Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shimmy shimmy shake

The Rolling Steel Tent had developed a shimmy. Not only that up-and-down vibration that's usually the sign of an improperly balanced tire, but also, under certain conditions, a side-to-side shake that's the sign of, well, one or more other things. Improper alignment, improper caster adjustment, worn suspension parts, bent suspension parts... With over 200,000 miles on the clock, and much of that on rough roads the past four years, there was a chance I'd be spending some serious money getting the ol' steel tent rolling smoothly again.

But one of the rules of vehicle repair is to try free stuff before getting a mechanic involved. So I made sure the tires were correctly inflated. They were a little low, so I pumped them up to Chevy's recommended 50 PSI in the front, 80 PSI in the back. I didn't really notice a change.

Okay, the next free thing would be having all the tires rebalanced and rotated at the chain where I bought them—Big O. That solved about 95% of the problem. No more shake and only a hint of shimmy.

Another reason I went to Big O was that I thought the tires were out of round or maybe even starting to come apart. I didn't have Michelin-level funds when I needed tires, so I had to settle for their cheap house-brand tires, made in China. If it had turned out the tires were defective I could've waved my warranty at them. But that wasn't necessary. At least not yet.

If your vehicle is suffering from the shakes, here's a good article covering the possible reasons. May the causes be simple and the solutions free.

1 comment:

  1. So often when problems arise we are tempted to just throw money at it and hope it goes away quickly. You set a good example of the benefits of retraining ourselves to seek answers on our own before paying others. Even those who think they are not mechanically skilled can do 90% of the work.