2004 Honda CR-V, ~140k miles, overall good condition. Got tie rod ends, ball joints, and shocks replaced this summer so it's probably not any of those. The wobble showed up suddenly about a week ago and has come and gone since then--it only appears at highway speeds (>~60mph) though sometimes it will be slight and sometimes it will be dramatic and terrifying.

The car is in the shop right now, and the guy at the shop said it's likely to be a busted tire belt, which would mean replacing that tire. So I'm likely to find out what's happening by close of business today, but I want to put this question up to find out if there are any other potential causes, and also for posterity since I haven't found much else about this specific issue. Will update when I hear back from the shop.

  • 2
    We can assume that you had a full 4-wheel alignment done with all that suspension work? Even so, since that work was just done, it's still suspect.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:27
  • I did have a four-wheel alignment done with the suspension work--however, that was back in the beginning of September, I've driven the car a couple thousand miles since then, and the wobble didn't show up until last week.
    – Tom Warner
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:37
  • 2
    Well, I'm just saying that recent work can develop problems in the short term because of a bolt not being tight enough, or a part being faulty from the beginning. Just listing that as "a potential cause"... Don't assume its not an issue just because it was done recently.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 16:44
  • 2
    @JPhi1618 I agree 100%. If anything my first suspect would be any recent work. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve seen just because someone didn’t torque down a bolt.
    – cloudnyn3
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:09
  • Ok good to know, thanks! I'll update when the shop gets back to me so we'll find out what's actually going on.
    – Tom Warner
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


Just heard back from the shop.

Apparently the master cylinder is not draining correctly, which is causing the brake pads to stick. Over time, this warped the rotors, so that's where the wobble is coming from--it happens even when I'm not actively braking because the pads are staying stuck to the rotors.

The shop is replacing the master cylinder to deal with the sticking, and the rotors since they're warped. They're also going to do a full brake fluid exchange.

Final update: Got the car back with new front rotors, front calipers (apparently those were also bad), and master cylinder. No more wobble and everything is smooth. Cost a bunch of money but at least I've got a working car again.

  • 1
    Thanks for the self-answer. Interesting diagnosis. Warped rotors are usually easy to diagnose because the driver usually starts the problem with "When I press on the brakes, the car...". Good find by the shop.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 20:02
  • Relevant follow-up: I had the car in the shop 2 days ago because I knew the front brakes were sticking. I didn't mention the wobble (big mistake) because I thought it was caused by the stuck brakes. The shop found out the slide pins were sticking, fixed them, and sent me on my way. Oops.
    – Tom Warner
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 20:13

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