seb146
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 4:46 am

I have been chasing this problem for years. I been to five different mechanics in two states. No one can fix it.

I have a 2011 Toyota Corolla. When I am going over 50MPH/80KPH and apply the breaks, the front end shakes badly. It is most noticeable going down hill and turning to the right. It shakes either way but it seems to shake more turning to the right. We were just going down one of the passes north of MFR and I had to slow down hill on a corner on I-5 and I thought I was going to lose control. It vibrates at freeway speed on a level while breaking but it is just awful going down hill and turning.

I have had the tie rods replaced, the roters replaced, the CV joints replaced, the drums and pads replaced, new tires an it has seemed to get worse. Probably because of time. I hate this car and can not wait to get rid of it but, for now, I need to know what it wrong so I can at least feel safe going over passes.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
petertenthije
Posts: 3586
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 9:03 am

Your front-right brake disk may be out of alignment.
Attamottamotta!
 
Redd
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:40 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 9:12 am

Sounds like brake rotors but if you've replaced them that's a strange one. It could be your wheel alignment, could be very much off. Have you taken your car to a Toyota dealer?
 
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Zeppi
Posts: 32
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 12:02 pm

99% it's the front right wheel bearing as you've replaced everything else. They cause really nasty vibrations when they fail.
 
dragon6172
Posts: 905
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 12:16 pm

I had this on a truck and it was just and out of balance wheel. I assume the tires were balanced when you had them replaced though. Do your front tires show any signs of odd wear? Does the vehicle track straight when you let you hand off the wheel on level pavement?
Also. When you say front end shakes, does the steering wheel shake in your hands? Or do you just mean the vehicle vibrates in general
Phrogs Phorever
 
seb146
Topic Author
Posts: 17857
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 3:35 pm

dragon6172 wrote:
I had this on a truck and it was just and out of balance wheel. I assume the tires were balanced when you had them replaced though. Do your front tires show any signs of odd wear? Does the vehicle track straight when you let you hand off the wheel on level pavement?
Also. When you say front end shakes, does the steering wheel shake in your hands? Or do you just mean the vehicle vibrates in general


The front end is aligned and the wheels are balanced. When the front end shakes, the steering wheel is what I feel shaking. The front of the car does, but the steering wheel shakes the most and worst. I had to hold the wheel tight going around that corner. It makes a rhythmic sound that seems to match with the turning of the tires. But, I have changed the roters and pads, so those are not warped.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
seb146
Topic Author
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 3:41 pm

Redd wrote:
Sounds like brake rotors but if you've replaced them that's a strange one. It could be your wheel alignment, could be very much off. Have you taken your car to a Toyota dealer?


I have been to two different Toyota dealers. The first one, who sold me this car, said "some of them just do that" and could not find anything wrong. The other one said they could not find a problem. I had been going to a different, independent mechanic in California and they could not find anything wrong but they believe me that something happens because I told them every time.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Okie
Posts: 3862
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 4:15 pm

seb146 wrote:
The front end is aligned and the wheels are balanced. When the front end shakes, the steering wheel is what I feel shaking. The front of the car does, but the steering wheel shakes the most and worst. I had to hold the wheel tight going around that corner. It makes a rhythmic sound that seems to match with the turning of the tires. But, I have changed the roters and pads, so those are not warped.


A. If it was brakes and rotors you would feel the brake pedal pulsate long before the steering wheel.
B. If it was a wheel bearing you usually will be able to notice a bit of extra brake pedal travel, but not always, because the failed bearing will kick the pucks farther back in the calipers.


Maybe you should try the most expensive thing first.

Jack up the car, check the front wheel bearing play (wobble) while you are at it, then switch the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front.

You may just have a broken belt in your front tire.

