Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'01 Chevy Suburban, Front End Shake
I purchased a new 01 Chevy Suburban. My wife and 19 month old son
are in the car the majority of the time. The steering wheel vibrates quite
badly between 65-70 MPH, one tire already blew at 800 miles, and it has
been in the shop twice in the month we have had it for the steering problems
mentioned before. No one can pinpoint the problem. It has General tires
on it which I am about to switch to Michelin. Unfortunately, as of today,
it now pulls to the left on a straight road. The dealer is not being at
all helpful, and now we have a $35,000 SUV that scares us to drive it.
have good reason to believe that your Suburban has two different problems
besides an unhelpful dealership. But before we go there be sure to keep
close track (thats documentation) of your visits to the dealer.
Ill tell you why later. Lets start with the shake. Because
the shake occurs at a certain speed it has to be related to rotating mass.
Whats rotating mass? Anything that turns. The obvious would be the
tires, then the rims. If the shake is only in the front-end then the first
step would be to rotate the front tires to the rear of the vehicle. If
the shake moves to the rear then you have a bad rim or tire. If the shake
remains in the front, then the problem moves deeper into rotating mass.
The next step would be to check the hubs. Thats the part that the
rims bolt to. A hub can be bent or out of round, just plain made wrong.
Either way equals a front-end shake. The hub has to be replaced. If your
vehicle is 4 wheel drive then the drive axle would have to be checked
for too much run out (bent). If a front end is shaking in a Suburban something
is wrong and if the dealer cant fix it then theres the Lemon
Law. That is why you keep track of the visits for repairs. The pull to
the left is either tire and/or alignment related. You need a repair facility
to perform a 4 wheel alignment. Though the rear wheels are not adjustable
on your vehicle there can be a problem that can cause a pull. Take it
from a Suburban owner knows. GM doesnt always weld them together