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Vibration and Shaking - Does it cause permanent damage?

I drive a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid and after the first tire rotation at 15,000 Miles, the vehicle began vibrating violently at 60 MPH and over. I complained to the dealership, and they said that they would rotate the tires back, but that didn’t fix the problem and only made it worse! They recommended new tires and said that unless I got new tires, they would not replace the rear upper control arms for free. The dealership themselves told me Honda manufacturer tires were no good. I was told that it would do no damage to drive the car with violent vibrations until the existing tires wore out.

So I drove the car, with it shaking a lot, to the point where if I spoke while driving, my voice shook uncontrollably. Now after reaching 30,000 miles (15,000 miles later), I just got my rear upper control arms fixed and got some new tires at my own expense. The car runs so smoothly I am shocked! And it got me wondering…did driving the car for 15,000 miles with violent shakes cause any permanent damage?

Possibly. Have You Had Your Kidneys Checked By A Doctor ?

There are two things I don’t understand.

1 Why in the world would you drive a fairly new car for 15,000 miles with it shaking you and it violently?

2 Why bother to worry about it now after it has stopped shaking ?

Any possible damage was already done by you. I don’t think it hurt anything any more than driving 50,000 miles or so on washboard, dirt roads.

Since you want to look back in time, why didn’t you junk the tires at 15,000 miles or find a dealer that would work with you ?


"Why in the world would you drive a fairly new car for 15,000 miles with it shaking you and it violently?"
I drove it because the Honda Dealership, whom I purchased the vehicle from, told me it wouldn’t do any damage. I tried to take them on a test drive and they said don’t worry about it. Since I figured I could still use the tires, I thought I’d save a little dough until the manufacturer tires wore out.

"Why bother to worry about it now after it has stopped shaking?"
I need to know now because if it did cause any problems, I’d like to ask the Honda dealership to give me an extended warranty or free repairs on any damage that might be related. If you know of any related damage, I’d like to check it up and let them know about it because it was likely caused by the misinformation they provided me.

"Since you want to look back in time, why didn’t you junk the tires at 15,000 miles or find a dealer that would work with you?"
Unfortunately, I had no idea that the car could run so smoothly again. After a while, I got used to it, especially since the Honda dealership (the only one in town) told me it was a small vehicle so it was expected to shake much. Only now am I re-experiencing the smoothness that it started with, and I feel like I was misinformed.

So are there any likely problems that could have resulted? Any feedback would be appreciated.


O K, Thanks.

You’re tougher than I am. I would have gone to plan “B” when " . . . if I spoke while driving, my voice shook uncontrollably."

I cannot believe a dealer would tell you to drive it like that. I think with those old tires hopping down the road, your braking ability would have been diminished in a panic stop, not to mention the discomfort.

Have them check it over next time you take it for service. Let them know they gave you bad advice and have them throw in an inspection, free of charge.


I’m not a mechanic but I spent my youth around cars… Here are some things you may want to have checked:

Shocks: With vibration to the extent you experienced the beating your car took may have reduced the useful life of the shocks. Do you notice the car bottoming out on speed bumps perhaps? Go around the car on each of the four corners and “bounce” the car. If the car bounces once and stops you are ok. If the car bounces twice or more, it might be time for new shocks.
Alignment: Tire alignment may be affected by vibration if it is severe enough.
Misc: Vibration will work bolts/screws loose. Most OEM’s will put thread lock on the bolts or use other mechanical locking features but if you hear things bouncing around in the dashboard, etc… you will know.
Vibration can also cause cracks or fissures in metal. The car makers design the car with dampening features to keep chances for this at a minimum but the vibration you describe is pretty bad. It could be that there is some chance for cracked welds, etc… in the frame or other areas. You might get a mechanic to visually inspect the key welds underneath the car. Have the mechanic check the struts as well. Pop the hood and look down around the shock area to see if there are any stress fractures or cracked paint. Check around the metal where the bolts come up as well. Are the bolts loose?
I’m also wondering if the CV Joints could also be affected?
I would definitely get the brakes checked thoroughly as well.
You probably want to use someone other than the dealer to get all this checked out as it sounds like the dealer has a viral case of “denial”.

Anyway, hope this helps.

I second all of these points. For safety reasons, this car now needs a thorough inspection. It wasn’t designed to handle that type of vibration over that period of time.

it was the tires out of balance. but good to have new control arm anyhow. and driving it a year or so violently shaking probally didnt damage anything except your pride driving it this way. i had new kuhmo tires on my honda and after a few months it was pulling to the right, had the tires rotated and now it pulled to the left. It was the new tires! put on new hankooks and the car steered straight.but a violent shake most often is a wheel out of balance. the adjusting weight falls off the tire and it will shake like crazy.