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Old 10-06-2005, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Got Alignment - Now Bad Vibrations

I recently got an alignment to correct my steering wheel which was slightly cocked left after some mild trail driving. Before the alignment everything was smooth driving - now I've got s serious vibration between 60-70 mph which seems to start shaking the whole front end of the truck then moves to the steering wheel. I have had the wheels re-balanced twice since the alingment and it has not gone away. Does anybody know if they shop could have screwed something up during the alignment process or have the same thing happen to them??
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like what happened to me. I posted here a few days ago about this and thought it wasn't the alignment b/c it was done and the truck didn't veer right or left. After much discussion, I followed bamachem's advice and had the shop recheck the alignment.

Low and behold, it was off. The truck went straight but the toe, casper and camber were out of range. The shop realigned it and centered my steering wheel. It's still not as good (but good enough) as prior to the alignment but I went with the rule that you always do an alignment after new tires. I wish these shops could just figure it out.

Last thing. Make sure you ask for a printout of the before and after results. Most computer alignment printouts will tell you if you are within correct specs. It also makes these guys more aware that you know that they may not do the work they charge you for.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok just to make a point, alignment will not casue an out of balance vibration problem directly... if your alignment was out for awhile, it could have worn the tores funny so that now with new alignment specs, it puts the tires in a differnt position at at a certain speed..... vibrations like that are normally due to stressed or worn parts (check them, a lot of places are too lazy nor know what they are doing)

also, alignment may be perfect, drive off the rack and back in and be totally different....just the nature of the beast, it is never the same every time.....
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As always, Jim is spot-on. Alignment is not likely to cause vibrations. I would thoroughly check your front end for play or worn parts. Most of the time, vibrations are due to imbalanced wheels/tires.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=jimabena74]ok just to make a point, alignment will not casue an out of balance vibration problem directly...

It did for me. It was very noticable at speeds in excess of 70 mph, especially when the freeway had a bend in it. I'm not an expert but I know I had a problem. I know I took it back to the alignment shop. I have the printout that shows it was way out of spec (even though an alignment was done 2 weeks earlier). And I know that I don't have the issue now.

All my tie rods, bushings, etc. are OK and the alignment fixed the vibration issue.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=ebelen1]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimabena74
ok just to make a point, alignment will not casue an out of balance vibration problem directly...

It did for me. It was very noticable at speeds in excess of 70 mph, especially when the freeway had a bend in it. I'm not an expert but I know I had a problem. I know I took it back to the alignment shop. I have the printout that shows it was way out of spec (even though an alignment was done 2 weeks earlier). And I know that I don't have the issue now.

All my tie rods, bushings, etc. are OK and the alignment fixed the vibration issue.
alignment will not cause a vibration issue... it was something else..... waht the yprobably did was rotate your tries or rebalance them.. as is part of what happens when a customer comes back saying it vibrates now and i just had an alignmt 2 weeks ago....
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses. This vibration only began after the alignment and that is why I am confused. About 2 weeks before I brought it in I Had the wheels balanced and it was riding the smoothest it ever had since I got my mtr's. Even after I knocked the steering wheel crooked it drove without any vibrations untill I got the alignment. Since then it does as I described above. One more thing, Now when i step on the brakes on the freeway, I get a vibration in the steering wheel like my rotors are warped or something. This never happend before the alignment. Could they have overtightened my lugs or something else to cause this?
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=jimabena74]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebelen1
alignment will not cause a vibration issue... it was something else..... waht the yprobably did was rotate your tries or rebalance them.. as is part of what happens when a customer comes back saying it vibrates now and i just had an alignmt 2 weeks ago....
Not trying to be an ass or anything but I stood there and they did not rebalance my tires. I didn't even buy my tires from them. All I'm saying is I had an issue and the alignment fixed it.

