My Honda Civic's got the shakes

BlaRo

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So my parents dropped the news on me that they might be handing me the keys to our 2005 Civic Coupe in the fall, while they pick up another car for themselves. :dance: (Which I plan to sell for an old 911...shh, don't tell anyone.)

There's a problem with the car: every time I take it above 70, it shakes and vibrates harshly. It's really pronounced in the upper-70-80mph range. The car was T-boned from the right and fixed by the dealer (badly, I presume) before we bought it two years ago. Also, the headliner leaks.

Any ideas on how I can get this fixed?
 

Nabster

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First thing I'd do is have all the wheels and tires computer balanced, then an all wheel alignment to see if that fixes the problem.

As far as the headliner leaking... how?
 

Spectre

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I would have the chassis (or "frame") alignment checked on the car. If it was hit, it might not have been repaired properly (as you surmise) and might have to be "pulled out" to get back to spec before wheel alignment is possible.

After that, check wheel alignment, tire balance, and the condition of the CV axles. I would also examine the wheels for straightness and roundness.

As for the leaking headliner, does it have a sunroof? If so, check and clear the sunroof drains, then replace the sunroof seals. If it does not have a sunroof or anything on the roof and it's not leaking at the leading or trailing edges (windshield seals), then take it to a body shop immediately as one or more welds is cracked and you shouldn't be driving it.
 

_HighVoltage_

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It's 2005 and the headliner is already leaking??? Wow!

From what I've read, and from what mechanics have told me - once a chassis has been bent, the whole geometry of the is screwed and there is no fixing it. There will always be signs of it.
 

Spectre

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It's 2005 and the headliner is already leaking??? Wow!

From what I've read, and from what mechanics have told me - once a chassis has been bent, the whole geometry of the is screwed and there is no fixing it. There will always be signs of it.
That depends on the severity of the damage and the skill and equipment of the body repairmen. True, you cannot completely restore even a lightly bent chassis to exactly as it came from the factory - but a very skilled, well equipped bodyshop can fix it so there's no way to tell by looking at it or driving it.

Here's some examples of crashed cars that a good bodyshop can restore to within factory specs:












Here's a Mitsu Eclipse that was in a front end crash; you can see where the beams up front have been mangled and ripped. It has already been on the hydraulic table (called the "chassis alignment machine") where the gross misalignments were corrected; I believe this is the old-school 'fine adjustment' setup here.





Here is an S-Type on the chassis alignment rig:



Here is where all the body panels and replacement parts for the S-Type will be coming from. Please note that they are *not* going to do the jackass "splice two cars together to make one" idiocy.



Remember that Lotus from a couple pics up? Here it is ready to go back to its very happy owner:
 

Hidden_Hunter

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That depends on the severity of the damage and the skill and equipment of the body repairmen. True, you cannot completely restore even a lightly bent chassis to exactly as it came from the factory - but a very skilled, well equipped bodyshop can fix it so there's no way to tell by looking at it or driving it.

Here's some examples of crashed cars that a good bodyshop can restore to within factory specs:












Here's a Mitsu Eclipse that was in a front end crash; you can see where the beams up front have been mangled and ripped. It has already been on the hydraulic table (called the "chassis alignment machine") where the gross misalignments were corrected; I believe this is the old-school 'fine adjustment' setup here.





Here is an S-Type on the chassis alignment rig:



Here is where all the body panels and replacement parts for the S-Type will be coming from. Please note that they are *not* going to do the jackass "splice two cars together to make one" idiocy.



Remember that Lotus from a couple pics up? Here it is ready to go back to its very happy owner:
I'd be more pissed if my insurance company repaired my lotus rather than writing it off.
 
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argatoga

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I just noticed the XK behind the Eclipse. Is that your old baby Spectre?
 

Spectre

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I'd be more pissed if my insurance company repaired my lotus rather than writing it off.
The way I heard it, the insurance company asked him if he wanted it totalled or repaired, and he said repaired - but only if Freeway Motors did the job. Seriously, Freeway is the best shop (in terms of repair results) that I've ever seen. People ship cars from several states away just to have these guys fix them.

I just noticed the XK behind the Eclipse. Is that your old baby Spectre?
Nope. Mine was unfortunately dead long before this picture was taken.

I'll see if I can dig up some additional pictures of the shop.

Edit: Here's some. Edit 2: Darn it, linked wrong pics, fixed.



This is one from a few years back, and yes, that is my XKR out front. The rest of these are from long after it was dead.












Judging by the cars they have in to repair, I'm pretty sure they know what they're doing. :D
 
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otispunkmeyer

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First thing I'd do is have all the wheels and tires computer balanced, then an all wheel alignment to see if that fixes the problem.

