Steering wheel vibration

I have a 2009 4-cylinder Honda Accord sedan which currently has 4266 miles on it. A while back I noticed a vibration in the steering wheel at speeds of 60-65 mph and above. On three occasions I have taken the car to the dealer to have the problem resolved. The following are the diagnoses and repairs which have been made: 1. rotors are out of round and were resurfaced, 2. balanced 4 tires, and 3. “Tire roadforce variance is out of spec… Performed roadforce test of tires and found them to be 12 psi of force off. Match mounted into specification”.

I think there is still some vibration, but I’m not sure if I am being overly sensitive. So, my questions are:

1. Is there a test which will provide a precise and objective measurement of steering wheel vibration? I have performed a test using a ball point resting lightly on the steering wheel and have observed its motion.

2. In addition to the repairs which already have been made are there any others which could be contributing to the problem and need to be addressed?

3. With an eye toward possibly invoking the Massachusetts Lemon Law would you say that steering wheel vibration is symptomatic of a defect which substantially impairs the

market-value or safety of the vehicle?

#3 yes, but depending on the answer to #1 we can’t really say anything about #3.

#2 There are others, including bent rims, out of balance wheels, defective tyres (like slipped belt). Lots of possible problems.

  1. yes, with an accelerometer and an oscilloscope anything is possible. Such equipment does exist, although I’d submit that it would be unusual for a shop to have it.

  2. Unlikely. But I find the comment about the tires to be curious…I suspect the roadforce balancer was sensing a defective tire or two.

  3. arguable, but even though I’m on your side I think you;d have a hard time with this. My opinion ahould not stop you from filing the paperwork.

In summary, I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive at all. You should not have this in a new vehicle. Try swapping the front wheels with the rear wheels and see if the vibration changes. If it does, consider it proof positive that you have either a defective tire or perhaps even junk tires. I bought a set of four Continentals once and never could get them to ride smoothly.