Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm? in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Hello gentlemen, Last week I bought a set of new tires for my 2003 Escalade EXT. After installation, driving on ...
  1. #1
    Biggz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    Hello gentlemen,

    Last week I bought a set of new tires for my 2003 Escalade EXT. After installation, driving on the freeway at 60-70 MPH the steering wheel shakes vigorously to the point where I have to drive below 60.

    I went back to the shop to have the tires rebalanced. They rebalanced the wheels and I still have the shaking. I went to another shop, they rebalanced the wheels and advised I need the Pitman arm/Idler arm replaced.

    I have 26inch wheels on the truck (bought it this way). I need to know if spending the money to replace the Pitman/Idler arm will solve the shaking.

    Please advise, I really appreciate it.

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    YoshiMan's Avatar
    YoshiMan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    have you performed a front end alignment by chance? I would crawl under the truck and have someone turn the wheel while looking at the steering components, you may be able to see whats wrong. There is a variety of things that could cause that, and yes, worn steering parts may be to blame

  4. #3
    Biggz is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    Thanks for the advice. I watched the tech at the second shop shake the wheel and it had play, while the wheel was bolted on. What I don't understand is if its the Pitman/Idler arm why didn't I have the shake with my old tires?

  5. #4
    YoshiMan's Avatar
    YoshiMan is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    did it just suddenly come up the second they put the new tires on? If it did it directly after you got it back, and didn't do it before, i would have ot say thats kind of odd, almost as if they damaged it...

  6. #5
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by YoshiMan
    did it just suddenly come up the second they put the new tires on? If it did it directly after you got it back, and didn't do it before, i would have ot say thats kind of odd, almost as if they damaged it...
    I agree sounds like the shop did something to get you to come back

  7. #6
    jnrsesv is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    I know my pitman and idler arm grease boots are torn, but the arms themselves are still tight. I make sure to grease them at every oil change.

  8. #7
    the cadillac man's Avatar
    the cadillac man is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnrsesv
    I know my pitman and idler arm grease boots are torn, but the arms themselves are still tight. I make sure to grease them at every oil change.
    There is a steering box that also needs checked

  9. #8
    jmbfin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    If there is play in the wheel assembly while the wheels are bolted on, it is possible you have a worn hub assembly. The bearings are sealed and cannot be repaired but must be replaced. I have owned several late model GM trucks and all of them developed the shake you mention which was caused by worn hub assemblies. The shake occur when driving in a straight line but would to away temporarily if you turned the wheel one way or the other while driving. Those are not too difficult or expensive to replace if they are the cause of your problem.

  10. #9
    GRUMPYONE's Avatar
    GRUMPYONE is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Vigorous steering wheel shaking. New tires? or Pitman arm/Idler Arm?

    I have a 2000 escalade and it had 24s on it. i replaced them with 20" and got the steering wobble your describing. Now my tires are the same height as the ones that came off of it. The stress on the front end destroyed my ball joints . Jack it up and take a pole, place under front wheel and lift up. Mine would raise up a quarter of inch and the top you push in and would do the same. It is possiable that the new tires are riding and behaveing in a different manor than the worn tires. I am saying the old tires would have worn to the front (pavment tracking) and the new are sitting on an angle. Mine also had play, when jacked up, by grabbing the wheel and turning it left to right with the steering wheel locked. To solve my problem i replaced all balljoints, idler arm and the bracket it attaches to frame. Took and got it aligned and it was gone. I know every vehicle is different, this is just my 2 cents.

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