Front End wobble

Asked by Nov 28, 2008 at 10:33 PM about the 2001 Honda Odyssey EX

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Our Odyssey seems to "wobble" when we first take off, but then smooths out as we pick up speed. I thought it might need an alignment but was told could be drive train - any insight?
It's due for the 100,000 mile service and I hate to spend the money if I'm going to end up with a burnt out tranny.

5 Answers


That is most certainly NOT a drive train issue based upon the description. You MORE THAN LIKELY have a tire or rim issue. The tire starts slowly with a wobble that's transmitted through the steering wheel. When your speed increases, the wobble decreases and eventually goes away until you slow down again. If that sounds like the symptom, you have a tire that needs to be balanced. If it wobbles and there is not a noticable change in the frequency or intensity of the wobble, you likely have loose lug nuts. OR, did you hit a curb or very large pothole with great force? You could have bent the rim. However, the MOST likely fault is a tire that requires balancing. When tires are installed initially, they have a good balance on them. As the tire wears down over thousands of miles, the weight of the tire is reduced. Thus, this changes the balance dynamics creating a wobble. This wobble starts gradual and is un noticable until it gets severe enough to create steering wheel vibration. Best bet is rotate and balance your tires every 3-5K miles. When you purchase a tire package, most tire installers will rotate them free for you. But, drop the extra cash for the lifetime balance. It costs a bit more initially but will pay dividends with prolonged tire life. Good idea to get an alignment every 6 months. Hope that helped.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Thanks - I wondered about it, but not being a mechanic thought I ought to research a little more. I have always had the van serviced at the dealer and have asked to rotate and balance at each oil change but I don't think they did - even though they charged for it. It's off to Wal-Mart where I can watch them! Thanks again.


The only real benefit of going to the dealer for service is to maintain warranty intergity. Once you're out of warranty, find a quality garage to handle your routine maintenance. The dealership will ALWAYS be more expensive and normally not better. I've always had great results with Firestone. Let me know how the balance worked out.


Firestone pulled my wifes pants down....600.00 for alt. on my 99 T&C.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

1. After you drive it for several minutes say above 40 miles per hour - Stop car get out and check the temperature of the metal wheels of both front tires, this is a brake failure test, if one is hotter than the other then this might be it. Fractured caliper, caliper slide bolts not working, etc. 2. Failed Wheel bearing in the knuckle might be another diagnosis 3. Broken engine mount might be another 4. Make sure all the wheel lugs are spec at 80 foot pounds of torque 5. Assuming the wheel rotation and balance was not the fix and should be done if not already.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

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