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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 EX AWD AT (89k miles) has a significant vibration in the steering wheel at about 70 mph. Go a few mph faster or slower and it goes away. After much searching I only found one similar post that didn't have an answer beyond flat spots in the tires.

My other problem is vibration when at or near full lock (such as tight slow turns in a parking lot). I think I found many examples of the answer with changing the rear diff fluid. Any possibility this is related to the rear diff? I would think not since I'm always going in a straight line on the interstate when this vibration occurs. I checked the tires, there is no visible uneven wear so bad alignment does not seem likely.

Thanks for your help.

Mike
 

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2008 Element EX AWD TRP
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It's entirely possible that you have more than one problem.

If the steering wheel is just vibrating, it may not be the suspension; it may be harmonic resonance from something loose in the engine compartment, such as the serpentine belt. That could also explain your steering problem at full lock.

If it is ignored, worn dual pump fluid can manifest itself as vibration even while moving in a nearly straight line, and it can seem to come from the front or the rear. When mine started acting up, I thought that it was a problem with the surface of the road, because like you I was driving in a straight stretch of road at interstate speed when it started.

At 89,000 miles, it's worth checking both, and if neither has been serviced previously, I'd plan on replacing both the belt and the fluid.
 

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The read diff fluid will get rid os the tight turn rattle if changed. As for the fron end viboration try rotating the tires and have them balanced and more then likly that will be your problem. What happens is the out of balance tire will get at resonance frequency with the suspension and amp up the viboration and as soon as you speed up or slow down out of that frequency the shaking will stop. Long explanition but a easy fix. If it still persists have the front suspension checked for loose parts. Tie rods ect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tight turn rattle fixed

Thanks psschmied and slimerdogs.

I changed the rear diff fluid last night - the tight turn rattle was gone. I also changed the A/T fluid while I was it because it was due. I rotated the tires too, just haven't gotten out to the interstate for a 70 mph run yet.
 

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I'm with slimer and will go with a less drastic diagnosis - vibration between 65-75 is a classic symptom of a tire balance issue. You could have flung a weight on one of the fronts. Get it looked at ASAP before a wear pattern develops that can't be fixed with balancing.
 

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I used to hace a mazda 3 and it did that too. Mine was because of my rotors. You may need to replace your rotors. Mine happened only when i braked though... another time, my brothers car started shaking. his was his wheel balance. Hope this helps.

Andrew
 
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