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Has anyone had this problem? Between the speeds of 20 and 50 my steering wheel rocks back and forth. No vibration over 60 mph. I had the tires balanced and rotated. Looking for ideas. The guy at the tire shop said my rims were out of round.
 

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Has anyone had this problem? Between the speeds of 20 and 50 my steering wheel rocks back and forth. No vibration over 60 mph. I had the tires balanced and rotated. Looking for ideas. The guy at the tire shop said my rims were out of round.
Bad rims = bad vibration.

How old are the tires? Sometimes the tires themselves go bad, and no amount of balancing will fix them.

Do you have factory or aftermarket rims?

The front suspension could cause some of what you describe, if it were bad enough, but generally this seems like a tire issue.

Since there is no vibration over 60... I wonder if it could be something outside the box. Power steering, perhaps... maybe the rack itself.
 

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To determine the age of a tire there is a stamped four digit or three digit code (if it was made before 2000). '1406' would mean the tire was manufactured the 14th week of 2006. '265' would correspond to the 26th week of 1995, or 1985 but if it was that old you'd be able to tell. This is only stamped on one side. This is a useful bit of information everyone should know (especially if you like to buy used tires).
 

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Factory rims. Tires are futura's. I dont know how old they are. Tread looks pretty good.
Well, you could try jacking the car up and spinning the tire, visually checking it for any signs of uneven treadwear or a slipped belt (which is usually a bulging area of tire). Last option is to also have a different shop inspect and balance the tires. Perhaps the first shop's equipment isn't up to snuff.
 

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Also consider your rotors - they will be the culprit IF your rims are true, tires don't have shifted belts, and suspension components are fine.

Just changed my rotors+pads on the front after 11 years of ownership - shimmy went away.

Reason I knew it was rotors - tie rods were good, shimmy was present with summer AND winter wheels.
 

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Rotors for sure, when you hit the brakes, your engaging the calipers, if the rotors are warped, your steering wheel bounces side to side :) This bouncing increases with increased pressure on the brake pedal, it's a no-brainer :D
 

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But every time I've ever had a bad rotor, it only showed when applying some pressure to the brakes.

You said tires were rotated. Did moving the rears to the front not change it? If not, not likely wheels or tires unless all are bad.

Also, some people don't like weights on the outside in view. With wide tires if balanced statically putting all the weight on the inside only, you can induce shake which is why best to get them balanced dynamically.

Factory wheels? Offset is OK then.

Alloys? Not likely bent, the factory alloy wheels are very tough. Seen them break suspension in hits and not fase the wheel.

A combination of not enough caster and loose steering gear like a sloppy rack & pinion or bad wrag joint can do it, or a combination that includes the balance issue can cause it too.

My first guess is the balance technique used though.
 
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