Okie
 
seb146
Topic Author
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 4:21 pm

Okie wrote:
seb146 wrote:
The front end is aligned and the wheels are balanced. When the front end shakes, the steering wheel is what I feel shaking. The front of the car does, but the steering wheel shakes the most and worst. I had to hold the wheel tight going around that corner. It makes a rhythmic sound that seems to match with the turning of the tires. But, I have changed the roters and pads, so those are not warped.


A. If it was brakes and rotors you would feel the brake pedal pulsate long before the steering wheel.
B. If it was a wheel bearing you usually will be able to notice a bit of extra brake pedal travel, but not always, because the failed bearing will kick the pucks farther back in the calipers.


Maybe you should try the most expensive thing first.

Jack up the car, check the front wheel bearing play (wobble) while you are at it, then switch the front tires to the back and the back tires to the front.

You may just have a broken belt in your front tire.

Okie


I can feel the vibration in the break pedal as well. It is not the tires because I have had them rotated and have new tires put on. Something in the breaking system is doing this but no one can find it.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Redd
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 5:16 pm

Unlikely in your case but imbalanced wheels or badly balanced wheels will cause havoc.
 
WIederling
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 5:21 pm

petertenthije wrote:
Your front-right brake disk may be out of alignment.


Had a similar issue with my 2000 Toyota Yaris Verso.

Look if the (front disk) brake caliper sliding bushes are OK.
( especially the curb side one tends to seize with corrosion.)

Look that the brake disks don't wobble. ( rust flakes under the flange.)
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 5:38 pm

Redd wrote:
Unlikely in your case but imbalanced wheels or badly balanced wheels will cause havoc.


you'll notice that while cruising too.
This is about things that only happen during braking.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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TSS
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 9:37 pm

So the car vibrates when the front tires go from actively "pulling" (acceleration, maintaining speed) to actively "pushing" (braking). It could be a suspension problem, particularly a worn, damaged, or missing rubber bushing.

Have a suspension guy (Someone who actually understands and REPAIRS suspensions, not just an "alignment tech" at a chain store or at the dealership):
1. Check the ball joints, especially the right one, for play.
2. Check the condition of the control arm bushings.
3. Check the condition of the steering rack mounting bushings.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
prebennorholm
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Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sat May 26, 2018 11:44 pm

I had that same problem on an old Opel ages ago. The mechanic said it was wrapped front brake disks, replaced them, problem solved.

But only for a while, so I went back.

He said that I needed to have those brake disks straightened in a lathe. Reason was that it was a cheap car with brake disks made of recycled steel of unknown alloy mixture, therefore they wrapped when getting hot.

He told me to go and drive like crazy to get those disks really, really hot, so they wouldn't wrap even further, then come back and have them straightened.

I complied, and it worked perfectly well. But for decades I haven't driven an Opel again.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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TSS
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Sun May 27, 2018 12:20 am

This may not be a solution, but it'll certainly help with finding a conclusive diagnosis of the problem:

Mount a GoPro aimed at the right front wheel on the fender so you can record exactly what's happening when the car vibrates from outside the car. If and on which axis the wheel moves in an uncontrolled manner will provide clues to the nature of the problem.
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
seb146
Topic Author
Posts: 17857
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:07 am

I had a short day at work, so the brosband and I put my car up on jacks this afternoon. He took the tires off and poked around. The struts seemed fine to him, just old, so they should probably be replaced at some point. He could not see any major cracks anywhere. The one thing is: when the car was up on the jacks, he started the engine and put it in drive. He revved it and the whole engine moved significantly. We are pretty sure there is a motor mount missing. I don't think that would cause such violent shaking going down hill on the freeway during breaking but it is something we found!
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
seb146
Topic Author
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:22 am

I had it explained to me that the engine in an automatic helps slow down the car, so, if the transmission is put in neutral, the shaking will not be so much. I have not tested that one, yet. The only other thing that it could be, according to four different mechanics and people on this board, is the control arm bushings. But, those same four mechanics said it was less than 10% chance that is it because of all the other front end work I have done. Since the steering is straight and true, I am getting the firewall side engine mount put in next Tuesday.

