: Steering Wheel Vibration



eyeballs19
09-09-10, 10:57 AM
Has anyone else experienced a steering wheel vibration that cannot be resolved?

My '09 CTS-V manual with 15K miles has had a vibration since it was new. Feels like a front tire out of balance or flat spotted, comes mostly through the steering wheel, but it cannot be the tires or wheels (does it with stock wheels, with Forgelines, with stock tires, with winter tires). Happens in a range of speed bands.

It is usually not a huge vibration, so I have lived with it (stupid, I know), but I just had the stock tires on Forgelines balanced and it made it worse, so it is time to fix this. Bad rotor? Bad hub? I'm going to let the dealer wrestle with it, but wanted to point them in a direction. It is the only thing that bugs me about an otherwise great car.

Thanks to all.

Mike 09 V
09-09-10, 02:05 PM
Several things come to mind: Loose wheel bearing; loose tie rod or one of the joints in the steering gear; air in the power steering pump; out of balance drive shaft. Strange that it got worse when the tires were balanced, unless of course the tire wasn't balanced properly, or one of the weights fell off when you drove away, and the new problem covers up the old.
Does it do it while coasting? Hard to tell from the cheap seats. Good luck.

eyeballs19
09-09-10, 04:21 PM
Thanks for the input. Agreed-- it is tough to diagnose remotely. I'm hoping somebody else ran into this and solved it. Nothing appears in a search of the forum, but cannot hurt to ask...

Vibration is independent of RPM, does it while in gear or out of gear, is felt through the steering wheel rather than the seat, does it while coasting, no change when turning or when braking. Starts at about 50mph, comes and goes as the speeds climb. The car has had it from day one, and while it might vary a little based on the wheels on the car, it is always there. Something is goofy.

The suggestion on the tie rod is interesting. I had a E39 BMW that felt like it had warped rotors when the suspension bits wore out. It does have some of that feel.

Well, off to the dealer. Will post back if they can figure anything out.

Nutz
09-09-10, 10:40 PM
Take it in and get the driveshaft indexed. Driveshaft indexing is evident in the steering wheel vibration. My car did it when new, and took almost a full circle of driveshaft indexing to cure it completely. Known problem with these cars, V1 and V2.

baabootoo
09-10-10, 01:10 AM
Unless I missed it, what's the size/offset of the Forgelines? If you moved the center-line of the tire from the design, this will cause it. Balance is usually high speed affect anyway. Someone next to the car can SEE an out of balance tire real easy.

lavaman
09-10-10, 09:22 AM
Has anyone else experienced a steering wheel vibration that cannot be resolved?

My '09 CTS-V manual with 15K miles has had a vibration since it was new. Feels like a front tire out of balance or flat spotted, comes mostly through the steering wheel, but it cannot be the tires or wheels (does it with stock wheels, with Forgelines, with stock tires, with winter tires). Happens in a range of speed bands.

It is usually not a huge vibration, so I have lived with it (stupid, I know), but I just had the stock tires on Forgelines balanced and it made it worse, so it is time to fix this. Bad rotor? Bad hub? I'm going to let the dealer wrestle with it, but wanted to point them in a direction. It is the only thing that bugs me about an otherwise great car.

Thanks to all.

You call it a "Vibration" and also say it feels like a flat spotted tire. A flat spotted tire will cause what is referred to as a "Shimmy". Are you feeling/seeing the steering wheel oscillate with every rotation of the front wheels or is the frequency much higher.... say 4 times as often as the wheel rotation (This would indicate a vibration)? If you indeed are experiencing a vibration, as "Nutz" has suggested I would start by "indexing the driveshaft". If you have a shimmy I would start by having the front tires "road force" balanced... and have it done by a competent tech that understands the principals involved. With the short side walls on these tires any road force measurement greater than ~ 8 will likely produce a shimmy. Note... A perfectly "balanced" tire/wheel without having "road force" measured and adjusted if possible, may have excessive road force and still produce a shimmy.

Good luck!

eyeballs19
09-10-10, 01:53 PM
You call it a "Vibration" and also say it feels like a flat spotted tire. A flat spotted tire will cause what is referred to as a "Shimmy". Are you feeling/seeing the steering wheel oscillate with every rotation of the front wheels or is the frequency much higher.... say 4 times as often as the wheel rotation (This would indicate a vibration)? If you indeed are experiencing a vibration, as "Nutz" has suggested I would start by "indexing the driveshaft". If you have a shimmy I would start by having the front tires "road force" balanced... and have it done by a competent tech that understands the principals involved. With the short side walls on these tires any road force measurement greater than ~ 8 will likely produce a shimmy. Note... A perfectly "balanced" tire/wheel without having "road force" measured and adjusted if possible, may have excessive road force and still produce a shimmy.

Good luck!


Thanks all-- great advice. I will have them index the driveshaft and see what it does. It is a vibration rather than a shimmy (didn't mean to confuse with the flat spot reference), and I'm pretty sure it is something other than the wheels given all the wheel/tire combinations that I have tried, all of which have been road force balanced.

Very interesting that the driveshaft impacts the front wheels. Would never have guessed.

BobbyandRyan
10-07-10, 10:53 PM
I have the same issue with my 2010 CTS. They road force balanced the wheels and rotated - helped SLIGHTLY. Still feel too much road in the steering. Someone must of had this problem resolved somehow. Anyone?

eyeballs19
11-02-10, 11:21 PM
So I resolved this issue, but not the way I expected.

Had been fighting a "vibration/shimmy" that I could not resolve and had gotten worse since the car was serviced. Took the lead tech at the dealership for a ride, and he diagnosed the problem as tire/wheel based on the frequency. Turns out that the dealer had balanced but not road force balanced the tires the week prior, and had made it worse.

So the dealership then road force balanced the wheels (Forgelines with the factory PS2s) and had 2 tires that came in at 30+ on the road force, which is insane. The car was worse than ever, almost un-drivable. I parked it.

The dealership really wanted the car back to stock before they would mess with warranty, since it seemed like something was wrong with the tires, so I got the local high-end wheel shop involved. I had winter tires on the stock rims, so swapped all the tires around. The wheel shop had NO issue with any tire, NO issue with any wheel. All 8 road force balanced perfectly. The car is now much smoother on stock rubber than it was when new.

I am baffled. Either the dealership had a machine error, a tech error, or they had trouble with the Forgelines on their machine. I still don't understand why the car had this problem from the factory when bog stock, but it is gone now and the car is glass smooth.

Maybe I just needed to get the right tech with the right machine who was willing to take the time to get it right.

tedcmiller
11-03-10, 12:03 AM
I have a completely stock 2009 CTS-V with the auto trans. I have never experienced any sort of steering wheel vibration or shimmy (or any other bad effects) on this car.