As far as the headliner leaking... how?
problem with wheel balancing is, im sure they only certify balance up to legal motorway speeds.

i had this problem with my focus.... no matter how many times the wheels were re balanced, i still got vibration above 70. i asked them and thats what i got told. only balanced up to 70. i also had the alignment checked and that was perfect. mine was like a low juddering/shuddering... you could feel it with your feet in the footwell and through your ass on the seat.

its not that accurate...they just have to bash wheel weights in to the rim at a point, probably just make sure the rotating unbalance's rotational natural freq is above that of a wheel rotating at 70mph. their excuse was i shouldnt be travelling faster than 70. theres no infinite adjustment possible, they just pick from a set of wheel weights and whack them in roughly the right place with a mallet.
 
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Cobol74

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I had something similar on an old Cavalier - CV joint had some play in it and the rubber bushing were perished.
 

Nabster

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problem with wheel balancing is, im sure they only certify balance up to legal motorway speeds.

i had this problem with my focus.... no matter how many times the wheels were re balanced, i still got vibration above 70. i asked them and thats what i got told. only balanced up to 70. i also had the alignment checked and that was perfect. mine was like a low juddering/shuddering... you could feel it with your feet in the footwell and through your ass on the seat.

its not that accurate...they just have to bash wheel weights in to the rim at a point, probably just make sure the rotating unbalance's rotational natural freq is above that of a wheel rotating at 70mph. their excuse was i shouldnt be travelling faster than 70. theres no infinite adjustment possible, they just pick from a set of wheel weights and whack them in roughly the right place with a mallet.
Round here we have speed limits higher than 70, we also have big long straight roads and very few people. You can safely drive past a highway patrol at 80-85 as long as you aren't weaving around a bunch of people.

And no offense, but I won't take my car to a place that whacks the weights roughly in place. The wheels and tires on my mustang were successfully balanced using hidden weights that you can't see from the outside of the wheel, and have no wobble or shake issues at speeds up to about 105-110 (tested safely, and observed by at least 3 other people), and my grand prix has been tested to 120+ as well. So I'm not sure about the shops where you are, but we get good service here. It could be because we have a Wyotech campus in town and there are lots of "hopped up" cars and freshly educated eager service techs though. :lol:

Anyway, I suggested what I did as the first step to see if that fixed the problem, if it didn't then you know you have more serious issues; but why go straight to frame repair if the problem was just in the wheels?
 

otispunkmeyer

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^ guess ill have to try else where then, well when i actually buy another car.

seriously last place i watched them do it and they just picked wheel weights from a box and hit them into the rim with a hammer. i assume the computer stops the wheel at the point where you need to add the weight, but surely its open to error simply because the final step is completely dependant on a human who may or may not be good at their job.

i suppose the best would be a fully automated machine that even grinds down the weight to exact weight needed to balance and then positions it exactly in the right place within 10ths of a mm
 

Clegko

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seriously last place i watched them do it and they just picked wheel weights from a box and hit them into the rim with a hammer. i assume the computer stops the wheel at the point where you need to add the weight, but surely its open to error simply because the final step is completely dependant on a human who may or may not be good at their job.

i suppose the best would be a fully automated machine that even grinds down the weight to exact weight needed to balance and then positions it exactly in the right place within 10ths of a mm
When I went to tech school for my ASE cert, thats about how the wheel balancing machines there, and at most other wheel and tire shops, are. The machine spins the wheel to roughly 40mph, figures out where the heavy spots are, and tells you EXACTLY how heavy the weight should be and where you should place it. Also, any mechanic worth his salt (and pay) would spin the wheel a second time to make sure he placed the weight correctly. If he doesn't, he's an idiot.
 

JipJopJones

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When I went to tech school for my ASE cert, thats about how the wheel balancing machines there, and at most other wheel and tire shops, are. The machine spins the wheel to roughly 40mph, figures out where the heavy spots are, and tells you EXACTLY how heavy the weight should be and where you should place it. Also, any mechanic worth his salt (and pay) would spin the wheel a second time to make sure he placed the weight correctly. If he doesn't, he's an idiot.
This man speaks the truth.

You are suposed to spin the wheel a second time, and it will come out balanced at 0 across the tire.

If it is not, you spin the an the machine tells you where to place weights of different measurement. It may look low tech, but it's quite accurate. The hidden weights are done much the same way, they are just put on with a special adhesive instead of punched onto the rim.
 

Ice_warmer

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on my car huge vibrations at high speeds were caused by loads of dirt building up on the inside of the wheel after winter unbalancing the wheel. 15 minutes self-service car wash and it's almost like new
 

Night_Hawk

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on my car huge vibrations at high speeds were caused by loads of dirt building up on the inside of the wheel after winter unbalancing the wheel. 15 minutes self-service car wash and it's almost like new
Beat me to it, hah

The Buick used to get shaky above 120 (km/h) and it was from a very thick layer of brake dust and mud. Wasn't hard to clean out either.

power-understeering around town in dirty deep snow doesn't help much, lol
 

Blayde

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Might want to check with the dealer/servicer whether there's a recall service to perform, they called me up on my 06 Sedan for a steering issue recall... just to be sure :)
 
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