Car wobbles when acceleration

Posted by 2gProjectCar, Sep 1, 2010
Newbie Forum - Beginner DSM modification questions and discussions. Common, repetitive, and general discussions will get dumped here from other tech forums. Unless you're a Probationary member you shouldn't post threads here.

  1. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    I'm usually pretty good when it comes to fixing my car, but for some reason I can't figure this one out. When I'm driving between 0 - 35 mph the car acts fine. But when i accelerate past 35+ mph the front begins to wobble. Faster speed = more wobble. yes, I've used the search tool already and read over many of the similar threads, but I still can't narrow down whats causing the problem.
    So far I have replaced the inner and outer tie rod on the drivers side, and replaced the passenger side cv axle. I've also tried pulling and turning each tire to rule out the hub, there was no movement so the hub is fine. I had a friend lean his head out the window at times while i drove around and he didn't see the wheel itself wobbling in and out. Oh, and i had my tires balanced about a month ago.

    Any suggestions or ideas would be helpful.
    Thanks
    #1
  2. TALONTRAX

    TALONTRAX Proven Member

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    If you can eliminate all the tires & axles as the cause (this can be difficult to do) I think you may have a problem in the transmission. I`ve seen it when at certain speeds, there is a vibration in the whole car that increases with speed,& it turned out to be that a gearset or bearing in the tranny that let go. Try this . . . Get it to shake & then pop it into neutral & see if the shaking decreases or stops . . .
    #2
  3. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    I'll give that a try when i leave here soon and let you know how it goes.

    i tried the shifting into neutral that you suggested and there was no wobble at all. Any other ideas?

    On a side note it seems like a majority of the wobble is coming from the passenger side..
    #3
  4. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Talked to a couple mechanic friends and they say it could be the bushings inside the lower curved control arm causing the wobble, anyone able to back up this theory? I did get underneath the car and was able to move the arm up and down about a quarter inch each way, is this normal or a sign that it is the bushing?
    #4
  5. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    I call it that the ball joints are bad.

    Raise the front end up with a floor jack so the tires are barely off the ground and grab the tires with lateral and vertical movements.

    Then, with a "cheater pipe" or similar, put the pipe under the Lower "A" frame where the joint is and lift up on the end of the pipe so the pipe is raising on that corner of the "A" frame and check for play.

    If that's not it, I also suspect you got a bad tire that went out-of-round and you'll never get that out. That calls for a tire replacement.

    How are the brakes? Got a warped rotor or pads grabbing on the rotor?

    Good luck-DSM
    #5
  6. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    I've checked for play in the tires already and didn't find any. The play your telling me to check for, is that what i described in my last post by being able to move the arm up and down? My tires only have about 5k miles on them but I'll have my friend at the local tire shop check them for me. I know the brakes need to be redone but not sure if they're warped or not. How would I be able to check for that?
    #6
  7. 1gdsmftw

    1gdsmftw Proven Member

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    antioch, Tennessee
    check your wheel bearings, rack n pinion and your tie rod inner ends and outer ends also check your ball joints and when your done get an allignment
    #7
  8. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Wheel bearings have been checked and are fine.
    While I was checking the inner tie rod I noticed the boot around it was completely cracked in half. And i ended up with what seemed like hydraulic fluid on my hand, is there some kind of stabilizer connected into that tie rod? I didn't see one when i replaced both of the driver side tie rods so I didn't think there would be one on the passenger...
    #8
  9. Tanro

    Tanro Proven Member

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    Have you checked your motor mounts?
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  10. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Never thought the motor mounts could cause this issue. What's the best way to check them?
    #10
  11. gpopppa

    gpopppa Proven Member

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    Easiest way is to just try and move the engine by hand back and forth. also try and feel if the bolts are centered on the mounts,If there lower then the middle then you need new mounts, I do have the same issue,both front and back needs replaced, BAD. and my right front tire is cupped bad also. Just check your tires by rubbing your hand around them and feel for raised or lowered spots. Good luck buddy!
    #11
  12. jay4725

    jay4725 Proven Member

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    The only times that I have had problems like these were when my rims were bent and another time when I had a shifted belt in my tire. When you swapped the positions of the tires, what pattern did you swap them in? When I tried to balance the tire that had the shifted belt, the machine balanced it out but once you get it back on the car, it will wobble again.
    #12
  13. awddarrell

    awddarrell Proven Member

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    i have had my car do that when the spindles were bad from a lack of brake maintinence and you already said that your breaks needed to be changed so maybe your spindle is damaged i would give that a check as well
    #13
  14. Thomas91169

    Thomas91169 Proven Member

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    modesto, California
    ive had a "wobble" when going over bumps at around 55mph.

    Just found out my pass side hub bearing is going out, right now have around 1/8" play in/out when moving the wheel by holding top and bottom, and no side to side play. Hopefully this also fixes my front clunk at low speeds (have already replaced all suspension components with new OEM).
    #14
  15. ramsack

    ramsack Banned Member

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    My car does the same thing. I have bad wheel bearings and I know it. Just waiting for $ to get a press and buy the bearings and seals. My car loses all steering when I go over a bumpy patch of road. I'm sure I need more than wheel bearings so I'm probably going to just buy new tie rods, bushings, ball joints, and I might need new spindles as long as I've been driving it like this.
    #15
  16. Thomas91169

    Thomas91169 Proven Member

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    modesto, California
    ARGH my last 1g did that, and i ended up just selling it off and not wanting to deal with it (didnt know when i bought it, and had to wait until i rebuilt the motor and got it running nice to find out the suspension needed tons of work). hope you get that fixed, its scary as hell to hit a nice sized bump and the wheel jerks to one side and the car jerks to the other.
    #16
  17. rimmbrme

    rimmbrme Proven Member

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    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    is your car wobbling in the front end or steering wheel? I deal with this a lot at my work

