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Author Topic: Shaking steering wheel and frontend  (Read 8004 times)

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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« on: 07/31/03 08:18 AM »

Hello all, I hope someone out there can help me. :)  I have a '02 Avalanche that I bought in Sept. '02.  I have been having the following problem since about Oct. '02.  I took it to the Chevy garage but they say they cant fix it because every time they test drive it nothing happens. :(  Here is what is going on with it:

When driving, the steering wheel will suddenly and for no apparent reason start to vibrate and shake and the entire front end will shake along with it.  The steering wheel is not positioned correctly, when the wheels are straight the steering wheel is at the 11 o'clock position instead of 12.  They said they balanced and rotated the tires and that was all they could do.

I have been trying to figure out why and when this happens, but there is no pattern to when it happens.  The only thing that is always the same is that the speed of the truck is always between 45 and 75 miles per hour.  Some times it doesn't happen at all, sometimes it happens after about 10 miles, sometimes it happens after 50 miles, etc.  The steering wheel suddenly starts to shake and vibrate along with the front end then, after about 3 to 5 miles, it just stops.

I am very concerned with this problem.  I am afraid that something might cause me to lose control of my truck and that I might crash, it is very scary.

If anyone has any ideas, I would greatly appreciate any input to this problem.

Thanks for your time :D
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'02 Avalanche  -  '02 883 Custom Sportster  -  '99 Ultra Classic

ChevyThunder

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #1 on: 07/31/03 08:37 AM »

Orange,

Take a REALLY good look at your tires and wheels. A Vibration at certain speeds is almost always a tire problem.

Next time you take it in, do the test drive and have the tech ride with you so he can see what's going on.
You can also(if you have the means) rotate your tires. If the vibration goes away you know you have a problem in your front tires. They may just be out of ballance. You will not feel the vibration on the rear nearly as much as the front. If re- ballancing doesn't work, you may have a bent wheel.

Is your AV pretty much stock? Any lifts etc? If it's stock, start with the tires and after you have ruled them out start looking at the suspension if the problem hasn't gone away. Any idea how many miles on those tires?

Just some places to start. Hope that helps.


CT. :B:
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ChevyThunder

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #2 on: 07/31/03 08:38 AM »

BTW

Welcome to the club!! Sorry your first post is about a problem, but we are always here to help.
 ;D


Sean
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Magic Mtn Dan

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #3 on: 07/31/03 08:46 AM »

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Tubbyslanche

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #4 on: 07/31/03 08:54 AM »

IMHO --
Sounds Like Lower Steering Shaft ,  or some sort of Loose Suspension parts-
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #5 on: 07/31/03 09:59 AM »

 :D Wow, thanks for the quick respones, you guys are the best! :D
Are all of these suggestions true even though the problem only happens about once or twice a month.  I don't know anything about cars, thats why I am here.  I thought that if there was something wrong with a tire that the symptoms would be there all the time?????  The truck is completely stock.  It has a 4X4 on the rear fenders(does not have the Z71 package).  I get the tires rotated every 5000 miles with the oil change and the problem keeps happening.  I am at 21000 miles so the tires have been rotated 4 times now.

The Chevy Garage that I go to said they checked the tires, the front end and the suspention and that all was fine.  Lower Steering Shaft?  I will have to ask the Chevy Garage to check it out.

Thanks again ;D
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sparky

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #6 on: 07/31/03 10:05 AM »

This may sound dumb as 'heck', but have you ever gone back and looked at the space of road where this has happened. Roads that have heavy trucks on them can do some pretty weird things to it. There is/was a stretch of road just before my work where I would get a vibration. It had nothing to do with the truck, but the road. They are re-paving as we speak.  :1:
« Last Edit: 07/31/03 10:06 AM by sparky »
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #7 on: 07/31/03 10:29 AM »

I wish it was that easy, but it has never happened in the same place twice!  Different speeds, different road surfaces, different temperatures, and different times of the year.  Even at different distances, somtimes when I first start out and sometimes not till after I drove for an hour or so.... :8:  It has been driving me crazy trying to find a pattern because there is NONE.

Thanks Again!
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Bear

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #8 on: 07/31/03 10:41 AM »

Do our AVs have a steering stabilzer?  I had a Ford once  :D:that had the same symptoms, and the steering stabilizer was the culprit.
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Hernz Av

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #9 on: 07/31/03 11:08 AM »

Here is one other thing you can look at. I have had the same problems with the Ford trucks that we have at work. Have them look at your brakes. You might have a ABS sensor that maybe getting stuck and making you truck shake. Very common on Fords.

Good luck and let us know how they fix it.
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #10 on: 07/31/03 11:08 AM »

Gee, I don't know.  Does anyone know if our AV's have a Steering Stabilizer ???

