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Steering Wheel Shimmy Advice Needed

1456 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  stim141
Had my tires rebalanced at a tire dealer a couple of weeks ago. They said the front right wheel had a slight bend - knew about it and its been like that for ages.

Took the car to the dealer who uses a contractor to straighten the wheel. They did a road force balance at the same time. On the highway the shimmy is still there at around 60 mph and you see the empty passenger seat back vibrating. You don't feel anything in the seat but you do feel it in the wheel and see it slightly moving. If I move the wheel quickly back and forth - even if its not vibrating I can feel something isn't right at speeds but it will correct itself after a second or two.

Took it back this morning and had them check out the suspension. Service advisor said the front suspension was tight but the back shocks appear to be leaking. Would they cause the steering to vibrate? They said they would call my aftermarket warranty to get approval which they won't because they don't cover shocks and I would never have them do it because of the cost and its something I can do in about 1 1/2 hours. If the dealer fudges it and says its something else fine.

Does any of this make sense or am I being led down a costly road? The car even with the bent rim when the tires were mounted last year in October never did this. I got them balanced because of the slight shimmy but the balancing didn't improve the situation so it must be suspension based. What should they have checked?
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Got the call from the service advisor late this afternoon. Basically said they couldn't figure it out. They did feel the shimmy at 60+ and said the front suspension was fine. Noticed the rear shocks are leaking slightly but also said that wouldn't cause the vibration.

I asked them about the steering damper and he said they checked it and it seemed ok. Also "road forced balanced" the fronts again.

He said he would put on a new damper on Monday and see if it corrects the problem. I said fine I'd pay for it. My warranty will cover it but I have a 100 deductable.

Will see on Monday....
No news yet. More than likely thy are waiting for the damper. I'm a little doubtful that they have a clue. They admit they feel it but dont know whats going on. Hopefully more news this afternoon.
Guys you are going to love this....

Finally picked up the car at the dealership this morning and the SA said they couldn't figure it out but the three mechs said it was most likely the tires.

Ok, fine - took it back to the tire dealer - who drove it and confirmed there was a slight shimmy. I've known the guy for years and I can definately trust him. Sat in the waiting room - they removed the two fronts and put them on the Hunter Balancer. Without fully spinning it they called me out and said one of the wheels was bent - front left. The other side was fine except the tire had a very slight - really slight flat spot that is covered under Yoko's warranty.

So the dealer had my car since last Friday - went through the entire thing - supposedly and came back with nothing. The thing that kills me is they were supposed to fix the front wheel bend about two weeks ago which I paid for! Was it bent - no because the tire dealer only said one was bent. Did the dealership attempt to straighten a true wheel and ignore the other? Who knows?!

Didn't call the dealership - drove there and spoke to the advisor who called the techs and wheel repair person and asked them if they (1) fixed the bend and checked the wheels again. They said yes - sure!

He said he would comp the wheel repair tomorrow. The front tire is going to be replaced at the tire dealership on Saturday and they can recheck the work on the (free) wheel repair.

What a complete waste of time!
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Yep, fortunately the service writer is decent and will take care of it without charge. He knows that some customers would go directly to the manager and also knows I wouldn't do that so he throws in certain things like alignments and oil changes at no charge. I had a loaner for the week at their expense - which is standard. They know I have an extended and can make up for any good will anytime because my warranty company pays for everything except shocks, wipers - consumables.

Its interesting that the service advisors are paid based on the number of dollars they write up for the month - they get some sort of commission - so it is in their best interest to charge the warranty or customer's a ton. My guy doesn't - for me anyway.

The dealership also has a plenty of other whales with very deep pockets - think St Louis Rams, Cardinals and people who have SL65's with the carbon bumper that they scrape on parking stoppers and costs about 18000 to replace and this is just the 1" trim strip at the bottom. Believe me they also make up the goodwill on them.
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