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Old 02-22-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
katkrazy2007
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Steering wheel vibration AFTER a balance and rotation???):

I drive a 2008 Focus SES and I was experiencing some pretty severe vibration at highway speeds for the past couple of weeks. Not just steering wheel vibration, but seemingly in the whole car (It vibrates my seats, head rest, etc). So I took it to a local place where I always get my oil changed and had them balance and rotate my tires to get rid of the vibration because I just assumed that was the problem. Well, I drove down the highway to work, and I'm still getting vibration!! Its not as bad as before I took it, but its still pretty bad (which kind of tell you how bad it was in the first place).

Also, I'm still experiencing the squeaking/creaking sounds coming from my suspension (i've posted on this subject before) which can only be heard if I am 1) going really slow on a rough parking lot or road and you can hear the sounds going over a speed bump but ONLY when the rear wheels go over the speed bump or 2) you can hear a fast paced squeak going at highway speeds (60MPH or faster) and its really annoying.

Well, my point it, could the vibration and the noise be going hand in hand? Or is it a coincidence that I'm just having both problems simultaneously? I'm seriously in need of advise ): I've been having these problems for too long and I can't seem to figure out the problem.


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Old 02-22-2013, 01:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katkrazy2007 View Post
I drive a 2008 Focus SES and I was experiencing some pretty severe vibration at highway speeds for the past couple of weeks. Not just steering wheel vibration, but seemingly in the whole car (It vibrates my seats, head rest, etc). So I took it to a local place where I always get my oil changed and had them balance and rotate my tires to get rid of the vibration because I just assumed that was the problem. Well, I drove down the highway to work, and I'm still getting vibration!! Its not as bad as before I took it, but its still pretty bad (which kind of tell you how bad it was in the first place).

Also, I'm still experiencing the squeaking/creaking sounds coming from my suspension (i've posted on this subject before) which can only be heard if I am 1) going really slow on a rough parking lot or road and you can hear the sounds going over a speed bump but ONLY when the rear wheels go over the speed bump or 2) you can hear a fast paced squeak going at highway speeds (60MPH or faster) and its really annoying.

Well, my point it, could the vibration and the noise be going hand in hand? Or is it a coincidence that I'm just having both problems simultaneously? I'm seriously in need of advise ): I've been having these problems for too long and I can't seem to figure out the problem.
Hi katkrazy2007,

Have you been to your local Ford dealership so they can diagnose? A Ford certified tech is in the best position to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Give them a call; they'll be happy to help you out.

Crystal
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FordCustomerService View Post
A Ford certified tech is in the best position to diagnose and repair your vehicle. Give them a call; they'll be happy to help you out.

Crystal
LOL, an instructor at my school used to be a Ford Master certified tech, decades in the business. His method for diagnosing door lock and speaker problems was by kicking the door cards to see if anything changes. That's a direct by-product of the flat rate pay system.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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I have taken it to Ford in the past about the problem and they didn't do any good -- I'm just tired of fooling around with this and I want REAL solutions to the problem! I know its something that can be fixed and no one can find it. I have a mechanic in mind who I am thinking of taking it to because he is theoretically supposed to be one of the best in my area. I would still love more advise from other focus drivers and people who know more about cars than myself... HELP!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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I would bet you have a bent wheel. It will still balance fine but the bend or bends in wheels could cause it. Unless you watched them balance I would put money on that.
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #6
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I second the bent wheel hypothesis
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Old 02-22-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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I never would have thought about that, but you guys could be right. I never gave it a second thought. So how can someone like me who doesn't know much about cars just look and see if its bent? And if it helps to verify this, my car has a rebuilt title. It was in a minor accident that did some fender and a little undercarriage damage. The wheels on my car now aren't the ones that were on it during the accident though. The original wheels were the 16in snowflakes that come on SES models but mine has the 15in 16spoke SE wheels. I assumed the wheels got messed up in the accident and the only fix was the replace them completely. So what could be bent (if anything) besides the wheels? You guys are helping a lot and I appreciate it. How can I verify a bent wheel?
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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New development on this issue!!! I just inspected my tires and the two on front and one on driver rear are size 195/60R15 and the one rear one on passenger side is a different brand and is a 195/65R15. So they are different sizes? What does the 60/65 mean? I know 195 is width and 15 is size of my wheels.
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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The other number is the aspect ratio, or the percentage of the tire width that the sidewall height is. The 65 is a bit taller sidewall, meaning slightly taller tire. While not right and needing correction, it may not be your issue, I've had idiot tire people mismatch an entire different size (two taller, two shorter) on opposite corners to where car teeter-tottered across diagonally before, while the car drove a bit funky, it drove with no vibration.

