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Is slight steering wheel vibration normal with AT tires?

Discussion in '5th Gen 4Runners (2010-2024)' started by Loco x Toyota, Jul 7, 2022.

  1. Jul 10, 2022 at 7:09 AM
    #31
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    It sure would be nice if someone could figure out what the exact cause is. I don't understand why some people can't seem to get rid of it. I would be super frustrated if I couldn't get it fixed.

    I wonder if it's somehow associated with the needle bearing issue. :notsure:
     
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  2. Jul 10, 2022 at 8:26 AM
    #32
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Another theory is it may be some sort of overall vehicle weight balancing at certain speeds. Maybe a certain speed the the weight of the vehicle shifts backwards a little bit and causes the front wheels to flutter like you sometimes see on buggies in the grocery store...
     
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  3. Jul 10, 2022 at 8:29 AM
    #33
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Or maybe it's just the front end isn't rigid enough for the 265/70-17s and up. Has anyone with the issue tried smaller tires??
     
  4. Jul 10, 2022 at 8:31 AM
    #34
    Yoytota

    Yoytota New Member

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    Mine did it with factory highway tires and two new sets of at tires. All 265 70 17 on the factory wheels
     
  5. Jul 10, 2022 at 8:41 AM
    #35
    Liv2Ride

    Liv2Ride New Member

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    Finally decided to do the "upgrade" by transitioning from the stock 245/60R20's on my '19 Limited to 265/70R17 using the gray TRD SEMA wheels. Went with the C load BFG K02's. Decided to go with the dealer, they had a buy three get one free promo on the tires and with the wheels being OEM and wanting the TPMS swapped as well, I thought it would be most seamless.

    When I picked up the truck I proceeded to take it on about a ~20 mile drive, focusing on the freeway to evaluate the balance and alignment. While on surface streets between 30-45, mostly on decel, noticed the truck had a slight up/down oscillation (not the steering wheel) but otherwise tracked straight and steering wheel had no oscillation/wobble at all. When entering the freeway and as I was accellarating I felt the steering oscillations start around 50 and they continued to build, to a concerning level, around 57 and seemed to get the worse around 62-65. Oscillations persisted for the remainder of the time on the freeway. Also while on the freeway I noticed a slight drift to the right, this was after driving on different freeways with different surfaces. After returning the surface streets the steering wheel settled down and drifting seemed to disappear. I called the dealer back to report my experience and scheduled a follow-up appt to get the balance and alignment "fixed".

    The next morning, checked tire pressure and it was at 34.5 psi on all four tires. I inflated to 37 and oscillations at freeway speeds were still there thought they seemed somewhat less then with the lower pressure but the drifting to the right continued. Drove it with 37 psi for another day or so, then went up to 40 psi and again the oscillations appeared to be less but they were still there and that was unacceptable. I did start to notice the oscillations were consistently experienced with the tires were "cold" after sitting overnight in the all concrete parking garage and after sitting for 9-10 hours in the Hawaii sun in the office parking lot they seemed to be less and even at times completely disappear but then re-appear on the same drive. I detected no rubbing, even at full steering lock, in forward or reverse in either direction.

    Fast forward to the follow-up appt. I was insistent both the balance and alignment were off and needed to be corrected. Advisor acknowledged. Received a call later in the day indicating everything checked out ok but they did make an adjustment to Camber and F Toe, I later found the updated alignment measurements were not on the receipt...will circle back to get the details for the file. While on the call the advisor indicated he wanted me to continue to "monitor" and started to feed me some BS about the tire size not being the recommend size, driving characteristics may be different...yadayadayada, even that with new tires sometimes it will take several months to smooth out, etc. I called BS on all of that. I insisted something was not right, he said he will talk with his manager and get back to me. Eventually picked up the vehicle, the advisor then advised that after having a different "trusted" tire tech re evaluate the balancing each tire did in fact require re-balancing, in most cases needed less weight then what was initially applied. Got in the truck and proceeded to do another 20 miles or so, mostly freeway, to evaluate. Bottom line, balance is spot on. The surface street vehicle oscillations are gone as is the freeway speed steering wheel oscillations...completely GONE. Drifting to the right appears better but I will continue to evaluate that. Upon backing into my stall in our garage last night had steering locked to the right and did hear some slight rubbing. Lighting was not good enough to see where that was occurring but will evaluate later today. I will also check the tire pressure when I go to the vehicle to see where it is currently set.

