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Old 04-25-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
bamorris2
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Default Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

I purchased a CPO 2011 LTZ 2.4 about a month ago. I soon discovered that there is a slight vibration or shimmy. I feel it when lightly accelerating from a stop into a right-hand turn (ie. at a stop light, making a RT turn). After the apex of the turn, when starting to straighten out the steering wheel, I get a mild vibration when the car hits about 15mph. It is very brief, and is completely gone before I hit 20mph. The vib/shimmy is felt in the steering wheel and seat. Under moderate and hard acceleration, it can't be felt (presumably because it passes the 15-18mph range so quickly).

I took it into the Buick/GMC dealership where I purchased the car. They couldn't even feel it, but balanced and rotated the tires anyway. No improvement or change at all. So last night I took it into a Chevy dealership by my house. I test rode with a tech, and he felt it every time that I did. He described it as feeling like it briefly drive over a small oil slick, and it then gripped and cause it to shimmy a little.

I get a call from the service advisor saying that everything checks out. They took a look at the bearings, suspension, etc, and can't find anything wrong. I personally think that it could be related to the electric power assist steering, but that's just an uneducated layman guess. They're not entertaining that idea though.

They are supposedly calling GM tech support, but I didn't get a very promising feeling from the service advisor.

Any ideas from you guys? This is not a major issue, but I'm OCD about noises, squeaks, vibrations, etc in my car and this will drive me crazy for as long as I own it.

In case any GM/Chevy customer service reps are here, my VIN is 1G1ZE5E14BF393890

Last edited by bamorris2; 04-25-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

If you go to an empty parking lot, and drive around in a circle at 15 mph, perhaps you can get it to do this for a longer period of time and learn more about it. I would suspect one of the CV joints in the right hand axle. A bad CV joint can cause a surging vibration and or clicking sound related to wheel speed. This should all be covered by your power train warranty.
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
bamorris2
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Elvis View Post
If you go to an empty parking lot, and drive around in a circle at 15 mph, perhaps you can get it to do this for a longer period of time and learn more about it. I would suspect one of the CV joints in the right hand axle. A bad CV joint can cause a surging vibration and or clicking sound related to wheel speed. This should all be covered by your power train warranty.

Correct, but in order for it to be covered under warranty, they have to be able to identify a defective part. That's what they're having trouble with right now.

Still waiting for a call back from dealer #2 this afternoon.

PS - Good idea about driving in a circle.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

Ok, this is really frustrating. I went on GM's tech website (acdelcotechconnect.com) and paid $20 for a 3-day subscription to GM's service publications for my car. I quickly found a bulletin for my VERY EXACT problem (PI0702B).

Called up the dealer and gave them the info. Duh! Why couldn't two different dealers locate this info themselves?????? Argh!

Service Information 2011 Chevrolet Malibu [1G1ZE5E14BF393890] | Malibu VIN Z Service Manual | Driveline/Axle | Bulletins By Category | Information | Document ID: 2812893
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#PI0702B: Wobble Felt in Vehicle Acceleration from Stop Through 1-2 Shift - (Apr 3, 2012)
Subject: Wobble Felt in Vehicle Acceleration from Stop Through 1-2 Shift



Models: 2008-2012 Chevrolet Malibu

Equipped with Engine RPO LE5 and Automatic Transmission RPO MH8



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This PI is being revised to change the labor time. Please discard PI0702A.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern

Some customers or technicians may notice a wobble felt in the vehicle or steering wheel when accelerating from a stop through the 1-2 shift and/or slip/stick conditions when the vehicle shifts from 1-2 up to approximately 32♦km/h (20♦mph). This concern may be more prevalent with a passenger in the front and/or turning to the right while accelerating.

Forces generated by the front axle shafts may cause the powertrain to move laterally. These forces are induced by friction in the inboard axle joints due to the angle of the axles. The forces vary based on the phase orientation of the axle joints to each other.

Recommendation/Instructions





Loosen the four engine and transmission mounts. Adjust the engine position so that the engine mount bolts are centered on the engine mount as shown in the picture above. Pictures marked A are before and B are after. Arrows point to front of the vehicle. The mount pictured is below the airbox. Then tighten the remainder of the mounts.

Tighten
Tighten the engine mount to bracket bolts to 58♦Nm (42♦lb♦ft).
Tighten
Tighten the transmission mount through bolts to 90♦Nm (66♦lb♦ft).
Tighten
Tighten the transmission mount bolts to 50♦Nm (37♦lb♦ft).

