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Steering vibrations

Steering wheel vibration suddenly got much worse about a week ago.

2001 Honda accord, 110K miles

1. vibration increases significantly above 65mph

2. Tried reeving it at neutral and park, vibrations did not occur

3. On a freeway downhill going at 70mph, I shifted it to neutral gear but the vibrations didn’t change

4. vibrations can be felt at car floor, gas and brake pedal.

any ideas?


The first thing to check is the balance of the tires. If the vibration was bad to begin with, and just suddenly became worse, it is likely that a balance weight was thrown from a tire as a result of the original vibration.

However, there is also the possibility that you have a defective tire or two. If a belt has slipped, this can definitely cause the symptoms that you describe.

Other possibilities include bad front-end components, including ball joints and tie rod ends.

All-in-all, you are facing some potential safety problems. I would suggest that you get this car to a reputable tire shop a.s.ap. for a check of tires and front end.

Turns out the rear passenger tire was severely under inflated, down to 10PSI from 30PSI. Pumped it up and it’s working fine. Does anyone if there are any damages on running on such low tire pressure? I drove it for about 400 miles, mostly freeway.

Yes, the tire’s sidewall has been severely weakened from the excessive flexing to which it was subjected and the extreme heat that built up in the sidewall during that 400 mile high speed drive. Get a new tire if you want to avoid the blowout that will soon result if you continue to drive on that tire.

It wasn’t 400 continuous miles. Here are the mileage breakdown:
15 freeway miles + 8 hour rest twice on Monday - Thursday
40 freeway miles + 2 hour rest twice on Monday morning
100 freeway miles + 2 hour rest twice on Thursday.

Do you still think I need the tire replaced?

The safest thing is to replace the tire. If there is damage it is hidden under layers of cord and rubber. Question, why was the tire pressure so low? The tire has a leak and needs to be taken off the car and examined to find the nail or whatever caused the leak. If the cause of the leak is found and the tire inspection off the rim looks OK get it patched and remounted and rebalanced. If there is only a little tread left on the tire, don’t bother fixing it just replace it and at least one other tire and mount the new ones on the rear of your car.

Of course you can just blow up the tire and keep driving it, but keep an eye on the pressure because it is slowing losing air for some reason.