Shaking/vibration at highway speeds. 2002 jetta. What all should I be checking/replacing?

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
This happened after I installed some new tires. I have swapped around different spares and it seems to make no difference in the vibration. It's a steady vibration. Happens when the car is cold, warm, going up hills, down hills, in neutral etc.
My front strut mounts are buggered. Also the rear mounts. Changing those asap. Wheel bearings seem good. I do have a sticky rear brake caliper but I've ignored it since it hasn't affected fuel economy and there's still plenty of pad left. I have been pulling the park brake hard when lifting the car to change tires. This is something I usually don't use so maybe it's sticking more now?

Visual inspection of things on the front end look good but I'm also not a mechanic and I am willing to spend money replacing ball joints, cv axles, bushings etc.
.
Do you think the buggered strut and shock mounts are enough to cause this shaking on the highway?

It's also always been somewhat rough on the highway. I think it's progressively getting worse car has about 600k km on it.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
If the struts not secure to the body, it could rattle/vibrate. If the brake is dragging it will produce a lot of heat to the wheel.
Vibration in all those conditions sounds like wheel balance, but guessing you've ruled that out.
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
If the struts not secure to the body, it could rattle/vibrate. If the brake is dragging it will produce a lot of heat to the wheel.
Vibration in all those conditions sounds like wheel balance, but guessing you've ruled that out.
I haven't fully ruled out wheel balance. I'm about an hour from the nearest tire shop so if it's something else I will hope to find it first.
Hoping to find the time today to change at least the front struts and mounts and I will update if that improves the situation and go from there
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
Also the shaking goes beyond the steering wheel. The passenger seat, sun visors, etc all start to shake around 55mph or so. The shaking is probably present at lower speeds but definitely gets worse at higher speeds
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
It almost sounds like one of your brake rotors might not be seated flat against the hub. This would cause a wheel to be out of alignment.

Sticking brakes mean something is problematic. Don't take this lightly. A panic stop will result in panic when you discover that your brakes are crap.
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
It almost sounds like one of your brake rotors might not be seated flat against the hub. This would cause a wheel to be out of alignment.

Sticking brakes mean something is problematic. Don't take this lightly. A panic stop will result in panic when you discover that your brakes are crap.
I recently did the front brakes. I'll have a look at the back ones tonight as well. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

UhOh

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Location
PNW
TDI
2000 & 2003 Golf GLS
Yeah, OK. The hub needs to be clean. And check that there's no odd surface on the inside of the brake rotor. The front brakes would tend to be a bit wonky if there's an issue here; but, with lots of shaking going on it's going to be hard to tell what the brakes are really doing.

How recently did you do the front brakes?

What's the manufacture of the brake rotors (and where did you get them)?
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
Yeah, OK. The hub needs to be clean. And check that there's no odd surface on the inside of the brake rotor. The front brakes would tend to be a bit wonky if there's an issue here; but, with lots of shaking going on it's going to be hard to tell what the brakes are really doing.

How recently did you do the front brakes?

What's the manufacture of the brake rotors (and where did you get them)?
Brakes were done about 3 months ago. Cheapest Chinese brakes in existence. I'll look those over too
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
Yeah, OK. The hub needs to be clean. And check that there's no odd surface on the inside of the brake rotor. The front brakes would tend to be a bit wonky if there's an issue here; but, with lots of shaking going on it's going to be hard to tell what the brakes are really doing.

How recently did you do the front brakes?

What's the manufacture of the brake rotors (and where did you get them)?
I got them on amazon. Changing those actually made the car ride smoother vs what was on there. Though yea they could be warped already. They really are garbage. Never again...
 

Powder Hound

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 25, 1999
Location
Under a Bridge, New Hampshiyuh, USA
TDI
'00 Golf 4dr White 5sp, '02 Jettachero 5sp, Wife's '03 NB Platinum Gray auto(!)
Brake rotors can warp for the silliest reasons, such as one hard stop after not driving it for a few weeks, getting some surface rust, and having the rotor warp due to uneven heating due to that rust.

I recently had some front end vibrations. I replaced the bushings in the control arms, replaced the springs, replaced the struts, flipped one of the tires (directional tires, one of which was rolling backwards), balanced both front tires, swapped the inner CV joints. Somewhere in all this, the vibrations disappeared.

Cheers,

PH
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
1998 Jetta TDI
Ffs the car is fine now. I replaced the front tires with new ones when the problem started. Left the rear ones as they were fine. But they were caked with dried on mud. Banged the mud out and now it's smooth again. So yes if you have a vibration in your car, clean the wheels!

Thanks everyone for the replies
 

jayb79

Veteran Member
Joined
May 20, 2000
Location
Exeter,NH
Tires could be out of round and balance fine. Thats when road force balance may help but it expensive and not everyplace does it. To check the run out jack up the rear tire(easiest to rotate freely) so its just off the ground and give it a slow spin then watch the gap against the ground. Swap the fronts to the back and check those. I had some snows that could not balance and the tire place swapped 2 of them out and the problem was gone.
 

sootful

Active member
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Location
Ottawa, IL
TDI
1997 Passat TDI, 2002 Golf GLS TDI
Ffs the car is fine now. I replaced the front tires with new ones when the problem started. Left the rear ones as they were fine. But they were caked with dried on mud. Banged the mud out and now it's smooth again. So yes if you have a vibration in your car, clean the wheels!

Thanks everyone for the replies
"mud in the tires" .... a reference to My Cousin Vinny. :p;)
 
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