Steering Wheel Wobble | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Steering Wheel Wobble

SHUMAX

Elite Explorer
Joined
December 30, 2002
Messages
558
Reaction score
45
City, State
Ohio
Year, Model & Trim Level
2019 Explorer Sport
Please do NOT merge this thread with the other topic going on with the Wobble associated with taking off from a stop. My situation is NOT related.

Background:

2011 Ford Explorer EX with 67k on the original Hankook tires and experiencing a wobble at 59-64mph-ish. Replaced tires with Bridgestone Alenza Plus, which were rough and noisy. Wobble in the steering wheel was also present at the same speeds with these tires. Swapped out for Bridgestone Ecopia 422's, which are very quite and mostly smooth, except at the same speeds. Still see the wobble in the steering wheel at the same speeds. Rotating any of the above tires made no difference.

The "wobble" will sometimes be there and other times it is smooth. Most noticeable on course pavement. Tires have been Road Force balanced one day after a fresh calibration to the machine. 1lbs., 10lbs, 10lbs. and 11lbs. Had new wheel bearings replaced in the back for an unrelated issue. Much quieter now. Suspension in the front is tight, or so I am told from the tire shop and dealership. I did have new rotors installed on front and rear, as well as the caliper pins greased in the front. No change.

It is a very odd situation. If the "wobble" was not occurring, you would likely not notice the vibration at all. But, take your hands off of the wheel and it dances at those speeds - very noticeable.

I'm not sure what to do next. I've had three sets of tires on and two sets of rims - all checked out fine. Road Force figures are great and the brake rotors have maybe 2k on them. Further, the wobble was present before the rotors were installed, too.

The car did have the steering recall performed by the prior owner, but I don't think the rack was replaced. Just the update to the computer.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Shumax
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Mileage?

Have you checked suspension/steering components for play? (Tie rods, hub, etc)
 






Where the tires balance when the new ones were put on? Usually when a vehicle has a steering wobble at highway speeds is due to unbalanced tire(s).
 






The vehicle has 67k on it. Yes, the tire shop I use, as well as the dealership, told me the suspension is "tight." I do hear some rattling over small bumps, but suspect that is the stab links as I've had that happen before at a similar mileage.

In terms of the balance? The original Hankooks with 67k had not been balanced. When I noticed the wobble after I got the car, I thought they were causing it. I rotated them and noticed no change. I replaced them with the Alenza's and a Road Force Balance was performed - all tire/rim combo's were around 10lbs. Still had the wobble. Rotated and still had the wobble. Replaced with Ecopia's due to the loud nature of that set of the Alenza's and still had the wobble despite road force figures at 10lbs (after a fresh calibration from Hunter) and one as low as 1lbs! Have not rotated those, but doubt it would change anything - only have 50 miles on the Ecopia's so far.

Shumax
 






Strut bearings. Wheel bearings. Bent wheel from curb/pot hole strike. Castor/camber alignment issues.
 






Visit a TOP-TIER tire shop. Not one of the cheap chains. Find one that is an expert at problem solving these type of problems.

(My "guy" for example, is on a NASCAR team and is responsible for tuning the suspensions)

I discovered that most of the cheap chain stores THINK they have good equipment and technicians . . . . . but it is simply not true.

In my case, the shop discovered that two of my wheels were slightly bent. (Other shops said they were fine.)

Also, have you tried swapping the fronts with the rears ?
 






Visit a TOP-TIER tire shop. Not one of the cheap chains. Find one that is an expert at problem solving these type of problems.

(My "guy" for example, is on a NASCAR team and is responsible for tuning the suspensions)

I discovered that most of the cheap chain stores THINK they have good equipment and technicians . . . . . but it is simply not true.

In my case, the shop discovered that two of my wheels were slightly bent. (Other shops said they were fine.)

Also, have you tried swapping the fronts with the rears ?

The owner of the shop I used races cars and is very in tune with the Road Force Balancer. I watched them perform the work. I really doubt it's their work. Also, the tires are new and so are the rims. Run out was checked and well below tolerance. Further, the condition has been present on three sets of tires and two sets of rim/tire combos. That points to something OTHER than the tires and rims, wouldn't you think?

Also, yes, I swapped fronts with backs on all three sets of tires. No change.

Thanks,
Shumax
 






Strut bearings. Wheel bearings. Bent wheel from curb/pot hole strike. Castor/camber alignment issues.

I doubt it is a bent wheel. They are brand new and were tested for run out, etc. as recently as this morning. Well below tolerance. Wheel bearings were checked when the rears were replaced recently - no issues. The alignment was set when the new tires went on - all in spec.

The strut bearings are original with 67k. I do wonder about them as I do hear some noise once in a while, but am not sure if that's typical as I've only owned the car for a month and put 2,000 miles on it.

Thanks,
Shumax
 






Maybe a dumb question but... have you had a front end alignment done? The reason I ask is because on another vehicle I had,(JeeP); if the alignment wasn't set to the correct toe in the same steering wheel shimmy would present itself but from 45-52mph... Once I set the toe correctly the problem went away.
 






