Vibrations on steering wheel


#1

Hi, I have a 93 Toyota Corolla automatic transmission, 2 wheel drive and 1.6 engine with 180,000 miles. A week ago, I personally changed the both front struts and coil springs since the front right side coil spring was broken making the car leaning to the right side, and I was sometimes getting a shimmy steering wheel when I push the gas pedal only between 25-50mph. Now I am having shimmy steering wheel all the time between 20-40 mph. This only happens when I push the gas pedal and disappears when I lift my foot from gas pedal (without pushing the break pedal). Sometimes, I let the car go without pushing the gas pedal or pushing it enough to keep it moving and when it gets to 35 mph I push the gas pedal and the car runs fine without any problem.

One mecanic told me that it is the left front axle and another suggested to change the spark plug wires, distributor cap and rotor. Now I am confuse. Can you hep me. Do you think this can happen because the struts and coil springs were badly install. Does it has to do with the axle or CV joints. I will really appreciate your help if you can help me. Do you have any idea what it can be.


#2

Unfortunately there is not likely any way to pinpoint it from a distance, so you’re likely to end up with a lot of “could be’s”.

Did you have the alignment done after redoing the front struts? If you haven’t, you should, and I would certainly start there. The alignment itself could be the problem, but more importantly it should involve identifying problems w/ other front end components like ball joints/tie rodes/etc.

Other than that my first guesses would have to do with CV joints or motor mounts. If the vibration is associated w/ acceleration, as you suggest (but seemingly not with very gradual acceleration), then those things make the most sense.

You should also check the tires for uneven wear, signs of belt separation, and for balance.


#3

I had the same problem last year. I replaced my own front struts and a few weeks later I had that front end shimmy at moderate speeds. I checked underneath and noticed excessive play in one of the axles. Rather than mess with the car further, I brought it to a front end specialist. He immediately noticed that one of the bolts I had installed had worked its way loose. That’s all it was. The axle was supposed to have that free play. How simple!

My advice? Take your car to someone who really knows.


#4

On a similar note:

Recently my steering wheel has begun to vibrate, but only at speeds of over 50-55 mph. It increases as the speed does and decreases as the speed decreases. The vibration happens when I take my foot off the gas. Could this be struts? I was recently told that they were bad when I got a 4 wheel alignment.