    -possible causes-

    bent rim
    bad tire/bad balance (even new) to eliminate this and the bent rim do a rotation and see if it goes away if not check for:

    out of balanced cv axle sometimes the opposite axle will make it seem like it's the other side. (ran into this before, and it made a violent shaking over 40mph+)
    rack and pinion bushings excessively loose(where it mounts to the frame)
    torque the hub assembly nut. #1 cause of bearing failure over/under torquing.
    a bad lower control arm bushing might cause a vibration but only to a certain point and if the bushings have excessive play you'll usually hear a clunk

    a bad hub usually will make a whole lotta noise when turning side to side and the wheel will move up and down (when jacked up and with our hands at 12 and 6'o clock)
    a bad ball joint usually will result in a clunk/ or just break without any notice (no vibration until it breaks LOL).
    a bad motor/trans mount will result in a stick shift disengagement/ clunk whenever accelerating/decelerating or going on reverse (trust me you will feel your motor going back and forth)
    a bad strut will cause your car to go up and down like a yo yo while driving
    a bad brake rotors will only do vibration when braking.
    #17
  18. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    @gpopppa: Thanks for the tip. Once all this rain gives up I'll go out and check the mounts. Should the engine move just a little bit? Or should there be no movement at all?

    @jay4725: I know one of my rims are just a little bent but many mechs have said it's not enough to cause this issue. I don;t fully remember how they were switched, I had the shop do it while I had it in for an alignment so I would hope they swapped them the right way.

    @awddarrell: What do you mean by checking the brake spindles? I guess thats one part I've never had to mess with since I've never heard of it. Is that the part of the hub that the CV axle slides into? If I'm wrong, could anyone post up a pic so I know what I'm looking for?

    @Thomas91169: My wobble is constant, not just over bumps. I've ruled out the hub bearing as not being the culprit also.

    @rimmbrme: The car wobbles in the front end. The steering wheel stays solid. While I'm out shecking the motor mounts on the next clear day I'll jack up the car and do a rotation myself (so I KNOW it was done right) and let you know if anything gets better or worse.

    I just started to notice that I can hear a clunk sound from the front drivers side area while driving. It seems that the faster i drive, the more constant the clunk.

    Also, while I was replacing my passenger CV axle I decided to check out my drivers side one and found that I can hold the half of the shaft that goes into the tranny and rotate the other half of the shaft about 1/8" to a 1/4" back and forth where the three bearings are inside the boot. I plan on replacing this friday (if the weather permits) Anyone think this might solve everything?
    #18
  19. chris_taylor123

    chris_taylor123 Proven Member

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    I have the same problem.. its all good until I accelerate pass 40 or 50.. My transmission looks like its leaking though and I hear a click like sound when its cold and I start it up.. Ive been told the throw out bearing isn't in it..
    #19
  20. KEEBS

    KEEBS Probationary Member

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    Edmonton, AB_Canada
    93 talon tsi awd 5speed standard
    I have a mad vibration when taking off from a standstill. 1st gear, 2nd gear or reverse does it. As soon as I get moving (5km/hr) it goes away and drives smooth as butter. I changed Ujoints due to wear and play, but no change. Checked all the mounts, and they all seem fine. I went to my friend's shop to see what he thought. We putthe car in the air and left off/on the clutch to make this happen. With a stethiscope we pinpointed the tranny making a "growling noise" similar to a bearing noise. I pulled the end cover off the tranny to check the coupling and 5th gear syncro. It all seemed fine. Filled back up with gear oil, and now it doesnt do it as bad.
    Another thing I noticed was sitting at a light on a slight hill, with it in 1st, it doesnt roll. the car seems like it is stuck in gear? It might roll back 2 inches then kinda bounce to a standstill.
    Ive been reading lots of forums and havent come across anything like this before. Transmissions are hard to find for this car up here in Canada, so any help would be great! Could I get a rebuild kit that would fix the problem?
    Thanks to the maker of this site! Its helped me out sooooo much so far! :)
    #20
  21. DSM1G90

    DSM1G90 Supporting Member

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    Nampa, Idaho
    Yep, too much play - like an ol' fashioned "U" joint that is ready to fail. You drop the clutch and a big ol' "clunk" is heard, or with an automatic: shove it in "D" or "R" and a clunk is heard ...

    ..I still call it ball joints are bad if you have that wobble and the steering wheel remains steady ...

    Good luck-DSM
    #21
  22. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    Yukon, Oklahoma
    The clunk isn't heard when i drop the clutch. It's just during regular driving.

    Your not the first person to suggest the ball joints so I'm going to check those out next chance I get. Anyone have a picture of a good ball joint that i can compare mine to so i can tell if it's bad or not?
    #22
  23. KEEBS

    KEEBS Probationary Member

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    While your care is in the air, grab the tire at the bottom. push towards the passenger side and put back towards yourself. Any movement is bad. Make sure the balljoin hole in the lower control arm is not rounded out also. That happened to me. 2 new lower control arms with BJs fixed the highway vib and wonder for me!
    #23
  24. 2gProjectCar

    2gProjectCar Proven Member

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    @KEEBS: Ive already checked for any play in the tires/hub and they didnt move at all in any direction.
    #24
  25. and1chewy

    and1chewy Proven Member

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    This seems like a stupid solution but it may be something a simple as a front end alignment or a tire out of balance........ Sometimes something that seems serious isnt as serious as it seem dont always look at the expensive stuff first just my opinion gotta get my 30 posts in LOL seriously tho sometimes is really simple solutions
    #25

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