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al3xse

Ford Focus Mk2 Steering Wheel Vibration

19 posts in this topic

Hi all!

So I've recently bought myself a 57 reg ford focus 1.6 (100ps) style. I'm happy with the car apart from this steering wheel vibration issue.

The wheel seems to start vibrating from speeds of 30mph onwards, definitely worse at 60~75mph. Haven't gone any faster. At lower speeds the vibration is noticeably worse whilst lightly braking. Had all four wheels balanced & the tracking done which I believe remedied the issue ever so slightly but now I'm out of ideas...I think the car was stationary for a period of like 2 months whilst at the car dealer and I've read tyres can develop "flat spots" but the tyres visually look normal.

I'd appreciate any input ☺

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Put the rear wheels on the front as a test.

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Thanks for the fast reply fred80, however I've already done this. Should have mentioned that when getting the wheels balanced I swapped the rears for front because the rears have much more tread.

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Do you have a friend with a similar Ford you could borrow two wheels from?

You really do need to rule out the tyres if it just happened after not moving for months.

Where do you live?

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I would swap wheels front to back to start with, are the tyres a cheap brand ?

On the sidewall apart from the tyre size you should see the DOT code (google if unsure), if before the year 2000 it will be a 3 digit code, but hopefully it will have the 4 digit code for example 1214 would mean the tyre was made the 12th week of 2014. An old tyre even new ones can balance up fine but if the tread is starting to separate from the casing this can cause wobble.

If you raise the wheel off the floor and spin it the tread should be uniform if looking at the tread pattern any waviness of the tread should be frowned upon, another thing to look at is once spinning the wheel the tread does NOT rise up and down, it should be constant and flat .

does the brake pedal pulsate when you press it ? IF yes suspect the brake discs. :D :driving:

Doh swapping done typing took too long lol :iim:

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Come to think of it my dad has a focus lol

Thanks It never occurred to me to swap tyres I think I just assumed its something more catastrophic. I'll probably try swapping the tyres tomorrow, and at the very least can rule them out properly.

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I would swap wheels front to back to start with, are the tyres a cheap brand ?

On the sidewall apart from the tyre size you should see the DOT code (google if unsure), if before the year 2000 it will be a 3 digit code, but hopefully it will have the 4 digit code for example 1214 would mean the tyre was made the 12th week of 2014. An old tyre even new ones can balance up fine but if the tread is starting to separate from the casing this can cause wobble.

If you raise the wheel off the floor and spin it the tread should be uniform if looking at the tread pattern any waviness of the tread should be frowned upon, another thing to look at is once spinning the wheel the tread does NOT rise up and down, it should be constant and flat .

does the brake pedal pulsate when you press it ? IF yes suspect the brake discs. :D :driving:

Doh swapping done typing took too long lol :iim:

Hi Andy.b1971,

Thanks I never realised tyres had dates on them :s I'll look into it. I can say the tyres are all lesser brands (I think) - 2 jinyu's and 2 bravuris 2s (only heard of jinyu but I know they are a pretty budget make).

I'll definitely take a close look at the tread as well!

With regards to braking, nope, no pulsating upon braking.

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All of them tyres are nasty budget.

Replace all with a good brand for your safety, your families safety and the child that crosses the road on a wet day when you cant stop on cheap Chinese tat.

:)

al3xse likes this

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All of them tyres are nasty budget.

Replace all with a good brand for your safety, your families safety and the child that crosses the road on a wet day when you cant stop on cheap Chinese tat.

:)

Even if it turns out the vibration is unrelated to the tyres I'll still replace them all soon .. Always normally have michelins, Pirelli or continental tyres!

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I couldn't agree enough I have had my focus 8 weeks now and they came with 2 new goodyears and 2 jinyus needless to say the later tyres have gone, I realise tyres are not cheap but considering in contact with the road is roughly the size of your palm you really do need quality, you can replace a car but not anyones life in it. what size tyres do you have on your car ? 205/55x16

I forgot to add in my earlier post that major tyre companies leave tyres on their shelf for 5 years max any longer they get returned and just because a tyre has good tread does not mean its a good tyre . :D :driving:

al3xse likes this

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Any vibration from flat-spotted tyres usually clears up after 50 miles or so of driving.