Last edited by ebelen1; 10-08-2005 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greedy
Thanks for the responses. This vibration only began after the alignment and that is why I am confused. About 2 weeks before I brought it in I Had the wheels balanced and it was riding the smoothest it ever had since I got my mtr's. Even after I knocked the steering wheel crooked it drove without any vibrations untill I got the alignment. Since then it does as I described above. One more thing, Now when i step on the brakes on the freeway, I get a vibration in the steering wheel like my rotors are warped or something. This never happend before the alignment. Could they have overtightened my lugs or something else to cause this?
Have them recheck the alignment. A bad combination of the toe, casper and camber being off may cause this vibration at high speeds. This is what happened to me.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks. I will go and get it back on the rack. This time I'm gonna sit and watch to see what they do.
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Old 10-06-2005, 06:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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as i said earlier a bad alignment will not cause a vibration..... you stood there, great... if the alignment was out befroe and it wore a pattern into your tires, then yes, having proper alignment could have remedied that... the point i am making, is that was a tire issue.. not an alignment issue, although the tire issue was caused by a bad alinment issue... make sense?
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimabena74
as i said earlier a bad alignment will not cause a vibration..... you stood there, great... if the alignment was out befroe and it wore a pattern into your tires, then yes, having proper alignment could have remedied that... the point i am making, is that was a tire issue.. not an alignment issue, although the tire issue was caused by a bad alinment issue... make sense?
No, it doesn't make sense. I know you're a tire guy and I'm a CPA, which means I know nothing about tires. What you're saying is a bad alignment could have caused the tires to be bad and therefore, vibration. Well, my tires were one week old when I did the alignment. Prior to the alignment, no issues. Then I did the alignment and for two weeks after, I had a vibration. I don't think the alignment could have messed up my tires that bad in two weeks, especially since I drive 10 miles a day.
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebelen1
No, it doesn't make sense. I know you're a tire guy and I'm a CPA, which means I know nothing about tires. What you're saying is a bad alignment could have caused the tires to be bad and therefore, vibration. Well, my tires were one week old when I did the alignment. Prior to the alignment, no issues. Then I did the alignment and for two weeks after, I had a vibration. I don't think the alignment could have messed up my tires that bad in two weeks, especially since I drive 10 miles a day.

you would be surprised how fast tires can be slightly worn by a bad alignment..... a severe enogu htoe issue can easily show itself withing 100 miles
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If your caster has been thrown off it can cause wobble or vibration. I'm not sure how hard it is to get the caster off IFS. Basically if you were at 8 deg your wheels want to stay strait even if there is a slight wobble in the tire. If you get less caster you have less natural pull to the center so if you have a tire which is slightly out of balance it will amplify the wobble.
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Old 10-08-2005, 10:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimabena74
ok just to make a point, alignment will not casue an out of balance vibration problem directly... if your alignment was out for awhile, it could have worn the tores funny so that now with new alignment specs, it puts the tires in a differnt position at at a certain speed..... vibrations like that are normally due to stressed or worn parts (check them, a lot of places are too lazy nor know what they are doing)

also, alignment may be perfect, drive off the rack and back in and be totally different....just the nature of the beast, it is never the same every time.....
sorry, but i disagree.

if the toe is out, the tires can and WILL wobble, which translates to vibration in the steering wheel. in excessive situations, a bad toe adjustment will cause one tire to "hop" at certian speeds when the resonance vibrations build up to a maximum. at that point, it feels EXACTLY like an out of round or out of balance tire. it will only occur at a brief speed range and then will go away at faster or slower speeds as the resonance vibrations begin to become out of phase with the source.

ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS CAN CAUSE VIBRATIONS.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamachem
sorry, but i disagree.

if the toe is out, the tires can and WILL wobble, which translates to vibration in the steering wheel. in excessive situations, a bad toe adjustment will cause one tire to "hop" at certian speeds when the resonance vibrations build up to a maximum. at that point, it feels EXACTLY like an out of round or out of balance tire. it will only occur at a brief speed range and then will go away at faster or slower speeds as the resonance vibrations begin to become out of phase with the source.

ALIGNMENT PROBLEMS CAN CAUSE VIBRATIONS.
Thanks bamachem for this clarification and for helping me with my steering problem. It's much better now but could be improved. I just wish I had your skills and could climb under the truck and do my own alignment. It'll have to do for now.
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Old 10-08-2005, 11:15 AM
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