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Old 08-30-2005, 11:25 AM   #1
sketch
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Default L200 Vibration at 60mph

I've got a 2001 L200 sedan with approx. 80,000 miles. Its had no major problems or repairs in that time. but recently, it starts to vibrate between 60 and 65 mph. The tires are good (fairly new) and balanced. The vibration stops after i reach 70mph +, and does not occur until I hit 60mph. Its constant while I'm in that range. It does not happen when I break (unless I'm breaking in the 65-60mph range). any ideas?

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Old 08-30-2005, 11:38 AM   #2
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2003 VUE 3.0L
2002 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Thank you for posting this. I am curious to see what responses you receive. We have a 2002 L300. Notice a minor "vibration" in the steering wheel, between 50-55 mph then disappears and lower and higher speeds. Saturn dealer did not notice it when I had serviced there last and told them about it. They said it may be the brake rotors, but it does not do this vibration when depressing the brake pedal. Next time I have the tires rotated, I am going to have them check their balance.

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Old 08-30-2005, 11:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Welcome to the forum!

I have a 2002 L200 with the same problem.
It starts at 58mph and goes away about 65mph. Right now, I am hoping it is just a badly balanced wheel. The vib seems to be coming from the driver's side rear wheel. Does your's come from the same area?

Several months back, I stared noticing the vibe. I had my tires balanced & rotated. The same tire was cupped. I could be in need of alignment or shim kit

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Old 08-30-2005, 12:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Thanks for the reception, and Yes, the vibe seems to be coming from the front-driver's side wheel, but I checked it and its fine, tread-wise anyway. It almost feels as if the lug nuts aren't on the whole way and the wheel might fly off... but again, I checked that and those are fine too...

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Old 08-30-2005, 12:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Take the car back to where you got your tires. Get the tires rebalanced. Many tire shops, like mine, offer this as a free service when you by tires. If not, it is usually inexpensive. When I get a chance, that's going to be my first fix. You sure it's coming from the front?

I am waiting for my tailight recall next month to take mine back to the dealer to see what they say. In the meantime, I try not to go between 58 - 65.

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Old 08-31-2005, 12:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

My LW did that when the tires started cupping. The more the tires cupped, the worse the vibration was. Rotating and balancing did not help, but replacing the tires sure did.

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Old 08-31-2005, 06:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by usa4624
My LW did that when the tires started cupping. The more the tires cupped, the worse the vibration was. Rotating and balancing did not help, but replacing the tires sure did.
With that, you will soon go broke replacing tires.
There should be a remedy to the problem, not a band-aid fix.

Anybody have answers to the cupping? alignment? shim kits?

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Old 08-31-2005, 09:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

I've only had to do that once, and that was with a set of Crapfinities. I've had a set of Goodyear Vivas for 1 year / 33k and there is no hint of cupping.

My car has had the shim kit installed at 18k, and 4 wheel alignments in the 100k I've owned it. I know that tire rotation is very important; if you don't rotate the tires, it is very, very, very likely they will start to cup and cause all sorts of vibration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle bik
With that, you will soon go broke replacing tires.
There should be a remedy to the problem, not a band-aid fix.

Anybody have answers to the cupping? alignment? shim kits?

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Old 08-31-2005, 09:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Watch Out!!

I've had the same probelm (on a different car) on two different occasions and it turned out to be the tires. On one of the occasions the tire failed while driving... that was an interesting experience!

What was happening in my case is the tire was developing a subtle bulge - which meant the tread was failing. With time, as the bulge grew, the speed at which the vibration started seemed to change. Finally, the tire failed.

You may be having the same problem.

Watch out!

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Old 08-31-2005, 11:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZguy
Watch Out!!

I've had the same probelm (on a different car) on two different occasions and it turned out to be the tires. On one of the occasions the tire failed while driving... that was an interesting experience!

What was happening in my case is the tire was developing a subtle bulge - which meant the tread was failing. With time, as the bulge grew, the speed at which the vibration started seemed to change. Finally, the tire failed.

