Car Issue Brain Teaser - 600RR.net
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Car Issue Brain Teaser

So here is the thing, what would you say is the probelm when the following happens:

When you travel forward in a straight line the steering wheel twitches to the left and then returns back to its starting position. When you travel backwards in a straight line the steering wheel twitches to the right and returns to its starting position.

When you slowly increase speed the twitch frequency increases until you get to a speed high enough that its no longer noticeable.

All four tires are inflated to spec.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 07:38 AM
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Tires may be inflated, but have you hit anything that might have caused a broken belt in the tire? If its bad, you can see a bulge where the belt is broken. Otherwise you might have to take the car in to have someone double check the tires.

How many miles on said tires?

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 10:59 AM
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+1 on the belt shift possibility. also, i've seen electronic power steering do some pretty weird things. customer came in one time with a civic si and as soon as you started the car the steering wheel would turn itself all the way to the left lock and then just twitch there
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 11:26 AM
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Have you tried rotating or switching your tires, front to back and side to side at separately, to see if you can follow the "twitch"? I don't think I have to say this, but only move them front to back or from one side to the other, not f/b and s/s at the same time. Just making sure you don't get ahead of yourself trying to troubleshoot. It happens to me a lot.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 01:01 PM
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I can only imagine that the solution is not mechanical and it so silly that we won't even realize...



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys, I'll inspect the tires; it does seem mechanical to me, it's as if the twitch occurs right after a revolution of the wheel, or a revolution of something else.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 01:40 PM
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Is it a RWD or a FWD? I ask because the configuration will change how front wheels react to a load.

I've recently picked up an E36 328i sedan and going forward the steering wheel moves a few degrees to the left under accel and more under decel. Opposite going backwards. Looking under the car I found that the lower control arm bushing on the passenger side is toast.

I used to have a Cooper S and driver side ball joint on the control arm went after I hit a nasty pothole driving around in DC. It would veer right under accel and left under decel.

Diagnosing any free play should be easy. Jack each corner of the car up and wiggle the crap out of the wheels in the vertical and horizontal directions to see what might be moving about.

Edit: Just realized what you meant by twitch... If it's cyclical it'd hazard a guess at the tires. Maybe a bulge? Or a wheel bearing going south. Brakes rubbing?

Last edited by Lyoha; 03-26-2015 at 01:43 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 01:43 PM
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Since I read "brain teaser" I thought it was one of those mind games where the outcome is never what you imagined... Sorry...

I have some suggestions and questions that might help, but I don't have a clue on how they are called in english...

There is this test where they check alignment of the wheels... and another thats balancing ?? Does this make any sense? Have you had your car in to check/fix these??



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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 07:06 PM
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I would think worn ball joint.

If there's some play, what you described is not unusual.

But definitely check tires first since that's easiest.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyoha View Post
Is it a RWD or a FWD? I ask because the configuration will change how front wheels react to a load.

I've recently picked up an E36 328i sedan and going forward the steering wheel moves a few degrees to the left under accel and more under decel. Opposite going backwards. Looking under the car I found that the lower control arm bushing on the passenger side is toast.

I used to have a Cooper S and driver side ball joint on the control arm went after I hit a nasty pothole driving around in DC. It would veer right under accel and left under decel.

Diagnosing any free play should be easy. Jack each corner of the car up and wiggle the crap out of the wheels in the vertical and horizontal directions to see what might be moving about.

Edit: Just realized what you meant by twitch... If it's cyclical it'd hazard a guess at the tires. Maybe a bulge? Or a wheel bearing going south. Brakes rubbing?
I'll check the tires very soon, it's a FWD FYI.

I'm betting on bulge or wheel bearing, I'll report back soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soponcio Virtual View Post
Since I read "brain teaser" I thought it was one of those mind games where the outcome is never what you imagined... Sorry...

I have some suggestions and questions that might help, but I don't have a clue on how they are called in english...

There is this test where they check alignment of the wheels... and another thats balancing ?? Does this make any sense? Have you had your car in to check/fix these??
Haven't taken the car in yet, I'll check the tires and see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorsher View Post
I would think worn ball joint.

If there's some play, what you described is not unusual.

But definitely check tires first since that's easiest.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it's not the bloody tires.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 04:26 PM
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If its not the tires or a bent wheel, i would check on a cv shaft. I've seen them wear and begin to seize which causes a pretty nasty vibration. Best way to check it is on a lift and putting the car in drive. You can also do it on jack stands but be very careful.
Obviously any suspension parts with play should be replaced, easily checked on jack stands as well.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teetopps View Post
If its not the tires or a bent wheel, i would check on a cv shaft. I've seen them wear and begin to seize which causes a pretty nasty vibration. Best way to check it is on a lift and putting the car in drive. You can also do it on jack stands but be very careful.
Obviously any suspension parts with play should be replaced, easily checked on jack stands as well.
Well I only checked the tires for bulges or dimples. A friend mentioned it could be the tires needing rebalancing, but since the symptoms are more prevalent at low speeds and almost unnoticeable at high speed, shouldn't that possibility be ruled out?

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 02:09 AM
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I drove an armored Ford diesel E-Series that had 275K miles on it and it was plagued with this problem. Thankfully it was just work and not my actual vehicle. We took it in multiple times and it was never figured out.

The bigger armored trucks had horribly loose steering but nothing like the twitching the van had.


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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 02:45 AM
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I had a similar problem last year with my car, and I was looking at it way to complex. It turned out to be just a bold that wasn't tightened enough on one of the rear wheels.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinfo View Post
I drove an armored Ford diesel E-Series that had 275K miles on it and it was plagued with this problem. Thankfully it was just work and not my actual vehicle. We took it in multiple times and it was never figured out.

The bigger armored trucks had horribly loose steering but nothing like the twitching the van had.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyntax View Post
I had a similar problem last year with my car, and I was looking at it way to complex. It turned out to be just a bold that wasn't tightened enough on one of the rear wheels.
Thanks for the feedback guys, will attempt the simplest fixes first and see what comes of it.

But I think this would be a front wheel/axle problem. Cyntax, did your mechanic explain how the rear wheels caused the steering wheel to twitch?

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rad Rage View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys, will attempt the simplest fixes first and see what comes of it.

But I think this would be a front wheel/axle problem. Cyntax, did your mechanic explain how the rear wheels caused the steering wheel to twitch?
I didn't bring it to the mechanic. I came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with one of the rear wheels because it ran really hot compared to the other wheels when the car started to show the twitch and weird sound symptoms.

First I thought it was the drum brake that was like stuck so I removed the wheel and noticed that one of the bolts was extremely easy to remove (it was loose). There was nothing wrong with the drum brake after checking it so I just put the wheel back on and tighten all the bolts. After that the wobble/twitch problem was gone.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyntax View Post
I didn't bring it to the mechanic. I came to the conclusion that there was something wrong with one of the rear wheels because it ran really hot compared to the other wheels when the car started to show the twitch and weird sound symptoms.

First I thought it was the drum brake that was like stuck so I removed the wheel and noticed that one of the bolts was extremely easy to remove (it was loose). There was nothing wrong with the drum brake after checking it so I just put the wheel back on and tighten all the bolts. After that the wobble/twitch problem was gone.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll be doing some testing myself on all the four wheels soon.

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