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Diagnosing Vibrations

No factor contributes to a negative operating experience more than vehicle vibration. The torment of operators everywhere, it degrades ride quality, shortens tire life, and strains vehicle components. Fortunately, steps can be taken to avoid operating under these conditions.

  • Visually inspect tires, wheels/rims and vehicle for irregular wear, damaged wheels/rims, or vehicle component damage. Replace or adjust as required. 
  • Check to be certain that tires are inflated according to vehicle manufacturer recommendations and the vehicle suspension is working correctly and vehicle is not tilting. Either bias ply or radial tires can be mounted on the steer axles if the vehicle has multiple drive axles. 
  • Check each tire to be certain it is mounted properly on the wheel/rim. The tire fitting line should be concentric with the rim flange. If the tire has a yellow or red mark on the tire, it should be oriented to the rim correctly. 
  • Test drive vehicle on a smooth road surface and diagnose symptoms. 5-to-10 mile warm-up is recommended to remove any flat spotting. Steering wheel vibration diagnosis should begin with front axle, wheel, and tire conditions and floor or seat vibration diagnosis should begin with drive axle. Powertrain and brake conditions can be diagnosed by alternate brake application and placing the transition into neutral during vibration. 
  • Check each tire wheel/rim assembly balance and adjust as required. If unable to balance, completely deflate tire, unseat tire beads, and rotate tire 180 degrees on the wheel/rim. Inflate, rebalance and reinstall on vehicle. 
  • If vibration is not eliminated, measure tire and wheel/rim assembly for excessive lateral or radial run-out. Replace as required. 
  • Rebalance tire and wheel/rim assembly and test drive vehicle.