What will cause a steering wheel shimmy at 60-65mph other than tires, rims, balance, front end alignment?

Asked by Oct 28, 2016 at 12:50 AM about the 2016 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2016 4Runner SR5 Premium with 17000 miles on it.  Since about
2000 miles, it developed a shimmy in the steering wheel at about 60-62mph
up to 65mph.  Then, goes away above that.  Sometimes minimal shaking,
other times it's a hard shaking of the wheel.  My wife and I feel shaking in the
seat of the pants maybe 45-60mph at times.  Vehicle has been back to
Toyota Dealership numerous times for this problem, starting with the 5000
mile service.  Have had two front end alignments, three tire balance with last
being a road force balance.  I'm told they use an adapter to balance the tires.  
They replaced the original Dunlops with Goodyear Wanglers and I had the
same problem.  They replaced the Wanglers more recently with Bridgestone.   
While the Bridgestones have provided the best ride yet, I am now getting a
shimmy once again after two days since the new tires were put on.  First day,
no shake.  Second day, a hint of shaking.  A week later, shaking very
evident.  Each and every time, the new tires seem to fix the problem for 1-2
days, then a slight shimmy starts and after a week or so, gets worse.  I've
opened a complaint with Toyota Customer Support.  The service manager at
the local dealership did confirm a shimmy after test drive the first time before
replacing the Dunlop tires with Wanglers.  Thereafter, they tell me they can't
feel the shimmy.  However, I do and it gets worse as time goes on.  The
dealer pulled a set of Bridgestone wheels off a new vehicle on the lot and put
them on my vehicle for a test drive.  I couldn't detect a shimmy and they let
me keep the tires on overnight and actually for several days.  I told the
service manager I could barely detect a shimmy that morning and knew it
was there but not worth the bother if it didn't get worse.  So, the dealer went
ahead and ordered new Bridgestone tires and put them on my wheels.  I got
the same problem starting out with no shimmy, then hardly detectable
shimmy, and now a strong shimmy after more than a week of driving.  It
seems to fade away for awhile and comes back.  When it shimmies, it's
always between 60-65mph and it seems the worst is at 63mph.  It's almost
like there is some sort of steering sensor that puts tension on the steering
wheel to control "directional" control of the front end and something goes
haywire with it.  I am completely lost with new vehicles and computer-
controlled systems.  The best I can say is that I'm convinced at this time that
it sure isn't the tires or balance causing the problem.  I feel pretty sure it's not
the rims.  The dealer shared with me that they checked the runout on the
rotors, checked the brake pads, the suspension, and struts and can't find
anything wrong.  In researching online, I've come across many articles
concerning quite a few problems with earlier 4Runners having a Shimmy and
a couple recent ones - most tied to how the tires are balanced.  Since I don't
believe it's a balance problem (it comes and goes), I'm wondering if there is
some sort of defect or I have a defective part in the steering or suspension
system.  I'm really tired of going back to the dealership (I've been to two
Toyota Dealerships) and while they think the problem is fixed, it's not.  
Hopefully, there is an expert Toyota Rep reading this and taking note and
might have some ideas other than balance.  If we have any independents in
the Gallatin, Hendersonville, or Nashville, TN area who is willing to have a
once over on my vehicle, I would consider paying for the fix at this point.  
Lets discount tire balance unless you really believe both dealerships are that
incompetent to properly balance the tires.  I personally think the tires are
balanced properly and don't think this is a tire balance issue.  I also have this
sensation that there is not good directional control and I've also pointed that
out to the dealership.  I read somewhere that the Lexus GX-460 had some
sort of steering tensioner issue and had a TB for recall to fix it.  I'm
wondering if the same is going on here.  I'd really like to get this problem
fixed as I'm happy with the vehicle otherwise.  Thanks, Frank

2 Answers

24,315

You've gone through three sets of tires, but are you still mounting them on the original wheel rims? I've read on other forums that people who have had this problem got rid of the factory rims and the shimmy went away as well, and some of them had also gone through 2-3 sets of tires like you, before fixing the problem with new rims.

236,935

Ken's right, so you say you had another set of rims on the truck and hardly noticed a shimmy for a week, but then you put on the original rims and tires and shimmy is back. Hmmm. There are companies that will check the rims for you, for runout and balance. They must remove the tires and put the wheel on a machine.

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Search Toyota 4Runner Questions

Toyota 4Runner Experts

#1 Kurt Burton
Kurt Burton
Reputation 1,170
#2 azurro
azurro
Reputation 670
#3 kbro
kbro
Reputation 610
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Toyota Tacoma
534 Great Deals out of 40,496 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Highlander
342 Great Deals out of 24,353 listings starting at $2,499
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
1,058 Great Deals out of 74,519 listings starting at $750
Used Toyota Tundra
445 Great Deals out of 34,082 listings starting at $3,200
Used Chevrolet Tahoe
557 Great Deals out of 28,837 listings starting at $1,699
Used Toyota RAV4
741 Great Deals out of 71,375 listings starting at $1,895
Used Toyota Sequoia
147 Great Deals out of 5,639 listings starting at $2,700
Used Honda Pilot
381 Great Deals out of 21,474 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Land Cruiser
19 Great Deals out of 1,123 listings starting at $3,700
Used Ford Explorer
935 Great Deals out of 72,524 listings starting at $1,499
Used Ford F-150
2,181 Great Deals out of 206,248 listings starting at $1,499
Used Nissan Pathfinder
264 Great Deals out of 22,540 listings starting at $1,995
Used Jeep Wrangler
275 Great Deals out of 18,088 listings starting at $2,950
Used Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
268 Great Deals out of 43,460 listings starting at $10,499

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4WD For Sale
2,046 listings starting at $36,093
2016 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4WD For Sale
7 Great Deals out of 223 listings starting at $28,741
2015 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4WD For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 105 listings starting at $27,699
2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Premium 4WD For Sale
78 listings starting at $21,999

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.