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Discussion Starter #1
2011 CR-V ~80k miles, A week ago I started noticing the steering wheel vibrating above 55mph while driving. Applying the brakes stops the vibrations, and then coasting will reintroduce them to the vehicle.

When I looked up some causes, I noticed the most common suggestions were tire related, so I verified the tire pressures and checked their wear patterns. The tires are less than a year old with about 7k on them, so the patterns were fine. Next I took the tires off and checked the suspension components. I felt like most of the components were still in good shape. Didn't notice any obvious tears in any bushings or leaking struts or anything like that, however I noticed that I was able to move both outer tie rods around fairly easily, so I figured that must be the culprit. While the tires were off I also noticed that previous stick on weights from when I had the new tires mounted, had flew off and left an outline of where they used to be.

I ordered some new outer tie rods and some stick-on wheel weights, and installed the tie rods by "counting the spins" and then sticking the 1/4oz wheel weights into the same outline as what had been there before.

Today I drove it to work with the intention of dropping it off at the shop near my work and having them align the front end, but as I was driving up to 55+mph again the wheel started to shake just as much as it had done before I replaced the tie rods/weights. I figured there must be more to this problem than just the tie-rods/wheel balancing so I drove it home instead and took the other car to work.

I took a video of the shaking. cant post the direct link yet apparently but if you add /PwVmyYOwCyY to the end of a famous video uploading site youtu.be you should see the video.


Do you think this much wheel shake could be the result of just needing an alignment or out of balance tires? The wheel was shaking just as much as it had before I had replaced the tie rods and re-added the wheel weights. I can't see how a tire out of balance would cause such violent shaking and that pulsating noise and feeling throughout the car.

If there is something else it could be? I'd like to address that before paying $80 to have the car aligned, rather than pay for the alignment and have it not fix the problem.

Any thoughts on other causes or comments on just how much vibration can be caused by out of balance tires?
 

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Might possible be either of these two problems: 1.] tire tread separation, or 2.] improperly balanced tires.

Try rotating tires from front to back to see if the vibration goes away.
 

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First rule of CR-V Club: Have your wheels professional balanced.

Second rule of CR-V Club: Have your wheels professional balanced.

THEN: If your wheels are still 'shaking' you need to do a four-wheel alignment..

After you accomplish these tasks your issue should recede to a faint memory, if not please post and you will be rewarded with more solutions .

NEVER forget the first two rules...
 

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Everything in Moderation
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With tires that new, I don't think an alignment would be indicated.

I suggest having your tire Road Force Balanced. These machines will not only compensate for a 'hard' area in the tire, but they can be used to identify run-out in either the wheels or the tires. Total run -out in either can be minimized by changing the position of the tire to the rim.


I've had tire mounter personnel get lazy about mounting, and allow run out to cause vibrations, even with Road Force balancers. So make sure you tell them the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Welp I had an alignment and tire balance performed today. I'll say that the ride was noticeably improved. Considering that the last time I drove it I had to pull off the highway in fear that I was going to wreck something in my suspension, I was able to go upwards of 70 without fearing what was going on with my front end. However, I did still feel some steering wheel vibration occurring, especially while in cruise control. Not sure if this has always been there and I'm only noticing it now because I'm hyper aware of the steering wheel or not. It worries me because the shaking started off minor and continued to grow as the days went by until I reached the situation I'm in.

I suppose I'll continue to monitor it and hope it doesn't get worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
6 weeks later and I still get the wheel vibration. There's a million thoughts running through my head. I continue to notice that taking my foot off the gas really slows the car down MUCH faster than any other car I've driven. I took the front wheels off and managed to find that on the front right caliper, the top caliper guide pin was STUCK. I had to really yank on the thing to finally get it out, and when I did it was rusty and pitted. I noticed a small hole in the guide pin boot and thought to myself, I had found the problem. What I've done thus far is clean out the guide pin with a wire wheel until it was smooth again, I cleaned out the tube that the pin itself goes into with a dremel tool until it was smooth and free of rust, and re-greased everything and put a new boot on it. I verified that both pins were able to slide freely, and I also cleaned up the brake pistons themselves and verified they were not stuck and were able to move freely, which they were. Long story short, I verified that entire brake caliper assembly was in working order. I put it back on and went for a drive, and everything seemed great. 15 minutes into my highway test drive though, I felt that shake begin to creep in. I pulled off the highway and did some more brake checking (0-50mph then brake down to 10mph, 4 or 5 times) and then got back on the highway headed home. At 60 mph again the shaking started and got progressively worse. An interesting thing I noticed was that while accelerating, the shake in the wheel went COMPLETELY away, and then while on cruise control or simply coasting off the gas, the shake came back. I pulled off the highway, and got out to look at the wheels and the front right side was uncomfortably hot. The left side had an expected amount of heat coming off it, I could easily put my hand near the rotor w/o feeling pain but the right side was so hot that just putting my hand near the rim was enough to notice the intense heat.
This suggests to me that the brake is just getting stuck against the rotor somehow and heating it up. It makes sense that after about 10-15 minutes of driving is when the awful shaking becomes prevalent, but I cant understand why accelerating would cause the shake to go away but coasting intensifies it. I'm hesitant to spend the $100 for a new caliper b/c at this point, I'm not 100% sure it will fix the problem.

