Q: Cars shakes, like driving over invisible potholes

asked by on January 04, 2017

I bought this car as a salvage about 5 years ago. It was hit very severely in the front wheel of the driver's side. The person who repaired it said something about "bending" a piece straight to fix it. When I drive it at about 65+ mph there is a light but noticeable shake in the steering wheel. Also, when I brake with about medium pressure, the car shakes violently left and right. These problems have always existed since I have had it over the the past 5 years but I did not think much of it. Now, however, it is having more problems. There is a noticeable shake in the front left wheel (same wheel where it was severely hit by another car 5 years ago) that is timed to every full rotation of the wheel, it feels like I am driving over potholes on the ground. It is most noticeable between10-20 mphs. Any ideas? I would like to pay to get it fixed soon! Thanks!

My car has 90000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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The vibration in the steering wheel is due to dynamic imbalance, excess radial force variation in the tires and/or faults (looseness) in the suspension that permits the residual imbalances that are normally held in check by a tight suspension to be transmitted through the vehicle. Wheel/tire assemblies balanced at stores are not perfectly balanced. There is always a residual imbalance but such is usually imperceptible to the driver and occupants so long as the wheel is held rigidly along the spinning axis by the suspension. The vibration on braking could be due to warped rotors and/or rotor defects such as hard spots and thickness variation. The cyclical wheel tramp could be due to a tread separation, imbalance, or flat spot on the tire which type of tire damage in turn is usually due to a failed shock or strut. To resolve all of these issues, the front end should thoroughly inspected and if the tires are old they may need to be replaced as part of the diagnostic. If the rotors are warped, those would have to be replaced as well. Please let us know how we can best assist you.

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