Drive the vehicle and evaluate the concern. The concern can be duplicated by driving the vehicle in a long gradual turn with the transmission in 2nd gear while using the brakes to maintain a speed of 24♦km/h (15♦mph) and engine at 2000 RPM.

If the mount adjustment does not eliminate the concern, new design half shafts have been released to address this condition. These new axles have new grease that reduces friction in the joint.


Note: Once these half shafts have been installed, perform the following break-in procedure:

1. From a stop, accelerate wide open throttle through the 1-2 shift up to 64♦km/h (40♦mph).

2. Decelerate to a stop.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 a total of 20 times.

Important: If the concern is still present after replacing the half shafts, contact Technical Assistance (TAC).

Parts Information



Part Number



Description



Qty




22873498


LH Front Wheel Drive Shaft


1



22873499


RH Front Wheel Drive Shaft


1




Warranty Information

For vehicles repaired under warranty, use:



Labor Operation



Description



Labor Time




J7574*


Engine and Transmission Mount Balancing


0.7♦hr



Add


To Install RH and LH Front Wheel Drive Shafts


1.2♦hrs



*This is a unique labor operation for bulletin use only. It will not be published in the Labor Time Guide.


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Old 04-25-2012, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Elvis View Post
If you go to an empty parking lot,
Good plan.
Then it might be due to the elusive "transmission shake".
You might want to try a few test turns while manual shifting......to be sure what you are feeling is not a shift in the transmission.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

You should ask for $20 from your dealer for doing his job.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
bamorris2
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

UPDATE


Yesterday they performed the first half of the bulletin by re-centering the engine & transmission mounts. They called and said it's done. I picked it up last night, and promptly returned to the dealership this morning. The shimmy/vib is still there. The service advisor is ordering the new axles, and they should arrive next Tuesday.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamorris2 View Post
Called up the dealer and gave them the info. Duh! Why couldn't two different dealers locate this info themselves?????? Argh!
Incompetent service advisor. That is what it is. They don't even look at it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Modest Vibration/Shimmy at 15MPH

Quote:
Originally Posted by bamorris2 View Post
UPDATE


Yesterday they performed the first half of the bulletin by re-centering the engine & transmission mounts. They called and said it's done. I picked it up last night, and promptly returned to the dealership this morning. The shimmy/vib is still there. The service advisor is ordering the new axles, and they should arrive next Tuesday.
Thank you for sharing the update. I hope the axles will resolve your concerns with the Malibu.

Please, enjoy your up coming weekend. I look forward to reading more updates.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
bamorris2
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Default Update/Resolution

For anyone that may have this problem in the future, I wanted to provide an update. On Tuesday the dealer replaced both half shafts (axles) per the bulletin. I picked it up on Tuesday night, and have since put about 75 miles on the car. I believe that the problem is now 95%-100% cured. I only leave the 5% variance because sometimes I "think" that I can still feel a very slight remnant of the original vibration. But it's so weak that I believe it's just my imagination, fear, or OCD (or a combo of all three). Honestly, I think that the problem is now gone. I'm going to give it a good week before I officially close the case on this, but so far so good (before the fix, I could duplicate the problem on demand). To recap, the bulletin from GM is a "Preliminary Information" bulletin, number PI0702B. I'm attaching low quality JPEG images, but feel free to email me if you want the PDF. bamorris2 at gmail dot com.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunken Elvis View Post
You should ask for $20 from your dealer for doing his job.
Regarding the (incompetent) original dealer that I went to, I sent a very honest (yet professional and respectful) email to the owner, explaining my complete dismay at the service tech's inability to locate this bulletin. To my surprise, I got a voicemail from the owner within a few hours. He appologized, and said that an $80 check will be mailed out to me ($20 for subscription fee and $60 for the wheel balance and alignment that I had done to try to fix the problem). So assuming that I actually receive the $80 check, I guess that shows that they at least care. No hard feelings with them.




***EDIT***
I forgot to add that while my car was being fixed, the dealership gave me a rental. It was a 2012 Malibu 1LT. It had the EXACT SAME problem! That got me to wondering if the majority of these cars have the same problem, and people just don't notice it becuase it's not severe and can easily be mistaken for irregularities in the road.

I also wonder if this problem will come back long-term. The bulletin says that the only change to the new axles is a different lubricant that reduces friction. How long is that lubricant good for? Seems to me like the revised lube may just be a band-aid for a flaw in the axles themselves.
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Last edited by bamorris2; 05-03-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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