Passenger side vibration

Discussion in 'Mechanical Problems & Technical Chat' started by PainlessCandy, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    Hey guys, so I've got a nice conundrum on my hands. My car has been at the dealer since Friday. Prior to that I had been experiencing a strange oscillating vibration coming from the front passenger corner. The vibration would come and go almost at random and could be felt through the entire car including in the steering wheel, in the floorboard, in the brake pedal while braking, and when accelerating it feels like something is fighting the engine - if I didn't know better I would think it was a caliper locking up, but that is not the case. At first I thought it might be a tire not balanced or a wheel bearing going bad. So I waited til I swapped my snow tires on in order to rule that out. Omw home from the tire shop (last Thursday) I felt it again, so that rules out wheels causing it.
    The time if felt worst was Wednesday night when I came home from work. It was about 40°F and I still had my summer tires on, and as i approached my exit on the highway it started vibrating, but it kept getting worse until I came to a stop, and at it's worst it felt like my wheel was going to come off - it very much reminded me of when I was young and put the spare on my parents mini van and failed to tighten the lugs all the way and got a quarter mile down the road and thought the car was going to shake itself apart.

    Since Friday, the technician has gone over my brakes making sure the rotors are true and have no corrosion causing an imbalance, the wheel bearing, tested the wheels and tires to be within spec of being true (one is ever so slightly bent, but it was the passenger rear wheel and still balanced on the machine), and pulled the CV axle and found no evidence of play or wear in it.

    At this point, I am not sure what to do or what to look at next. Any input, hypothetical or personal experience, is welcome.

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  2. ron v
    • Supporting Member

    ron v I gotta have more cowbell

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    Wasn’t ur car experiencing this before? I could’ve swarm it was u. If not I know someone on the forum was having the same problem.

    Do u remember hitting any potholes or bumps hard on that side?
     
  3. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    48,291
    motor mounts? suspension component not torqued... even up top on the strut in the engine bay? If it's not constant, I think that would rule out anything like your rotors/wheels/tires etc. If it were there it'd just increase/decrease constantly with speed. If it's intermittent, I'd think road imperfections or something is enough to get it to start the imbalance or whatever.
     
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  4. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    I did have some issues with my BBK that have been largely sorted out, but this is different.

    I dont recall hitting anything that would cause this. I was surprised to hear it was bent, though the bend is so slight that the wheel still balances.

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  5. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    When I spoke to the service tech this morning, I brought up the motor mount as a possibility. I have the rear mount upgraded already, and made it known to her that if there is any sign of wear in the remaining stock mounts that I would be happoy to upgrade the rest.

    It's just so bizarre that it did it so violently the one night, and now it won't do it but a little from time to time. It is worth noting that when it happened the worst that night, I put it into neutral coming off the highway before braking and did not feel the vibration change, and then could feel it strongly in the brake pedal, wheel, and seat as I came to a stop. It did not change depending on how hard I pushed the brake, and seemed to fluctuate as I shifted weight from one side of the car to the other and back coming around the curve on the ramp.

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  6. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    ^ that makes me think suspension component/bolt/bushing being bad or slightly loose. I had an issue with a car once and Honda told me they just randomly used the impact/air gun on suspension bolts and found one that was loose. It resolved the issue I had.
     
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  7. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    Could this be indicative of a shock absorber about to fail?

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  8. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    I wouldn’t think it’d be a shock itself unless it was loose in some way. Normally you’d just have bounce/rebounding issues or clunks when a shock is bad. It would also be leaking fluid potentially if the seals were bad.
     
  9. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    I only bring it up because last time I was in they noted there was evidence of a little fluid leaking from the rear shocks; They are of an age that they are due to be replaced anyways. And myself and the tech are currently at a loss as to what it could be. He has double checked the suspension components for anything loose since this morning.

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  10. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    I've read more about feeling vibration issues in the steering wheel with the front shocks being bad, but if the rears are leaking, I'm surprised the tech isn't saying you need them replaced? Did he say the motor mounts were fine? How many miles on the car?
     
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  11. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    I'm at 98,300 miles, the current suspension (HFP) went on around 30,000 miles. The tech noted there was the sign of a small leak, but that they still worked fine, basically just warning me that they would need replaced soon. They did not say anything about the fronts leaking. I was planning on getting all new suspension in the spring anyways, so hopefully it lasts til then, though I might end up throwing parts at it to see if it fixes the problem.

    They said everything they could possibly check is fine. Motor mounts, suspension components, tie rods, sway bar end links, CV axle, wheel bearing, brake rotor, you name it. I even asked them to double check the strut tower bolts in case they were loose, as you suggested. Nothing seems to be out of place.

