Steering wheel vibration and car pulls left, but alignment is fine! - Acura TSX Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Steering wheel vibration and car pulls left, but alignment is fine!

I'll try to keep this short and sweet

Car: 2006 TSX 6spd w/ 153k on clock, all stock.

Alignment performed and all looks good except driver's rear camber setting (bent LCA maybe?) Otherwise toe settings are perfectly 0.0 all around
Steering wheel shakes between 55-70mph, shaking is noticably worse before the car is fully warmed up (grease/axle/bearing?)
Thought it was the driver's side axle, so I replaced that, which did get rid of the vibration under acceleration, but didn't help my tracking/shaking issue
Checked for play in passenger side axle, that seems fine
Tire wear doesn't seem abnormal

What could it be?!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:46 PM
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Wheel balance is going to be causing a shake under steady cruise.

That won't cause a pull. That could be the tires themselves, or the alignment machine is lying to you. Alignment causes the tire wear as well. And the camber is not likely the culprit. A perfect 0.0 toe isn't always idea. Try ticking the toe in or out just a smidgen off-zero left and right. That should get you on the straight and narrow.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 08:44 AM
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I've had vibrations on my 06 TSX and my 08 RDX that just wouldn't go away until I did a cross rotation of the tires (left to right OR right/front to left/rear etc...). I drive my TSX pretty hard in the corners (Aspec suspension, Progress RSB, Fastline endlinks, HTSpec front/rear ultimate camber kit, OEM size Conti DWS non-directional tires). My left front tire gets the most wear on the outer edge, while the right rear gets the least. Rotating and then cross rotating every oil change seems to smooth out and vibrations I feel in the steering wheel (usually front tires) or in the driver's seat (usually rear tires).

I had Bridgestone 960 directional tires on my TSX before the Conti DWS and I couldn't do the cross rotations. I couldn't get rid of the vibrations 100% with only a front to back rotation with directional tires. I also had to switch tires sooner because of the extra wear on the outer edges on the left side of the TSX.

Another solution is to try a road force balance of the tires. Discount Tires in my area can do this for free if you purchase the tires from them. They apply up to 1200lbs of force to tire/rim combo to find the hi/low spots and adjust the tire on the rim to minimize balance weights. It can sometimes turn a +60 mph vibration into smooth as glass feeling. May not work as well if your tires have a lot less tread or irregular tread wear pattern caused by any undiscovered suspension issues. The newer higher speed spin balancing machines may not work as well as the road force machines to remove those annoying vibrations.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-13-2017, 08:52 PM
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You might want to check the inner tie rods. Even after alignment if the tie rods have play, it will still pull to the side.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 07:07 PM
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Could be anything.. Have another full inspection at it
Sway bar links, tie rods, bushings on control arms, and like the guy said about toe.

On this machine we were using at school it was always set at least in between a range of - and +.
Should be exactly in between those numbers. A weak steering column can even affect it. There's a possibility for everything.
Wouldn't 100% know unless we were actually there, just some ideas! hope you find the problem.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys! Will check the tie rods!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 04:12 PM
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Might also look at the front brakes. Warped rotor, dragging caliper piston, etc.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2017, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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I installed new rotors and new pads on the front about 3 months ago. No excessive brake wear or dust. I rotated the tires to find the front right was very worn on the inside. So at this point I am thinking that there must be a dynamic toe issue. I did see the large bushings on the LCAs are both showing cracks from years of wear, but nothing crazy. I checked all the other bushings on the suspension components and they looked okay. The tire rotation did diminish the pull to the left as well as the vibration, but not completely.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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Since LCAs are pretty affordable. I'm thinking about ordering new LCAs for the fronts: 2004-2008 Acura TSX Control Arm - Suspension - Dorman, Front Right Lower 04-08 TSX Control Arm - 17778-05107383 - PartsGeek
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 06:03 PM
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Make sure your tires aren't out of round
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 09:14 AM
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seems like problem with tires
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Problem solved! Most definitely was the front passenger side compliance bushing that was causing all the problems. My dumbASS cavemaned the LBJ removal though with a 3lb sledge instead of taking a minute to run to the store and spend $25 on a ball joint separator. This grave mistake cost me an additional 200 bucks in parts and labor. Essentially, I ended up having to have two new ball joints pressed in, plus replacing a damaged tie rod end. Lesson learned and I went by harbor freight and bought a BJT. All is well that ends well I guess, even though my pockets are lighter. Alignment is scheduled for Thursday. Steering wheel is crooked but man does getting new LCAs installed make a WORLD of difference. No more jerkiness. No more vibration. Completely solid now....all for what would have been $165 investment. If anyone has a FWD car with over 100k miles and you havent inspected your compliance bushings...go do it NOW. Worth every penny. Just be sure to use the right tools if you are doing the swap yourself.

Drivers side...worn and dry rotted, but far better than passenger side

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and if any of you are interested in replacing most of your bushings less the LCAs, I found this. For $70 I could have gotten everything I needed and more for what I spent $200 on!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-14-2017, 11:58 PM
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Tires are easy enough to replace after all the other things that you’ve done to correct the pull I think. Let's just get a new set of tires in and see how things go? The car really shouldn't be pulling noticeably at all after you get it fixed but I think that if it's manageable, you can probably skip the full works in terms of diagnostics at a service centre for the time being. Update us after the tire change for now!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 02:31 AM
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So did you go with the dorman LCA's? Those bushings look much better than the factory ones.
I was looking into the Moog LCA's but those Dormans look really solid.

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