!!


#8

One bit of clarification:

If the OP is experiencing vibration at high speed (steady state, not braking), then the cause is probably irregular wear in the tires - which is caused by mis-alignment and aggravated by insufficient rotation prectices and insufficient inflation pressure.

If that is the case, no amount of balancing will fix the problem - the tires have to be replaced.


#9

Tires are pretty new and I have been very good in rotating them at every 6-7K miles. I am also in Merchant tire’s alignment program and never leave my car unaligned, but still the problem persists.

Do you think that changing the front rotors is the only way to go? Can rear rotors also bring this issue or just changing the front ones should be fine?


#10

I would start with the front rotors, but $450 is crazy.


#11

I am also asking around and a local mechanic actually gave me a quote for $ 220 so I might go with him on this. But I hope that fixes the problem, otherwise it is going to be another big expense.