Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

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kc27
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:00 pm

Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by kc27 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:59 pm

I am trying to diagnos a shake at 60+ MPH in a 2005 Vibe Base. And I am trying to do this remotely, the car is 300 miles away. The car did not shake two weeks ago, now it does. It bas winter tires on steel wheels with clip on wheel covers. I was thinking just run the car through a car wash as that might clear any snow in the wheels that could be the source of the problem. If that does not work, have the wheels balanced.

Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.

Zimm
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by Zimm » Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:00 pm

i can confirm that it happens. happened to me a couple years ago after needing to burst through some serious snow piled up in my drive by snow plows. shook like crazy above a certain speed and not at all below it. it melted that day and all was fine on my way home from work.
'10 Black w/1.8L AutoAir/PW/PL/PM

jolt
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by jolt » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:14 pm

Yes that can happen. Take it to a manual car wash and spray the rims out as best as possible. The other thing to do is take it to a heated garage and let it melt out and dry off. Third thing to do is pull the wheels and remove the snow or ice from the rim. As you said, take it in and get the tires balanced. Have them check to make sure a rim is not bent when they balance the tires just in case you are not getting the full story from 300 miles away. I have had that happen to me.

zbyers
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by zbyers » Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:11 am

I'd first clear the snow from the tires, as it will cause vibration. If the issue persists, follow jolt's advise and take it in for a balance and make sure the rims aren't bent.
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kc27
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by kc27 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:57 am

Thanks everyone. I will advise them to start with the manual car wash, and if no luck, it will be time to have the wheel balance checked. The car has Michelin X-Ice Xi3 winter tires that were installed on steel rims with plastic wheel covers in November. The wheel covers could easily trap snow. And it is always possible a wheel weight has been thrown. At least I hope this turns out to be something simple like snow build up or a lost wheel weight.

Dealing with these things remotely is always a challenge, often due to the quality of information provided, as jolt alluded to below. That and sending a non-car person to a shop can be a roll of the dice, too. I will probably go online and find a shop, make an appointment and explain the problem, just to expedite things and ensure the shop and I are on the same page.

One question about the self-service car wash. Would there would be any unintended consequence of rinsing the wheels while the outside temperatures are below freezing?

ihaveavibe
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by ihaveavibe » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:29 am

Late to this thread, but yeah, this happened to me as well. Not knowing anything, I took the car to the shop where I bought the tires and they just blew the snow out with compressed air and thankfully didn't charge anything for it.

Bookworm
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by Bookworm » Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:41 pm

kc27 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:57 am

One question about the self-service car wash. Would there would be any unintended consequence of rinsing the wheels while the outside temperatures are below freezing?
As long as you keep moving for a few minutes, you should be okay. That'll spin the bulk of the water off, and the tires will warm up to help evaporate the rest. The road salt will build up and keep the water liquid too.

Another option is connecting a garden hose to your water heater, and blasting the wheels and bottom of car off before driving it into the garage.

kc27
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by kc27 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:01 pm

Well, no luck after clearing the wheels with the the self-serve car wash sprayer. The car still vibrates. Again, I am not on site, so hopefully they did a good job of clearing out the wheels as I directed. Time to find a tire shop to have the wheel balance checked. Thanks everyone.

schwartzy18510
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by schwartzy18510 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:00 am

Ask the tire shop to also check for broken radial tire belts, tire tread separation, and flat spots or uneven tread wear while they're checking wheel balance. Those can also cause wheel shaking. I just went through a similar troubleshooting process with our '03 base Vibe and found this link helpful. I started with the snow-in-wheel theory (we're in Michigan), then graduated to checking for missing clip-on wheel weights, signs of a broken radial tire belt or separating tread, and uneven tire wear.

After I jacked up both front wheels and put the car in drive so I could observe the tire tread while spinning in the course of checking for separated tread or a broken belt, I found that the passenger front wheel wasn't spinning at all. Turned out to be a bad caliper, frozen so tight that it was causing the steering wheel to vibrate while moving.

Caught me off-guard as the shaking was happening all the time, not simply when applying the brakes and there wasn't any of the tell-tale signs like pulling to one side when braking or excessive dust coating the wheel. I had also proactively replaced both calipers in 2016, about 30,000 miles ago when replacing pads and rotors. The new Duralast remanufactured units turned out to be junk, the other side wasn't yet frozen completely but it was starting to stick.

Thankfully, AutoZone honored their limited lifetime warranty. Just finished replacing the old calipers with A-1 Cardone units from Rock Auto which carry a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty and come powder-coated for rust prevention. Vibration and steering wheel wobble gone!

kc27
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by kc27 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:42 am

I took a look at the link you provided about "Shakes and Wobbles" and also looked at the rest of the "Tires 101" section of that website. There is a lot of good info on that site, thank you.

The car still shakes at 60 MPH or higher. The wheels were rinsed out at a self service car wash, but I do not know how thoroughly they were rinsed. I was hoping for a thaw or an early spring to definitely rule out snow or ice in the wheels. However, according to the weather forecast, it will be two more weeks before daytime highs will be consistently above freezing. The Vibe will be taken to a tire store next week to get tire balance checked. It's a place I picked out from an internet search that seemed to have overall good reviews.

Glad you were able to diagnose your problem. That's why I wish the Vibe was here, so I could at least take an initial look at it. I am hoping the shaking will turn out to be something simple like a lost wheel weight.

TireToast
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by TireToast » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:15 am

I sometimes have an issue with snow/ice accumulation in the wheels off my 09 GT, I have a window ice scraper that's on a long stick that I use to knock the ice out.

kc27
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Re: Anyone Ever Have Snow Caked in Wheels Cause High Speed Vibration?

Post by kc27 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:21 pm

Here is a follow up: It turned out the left front and right rear wheels were out of balance. I was sure the problem had to be due to snow or ice because the tires were relatively new - they had been installed and balanced four months prior to when the vibration problem started. I am assuming the vibration was due to wheel weights being lost. I do not know this for certain, because someone else took the car in for service, and did not ask the shop why the wheels were out of balance.

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