And I will never buy another Toyota as long as I live.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Chaostheory
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:08 pm

Does the steering pull to any side either when braking or cruising?

From the very little I know (I co-own a car workshop with my brother) and from past experience, I'm leaning towards Wlederling's suggestion: corrosion/debris in the nearside brake caliper causing the piston to stick. Most obvious symptom of this would be warmer brakes on the problem side. In more severe cases it can cause heavy vibration or shake under braking.
 
seb146
Topic Author
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:14 pm

Chaostheory wrote:
Does the steering pull to any side either when braking or cruising?

From the very little I know (I co-own a car workshop with my brother) and from past experience, I'm leaning towards Wlederling's suggestion: corrosion/debris in the nearside brake caliper causing the piston to stick. Most obvious symptom of this would be warmer brakes on the problem side. In more severe cases it can cause heavy vibration or shake under braking.


The alignment is perfect. I am on my third set of tires, they are rotated every oil change. They were balanced. I have had the drums and rotors and pads replaced. Not simply turned or machined but completely replaced. It steers straight and true. I had the CV joints replaced last year. Alignment was included. At low speeds (less than 50MPH/80KPH), the breaking is even. I have to get the speed under 50/80 to get the shaking to stop.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Chaostheory
Posts: 1070
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:09 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:35 pm

Even if the alignment is fine, that doesn't rule out a caliper issue.

An elderly neighbour recently had a similar issue to yours in a Honda Jazz/Fit. In addition to the steering wobble under braking, she felt the engine was sapped of power and was struggling up hills.

Simple test for you would be to drive down a hill in a high gear. Even with engine braking, your car should continue to build up speed. If it doesn't, there is brake rub probably due to the aforementioned caliper/piston issue. Once ruled out, you can pretty much guarantee you have a suspension issue
 
FatCat
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:26 am

I've had this problem in my AR 156 GTA as being one of the earliest, brake discs were 300mm instead of 305mm, overheated and deformed.
Changed from original garbage discs to Brembo perforated discs and everything was ok.
I've read also you've changed the drums - has a 2011 Corolla still front drum brakes? But maybe I'm out of target.
Check the shock absorbers, and the suspension rods and arms.
Also the steering box, and the steering arms.
May my post not hurt your feelings
 
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VTKillarney
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:08 pm

It's a 2011. Time to trade it in.
 
FatCat
Posts: 546
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:36 pm

VTKillarney wrote:
It's a 2011. Time to trade it in.

It's a Toyota Corolla.
Probably will last longer than an Airbus A380.
May my post not hurt your feelings
 
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VTKillarney
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:39 pm

FatCat wrote:
VTKillarney wrote:
It's a 2011. Time to trade it in.

It's a Toyota Corolla.
Probably will last longer than an Airbus A380.

Except the OP said, "I hate this car and can not wait to get rid of it."

So get rid of it.
 
seb146
Topic Author
Posts: 17857
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Re: Elusive Car Problems

Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:16 am

So, I took my stupid car to the stupid Toyota mechanic here (OTH) and the stupid people said it is probably a stupid wheel bearing. All this stupid time? Why didn't it cease? How many times did we go to Tahoe or Salt Lake City or Los Angeles with a bad wheel bearing?

I still don't think that is it but it gives me hope. They had the car for two days looking for something. Anything. Better than "it just does that" I got from the other Toyota dealer (STS) I bought this piece from.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
Freakysh
Posts: 502
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:15 am

I'd recommend you take the car to a suburb that has a high vehicle theft rate and Park it there for a week.

Return in a week's time, and if you are lucky, it will no longer be there.

Call the police and report it stolen. Then ring your insurance company and make a claim.
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Elusive Car Problems

Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:19 pm

that's... borderline insurance fraud... Not quite but if they found this post I bet they could make a case in court.

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