In my continued searches, I've also been seeing motor mounts/CV axles/torque converter as reasons to cause wheel shake, and even moreso, wheel shake that happens while coasting, but I can't see how any of those would also cause the rotor to get as hot after 15 minutes of driving as it currently is.

Anyone have any similar experiences or some other thoughts? Should I just spend the $100 for the new caliper. I already spent $150 for the balancing/alignment which hasn't solved the problem yet.
 

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How sure are you of the caliper being the culprit? Can you compress it with a clamp?
Also, you should raise up the car and leave the wheel on while you check play in steering and ball joints. Also, aren't there inner tie rod ends to check too?
 

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That hot brake should be your clue right there.

I had a similar issue. Not a shaking, but a whining/howling from the rear. I noticed this up north while we were driving anywhere from 45-55 on the 2-lane roads. At one stop, I felt the wheels, and the driver's side was almost too hot to touch, where the passenger's side was warm.

Yesterday I took the brakes apart. Turns out the PADS were almost frozen in the caliper. I really had to fight to get them out, even so far as tapping out the inside pad with a small hammer. The pins were OK, and the piston pushed in easily. I got the wire wheel out to clean up the hardware (clips) in the calipers, then I had to use the Dremel to grind a slight amount off of the "ears" on each pad. They should fit snugly without slop, but slide back and forth freely inside the calipers. (I had this problem with cheap pads on my '97 over the years.) I put just a small dab of lube on each contact point of the pad, and cleaned and added new lube to the caliper pins, and got everything reinstalled. I also did the passenger's side, as I found the pads were also binding in that caliper also. These pads looked almost new, except for the unfortunate outside pad on the driver's side which is nearly worn all the way down.

Once I am back from a road trip in about 3-1/2 weeks, I am going to replace the caliper hardware when I replace these with Akebono pads, as I know they are higher quality and are OE on many new cars out there. (Used them on our Civic.)

That may not be your issue, but I know that my caliper pins and caliper pistons all moved freely and I still had this problem.
 

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I like Wildcat's suggestion, and I have ground down the ears on several of my new pads also because of running into this issue. Just grab a cheapo grinder from the hardware store and lightly grind them down and test fit. Do that several times. The cast backings on these pads isn't the prettiest by the ears, so this issue happens somewhat regularly.
 

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Often you can just file the ridges on the edge of the pad's backing plate to get the needed fit (loose).

Don't forget that rust UNDER the stainless edge guides can make those tighter, too, so while you have the file out.....:wrenchin:
 

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Take in to account the number of miles on these pads as well. For me if I'm at or past 50% pad life and I have one that is dragging, I'm gonna ditch the front pads and replace with new. New pads and new pad glides. Clean it all, lube the new pads, lube the caliper pins and see how it does.

I would also suggest measuring your rotors to make sure you do not have one that is well under what the other is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great news. I replaced the entire caliper assembly last night and the shake/vibration in the wheel has gone away completely. I drove around for about 30 minutes last night, and did my "hand temperature check" to the wheels and both were cool to put my hand next to.

I guess in hindsight the scorching hot wheel should have been the biggest indicator that the brakes were the culprit.
Thanks to everyone for their help, and listening to my ranting.
 

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Glad you found the issue! Mine are now cured with a new set of quality pads and new caliper hardware (the stainless clips), and fresh brake lube on the caliper pins. @spotpup had an issue where the caliper piston had seized up. I've learned now not to go cheap on replacement parts for brakes.
 
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