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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'01 Chevy Suburban, Front End Shake

Q: 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. Please help.

A: I 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 (that’s documentation) of your visits to the dealer. I’ll tell you why later. Let’s start with the shake. Because the shake occurs at a certain speed it has to be related to rotating mass. What’s 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. That’s 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 can’t fix it then there’s 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 doesn’t always weld them together right.


 
     
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