Where the tires balance when the new ones were put on? Usually when a vehicle has a steering wobble at highway speeds is due to unbalanced tire(s).

True, an unbalanced tire(s), an alignment issue, loose trac bar, or a loose tie rod end; all of which I've seen cause steering wheel wobble. OP, I would take your Exp somewhere else and have some different eyes/experience check out your ride as someone else stated if for nothing else peace of mind.
 






Hi All,
I have same issue on my 2012 Ex with 35k miles. Just i have to add that i have really strange wobble during acceleration at 15 and 20mph. I have feeling like entire car is wobbling. Also i have constant wobbling above 45mph. I had new Michelin tires installed by the dialer, i replaced them with Continental CrossContact LX20 and still the same. I took the car to three different Ford dialer shops and they just refusing to recognize the problem. Car is still under warranty. This is sooo annoying. :(
 






Hi All,
I have same issue on my 2012 Ex with 35k miles. Just i have to add that i have really strange wobble during acceleration at 15 and 20mph. I have feeling like entire car is wobbling. Also i have constant wobbling above 45mph. I had new Michelin tires installed by the dialer, i replaced them with Continental CrossContact LX20 and still the same. I took the car to three different Ford dialer shops and they just refusing to recognize the problem. Car is still under warranty. This is sooo annoying. :(
Welcome to the Forum. :wavey:
Have you had a dealer tech ride along with you to experience the problem?

Also, please add the model of your Explorer to your profile so it always shows in the margin. Thank you.

Peter
 






peterk9, yes i did, they noticed, and they told me it's absolutely normal for this car o_O They keept the car in the shop three times for few days since i both it (two months ago) and told me that everything is normal. I decided to buy new tires since i was reading that sometimes if car is not moved for some time tires can be deformed , but same thing is happening with new tires :(
 






Maybe a dumb question but... have you had a front end alignment done? The reason I ask is because on another vehicle I had,(JeeP); if the alignment wasn't set to the correct toe in the same steering wheel shimmy would present itself but from 45-52mph... Once I set the toe correctly the problem went away.

I did have the alignment set when I had the new tires put on. I purchased a lifetime alignment from Firestone. They showed me the before and after measurements. The rear toe was out the most. The front was slightly out. Camber and Caster were in spec. I know the tech at this location - he knows what he is doing, so I trust his work.

I plan to take it to another dealership that is local to me that replaced the wheel bearings and let them have a closer look. I just need to find some time to do that...

Shumax
 






...... I decided to buy new tires since i was reading that sometimes if car is not moved for some time tires can be deformed , but same thing is happening with new tires :(
The 20" tires will sometimes 'flat spot' if the vehicle sits for a period of time but that is quite common. A few minutes of driving will fix that. I've noticed it with the 20" Hankooks I have. It isn't unusual for my vehicle to sit in the garage for 3 - 5 days in the Summer months. It isn't a tire defect.

Peter
 






She goes to the dealer with me tomorrow at 10am. Here is a shot with the new PVD Black Chrome rims. They look SOOOO good in person. DROOOL! :)

image_zpszeik9mft.jpg


image_zpshczoocls.jpg
 






She goes to the dealer with me tomorrow at 10am. Here is a shot with the new PVD Black Chrome rims. They look SOOOO good in person. DROOOL! :)

image_zpszeik9mft.jpg


image_zpshczoocls.jpg

Wow, Shumax, that is a good looking Exp! I like the wheels a lot too; better than stock ones for sure. Did you switch them out because you didn't like the OEM stock chrome one's or did you do it for ease of switching between summer and winter tires/wheel combo?
 






Thanks! Those are actually the OEM rims powder coated in the PVD process, black chrome. I switched them out as the stock ones were pealing badly. Frustrating. I will have dedicated snow rims and tires from the Tire Rack this fall.
 






The 20" tires will sometimes 'flat spot' if the vehicle sits for a period of time but that is quite common. A few minutes of driving will fix that. I've noticed it with the 20" Hankooks I have. It isn't unusual for my vehicle to sit in the garage for 3 - 5 days in the Summer months. It isn't a tire defect.

Peter

Peterk9 I have 18" rims on my car.

Earlier today I got car back from dealer, apparently they fix the issue, although car is still under warranty and i complain about same thing for fifth time, they charged me $200 for tire rotation (and wiper stalk replacement) because they claimed that tires were an issue. Of course i still have wobbling on the steering wheel, it is better but still its not as it suppose to be, and still have this weird shimmy feeling btw 15mph-20mph. I just posted video on Youtube about it, im not sure i can post link here, but you can find it under 2012 Ford Explorer Wobbling. Can you please take a look and let me know what you think.

Thank you All!
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





I went and watched the video on YouTube. That's nearly identical to what I get on my car, too. Similar speed range; just a bit lower on mine. Certainly makes you feel like it's a balance issue, but the tire/rims were road forced to very low figures - 10lbs. and less.

Keep us posted on what you come up with...

Shumax
 






Back
Top