Last post on Oct 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM
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Toyota 4Runner, SUV
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#2375 of 2607 2006 4Runner SR5 steering column vibration and clunking
Sep 13, 2008 (9:26 pm)
Hoping someone here can offer some advice before I go back to the dealership for round 3.
I'm having some issues with my 2006 Toyota 4Runner SR5 2WD with 29,000 miles which I've had for 2 years. It's driven perfectly up until about 22,000 miles. It started with a steering wheel vibration at highway speeds. I initially thought the steering wheel vibration was an out of balance tire. Tires were rotated and balanced by the dealer - it seemed to go away for awhile but came back intermittently. On a whim after a few thousand miles, I stopped in at Discount Tire to have them check the tires and thinking maybe I lost a wheel weight. About this time, I started to get noticeable creaking/popping from the front end when turning while braking (into driveway, parking spots, etc.- slow turns).
Took it back to the dealer stating all the same issues again. They kept my car for the whole day and only applied some lube to some bearings or bushings on the front end in addition to rebalancing for the third time in four months. Well the creaking stopped for about 3 days and now I'm getting an odd clunking up through the steering column when I hit rough spots in the road - like the whole steering column shakes and rattles - not just the steering wheel. The highway speed steering wheel vibration is still there and is more of a shimmy - not a resonance/buzzing. This doesn't seem like the same vibration that a whole thread is devoted to.
I will be going to a different dealership for this next attempt because I don't want to hear it's just the road anymore or that I just need to get used to the ride of an SUV (I've driven SUVs for the past 7 years). Does anyone have any ideas of what this could be? It seems like it's getting progressively worse and this isn't normal no matter what they say.
Would appreciate any help/insight/advice....
#2376 of 2607 Tire Balance
Sep 13, 2008 (9:43 pm)
Has anybody done a road force balance on the tires?
A mechcanical problem is remote. Something that goes away and then comes back will not be mechanical. Most likely it's one (or more) of your tires.
I would not let the dealer handle the balance. You need to take it to a wheel tire shop that understands how to correctly balance a tire.
Is the dealer using the "lug centric" adapter? The tires cannot be balanced correctly without using this. What tires are on the vehicle? The Dunlaps are very poor tires.
#2377 of 2607 Re: Tire Balance [chuck1]
Sep 14, 2008 (12:26 pm)
I can't say for sure a road force balance was done but I do know that Discount Tire and the dealership showed up as places who have the GSP9700. Now if they actually use it is another thing. Same for the "lug-centric" adapter. But both are things I will ask specifically about next time.
The tires currently on the vehicle are Bridgestone Dueler H/T 840s. I've read quite a few reviews on them that they are poor tires - especially in wet conditions. So I'm thinking about new tires. I had Michelin LTXs on a Pathfinder before the 4Runner and they were great. But they were 16" and I have 17" now. What's your opinion on Michelins?
#2378 of 2607 Re: Tire Balance [chloe_6]
Sep 14, 2008 (2:04 pm)
I have the Michelin Cross Terrains on my 4Runner-great tire and expensive. The Bridgestones while having poor performance reviews, generally don't have balance issues. Check the weight of the LTX's vs. CrossTerrains. Remember, heavier tire equals poorer gas mileage.
It doesn't matter if they have the right machine if they do not use the lug centric adapter. If they balance the tires using the center hole in the wheel-it does not balance correctly. Also at this point you must demand a road force on the tires.
#2379 of 2607 Tire Rotation/Brakes
Sep 14, 2008 (2:59 pm)
I own a 2006 V8 Limited with 56K of primarily highway miles, dealer maintained with no problems at all and have a couple of questions;
1) How long do the Michelin Cross Terrains typically last? I might have another 6k left.
2) How long do the original brakes last? I have not had any brake work done
3) When rotating the tires, one dealership rotates all 5 (spare included) front to back and across as well as "Force Balance" the tires. The other dealership closer to home rotates the 2 front tires with the 2 back tires, does not include the spare or cross the tires left to right. Which method is correct?
#2380 of 2607 Re Tires and brakes,etc.
Sep 14, 2008 (3:44 pm)
Tire should be re-balanced and rotated every other oil change or so. As far has the brakes are concerned, there are reports of the 4Runner brakes going a long time before replacement. This depends on your driving style. You need to make sure you or your mechanic are inspecting the brakes at the time of the tire rotations.
Cross Terrains should go a minimum of between 40,000 and 60,000 miles. Remember, when you get down to 2/32nds or so this really handicaps your wet traction and stopping ability.
Either rotation sequence is correct. Most shops don't want to bother lowering the spare, and then putting the other tire on that "little round thing" and cranking it back up. It's a tedious process. Obviously, your will get a little more wear rotating in your spare. And after 5 years you will not have to by a new spare (due to aging) when you didn't even use it.
Hope this helps.
#2381 of 2607 Re: Tire Rotation/Brakes [2006toy]
Sep 17, 2008 (8:34 am)
In general Michelin's last the longest but are usually the most expensive. However, you should not purchase tires just because it is a Michelin. What you need to do is determine what type of driving you do, highway, off-road, both, etc. and determine the best tire for your needs and your wallet. I personally like Michelin's but the price always makes me look at other options. Depending on what is in the market place guides my decision. I have Michelin's on my wife's Pilot, but on my last car I had BFG Long-Trails and loved them, did a ton of highway driving. On my 4 Runner I have the Bridgestones until they need replacement, won't go with them as a replacement tire. Keep in mind that Michelin's, BFG's and Uniroyal are marketed by Michelin Small American Tires or (MAST) for short.
Check is correct though about the rotation so no need to repeat.
Also, every tire comes with a Tread Wear Indicator which is 2/32". It is located in between the treads. But, if you wait until the tire reaches that indicator you are putting your life and everyones elses in danger when the weather is anything but sunny.
Also, have your truck aligned to prevent uneven tire wear, you should do this at least once a year, others recommend twice.
Brakes life cycle depends on your driving habits as well as how far your typical drive is. City traffic will wear brakes more quickly than highway traffic.
#2382 of 2607 Re: Tire Rotation/Brakes [2006toy]
Sep 19, 2008 (2:40 am)
1) Cross Terrrains can last 80,000+, but there are variables so 56K is good just the same. My OEM Dunlops had only 18,000 when they wore out. Get them replaced before the weather changes.
2) Toyota puts great brakes on their trucks. The only time I've read of people doing brake jobs on 2003+ 4Runners is because the rotors warped.
3) I haven't heard of a dealership rotating the spare since the 80's. Time is money these days. Front 2 for back 2 is my experience with any brand of vehicle nowadays.
#2383 of 2607 Re: Tire Rotation/Brakes [canddmeyer]
Sep 19, 2008 (7:10 am)
Yep, those Dunlops are one bad tire. Many reports on these tires not lasting on other forums.
#2384 of 2607 Re: 2006 4Runner SR5 steering column vibration and clunking [chloe_6]
Sep 20, 2008 (8:42 pm)
I think that one of the hiccups of the 4runner has. I have a 2004 4Runner SR5 w/ customized tires & rims (22" rims) and I have the same problem (clanking sound infront everytime i turn my wheel, even when backing up the applying the breaks it makes that sound) really annoying huh!, but I have stopped bringing it to the dealership coz its costing me money everytime I go and they still cant find any solution. Instead i went to a local mechanic here in hawaii and i asked them to check it. They told me thatís its just the break guards. he just shoved the guards a bit to give it an extra clearance, and the clanking stopped , they told me that if the clanking will return coz the guard is just a thin sheet of iron a eventually itíll be deformed.