You guys will be the first to know if I every get it fixed!

Thanks :)
« Last Edit: 07/31/03 11:10 AM by 02orangeAV »
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SteveK

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #11 on: 07/31/03 11:30 AM »

02Orange, you might want to notice if your in a steady headwind or crosswind with this happens. I know mine does vibrate and it only seems to be when it is windy out. I notice it more when it is a head wind. The dynamics are wierd and they got worse once I put the bug shield on. Hope this helps.

Steve
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SteveK

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #12 on: 07/31/03 11:33 AM »

Just thoughht of something else, maybe it is because your driving a Cleveland Brown orange Av in Pittsburgh and that just doesn'y Jive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #13 on: 07/31/03 11:50 AM »

 ;)
NO way SteveK, Mine is Harley Davidson Orange.  No one wants a ford :D:
So I bought an Orange AV and put on a Harley plate and a Harley Hitch cover and viola - a Chevy Harley Truck.  Wish I had the money for Chrom wheels, but hey I have to pay for the AV first. ;D
« Last Edit: 07/31/03 11:51 AM by 02orangeAV »
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XRover

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #14 on: 07/31/03 09:14 PM »

I know the 1500 2 or 4 wheel drive do not have steering stabilizers
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chazmo2

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #15 on: 08/01/03 01:32 PM »

Orange AV. I had the same exact problem :-\ I also purhased my AV in Sept.02. The problem was fixed when my dealership drop the driveshaft and turned it 180 degrees. The vibration was gone after that. Good Luck ;)
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #16 on: 08/04/03 08:05 AM »

Chazmo2,

Just a couple of questions, was it the front or rear driveshaft or both?
Was your vibration all the time or just once in a while?

Thanks Again :)
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chazmo2

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #17 on: 08/04/03 10:50 AM »

Orange AV,
It was the driveshaft only.
The Av would vibrate between 45mph & 70mph.
Good Luck ;)
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ChevyV8Man

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #18 on: 08/04/03 08:43 PM »

Check this out peeps! I have 3,115 miles on my truck to date. This morning on my way to work I was pulling out of my garage and when I turned the stering wheel, the darn truck made a ROAR sound. I said "WTF".  I pulled the hood and got to see if I could see anything, but nada. When the truck made the sound I also felt it in the stering wheel. Have anyone else had this problem with there Avie?  

Thanks!!
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Brian R

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #19 on: 05/30/04 06:08 AM »

I wish it were the tires.  I'm getting ready to take My 4WD 02 AV back for the 4th time for the same vibration problem.  First time I took it back they said nothing was wrong.  The 2nd time they felt the vibration and said it was the front left tire.  I had a road force test done at my expense to no avail.  The 3rd time they tightened the inner torsion bar, still does it.  I take it back next week for the 4th time.  I think I will ask them about turning the drive shaft 180 degrees.  
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kimberman

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #20 on: 06/06/04 09:33 AM »

Yes I have this same problem on a 2003 model. Problem did not start till about 13,000 miles. Good luck at the dealership. You will get the same B. S. I got. Mine was the only one doing it and they could not duplicate it , they drove the vehicle 20 miles. You never know when it is going to happen. The first time it happened to me I pulled off the highway to see if I had a flat tire or a loose wheel. When I pulled back onto the highway the problem had went away. This is a scary problem!!!!. When the shakeing starts it can become violent. Mine will start a 60+ mph. If you touch the brakes the truck will almost change lanes. Good Luck.
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02orangeAV

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #21 on: 06/06/04 07:15 PM »

Yeah, your right about the breaks.  When you touch the breaks during the shaking they pulsate like crazy, it makes the situation even more scary.  I have even experienced pulsating brakes every once in a while.  My rotors have already been turned, at no charge to me.  They were turned about a year ago.  I still get the pulsating every once in a while.  UGH!!!
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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #22 on: 06/06/04 07:43 PM »

1)  Balancing weight ~ front wheels

2)  Bad tire out of round - if you don't rotate although not likely severe cupping

3)  Bent rim(s) (front)

4)  Loose, missing lug nut(s) and/or broken wheel stud(s)

5)  Severely, massively, mega warped front brake rotors

Those are your five major candidates for what you are describing in order of likelyhood based on what you described.  Doubt the problem is that serious.
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firemanbill

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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #23 on: 06/22/04 06:59 AM »

I had the same problems with mine after having new 18" wheels and tires put on, it took them 4 times to get them balanced right, i had the same syptoms as you, but now smooth as babys bottom going down road
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Shaking steering wheel and frontend
« Reply #24 on: 06/29/04 06:17 PM »

I had a Pathfinder do the vibration tango once.  I was told it was a broken belt or a shifted belt in the tire.  Cheap tires...I always went for BFGs or Bridgestones after that.  Good luck finding it.
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