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Steering Wheel shake and wopping noise

My 2006 Honda Accord has developed a shaky steering wheel and wopping noise–in time with the wheel rotation. I have had the front tie rods replaced and all the tires balanced. My mechanic does not see anything else wrong with the front end. Could it be the disc brakes? They are not screeching, but there is a wop, wop , wop–sort of like a muffled card between the spokes of a bicycle.

Thanks for any hints.

Based on your description I would say you most likely have a tire issue, possibly even something stuck in the tire(although this most likely would have been seen when balancing the tires)… try rotating the tires and see if the steering shake goes away and the noise changes to the back(assuming the noise is coming from the front), then you know.

Thanks for your suggestion. I had the tires rotated front to back and the steering wheel does not shake as much, but still does occasionally at low speeds and when the car is cold. I’m wondering if it could be due to warped rotars?

Have the tires balanced two different times. I’ll bet you’ll find contamination inside the wheels assembly. Also, did you reuse the tires you had on before the rods were replaced? even if you balanced them the damage caused by worn out rods and improper inflation will be there. Rotate the tires - front to back, back to front.

Rotor problems will show up only when your brake and will be mostly felt through the brake pedal. As the others noted, this really does sound like a tire issue. What did your mechanic say about it?

Another possibility is a defective CV joint - I say defective rather than just worn or broken b/c if the joint is poorly constructed it can go in & out of whack - I’ve had it happen.

Another thing that could possible make such a noise would be a bad wheel bearing - but all the ones I’ve heard making a rhythmic/rotational sort of sound have sounded more like a train on tracks rather than “wop wop.”

I’d still bet on a tire problem, but I’m still wondering what your mechanic said when s/he drove it. Maybe its time to get a second look from someone else.

You could have multiple tires with slipped belts ie plies. Time for new ones anyway?

Radial belts can’t “slip” but they can and do break and usually you can see this as distortion in the tread as the tire rotates. That’s what makes the “whump-whump” sound as the bad spot hits the pavement…Usually, this is very easy to detect on a spin balancer…Ply separation, different than a broken belt and sometimes more difficult to spot, will cause the same symptoms.

While I agree that belts can’t slip, they also rarely break. The distortion in the tread is really a wear pattern caused mostly by toe in - and this is frequently misdiagnosed as a “slipped belt” or a “belt separation.”

Plus tires even more rarely have ply separations. This most often caused by overloading or underinflating a tire normally operated at low speed - a fairly rare set of circumstances.

Nope, I think we are talking about a vehicle with a misalignment condition that has caused an irregular wear pattern.