If re-titled car I'd strongly suspect some unibody error there, when unibody is crunched up sometimes body areas that are not touching to quell vibration then do so to vibrate badly. Or some spot welding may be loose or missing to make area less integral, that sort of thing. Certain cross sections of unibody are specially formed to be strong and not carry or amplify road vibration, change the shape or form and the whole input from the road changes. That 'minor accident' wording probably bullsh-t, you don't do rebuilder titles for less than very seriously damaged cars.

You could at least view outside of wheel contours while rolling. Get someone else to drive car at a fixed mph and you in another car follow and watch what the wheels do, bent aluminum wheels sometimes can show easily, but you will not be able to watch the inside edges. Maybe jack up backs one at a time and roll them to look at. The fronts you don't want to run jacked up unless jacked up under control arms, if you jack up under body the driveshaft angle will be abnormal and possibly damage the axles when run. Someone needs to get slightly under front and view front tire running, don't be drunk and have someone in the cockpit you trust here obviously. I don't advise it but have done it.............DANGEROUS belongs in there somewhere of course.

I suspect unibody damage not resolved, they changed the wheels trying to chase problem as cheaply as they could. A normal rebuilder issue, these guys often put cars back out on the road that have no business being there. I knew two or three and they put some real garbage out there, even though the cars looked beautiful on the outside. There were all kinds of tricks used to circumvent fixing body issues correctly, it's an art. They even had unofficial contests to see who could take the vehicle with the greatest damage and get it successfully back out on the road. They would swap before and after photos and amounts paid for finished cars to brag.

Hoping that hasn't happened to you of course, but you need to be aware, you could be driving a family around in a car that will not perform nearly as it should in an accident. Don't feel bad, one of the earliest cars I had looked beautiful, but problems that showed up in a year and paint and bondo coming loose lead me to realize that same thing happened to me, luckily I had just traded another car for that one and the hit not as bad. The car I speak of had ultimately been rolled over and the entire top was pushed back out as well as major repairs done to opposite side/corner at outrigger section. Hatch had been installed on hatch opening that was totally out of shape too. In short the car should have been totaled but I ended up with it, it turned into a learning experience since I do all my own work. That vehicle sorely tested my skills but I drove it out to a normal length life. Brother, dead was not the word when I gave it up to the junkyard. You know the saying they have about how any wrecked car shows up when all things seem to keep breaking on it? Not superstitious but that car did it to the max. Literally everything broke, only after like two years of continual off and on repairs did the car finally settle down to drive with no problems for long periods of time, or I finally whupped it. Drove it for another pretty much 6 years trouble free since there was literally nothing else to fix. I did chase squeaks though the entire time, no sooner I'd fix one than another showed up somewhere else, much of that chasing lead to the evidence that car had been so badly damaged.

Luck...........
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Old 02-22-2013, 07:25 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advise and I completely agree with you on this one. Although my car didn't have damage as bad as yours did. My was just scratched up and had to have axels, rack pinion, etc. but I am not ruling out the thing you said about the unibody. I got this car from the same guy I got my last car from and it was awesome. Never had any problems and it too had a rebuilt title. Both passenger side doors had been crushed in from being t-boned. This car didn't take as much damage as the cavalier had before it had both doors replaced. Everything about this car is awesome, including the way it runs and the great gas mileage makes me smile (: the only noticable problems I've had was concerning my original post above (suspension creak/squeak/gurgle what however one would describe the noise) and the vibration. And I guess there's a chance the tire being different on rear could be a factor not to mention I don't know if a wheel could be bent. I've got a lot to look into and not enough time in a day to do it /: thanks for the well thought out advise!!! I welcome as many suggestions as possible!!!
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