NOTE: I posted this first to "alt.autos.toyota", but then I saw this group.
The car is a 1993 Toyota Camry with about 173k.
While on a highway trip several months ago, I became aware of vibration that occurs between 40 MPH and 65 MPH. It only occurs when my foot is on the gas. Coasting is no problem.
Lately it's gotten a lot worse, and I think the "vibration band" has widened somewhat.
New tires were put on about 1.5 years ago, and look fairly good. Car was aligned and balanced when the tires where put on.
Prior to leaving for the trip I had the oil and transmission fluids/filters changed.
I recently moved to a new town, and have yet to find a honest mechanic here. I've been ripped off a couple of times so far... (Asked for some work not to be done, but was done anyway and car held hostage until payment.. etc.)
So before I try someone new, I want to get some other opinions as to what the problem might be.
Replace the tires. Steel belted radials can get bashed out of round if you hit a chuck hole or a curb. For some reason tire shops can't measure this, but replacing the tires cures the problem. Note that high mileage tires are more suseptible to this damage because the rubber is thinner.
Check your axel CVC joints -- are the rubber boots are tornup/split/cracked? Grease all over around one? Outer ones seem to go at 100k miles.
email@example.com (David) wrote in message
"Saved from an earlier posting regarding similar symptoms:"
Alex Marcuzzi wrote:
I have had the same problem for years and finally found the source---worn motor mounts.
Daniel M. Dreifus wrote:
Try telling that to Philip. Everytime I say motor mounts--which was my problem also--he makes some sarcastic remark about it. Oh well, his experience is different and there's nothing wrong with that.
You have YET to tell me how the engine mounts were defective, my friend. :^) Was one or the other actually separated? Was one or the other sagged with rubber missing? Was all the hydraulic fluid missing (if of that particular design)?
Just looking for more information from you. :-)
Don't have it. Weren't my motor mounts. Just a snippet saved from last year where someone found vibration under load at a particular speed correlated to a problem with engine mounts. They didn't say front, rear, transmission, or top, so may be of limited value, but sounded like they resolved a long standing issue by checking there. Frankly, I'm open to suggestions on checking those hidden fluid filled front and rear engine mounts. The upper "dog bone" was replaced by the previous owner and appears sound, but giving some gas to the engine in Drive while observing with foot planted firmly on the service brake resulted in quite a bit of engine movement. No noticeable problems, so not planning any replacement. Thought I saw MDT Tech once mention they tend to be fairly reliable on average.
My vehicle is a 1994 Camry 4 cyl. The symptoms were that when accelerating it would start to shake and wobble from side to side (felt like that) and then smooth out at higher speeds. The tires had been replaced twice and wheels balanced numerous times. I got sick of the constant diagnosis of wheels and tires and exchanged the whole set with my 1997 Camry for a day. The vibration remained with 1994 and I was able to eliminate them. It was then that we had something else to look at and an undercar mechanic showed me the engine moving under acceleration. It didn't take long to decide the motor mount was bad from there.
In my case the front one had separated some time before, I don't know when. When I found that one bad I replaced it with the help of a friend and as we took it out some fluid leaked out. I don't know how much was in there to start with. We looked at the dogbone and the rubber bushing at the top had broken and separated also. Presumably this had happened because of the excess stress of the front one breaking. Eventually I had the rear one replaced by Toyota because I didn't feel capable of handling that one.
Now whether the cause of the vibration was bad mounts or the mounts had gone bad because of vibration, I am unsure. What I do know is that after replacing the front and dogbone the vibration ceased. Hopefully this is enough detail for you to make a proper diagnosis of what the true cause of these reported vibrations are.
Thank you! Curious and obvious question: Did anyone test the motor mounts (brake ON, put car in Reverse then Drive then Reverse under light throttle while watching the engine for excessive movement? Seems not. Also, both side mounts being broken is pretty unusual unless ... you're one of those who rocks the car to get out of snow.
Yes, the engine was observed under load reverse and forward. That is how the diagnosis was made. I am not sure if the firewall side one was broken, but after finding the first two bad I wanted the the third one replaced.
The vibration all started one day 4-5 years ago when accelerating onto a highway. It remained rather minor for years while wheels and tires were checked, but finally became bad enough where the car really couldn't be driven safely. I drove this way for years before finding the cause of this vibration.
This vehicle has lived in Florida, New York and Virginia. It has seen a variety of climates but mostly hot weather.
replying to Philip�, satz wrote:
I just replaced all the tires and got brand new tires. engine mount is new. power steering fluid is new. i also just replaced the brakes and new disk. when i drive over 40mph the steering wheel shakes still.
Thanks to all for the ideas and suggestions.
I will take the car in tomorrow to a new mechanic, I'll let you guys know what he thinks it is.
BTW, if it is the front axels, can a "non mechanic" like me change them myself, or will I need to let the pros do it?
I think it's a pain to do it if you don't have some mechanical skills, tools and patience. The passenger side is especially difficult.
If coasting doesnt produce the problem, then worn-loose driveshaft CVs (constant velocity joints) maybe it.
One theory is: while accelerating or cruising, there is more plus a reverse force on the CVs compared to coasting and if they are worn they will allow the axle to move out (by even a small amount) of its axial position in relation to the roadwheel hence giving rise to vibration.