You may be having the same problem.

Watch out!
I understand what you are saying, but that doesn't give us an answer to the question: Why are the tires vibrating & cupping?
And what can be done to remedy the situation?

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Old 08-31-2005, 12:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Common L series problems that cause vibration.

Rear shim kit required to get rear wheels in proper alignment. Usually only minor vibration and cups rear tires

Front (suspension) bushings on '00's and '01's were too soft resuiling in vibes at approximately 60-70 mph. Requires replacement of bushings and I believe this was fixed in changes to '02 and beyond suspension.

Ball joints are high failure parts that require check and possible replacement at about 60K miles (have heard of ball joints needing replacement in as low as 38K miles). Good alignment shop should be able to tell you if ball joints are bad.

Euro suspensions just plain don't like some tires and you'll get vibes no matter what ya do. If you know someone else with a L or a Saab, try trading your wheels and tires for their's and see if the vibe goes away.

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Old 08-31-2005, 01:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

My vibration problems came from having cheap tires. I made the mistake of getting tires based on price, and not on quality, and ended up learning a rather expensive lesson.

My vibration cut in at around 60, and went away at around 70.

I had the tires rebalanced, which seemed to make the problem lessen a little, but not go away completely. Once the tires were replaced, the problem went away.

I work at a Saturn dealership, and had the guys check out the alignment, which was fine.

Bottom line, don't cheap out on tires.

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Old 08-31-2005, 09:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Ive noticed the right front outer edge will normally wear first due to lack of rotation. Feathering of the tire is a toe problem. Chopping is usually bad tire or shocks/struts. Separation, is dangerous and should be pro-rated by the tire shop according to tread depth. Vibration can come from a number of different causes. More than not its a tire out of balance or separation of the inner steel cords. Still someone should make sure your suspension and steering parts or in good order, as well drivetrain (ex. halfshafts) have been known to cause vibrations. That said a vibration within a given speed would lead me to believe a tire, halfshaft, or wheelbearing. A rotor can cause vibration if it is very badly warped but would pulsate the brake pedal when applied.

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Old 09-01-2005, 05:51 AM   #14
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Tires/Wheels - Steering Wheel Shake/Vibration

File in Section: 00 - General Information

Bulletin No.: 99-00-91-002D

Issue Date: June, 2003

Subject:
Steering Wheel Shake or Vibration at Highway Speeds (Balance Tire/Wheel
Assemblies, Replace Front Lower Control Arm Rear Bushings, Replace
Steering Gear Preload Spring, and Replace Tires It Necessary)

Models Affected:

2000- 2004 Saturn L-Series vehicles

Attention:
Fixed Operations Manager, Parts Manager, Technician

This bulletin is being revised to add the 2004 model year. Please discard Bulletin 99-T-55C (Corporate No. 99-00-91-002C).

Condition:

Some customers may comment on a steering wheel shake or vibration felt when driving vehicle at highway speeds.

This condition is most noticeable on smooth road surfaces at vehicle speeds above 65 mph (105 km/h).

Cause:

Condition may be due to vehicle sensitivity to out-of-balance tire/wheel assemblies.

Correction:

Balance all four tire/wheel assemblies and evaluate. (Regardless of VIN.)

Replace steering gear preload adjuster spring. (On vehicles built before and including VIN 2Y525531.)

Replace front lower control arm rear bushings. (On vehicles built before and including VIN YY697118.)

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Old 09-01-2005, 06:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Thanx, beensmoked!
This describes my problem to a tee.
So, do I go to my dealer and hand them a copy of this TSB to get the work done?

