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Hello, new to the forum. My '04 Rio's (manual 4 speed, no a/c, no p/s, no p/b) steering wheel will rock back and forth from just above idle to at least 65 mph before smoothing out. The motion increases in speed with auto speed and moves the wheel back and forth by about 3/4". The shaking cannot be felt through the brake pedal, either while driving or braking and does not become better or worse during braking.

Car is also pulling quite strongly to the right during driving (not caused by braking.) Separate or related issue?

I'm hoping that it is only a bad tire (about 1/4 life left in the tires) or flat spot on the tire, but would like some other opinions before taking it into the shop. Any ideas? BTW, great forum!

ADG
 

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This car is still under warranty? Take it to the dealer. I would guess either a tie rod / ball joint is shot, or you're severly out of alignment, perhaps even a bad tire.

Does it make a BANG or thunk when you turn the wheel completely in either direction? That would suggest a ball joint / steering problem. Does it make any odd sounds at all? Or just pull and bounce the steering wheel? I notice on my 01 I have vibration on the wheel during driving, but I don't think it's as severe as 3/4" traverse on the wheel and I doubt that it's anything I REALLY need to be concerned about until it starts getting really bad. Actually, it sounds a lot like the shaking I feel since it can't be felt through the brake pedal either. Mine doesn't happen all the time though. Also you must remember that highways are sloped to allow for drainage and the car will pull usually to the right in the right lanes and left in the left lane on those roads. I've noticed that the tiny tires no the rio make it want to pull when it hits the ruts that are commonly found on the well used roads too. I'm leaning toward a bad tire or poor alignment. Check the tires for funky wear on the shoulders. Anyway, hope this offers some insight. I am by no means an authority so I would probably wait for others to respond... but that could take a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks beotch. No noise or clunks while driving. The car will pull right even from the left lane. Strangely, the steering wheel movement is most noticeable when just getting moving, so mabye its a bad tire. I let my 18 year old daughter drive the car for awhile, so who knows what the damage might be ;)

I guess it's back to the dealership with it. Thanks for your reply.

ADG
 
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