Bad vi­bra­tions

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

My 2007 Mazda5 2.0 Sport is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a vi­bra­tion through the steer­ing wheel and the body of the car. The prob­lem is most no­tice­able when ac­cel­er­at­ing be­tween 60-70mph. The prob­lem started af­ter I had some work done on the near­side drive­shaft – there was per­haps a slight vi­bra­tion be­fore the work, but noth­ing like it is now. The car failed the MOT due to the outer CV boot be­ing split and, when it went in for re­pair, the garage found the in­ner joint was cor­roded and re­quired re­place­ment. There is now what looks like a rub­ber sleeve fixed to the drive­shaft with ca­ble ties, which I pre­sume is a bal­ance weight that was re­moved in order to re­place the gaiter/cv joint and was put back in the wrong place.

I have had all four wheels balanced and also had a full four-wheel align­ment check and ad­just­ment. Do you know if it is pos­si­ble to have the drive­shaft prop­erly balanced while it is on the car and, if so, can you ad­vise me of any com­pa­nies in or near Kent who could do this work? If not, is it pos­si­ble to have the shaft re­moved, balanced and re­placed some­where lo­cally? A last re­sort would be to re­place the en­tire drive­shaft – would that need to be a man­u­fac­turer’s orig­i­nal part to guar­an­tee good bal­ance or would an af­ter­mar­ket item be fine? Tim Collins From your de­scrip­tion and the fact that the vi­bra­tion started af­ter the re­me­dial work for the MOT, it does sound as though the bal­ance of the drive­shaft is the prob­lem.

Ca­ble ties are not re­ally ad­e­quate to en­sure that the bal­ance weight does not move on the shaft and I would re­place these with wor­m­drive clips.

I know of no com­pany that can bal­ance the shaft on the ve­hi­cle. I would first try to ad­just the bal­ance weight – it’s less likely to have been put in the wrong po­si­tion than it is to have been ro­tated in­cor­rectly. By mark­ing the shaft and the weight, it should be pos­si­ble to ro­tate it 90° at a time, then road-test the ve­hi­cle to as­sess the ef­fect. If this re­duces the vi­bra­tion, fur­ther fine-tun­ing by ro­tat­ing 10° or so at a time may al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem. The other op­tion would be a re­place­ment shaft, but, as you have al­ready paid out for a re­place­ment joint, this should not re­ally be nec­es­sary.

The drive­shaft show­ing the cen­tre bal­ance weight.

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