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Old 10-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by beensmoked View Post
Tires/Wheels - Steering Wheel Shake/Vibration

File in Section: 00 - General Information

Bulletin No.: 99-00-91-002D

Issue Date: June, 2003

Subject:
Steering Wheel Shake or Vibration at Highway Speeds (Balance Tire/Wheel
Assemblies, Replace Front Lower Control Arm Rear Bushings, Replace
Steering Gear Preload Spring, and Replace Tires It Necessary)

Models Affected:

2000- 2004 Saturn L-Series vehicles

Attention:
Fixed Operations Manager, Parts Manager, Technician

This bulletin is being revised to add the 2004 model year. Please discard Bulletin 99-T-55C (Corporate No. 99-00-91-002C).

Condition:

Some customers may comment on a steering wheel shake or vibration felt when driving vehicle at highway speeds.

This condition is most noticeable on smooth road surfaces at vehicle speeds above 65 mph (105 km/h).

Cause:

Condition may be due to vehicle sensitivity to out-of-balance tire/wheel assemblies.

Correction:

Balance all four tire/wheel assemblies and evaluate. (Regardless of VIN.)

Replace steering gear preload adjuster spring. (On vehicles built before and including VIN 2Y525531.)

Replace front lower control arm rear bushings. (On vehicles built before and including VIN YY697118.)
My LW200 is a 2003 with Vin 3Y5717XX. Am I affected because I also have this vibration but do not know if spring in rack is changed at build. To me it looks like this is so from the vin but not sure.

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Old 10-01-2009, 10:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

I had a 2001 LW and went through your pain mostly under warantee. Replaced tires, expensive on car wheel balancing, shim kits, multiple trips to the dealer, etc.... Shortly after the warantee ended the steering rack needed to be replaced. I'm suspected that the vibration caused significant wear on the steering rack to the point of eventual failure. I never could get Saturn to agree with my assessment but they did cover half the repair cost as a "goodwill" gesture. Good luck in getting this resolved!

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:16 PM   #18
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by trottida View Post
I had a 2001 LW and went through your pain mostly under warantee. Replaced tires, expensive on car wheel balancing, shim kits, multiple trips to the dealer, etc.... Shortly after the warantee ended the steering rack needed to be replaced. I'm suspected that the vibration caused significant wear on the steering rack to the point of eventual failure. I never could get Saturn to agree with my assessment but they did cover half the repair cost as a "goodwill" gesture. Good luck in getting this resolved!
Looks like this is a chronic problem on L series Saturns including the wagon. I already replaced the tires and had them balanced twice. Accordingly to the TSB it is now the rack then the lower control arm bushing. I am not in warranty so $$$$ will have to spent. Cant see that it is alignment because these are now new tires and the vibration is still present. Did the rack change fix your vibration???

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Old 07-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

Quote:
Originally Posted by linx3566 View Post
Looks like this is a chronic problem on L series Saturns including the wagon. I already replaced the tires and had them balanced twice. Accordingly to the TSB it is now the rack then the lower control arm bushing. I am not in warranty so $$$$ will have to spent. Cant see that it is alignment because these are now new tires and the vibration is still present. Did the rack change fix your vibration???
I too would like to know if this cures it. My wife's car has been doing this for a long time now. She apparently isn't as sensitive to it as I am, so it just sort of got ignored. But lately I've been driving her car more, and I can't stand it.

We finally took the car back to Discount Tire the other day and they rebalanced and rotated the Goodyear Comfortreads (which we like very much). I haven't driven it since then, but my wife says she thinks it is worse now. No way it is the balance of the tires. They are around 50k miles now, and they still show plenty of life.

Anyway, if it were a tire (or tires) out of balance, I would expect that the vibe would only worsen as speeds increase. However, the vibe comes and goes at times, and it does not seem to be related directly to speed. I feel it through the pedal when accelerating under load, but when I back off and set the cruise, it isn't as noticable (or sometimes will briefly go away).

I wonder if this preload spring or the lower control arm rear bushings would do the trick...?

Anyone have any more to add here?

...
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:00 AM   #20
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Default Re: L200 Vibration at 60mph

It could be that your tires are unbalanced. If its just a slight vibration, give your tires a good cleaning, sometimes dirt collects on them and unbalances them slightly. If that does nothing, go get them rebalanced.

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