    Here are the balance details:

    Screen Shot 2022-07-10 at 4.58.19 AM.jpg
     
  6. Jul 10, 2022 at 9:29 AM
    #36
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    The one night going home from work when mine was terrible I swear putting it in 4 wheel drive calmed it down a bit, I went from 2 hi to 4 hi a few times and swear there was a bit of a difference but not eliminated...unless I was just tired and delusional from working a 17 hour shift. This is why I wonder if anyone that did the ECGS bushing has shimmy.
     
  7. Jul 10, 2022 at 9:32 AM
    #37
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    https://youtube.com/shorts/KSc0rLcp4Dk?feature=share

    One of my worst days
     
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  8. Jul 10, 2022 at 9:33 AM
    #38
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    If that's the case, why is mine smooth as glass on 65# 295/70/17 MT's?
     
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  9. Jul 10, 2022 at 9:39 AM
    #39
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    You turned out to be a lucky guy with your beefy set up I have seen on here previously! Dealer service advisors and managers are just trash these days. Blame everything else.
     
  10. Jul 10, 2022 at 10:26 AM
    #40
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I think this is just a sign that you should put bigger tires on your 4Runner. :bananadance:

    It's about time I had some good luck. o_O
     
  11. Jul 10, 2022 at 10:30 AM
    #41
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    Those same tires make my steering wheel shimmy. Not always, but more than often enough to be really irritating. They're mounted on OEM TRD Pro wheels, so the wheels shouldn't be the problem. I switched back to my OEM wheel and tire set and the shimmy went away.

    I've had three balancing attempts on the Pirelli / TRD set without solving the problem. The last balance was supposed to be Road Force but the shop said they spec'd out too good for Road Force to make any difference. They said they were so good their Road Force machine's computer would literally not even allow them to attempt a Road Force balance. I still don't know for sure that this is true, but it seems likely since a) they'd already bothered to spin each wheel on the Road Force machine and b) they would have charged me significantly more for going through with the Road Force balance.

    Long story short, Road Force does not seem to be a solution in all cases. There's a design flaw in this vehicle, plain and simple. No vehicle should have tires this hard to balance without shimmy or vibration.

    Yet I will try balancing once again, perhaps at yet another shop, when winter comes and I need to put aside my shitty OEM tires.
     
  12. Jul 10, 2022 at 10:36 AM
    #42
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    Are the shitty oem tires the Dunlop’s
     
  13. Jul 10, 2022 at 10:41 AM
    #43
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    No, prob even worse. They're the Bridgestone Dueler HTs. Worst tires in snow I've ever experienced. Braking performance is abominable. Worse than the summer tires I had on my WRX.
     
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  14. Jul 10, 2022 at 10:48 AM
    #44
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    I don’t even get why Toyota would send a 4 runner out with highway tires...the Dunlop’s do totally suck though.
     
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  15. Jul 10, 2022 at 12:36 PM
    #45
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug Slightly bent.

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    Tell them to turn off the auto balance and go to manual.
     
  16. Jul 10, 2022 at 2:09 PM
    #46
    SlvrSlug

    SlvrSlug Slightly bent.

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    If all this structural, ifs, wind flow bull shit was true, then we would never be able to balance them out because you would have to do it while the vehicle is moving. I have been running oversized tires for years, and sometimes I don’t get a good balance job. When that happens i take it back to the shop and ask them if they can get that shimmy out because it drives me nuts. Most of the time they get it right, once in awhile i have to take it back again, but they always get it out, and she rides smooth. Some tires are harder to balance than others no matter what size they are. I usually buy from the shop that i have been going to for all my work so it’s to his benefit to get it right, but it is almost always balance or bad tires, this is my opinion and i know a lot of folks want to find a mechanical problem but your wasting your time. Think wheels & tires.
     
  17. Jul 10, 2022 at 2:48 PM
    #47
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I think you’re missing the point. Innumerable experiences documented on this forum show that the 4Runner is unusually sensitive to wheel balance. Many of us have had lots and lots of vehicles of various kinds and never encountered a problem to this extent. That’s just a fact. It’s indisputable. What we’re trying to figure out is why.

    If we figure out why, we hope, we can identify a fix that does not involve trip after trip after trip to a shop for balance after balance after balance. It should go without saying that no one should have to do that. And thus there is a design flaw somewhere.

    Worse, your solution isn’t even a real solution. Because many of us have tried multiple balances — and multiple tires — without resolving the problem.
     
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  18. Jul 10, 2022 at 4:40 PM
    #48
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    Completely agree about the truck feeling alive and that being a big part of the appeal. I love how analog it is. How mechanical. I’ve raged elsewhere on the forum about the shame of numb steering and computerized everything — the experience that you are not operating a machine but rather a computer that in turn operates a machine. It’s almost like a video game.