Manufacturers over-inflate tyres before cars are shipped, to prevent this happening - the tyres are then set to correct pressures at PDI. Usually, but not always :rolleyes:

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So all the tyres

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So all the tyres,although rubbish makes, were made either this year or the 32nd week of 2013. Not particularly old.

And after trying the car with a completely different set of tyres the vibration persisted.

The cars still under warranty and ive alerted the dealer to the problem, they were convinced it was balancing, so havnt giving it a full investigation however now that I've had the wheels balanced & eliminated the possibility it was tyre related I feel it might be something worse.. I don't really know what else it could be but if anyone could point me in the right direction I'll be better placed to get the dealer to sort it out 😁

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Assuming you've checked for distorted wheels I'd have thought the next place to look would be the driveshafts and their joints. As the vibration is noticeable from such a low speed I'd check for the shafts running out of true and have a close look at the inner tripod joints.

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I have a similar issue on the car I just go, but only at 70mph plus, wheels and tracking all ok, although it did get a little better after I had them adjusted, tires a little worn but will try the swap front rear suggestion to see if persists.

I also tried a little left foot braking at speed, if discs warped problem should stop as they are applied which it didn't.

To date im none the wiser, need to folk out a small fortune on DPF removal first this week followed by some oil maintenance, injection seal replacements etc all those things that have a habit of helping it to go bang when you least expect, then I'll get a look at the vibration problems....

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Assuming you've checked for distorted wheels I'd have thought the next place to look would be the driveshafts and their joints. As the vibration is noticeable from such a low speed I'd check for the shafts running out of true and have a close look at the inner tripod joints.

Thanks for the advice. Is there anything distinctive about steering wheel vibration linked to the driveshafts? Do you suspect driveshafts due to the reason that from 40mph I can notice a vibrate? Any other major give aways?

And this will seem like a silly question but when looking at the driveshafts how can I tell if they are knackered or not?

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I started driving on Minis and the inner joints on those were rubber cruciform types. They were clamped in using U-bolts and if not properly aligned would cause the shaft to run out of true. This had two effects : firstly they would be out of balance, although as they were relatively light weight this didn't cause much of a problem. The other effect was that it cased the wheel rotation to be very slightly uneven which reflected through the steering as a wobble. This was noticeable at low speed more than high. The joints were always troublesome because they got oily, the rubber swelled and they started knocking on the transmission casing.

Modern shafts use the tripod joints with needle roller bearings and don't, as far as I know, suffer from misalignment but as you seem to have eliminated wheels and tyres as the source of the problem I just thought it would be worth checking to see if the shafts are running true or, worst case, bent. The only way I know of is to jack up and turn the wheels whilst looking at the shafts.

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I started driving on Minis and the inner joints on those were rubber cruciform types. They were clamped in using U-bolts and if not properly aligned would cause the shaft to run out of true. This had two effects : firstly they would be out of balance, although as they were relatively light weight this didn't cause much of a problem. The other effect was that it cased the wheel rotation to be very slightly uneven which reflected through the steering as a wobble. This was noticeable at low speed more than high. The joints were always troublesome because they got oily, the rubber swelled and they started knocking on the transmission casing.

Modern shafts use the tripod joints with needle roller bearings and don't, as far as I know, suffer from misalignment but as you seem to have eliminated wheels and tyres as the source of the problem I just thought it would be worth checking to see if the shafts are running true or, worst case, bent. The only way I know of is to jack up and turn the wheels whilst looking at the shafts.

Thanks I plan on jacking up the car and taking a look today see if I notice anything wrong :)

I'm taking it back to the garage I bought next week as the a/c needs gassing which they are happy to do, I doubt they'll be so happy to see me continuing to complain about the shaky steering wheel ... Last time when I was there they did try resolving it my doing the balancing & tracking which in fairness I thought would sort it.

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I have a similar issue on the car I just go, but only at 70mph plus, wheels and tracking all ok, although it did get a little better after I had them adjusted, tires a little worn but will try the swap front rear suggestion to see if persists.

I also tried a little left foot braking at speed, if discs warped problem should stop as they are applied which it didn't.

To date im none the wiser, need to folk out a small fortune on DPF removal first this week followed by some oil maintenance, injection seal replacements etc all those things that have a habit of helping it to go bang when you least expect, then I'll get a look at the vibration problems....

Once you have chance to investigate the vibration & If you find a cure please let me know :D thanks in advance.

Dee_82 likes this

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