I have an MPV Model Year 1996. Generally, it runs well but has a problem at 55 to 60 MPH. The Streeing wheel and the passenger seat ( empty - no passenger) starts to shake quiet violently. The vibration goes away above that speed. The tires are in pretty good condition, although they show were on the outside edges more than anywhere else. Alignment and balance was done about a year ago when new tires were first bought. The tires are Epictour, so not a great brand. Any ideas about where to start ?
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1) Bent wheel?
2) Balance, in spite of the fact they are a year old?
3) Rotate? If you haven't this might be very telling of your problem. e.g. If the vibration changes you know its that wheel/tire.
4) A badly made tire in the form of it being out of round, or the tread separating from the belts.
I would start with a rotation and look for anything unusual when doing it... like bulges, bends or twisting treads?
If nothing is obvious, have them rebalanced.
You might also have the front suspension/steering system inpected as this could be part/all of the problem and a very dangerous one as well.
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I took it to the local Mechanic who found nothing special but suspected the tires. He suggested to change the front two tires and alignment.The shaking has now gone away when going up in speed ( up to 80 MPH). However, it shakes when the brake is applied at high speed. I suspect that it may be the rotors, even though they are smooth. As far as I know they have not been changed in the 140K mile the van has done. Has anyone got any other suggestions or thoughts ?
Sounds like rotors to me. See if you can have them turned, if not they will have to be replaced. If needed to be replaced start with the fronts as the rears get a fraction of the wear that the fronts get.
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I replaced the front rotors and found that the brake pads were at only about 30%. So I replaced the rotors and the brake pads. Vibration is gone when speeding up as well as when braking. I will get a realignment done next. The van has done almost 150K miles and the family keep telling me to sell and get a newer vehicle. The only obvious problem with it is that it has a small oil leak and makes a bit of a mess ( a small one) every time its driven. Not sure if this can be fixed cheaply ? The leak is from somewhere on the underside of the engine. Everything else seems to be working OK.
Keep it. I have a '93 that has cost me big time over the last 6 years. But that locked 4WD has gotten me out of serious trouble, too. I had a big vibration last month. Turned out to be U-joints. At 230000 miles even these wear out. And Mazda knows full well that anybody maintaining one of these gems will pay dearly, and do.
Our new '03 Tribute w/ 69k miles should give us some repair cost respite.