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First post and I'm flummoxed. I have an 2009 Lexus RX350 AWD. At speeds of 70-75 one can feel the steering wheel vibrate fast. At 80mph(for testing purposes) it largely disappears. Back down to 65 the vibration in the steering dissapates greatly but one can still feel the front wheels shake. I've done the following:

New tires. I had them rebalanced three times. A fourth time at an independent shop. No improvement. Went back to the original store and had them put on two new front tires on the off chance it might be a bad set of tires. Had them road force balance them too. No improvements.

Replaced rotors, brakes, entire front strut assembly along with lower ball joints. Also replaced steering column. Alignment done after that.

Took it for a drive today and no improvement. Full disclosure: My mechanic at the outset said I didn't need new ball joint or struts as the whole suspension looked new almost. So I'm stuck as he is too. Not sure what to do without throwing money at this problem. Did the 12-6 & 9-3 tire test and the wheels don't jiggle or move at all. Could it be a bad set of rotors? This didn't happen while I had my old tires & rotors on them prior to replacement.

Any ideas? Thanks.

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Have you tried swapping the front and rear wheels, you could have one slightly bent wheel.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. It's my understanding that AWD one can't do that. In any case the rims are true as it was looked at. Also road force balancing should negate that IF they were. Had Lexus, Midas, tire chain check. I feel like I'm chasing my own tail. Thanks again for your input. – Rxonmymind Rxonmymind Sep 29 '15 at 15:11
  • Do you know why you can't swap the wheels? Is it because they are different sizes? If there isn't a very good reason not to swap them temporarily, I would give it a go. – HandyHowie Sep 29 '15 at 16:16
  • Talking to a Midas Mechanic that I've taken my previous cars to. We ran down the list of things that's been changed and he said there's nothing left to change. As I type he tested the rotors I had put on and they have zero run out. As for tires I called the tires shop that installed them and the manager is willing to give full credit on them towards another set. I'm putting Michelin's on them. The original OEM tires. This is the last thing I can do. New tires are not cheap. $200 a pop. But since I've gone this deep down the rabbit hole don't know what else to do. – Rxonmymind Rxonmymind Sep 29 '15 at 16:58
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You more than likely have a wheel/tire which is not quite balanced correctly. The description you give points directly to this. It would not be a bent rim, because you would feel this at any speed. If you can figure out exactly which wheel/tire it is through rotation (front to rear only ... and then only if the front and rear tires are the same size), you can have it spin balanced for a higher speed. If you cannot pin point, have them all balanced for a higher speed. Tell the tire shop (or the dealership you bought it from if they'll do it for free) what your issue is and that you need them balanced for a higher speed. They should be able to help you easily.

  • I had a slightly bent rim on my Triumph Spitfire for a while. It would balance on the machine fine, even in dynamic mode and there was no vibration at normal driving speeds. – HandyHowie Oct 1 '15 at 17:43
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Paul & Handy I Did as you suggested and I was hoping for the best. Front tires to back and back to front. Made no difference. I had them install the Michelin premiere a/s and the vibration ceased. Gone. VERY happy camper. It's odd as I have the Continental control contacts on my wife's IS350C sports/ touring, car and they are VERY good tires. Smooth, quite, exhibit good grip and just a very solid tire. Wondering and this is pure speculation on my part, if they tried to make a "sport tire" an suv tire? My RX just did not like that brand of tire. Lol. Anyway, THANK YOU all who took the time out to contribute to this challenge. One for the books.

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Have you tried changing Tie-Rod Ends on both sides, and check if the Stabilizer bar as well as the rubbers that holds it. Hope this works for you

  • In a unusual & gracious twist the Mercedes dealership that I bought this Lexus from replaced the rack & pinion as it was leaking. I was speechless. I think that includes the tie rods correct? Anyway it looks brand new. Again thank thanks for the suggestion. Perhaps it would be easier to answer what is left to replace? Haha. – Rxonmymind Rxonmymind Sep 29 '15 at 15:07

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