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Vibration in 2001 V70 Volvo Wagon 114k miles

The following in order has been done so far in the last 3 months mostly because the mechanic who did everything besides the mounts takes forever.

Rotors & pads
Replaced axle shaft
Oil & new air filter
Replaced steering wheel pump #1 - with new liquids
Replaced steering wheel pump #1 with #2
Replaced steering wheel pump #2 with #3
Supposedly checked the rack & pinion
New hoses for the steering wheel pump
Alternator replaced
All front, right and rear engine mounts have been replaced

I am about to literally come out of my skin with the subtle vibration that comes through the steering wheel, seat and floor on the drivers side. When I put my hand on the shifter I don’t feel the vibration nor when riding on the passengers side. UGH!!! I have to stay that the car sounds like an old Singer sewing machine too, not the smooth engine sound that I had before all the repair work. There is also a very slight lag when starting off and a grown that comes from under the dash to the right of the steering wheel when in reverse and turing.

Any suggestions out there please…my regular volvo mechanic says that the car is worn but I should keep it anyway.

Thank you,

Have you rotated the tires? Tire seperation or unbalance tires cause most shakes and shimmies.

Yep sorry I forgot to mention the tire rotation and deflated them slightly. I just left the mechanics to further the vibration discussion and he’s going to order Sub frame bushing O-rings…we’ll see. Thank you.

Get yourself some new high quality tires - perhaps Michelins

And get yourself a new shop. Unless there’s more to the symptomology than you’ve described, he’s wasted a lot of your money fixing the wrong things.

Find a shop with a machine that does “road force balancing”. Have the wheels spun on that machine. By spinning the wheel with a spinning drum pressed against it to simulate road forces, it can pick up internal tire damage age/or imperfections that a regular spin balancer cannot.

The Singer Sewing Machine may or may not be a source of vibration, but if it is it can be diagnosed. A vacuum gage, a compression test, a scope, even just revving the engine can disclose sources of vibration caused by uneven engine operation. Causes can be diagnosed from there.

As a matter of fact, allow me to suggest that you try revving the engine while sitting still. If the vibrations exist under that condition, you can skip looking at all the rolling stock and go directly to the engine operation.

It doesn’t sound to me like your guy is up to the challenge. It sounds like he’s taking the “shot gun” approach; guess and change things until something makes a difference. That’s expensive and usually results in going elsewhere anyway.

If you can figure out a way to temporarily install four new (or at least different) tires, that’s probably the first step. If the problem goes away, you know what to do next. If not, at least you’ve eliminated the tires. In that event I’d be inclined to take the car to the best alignment shop in town and ask them what they think could be causing the vibration. While not experts in vibrations, they deal with suspension systems every day and could probably spot something wrong straight away.

First, I think we need more detail.

Is the vibration speed related?
Is the vibration present only at certain speeds and not at others?
Is it related to which highway you are on?

Some general thoughts:

It is impossible to get rid of all vibrations as the roads aren’t perfectly smooth and vehicle will vibrate in sympathy to the irregularities of the pavement.

Even engines vibrate to some extent.

Some folks are more sensitive to vibrations than others.

Human nature is such that even if a vibration has been fixed, some people will feel the “ghost” of the vibration. It’s a terribly weird, but real phenomenon.

Details = no to all of them.

Thank you for all the wonderful advice. My mechanic is going to change out the sub frame bushing o-ring. He thinks that may help, fingers crossed. I’m going over to my tire guys first thing this morning to check out the road forced tire balance machine.

Stand by,



Did the mechanic use genuine Volvo motor mounts?

I’ve seen instances where cheapo motor mounts actually cause vibrations

Yes he has - the mount he recently took off he gave to me and it was from before and it says volvo on the side I took the car to my tire guy who is great and he suggested the transmission mount may be the cause. The tires are all in perfect order.

Did your tire guy actually test the tires/wheels on a road force machine? If not how do you know they’re all in perfect order?

And, not to be redundant, does the vibration exist when the car isn’t rolling?

The complaint is still a bit murky to me but I have to question a power steering pump being replaced 3 times with the scenario being that this problem existed through 4 pumps; the original and the 3 replacements.

Is there any vibration present while the engine is idling in park or neutral?
Is there any vibration if the engine is revved while in park or neutral?
If so, is the vibration present throughout the entire range of RPMs?