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  1. #1

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    Shaking steering wheel.

    Hi fellow Saturn enthusiasts and builder's. I'm having a bit of an issue and not sure how to go about it.
    My steering wheel for the past month has normally shaken when applying the breaks at highway speeds (60+).
    It does not matter if its on a straight away, or a corner. The other day, the steering wheel started to shake even at in city speeds. From what I can tell, it does it now from any speed above 15mph.
    After the shaking that occurred that morning, even the breaking feels a bit slower then normal. Les Shawb checked out my breaks a few weeks ago, and they said they look great. Only had some dust in the back drums and just had to blow them out.
    Its just a normal break setup. Rotors in the back, and calipers in the front. I had used front tires put on a few weeks ago from a shop, hoping that it would fix the previous shaking (and I needed new tires), but it did not.
    Honestly, I'm not sure if they even balanced the tires since it was a small shop, but the issue was happening before the used tires where put on, so I don't think its a balancing issue.
    The car is a 1998 Saturn Sw2 with the 4 speed automatic transmission and a dohc 4 cylinder engine. I have not touched anything that has to do with the steering assembly.
    There is no leaking coming from the axle boots and nothing to show that the CV joints are damaged.
    Pretty confused on where to go from here, all help is appreciated!

  2. #2
    SMGordon1259's Avatar
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    Could be a number of things or a combination of things

    are wheels balanced, weights sometimes come off. check the tie rod ends, ball joints, hub nuts torqued on?, maybe a steel belt in the tires shifted, warped brake rotors.
    2002 Saturn SC1, Metallic Orange , L24 1.9 , 201,250 miles

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMGordon1259 View Post
    Could be a number of things or a combination of things

    are wheels balanced, weights sometimes come off. check the tie rod ends, ball joints, hub nuts torqued on?, maybe a steel belt in the tires shifted, warped brake rotors.
    Hey thanks for the info. The wheels I am pretty sure are not balanced. When the shop put them, they did not put them on a lift they just jacked it up. From what I understand there is a special machine to do that?
    Sorry, I'm still learning about cars
    What do you mean about the weights come off?
    Not sure if this helps at all in diagnosing , but tonight I took the car to 75 miles an hour and it felt completely uncontrollable! The steering wheel wanted to jump all over the place. I immediately hit the breaks and went into a middle turn lane to get away from other cars but when I hit the breaks it felt like a ton of over steer was happening. The back end felt like it was trying to slide out.
    Last edited by youhustlinmeboy; 09-11-2018 at 04:23 AM.

  4. #4

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    Like SMG said, there are a number of issues that could be causing your problems. It sounds to me that you either have a frozen caliper or warped rotors. I've had rotors warp severely enough that it was noticeable without engaging the brakes. You need to get the car up in the air and start checking stuff. I'd start by making sure all 4 wheels spin freely. Then push and pull everything steering and suspension wise to try to find the issue. If you are uncomfortable/unsure of how to do this. I'd recommend searching here and on saturnfans for info. There is a plethora of information on these cars and are easy to work on if you are willing to learn. You should also look up richpin videos on youtube. He has documented most, if not all, common repairs these cars need.

  5. #5

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    Thanks leadfootny.
    I agree, defiantly need to get the car up in the air. After talking to a few people here and few people on Reddit I have decided to take it to a shop and get it looked at.
    Will update this post once the issue gets figured out.

  6. #6
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Shaking in the steering wheel only when braking is from warped front rotors. You can pick up new white box rotors for about $20 each from a parts store. Or you can have them resurfaced....that will probably cost more than new cheap white box rotors.



    If the vibration is at all speeds white driving with no brake applied then you have an tire with an out of balance issue or out of round issue...or road force variance but that is less likely than the first two tire issues.
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

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