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Random steering wheel vibration??

Baxdawg

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Hey guys.. I drive an 08 VE Lumina with SSV 19s and over the last few weeks I have noticed a slight vibration in the steering wheel when breaking.

Straight away I suspected it was wrapped rotors but the vibration doesn't happen all the time, in fact most breaking applications are smooth and as normal with no vibrations whatsoever and the break pedal is smooth and as normal when the vibrations occur. The vibration seems to happen maybe most when applying medium break force but at all different speeds and I can't seem to replicate an exact situation when the vibration occurs but maybe more so on downhill?.. just happens totally at random, I can drive a
few days with no vibration and a quick drive to the servo and it will be all over the shop?

the vibration is also accompanied by a soft "rattle" type sound and if you hold the wheel tightly I can feel a soft knocking through the steering column like something has maybe come loose somewhere, maybe something needs to be tightened?? I know there are a lot of reasons that the wheel could vibrate and it could just be the **** roads and i could just be paranoid haha but I have a service due soon and if I can eliminate a few things and maybe pick up some parts if needed before heading to the shop I could save some time and money haha

Any advice or tips on things I can check for? I have already checked tyre pressure and adjusted as needed. I will be sorting out getting the tyres rotated and rebalanced in the next week or so as it is probably due. Anyone had similar issues who might be able to point me in the right direction? no suspension mods if that helps at all.

Any help would be very much appreciated.. cheers :)
 

adam sv6

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similar thing happened to me when my brake pads started to fade completely. it would only happen every now and again but progressively got worse over a 3 month period. when i finally got around to changing the pads, it was virtually metal on metal, and making some pretty scary noises when braking! but more importantly one side had more 'pad stuff' left on it and would therefore 'bite' more than the other side and cause a slight vibration, which progressively got worse and worse
 

adam sv6

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another problem could be a bent rim. do you remember going over any sharp potholes in the ground? I only say this because one of my wheels are bent according to my wheel alignment place and the car sometimes vibrates, other times it doesnt. My car never used vibrate in the steering wheel but after swapping the front wheels to the rear and aligning them is when the vibrating started because the previous owner must have hit a curve or something, bent the wheel, then swapped it with a rear wheel. keep the bent wheel at the back and its sweet. apparently ssv 19's are prone to bending out of shape slightly.
 

Benboy

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If a brake rotor did have any variation from being true (using a dial gauge to verify) and yet there was a slight vibration felt through the steering (on occasion), all suspension components have been checked as OK, what could the problem be? Surely if rotor, wheels, tyre etc was contributing factor, the vibration would be always present. H'mmm awaiting a realistic answer.
 

uniacidz

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I had that same issue with my old falcon.

Attributed it to heat spots/cold spots in the rotors and more present in winter then summer

They were the normal solid discs non slotted discs and under braking medium would cause the steering wheel to vibrate.
Changed to slotted rotors on the fronts and problem solved.

Not stating that its gonna be a fix in your circumstance, but definately was the cause in mine.
 

RiCeY

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You can have runout in the discs and not feel it all the time, Im guessing it depends how hot the brakes are.

Get them skimmed if theres enough meat left (must have 28.75mm after skimming) or get some new discs.
 

Baxdawg

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thanks for the replies guys.. I cannot remember hitting a pot hole big enough to dent the rim but I can't be sure so ill get it checked when I get the tyres rotated..

In relation to new pad and rotors, how much would I be looking at to get some replacement parts?
 
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Sean880

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thanks for the replies guys.. I cannot remember hitting a pot hole big enough to dent the rim but I can't be sure so ill get it checked when I get the tyres rotated..

In relation to new pad and rotors, how much would I be looking at to get some replacement parts?
Your problem is bound to be brake rotor thickness variation - which is a fancy name for uneven wear on the brake rotor. I would not machine the existing rotors but replace them with new ones (together with new brake pads).

Replacement price depends entirely what you buy but I notice Holmart (see web site) is presently selling factory rotors for the VEs 6 cyl (Front) for just $38 per unit (that is a rock bottom price) and a complete VE front pad set for just $39. (Need to check the branding on those pads before buying though).
 

swingn_wasabi

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Got to be something to do with the rotors & Sean880 maybe on the money.

Generally if you do have a warped rotor, depending on the severity, it will happen at different stages / pressures. I've experienced a situation where it's perfectly normal at light - medium braking pressures, but under heavy braking &/or when a the rotors get nice & hot, they wobbled all about the place.

Another possibility will depend on the type of pads & your driving style. I've also experienced running rather aggressive pads (Track pads) & as I'm fairly aggressive on the brakes during spirited / track driving - Pretty much on or off - it actually glazed sections of the rotors which gave it a warped feel. This disappeared after a few weeks of regular driving.
 

Baxdawg

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I dont drive it too hard as I try to make the fuel last as long as possible haha ok so looks like new pads and rotors are on the cards.. next questins is what should I get??

I have looked on holmart and they have stock rotors/pads for around $40 each (front and back) so a pretty good price, should I look at upgrading them to slotted and get better pads? I have heard that the stock rotors are not too crash hot anyways??

For a little bit more than replacing all rotors and pads with stock parts I could get DBA slotted fronts with bendix pads, would it be worth upgrading the front rotors and just get some new pads for the front and back??
 
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