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Old 08-14-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Ok, ill just throw this out there. I picked up this car. Its great. Only problem is since i bought it when braking the steering wheel and brake pedal have been shaking. Its worse at higher speeds all the way to barely noticeable but still there when at low speeds(<20).
When i bought it i could hear the front pads/rotors grinding so i assumed that it was the front pads and rotors. I changed them out, made sure the pins on the calipers were moving freely, etc. And guess what? The same problem is still there. Its just now my brakes dont make the grinding noise(obviously due to changing them) but i still get the vibration. Does anyone know what else this could be? I read my automotive brakes book from when i took shop class in college a few years back, and it said its most likely due to warped rotors, but as i said i replaced them and its still doing it.
Ive read it could be a suspension issue or as small as a wheel balance issue. Can anyone shed any light on this? Tires are pretty much brand new and all have the same tread, factory 14" rims with front rotors and rear drums. Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

by warped rotors, im sure you mean uneven pad deposition lol. the guy before you prolly didnt know how to use the brakes properly (keeping the brake pedal held down after heating up the brakes, and it caused pad material to build up unevenly on the rotor, which causes shaking). unfortunately it can also happen in the rear brake shoes. you really have to be an idiot because its hard to get the shoes and drums hot enough to "warp" them, but its certainly possible. altho even then, it would not be as noticable since you shouldnt feel it in the steering wheel. idk, this is a tough one. wheels being bent or out of balance would cause the car to shake without braking. if yours only happens when braking, it has to be related to the brakes. i would say at least take the drums off and look for signs of heat damage to the rear brakes.
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Old 08-15-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

If you have new items on the front, then try holding in the button on the p brake at about 25-30 mph and pull some on the p brake and see if you get the vibration when it's applied.
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Old 08-15-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Thanks for the info guys. Ill probably tear apart the drums today since im off of work. I didnt think it would be the rear either because the wheel was vibrating and generally thats linked to the front wheels. But as you suggested ill check it out anyways.
ANd yeah the front brakes, i wish i had the picture but i sold my ipad and it had them on it, but the rotors were completely sheared up by the completely warn out pads. The only time ive seen it worse is when a guy came back into our shop i worked at cause one of the new guys installed the pads on backwards which cost us a lot of course and i had to fix the problem.
But anyways, ill check that out. Im kinda scared of doing the ebrake while driving 25 cause knowing me i will wipe out, but regardless ill let you know. Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

im not sure how it works on the old cars, but my ebrake cable never really did much except VERY slowly stop the car if i pull it up all the way. even after a new brake job they are the same as when new. i use em all the time to slow the car a bit so i dont use up the fronts as much coming to a stop. unless i pull it up completely, i dont even feel anything happening. just try one click at a time to be sure if youve never used them.
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Old 08-16-2011   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Not saying jerk it up, latch it on and do a 180. Just hold the button in and pull it up at 25-30mph in a straight line and see if you get any vibration. It's not going to do anything crazy.

Agree with the steering wheel movement, does seem to be up front AND also to have gone through hell.
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Old 08-16-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Before I even opened the thread I could tell it's prolly a warped rotor, but looks like others have covered this thread already
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-17-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Well i did the ebrake check and it did not vibrate at all. Thanks for the wisdom on that because i could also pull the brake all the way up and it did something but not much in the ways of braking. I guess ive watched too much tokyo drift

Which now means it probably has something to do with the front. I did notice none of the wheels have weights on them which is odd to me unless they all magically balanced out without weights which i highly disbelieve. I m not too sure where else to go though. Im not sure if it could maybe be the ball joints or tie rods, but i would assume i would be feeling those in my steering and stuff, not when i apply the brakes. I am gonna get my wheels balanced and maybe just have a shop take a look, i just dont want to have it in the shop a few days since i have to drive to work.

Yeah i checked the car fax and thought i looked over the car well but apparently the last owner was some sort of pedal to the medal with the brakes and gas and abused it to hell and back. Its still a great running car (and in all honesty isnt that what hondas are known for, taking that kind of abuse and still going) but just not worth what i payed for it. Luckily i have some mechanical knowledge. Im horrible at diagnosing, as you can tell, but once i know what the problem is, i can fix it no problem haha, but isnt that a lot of us.

Anyways thanks for the help so far, i will continue to update so hopefully if someone else runs into this problem i can get the answer up.
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Old 08-17-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

so just to be clear you did replace both the calipers/pads and the rotors right? because in your first post it almost seemed like you were wrighting them as one object.


joke bellow:
secondley if you want to do a J turn, the "fast and the ferious turn", have one hand on the wheel and one on the e-brake. rapidley turn the wheel in the opposite direction then you want to turn, but onley a few degrees on the wheel. then turn the wheel in the desired direction and ,at the sam time, use the e-brake. =D i have never done this myself so i might have left something out, you might want to ask someone how to do it. if you wana try do not do it on the street, find a lot or open auto-x course.
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Old 08-17-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

If you've already changed the discs and pads, first I'd eliminate the wheel balance as an issue by swapping the front and rear wheels.

Secondly, I wonder if your ABS is kicking in due to a rusted or dirty sensor ring?
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Old 08-17-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsaricer View Post
Which now means it probably has something to do with the front. I did notice none of the wheels have weights on them which is odd to me unless they all magically balanced out without weights which i highly disbelieve. I m not too sure where else to go though. Im not sure if it could maybe be the ball joints or tie rods, but i would assume i would be feeling those in my steering and stuff, not when i apply the brakes. I am gonna get my wheels balanced and maybe just have a shop take a look, i just dont want to have it in the shop a few days since i have to drive to work.
Some people argue that well mounted wheels don't need to be balanced. I'm not even going to get into that debate but make sure there's no mud or debris stuck to the inside of the rim since that will easily contribute to throwing them out of balance.