    That soulful and honest character is a huge part of what makes the 4R great. Such a character means some foibles. The astounding lack of such foibles in my last BMW is a big reason I ditched it.

    But the 4R would be no less wonderful if it didn’t have this problem. It would only be more enjoyable to drive and to own.
     
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  19. Jul 10, 2022 at 4:42 PM
    #49
    Altitude4x4

    Altitude4x4 New Member

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    Buy a lottery ticket.
     
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  20. Jul 10, 2022 at 4:44 PM
    #50
    Loco x Toyota

    Loco x Toyota [OP] New Member

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    Does the shimmy cause any real damage to the 4Runner long term (bearing, steering components, etc)? Or just an annoying feature and the truck is still bullet proof?
     
  21. Jul 10, 2022 at 4:45 PM
    #51
    Altitude4x4

    Altitude4x4 New Member

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    No, it's just your reminder you need to rebalance your tires.
     
  22. Jul 10, 2022 at 5:32 PM
    #52
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    If only it was that simple for some people’s cases...
     
  23. Jul 10, 2022 at 5:34 PM
    #53
    DallasTRDPro

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    This might be the dumbest question to ask, but is there any chance the shimmy could be in the steering wheel itself??
     
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  24. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:04 PM
    #54
    Altitude4x4

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    It usually is, unfortunate for those with outlying situations.
     
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  25. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:10 PM
    #55
    Tmiesowicz

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    The balance just isn’t solving it for me I wish It was...that was my first hopes at 5 miles.
     
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  26. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:12 PM
    #56
    McSpazatron

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    Serious…maybe do a level/lift and take an inch off the rake. If it doesnt work, at least the 4runner will look cooler. :)
     
  27. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:19 PM
    #57
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    So, now we're blaming aerodynamics for the wheel shimmy? o_O

    I have driven mine up to 100 mph and sustained speeds above 80 mph and it never felt uncomfortable or unstable.

    Again, how has mine been perfectly smooth with multiple sets of LT tires up to 295's?

    The only thing I can think of is that there could be a tiny bit of play in some part of the front suspension, making them more sensitive to out of balance tires. Or, maybe some of the hub bearings have a defect.

    I still say that if anyone is getting their tires rebalanced multiple times and not getting the issue cured, they should try a different shop.

    If there's some kind of major design flaw, how does it only affect some owners?
     
  28. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:24 PM
    #58
    Tmiesowicz

    Tmiesowicz New Member

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    My first balance was done at dealer ‘road force checked out’
    -solved 98% of the issue, they were truly unbalanced bad. And that’s where the shimmy came back randomly at the same speeds
    -second balance non road force it was more intense-off-road shop
    -third balance road forced at my trusted tire shop is the best so far

    My parents 2019 doesn’t have this issue. Mine is still smooth and stable at 80mph +
     
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  29. Jul 10, 2022 at 6:42 PM
    #59
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I think I'm having frustration empathy over here. :(

    I drive at ~60-70 mph a lot, so it would drive me nuts if I couldn't get it fixed.


    I'm still curious if there's anything to the needle bearing correlation. I wonder if anyone has done the ECGS bushing and still had shimmy afterward. If so, that would at least rule out that theory.
     
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  30. Jul 10, 2022 at 7:19 PM
    #60
    Singleminded

    Singleminded New Member

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    I don't think that's dumb at all. The propensity to shimmy could be located in some part of the steering column. But remember that for many of us this happens on some wheels/tires/balances but not others. For example, I haven't had it with about 14K miles of use on my OEM wheels and tires, but I have had it for a couple thousand miles on other wheels and two sets of tires.

    First off, many of us have tried multiple shops. I've tried three so far. And four balancing machines, since my local shop upgraded after the first fail.

    Secondly, no two vehicles are exactly the same. No two parts mate exactly the same on every vehicle. There are manufacturing tolerances that mean not every part is exactly the same length, thickness or weight. No two vehicles are put together exactly the same. The design flaw is that everything has to be just so for you to avoid the problem. Something is off a mm here or a mm there and boom, here come the shimmies.

    I really don't get why some people keep arguing. It's obvious the truck is overly sensitive to wheel balance. It's obvious that it's so sensitive that even minor differences in some key part or parts makes the difference. Some people were unlucky, others not.

    Remember that this problem effects Limiteds too. My understanding is that the full time 4WD system does not have the needle bearing issue.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2022

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