Honda civic vibrating in movement (no its not the rotors)

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cr2250

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2005
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97 civic 151k miles

Its happening more often now. Say im driving around town, the car will start to vibrate, the whole car. I'm not braking, gas or no gas, it keeps vibrating. Vibrating might not be the right word...think of it as my tires in the front have lumps. The whole car shakes. Slow speed, or high speed. Higher speed 75+ it is very noticeable.

Any idea on what could be causing this. The tires in the front are fairly new but they were generics that came with the car.

Thanks
 

pyr02k1

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Jul 21, 2010
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I've had this problem twice now. The first was on a 94 Dodge Shadow and it was caused by CB (CV?) Joints being worn to nothing. At least, thats what I was told by a friend who was also a mechanic. Never fixed it as the car went for bust before i needed to fix it.

The latest was for the last 6 months on my 84 Toyota Pickup 3/4 Ton. The issue was with a tire, and i knew it. Finally replaced it a week ago. Check it out, as my timing was perfect, as the tire was about to blow as the image below will show. It started as a couple small lumps at first, caused by a single snapped portion of the steel belt. Over time, more sections gave way due to the stress of 40+ miles a day at 70-80mph. It got far worse once it heated up outside in the past couple of months. What the image doesnt show is the 3 or 4 sections where the rubber separated and shows the steel belt. In 1 place, it shows the 3 of the 5 showing belts snapped.
mytire.jpg
 

cr2250

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2005
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When I first purchased the car, the mechanic said that the steering boots were ripped, but he said it isn't an immediate issue. Could this be the causing problem? I'm not car savy at all, but I'm guessing I should get this fixed soon...or bad things will happen
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
+1 for old tire and/or tire just out of balance.

My guess is if your entire car is shaking from a worn out CV joint that joint is so damn shot that it's surprising it's not already snapped or totally stopped working.
 

Vette73

Lifer
Jul 5, 2000
21,503
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Tires first. CV joints rarly go out of balance unless there was a weight added on during the build and it has come off. I have only seen that once and it caused a vibration but not the whole car shaking like a tire with a bad belt.

Jack the car up and spin the tires with your hand on it. See if there are any lumps or flat spots. Also check your lug nuts to make sure a tire is not loose. Would cause the same effect and the tires will look good.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,520
1,575
126
Ripped joint boots are an immediate issue, actually. They allow the lubricant to disappear.
 

Paperlantern

Platinum Member
Apr 26, 2003
2,239
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I'm going to chime in here to just +1 to the tire, it is most likely something tire. Bad belt, out of balance, or loose lugs. Do as someone suggested, jack up the car and spin the tire, if it has lumps, replace it immediately, no since in risking a blow out, those are no fun. If they spin okay, check the lugs on all of them, make sure all are good and tight. If all lugs are good, get them balanced somewhere, should be able to get a balance for in the neighborhood of $20 - $40. If it STILL vibrates after all those checks, id worry about a CV (and yes it is CV, it stands for Constant Velocity) joint, or some other larger issue. but not until youve ruled out the simpler stuff first.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
Ripped joint boots are an immediate issue, actually. They allow the lubricant to disappear.
Immediate issue in a sense that the lubricant will go but one can still drive with torn boots for months if not longer because it does take time for the lubricant to all disappear and the joint get totally damaged.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,520
1,575
126
Immediate issue in a sense that the lubricant will go but one can still drive with torn boots for months if not longer because it does take time for the lubricant to all disappear and the joint get totally damaged.

I don't want my steering gear open to contamination by grit, etc., or possibly unlubricated, for even 1 day. :D
 

lurk3r

Senior member
Oct 26, 2007
981
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Tires, wheel weight might have fallen off, steering / alignment. Take it to wherever you bought your tires from, or your local discount or belle tire.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,736
1,377
126
+1 for tires from me as well.

In my experience (Civics and Preludes), worn/breaking CV axles only affected the car while in gear. Whenever I took it out of gear, the worst I might get was a little noise but not the crazy vibration and all of that.

That said, definitely replace the CV axles. Do NOT get them rebooted, it just doesn't make financial or logical sense when you consider the labor/time vs. the cost of axle replacement. They're fairly inexpensive for cars like Civics, and they're a *snap* (lol) to put on really. If you can do rotors, you can do CV axles. If you can't do it, it should be cheap to get done.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
I think they are more involved than rotors but not super hard. You will need a breaker bar and a pipe to really man up the torque, though and some secure jacks. If the car has undergone much age or rust then there can be additional difficulties.
 
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