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Violent car shake above 55 mph

pbouldinpbouldin Member Posts: 2
Took car in for a "front end alignment"

Tech said had loose gear instead, he replaced:
2 Tie Rod ends
2 Tie Rods
1 Idler arm assbly
1 Pitman Arm

Paid my $650 drove off (after closing) and car still shakes exactly as before.

I'm trying to formulate my strategy for tomorrow.

What are the other possibilities?

If they guessed wrong and find something else they may very well still claim the above work was needed - then what?

It's obvious they didn't drive my car, at least above 55 mph. I don't them very well, only had a brake job before. Any help appreciated. I paid with AMEX by the way.


  • bushonebushone Member Posts: 39
    Rear drive car eh? could be a bent Drive shaft. Bent rim or a tire out of round. On the bright side...when you get the shake fixed you will have a tight steering car! :)
  • pbouldinpbouldin Member Posts: 2
    Wow! well it's a 4X4 and yes rear 2wd I guess technically. Thanks for your response, and YES I also noticed a very tight steering situation now. Why is that? Well, do you think they goofed, or the bolt really wasn't able to stay tight (their words)?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You know, for $650 the crums could have taken it for a test drive to check their work!

    Well, you are kinda stuck unless you demand that they put the old parts back in, which I think you could legally do...but...really, they didn't fix the problem, they were guessing. I'd raise hell myself and if they do accidentally fix the problem, they should fix it for free. If you can stop the charge, I'd do that, too!

    This is very very sloppy.
  • bushonebushone Member Posts: 39
    Feels like the whole truck will shake itself apart!

    My BIL had a 80's GMC that would shake violently and get progressively worse unless you slowed to under 30. It was the rt front spindle. I believe we replaced the tierod end and the whole spindle assembly to correct the problem.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    What kind of truck are we talking about here. We need make, model, 2wd, 4wd.

    The reason it feels tight is because all the worn out parts had loosened up giving the steering a lazy feel. The new parts have no wear and therefor no give, hence the tight steering, and quick wheel response.

    Is the shake felt in the steering wheel itself or the whole truck? If it's the whole truck I would check the U-Joints on the drive shaft, and the transmission mount. Another thing to check is the rear brakes, my bro in law had a Ramcharger that had a bad vibration in it, turned out to be some brake hardware broke got stuck in the shoe and the shoe never retracted causing the truck to vibrate at anything over 45 MPH. It's a long shot but worth a try.

    If they didn't fix the actual problem you were complaining about you might be able to get a refund on labor only, but they did replace the parts so you are really on thin ice with that.

    I had a shop do me like that once and I didn't get much of anything out of it. All that was wrong was a coil and I got a new exhaust from the y - pipe back 2 new injectors, fuel filter, and fuel system cleaning, total bill $600. They didn't fix that actual problem so I took it to the dealer, they replaced the coil and bingo it was all good again. I got a $100 credit towards other services for the place, needless to say I never took them up on it.
  • oldharryoldharry Member Posts: 413
    Your profile says you own a Chevrolet, and you mentioned 4X4. Is it an S-10, or a K-1500, or larger? If an S, the price seems awful high, If a K and they had to "punch" the adjusting slots it is only a little high. If you have an old LUV, good luck.

    A bad shake at speed could be a vibration or a shimmy.

    A vibration is usually out of balance or out of round tires. A bad tire, may also give a "wobble" at low speed.

    A shimmy is a violent back and forth shake in the steering wheel, and often whole front end. On a K truck it may be the steering damper, that thing that looks like a shock connecting the frame to the steering linkage. The K truck needs one to prevent shimmy due to the relationship between caster setting and front end design. Parts and labor normally less than $100.

    A brake caliper that does not release fully can give a super violent shimmy at highway speeds, and may be intermittant. Most often it will be worse after you've driven long enough to warm up the disks and pads.

    To give you a more complete opinion, we need to know the year, model, milage, tire size, custom/stock wheels, and age/condition of tires. Then we can give a good guess, but cannot be too sure without seeing the truck.

This discussion has been closed.