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Not a truck. But a Car problem

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by MickiRig1, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    My Daughter's 98 Toyota Camery.
    The steering wheel shakes only when going down hills with the brakes on. There is no pulsation of the brake pedal. Just a side to side shake of the steering wheel.
    I can wrench real well, so I aint no rookie. I have replaced the bearings on both front wheels. It has recent rotors, calipers, new tires I did and new drive shafts before we bought it. Rotated the tires, no change! I just thought someone might have an idea what the problem is. I am a professional driver of Ambulances. Driving is like breathing for me.
    The car drives great except for the hill shake!
  2. Moonlighter

    Moonlighter Senior Member
    Messages: 643

    Have you checked the main mounts bolts for the engine cradle, if the rear ones are loose in any way it would allow the steering rack to move under that condition. Can you do a run out on the rotors to make sure they are not slightly warped or have a high spot in them.
  3. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Jack the front end and check for loose/bad wheel bearings and tie rods.
  4. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    Brake rotors are made so cheap these days it don't take much heat to warp them. Have to replace them one my wifes car about every year because of a huge steep hill she goes down every day. Pull tires and put a dial indicator on and spin the rotor and ill bet its warped.
  5. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180


    I have had rotor runout issues whose symptoms did NOT include brake pedal pulsation.
  6. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    She does drive like her mother. I ask them all the time why they have to jam the brakes everytime! Can you take the foot off the gas and let it coast? Is it really that big a surprise the light changed?
  7. maverjohn

    maverjohn Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    x 2 My wife love to ride the brakes.:realmad:
  8. carkey351

    carkey351 Senior Member
    Messages: 229

    one easy way to check the tie rods is to jack the car up off the ground (the front tire side you want to check) and with the left and right sides of the tire move it back and forth and feel for any excessive movement. usually one side will be worse than the other, and if there is a lot of movement that tie rod is bad. if you move the tire back and forth on the top and bottom sides of the tire and it moves a bunch then the ball joints are bad.

    My in-laws neon had a similar symptom and it was a bad tie rod end. it could still be a brake rotor, but it is always better to find the actual problem rather than throw parts at it (that's what the crappy shops do and why they overcharge people).
  9. theholycow

    theholycow PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,180

    That's usually the test for hub/bearing failure too.

  10. 87chevy

    87chevy Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    Moving to the:

    Top and bottom- wheel bearing

    front and rear- tie rods, ball joints
  11. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I just did the front bearings 6 month's ago so I know they are good. I am leaning toward a rotor problem. They too are recent. Like Her Mother she waits 2 weeks to tell me of brake noise.I am 5 for 5 on gone / done rotor sets with the women in my extended family. I walk into my machine shop. Ron just says just Throw them in the (scrap) bin.
  12. 04tundra

    04tundra Senior Member
    Messages: 153

    i would guess that the rotors are warped or the tie rods have play in them. as a long shot, double check the balance on the front tires. but i doubt it based on your complaint
  13. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Sounds like a good chance of rotor runout. Could be a few things that cause it. The rotors could be warped. Rim could be bent. It is also very possible that the hub flange or the back of the rotor was not clean when it was reassembled. If there is some grit or rust or whatever in between it would cause runout. It only takes a few thousands of an inch to get this. Another possibility could be the CV shafts. When the weight shifts the angle changes and could allow the problem to show. I vote rotor runout though. I would pull the wheel and do a runout test. You will need to put the lug nuts and probably a spacer on though without the wheel to hold the rotor tight.

    RIVERVIEW7 Member
    Messages: 56

    I would check the rotors or the hose going to the caliper if they are going bad, they wiull cause you a problem.
  15. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I had the tires checked, they are in balance. Rotors are true. Then I notice cut in boot on the right drive shaft. The CV was stiff as hell. New shaft, no more shake!