    At this point, I'm trying to figure out what parts I should throw at it first. I am hesitant to upgrade the rest of the motor mounts first since that will only increase normal vibrations being felt in the car.

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  12. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    I got my car back yesterday. They could not determine what precisely is causing the vibration (which I felt very strongly on the drive to work this afternoon). Their best bet is the remaining stock motor mount(s) is going bad. I am ordering the rest of the Hasport mounts, as I have already replaced the rear mount a couple years ago.

    Speed, direction, braking, acceleration; none of these seem to change the vibration. The only thing that seems to change it is when the rpms change it oscillates, and when you come to a stop it resets.

    Hopefully the new mounts improve things, though I'm as lost as my mechanic at this point.

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  13. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    @squiggy how many mounts did you upgrade on your engine?
     
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  14. squiggy
    • Staff

    squiggy Cartographer

    Messages:
    10,699
    Location:
    Michiana
    Vehicle Model:
    '12 Civic Si
    Body Style:
    DBP II Coupe
    I just have the RMM.
     
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  15. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    After going through some forums and wracking the brains of others, I have s'more information. I came across an Acura forum where many people experienced this issue in the 2000-era TL; the mechanics kept saying the obvious culprit, which is the rotors being warped, but it was quickly apparent that these people were putting new rotors on every 10k miles and the problem kept coming back. When I had her in the shop last, they measured the rotor run-out on that side to be .002", so he removed the rotor, shaved a tiny bit of rust off it, cleaned the hub surface, and remounted the rotor resulting in an improvement of .001" - all of which was within spec. So we know the rotors are not warped or mounted out of true.

    Last night on my way home from work it did it again, and having some empty road to play with I tried a number of things. The important one is that I did not touch my brake pedal. As I noted before, it feels like something is impeding the engine when it starts to vibrate, so once it started vibrating I let it coast to a stop and then immediately got out and tested temps on all 4 corners - the front passenger side was HOT while the other 3 corners were ice cold (I could hold my hand against the front drivers side rotor, passenger side would have cauterized my hand).

    I think this is being caused by a failing suspension joint on that corner, likely the lower ball joint. When I weaved back and forth on the road I could feel the vibration kind of clunk to one side and then stop, and then when I centered the car again it returned. It did this both left to right and right to left. If you press the brake hard the vibration stops, but under light pedal application you can feel the vibration in the pedal. When it is vibrating, the rotor must be moving back and forth with the hub against the pads causing it to heat up.

    My question, aside from if anyone else has experience replacing these bushings/joints, is if there are any stiffer aftermarket parts I can be replacing the stock parts with. I have looked online several times and found very little in the way of urethane replacements or tougher forged parts to replace the lower control arm and the suspension components that mount to it. I also know it is difficult to verify the integrity of these parts without replacing them outright, so any advice on identifying a failing joint is appreciated; the dealership doesn't see anything obviously wrong with them. To that end, I plan on putting BC DR Coilovers on in the spring as a replacement to my old HFP suspension, so anything that pairs with that is good advice too.

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  16. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    (Forgot to mention that the wheel that had a very slight bend in it has been replaced and I've had an alignment since then, so that is not part of the problem.)

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  17. webby
    • Staff

    webby Administrator

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    why would a rotor be insanely hot unless your caliper is seizing up and applying the pad to the rotor? Compare your pad thickness on the fronts. I'd wager your passenger pad is worn significantly more?
     
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  18. Nomar06
    • Staff

    Nomar06 Super Moderator

    Messages:
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    A bad suspension part wouldn't cause a wheel to heat up. I would inspect the pins in the brake caliper to see if they are seizing the caliper and it wouldn't hurt to lube them up at your mileage, especially if you haven't done that before.
     
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  19. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    The caliper has no way to seize up, these aren't floating calipers. The pad thicknesses are not significantly different. It's worth noting too that I check the heat content of my brake setup almost every time I arrive at a destination, so this occurrence was not normal; normally they have the same amount of heat on both front corners.

    Since this only happened when the vibration was occurring on that side, and given that all the brake components have been cleaned and measured to be within spec, it seems that what is causing the vibration stems from something not being kept in place thus allowing the hub or knuckle to move, and thus the rotor moves and gets rubbed by the pads when it normally wouldn't.

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    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  20. PainlessCandy

    PainlessCandy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Vehicle Model:
    Civic Si
    Body Style:
    Coupe
    My calipers are... a little different. The only way they could seize like that would be if they stayed clamped after I stepped on the pedal, which in this occurrence I made sure not to do at all so that couldn't be a possibility.

    The only thing it could be on my brakes are if the floating ties holding the two piece rotors together are coming loose, and that doesn't seem to be the case (not to mention the manufacturer basically said that doesn't happen due to how tight they are fastened when they produce them). 20160920_155926.jpg

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017

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