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Old 10-07-2003, 09:54 AM   #1
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Need Help with Vibration!

Hi guys,
I'm having a problem with a vibration in my '01 ZX3. I bought this car used a couple months ago. When I got it, the tires were pretty worn and one had a bubble in the sidewall. The car had a vibration at freeway speeds and I made the assumption that it was the tires, since they needed replaced anyway. Well, recently I replaced the tires with new ones. When I got the car back from the tire store it still had the vibration and it was very similar to the one it had with the bad tires. I took it back to the tire store and they re-balanced the tires and checked the wheels for damage. They told me everything was correct and they couldn't balance the tires any better then they were. This makes me wonder if the problem is not the tires. Have any of you had a problem with your car that produced a vibration at freeway speeds? I'm thnking of things like wheel bearings, shocks, etc...
The vibration is in the front and rear, so it's likely two different things. I don't think it is that the tire store's equipment was out of calibration because this is a very reputable tire chain in our area, plus they would be having hteis problem with a lot of other customer cars also if that was the case. I'd appreciate any comments on this subject.
Thanks!


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Old 10-07-2003, 10:13 AM   #2
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the only vibrations that I ever felt in my foci was in the winter when the snow when get all clogged up in the tires and throw them off balance. Otherwise, since it's not winter, I don't really know what to tell you. Keep me update on what happens tho, I'm curious to know what it is.

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Old 10-07-2003, 10:49 AM   #3
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what brand tires? Cheap tires sometimes can't be balanced. Les Shwab wilderness truck tires are notorious for that, so who knows? the tires could be bad
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:28 AM   #4
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They are Pirelli P6's, and none of them have a large amount of weight on them, so I'm pretty sure that's not it. In addtion, I didn't buy the tires from the dealer, so I'm sure he would have pointed something like that out to me.
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:39 AM   #5
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Did you check the alignment? Maybe the toe is really off...
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Old 10-07-2003, 11:59 AM   #6
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Also check your Rotors they can be warped, that will also cause vibration at the steering wheel.
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:26 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the help. To address your comments/questions - It's a common misconception that vibrations can be caused by a poor alignment. This can only happen if the settings are dramatically out of spec (as in the car just got in a wreck). Short of that, the alignment can only aggrevate another condition, like bad front end parts or tires. I don't think this is the case as I only have 28k on the car. Do these cars get bad front end parts that soon?
The rotors could be the cause, but unless there is something unique to the Focus (which is why I'm asking the experts here), the vibration would occur at any speed with the brakes applied. I have seen it where a warped rotor causes the wheel to vibrate when the brakes are not applied, but only if it gets much worse when they are applied. I have no vibration under braking, only when driving above 65 mph.
I guess I was hoping for a common problem in these cars that produces this symtom, but it's starting to sound like that is not the case.
Any other ideas?
Thanks again,
Jim
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:29 PM   #8
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They could be just cheap tires? have you tried moving the rear tires to the front to see if the problem goes away?
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:34 PM   #9
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Hence why I said 'really' off

Pirelli P6s aren't really that cheap. They came standard on my 2003, and ride really nice, for a stock tire that is. Far better than the Firesquaks.
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:28 PM   #10
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nah im thinking its not the tires already, do you still have all the little weights on your rims, you know the ones that are supposed to keep them from vibrating.... also a bent or twisted frame is suspect of this, it could have been bent or twisted just a little and they could have fixed the exterior and youd never know otherwise n just a thouhgt
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