The old, old Civic's (70's - 80's) had issues with warped rotors because they weren't ventilated but you really have to be a bad driver to warp brand new ventilated rotors so I doubt that's you're problem. The caliper pistons may be slightly seized (since it sounds like you didn't replace them) causing them to be constantly lighty grabbing the rotor. Usually in a case like that when you stop after a few minutes of higher speed driving there would be a cloud of smoke coming up off the rotors from the constant friction. Since you didn't mention that I would start to look towards steering components.

Usually ball joints and tie rod issues show up in uneven tire wear. The inside inch of the tire wears out rapidly. Since you just bought this car (by the sound of your first post) it may be that the PO attempted to mask the steering component issue by putting new tires on the car and cheeped out on the balancing because they were just planning on selling it.

If you feel it's not unsafe to drive the way it is you may just want to drive it for a bit and see if the tires are wearing unevenly. If it does feel unsafe take it to a mechanic you can trust and get his opinion on it.
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Old 08-19-2011   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

I haven't seen this said in here yet, so here it is: Another mis-diagnosed problem of "vibrating steering wheel and/or brakes" is worn out compliance bushings on the front lower control arms (the really big bushing toward the front of the control arm). If these are worn, while you brake, the control arm will "hunt" (i.e. vibrate) making everything feel like the brake rotors are warped. The reason you feel it in the steering wheel is because the tie rods are indirectly connected to the lower control arm (through the strut, etc.). I'd inspect these front bushings (jack up front of car, take wheels off, inspect bushings on the lower control arms) and see if that is the problem.
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Old 08-29-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Hey guys. Thanks for all the suggestions. I have a made a list of everything i have checked and will check. Ive been super busy with work and college so i havent been able to post in a while. I really appreciate the help and will defs let you all know when i get it figured out. Obviously it hasnt fallen apart yet so im good haha.
ANyways, one last question. Is the catalytic converter right off of the manifold on these cars, cause all i see is straight pipe running along the bottom of my car minus the muffler. I was curious as i was planning on doing an exhaust on this once i get the actual problems fixed. Thanks ahead of time on this. If you could just let me know the location so i know where its at that would be great. I assume is right off the manifold cause i see an o2 sensor plugged in right below the heat shield. Thanks.
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Old 08-29-2011   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

i'll just give you a quick run through, you'll have to go in depth with someone who's done the conversion before, who had a d17a1. i have switched out my exhaust system, but i have a d17a2 not the d17a1 you have.

you're right. on the 01-05 civics with the d17a1, the cat is connected to the exhaust manifold. if you want to do an exhaust setup there are options.

the 01-05 ex model has the same block, the d17, but uses the vtec head so the engine is known as the d17a2. the a2 car's also have a header instead of an exhaust manifold and a cat. mounted behind the engine, under the car, as per usual.

if you just want some noise bolt on a cat. back. i think there are cat. back opptions for a1's but i'm not sure. if not you'd have to do it custom and get a shop to weld on a three bolt flang where the cat in the a2 car's have there's and then bolt up a cat. back system from an a2 car into your a1.

or you can buy the a2's header and a catalytic converter, and the cat. back. since the block is the same you can bolt an a2's header to the a1's block. you'll also need to extend the wires from right beside the block to where the cat. is located in the d17a2 cars.

there are two exhaust sensors. one is located pre cat. under the header in the d17a2 setup and the other in the cat.
on the d17a2 cat's the second sensor is mounted between the two cat. plates, this is important, make sure to buy this kind of cat. other wise you'll throw a check engine light (cel). since i upgraded to 2.25in exhaust i baught a 2.25in high flow cat. it was $100 new, instead of a stock cat.
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Old 08-29-2011   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

for the lx/dx, the cat is built into the manifold as one piece.
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Old 10-03-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Hey everyone, figured i would update this dead thread.

I fixed the problem. As it turns out, not only 1 but both sets of new rotors i bought from autozone were warped. I ended up buying a micrometer and checked the rotors just cause i couldnt figure anything else out and sure enough, even the second set was bad. Returned them again and told them to check before they gave me the third set. Of course they didnt even know how to check for that so oh well. Anyways i took them home put them on and what do you know, they werent warped.
My only problem with these ones, i dont know if they were reman'ed or something because the rotors had not been sanded on the lathe after being made, but oh well, i am tired of taking the rotors on and off. So that was the problem after all. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Although now i dont know if this is a problem but the bottom bolt that mounts the caliper to the anchor plate on the passenger side just keeps spinning and never stops when i go to tighten it. Any suggestions? It is all the way in but just keeps spinning. Oh well.
Anyways thanks for all the help and advice. My next job is swapping out the manifold/cat. Its got a crack so it is letting extra heat and sound out in the engine compartment.
Anyways sorry for the long post, and i appreciate it. Just figured i would update.
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Old 10-03-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

I had an AutoZone Duralast alternator last 500 miles and it was loud as hell. The replacement alternator did the same thing so I just said screw it and ordered a junkyard alternator off eBay.

Seems like aftermarket parts sold at most part stores don't have the quality they used to thanks to China.

For the spinning slider just get it so the flat sides on the end are vertical and put a pair of vice grips on it, then tighten the bolt. You'll probably have to do the same thing to loosen the bolt when the time comes.
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Old 10-03-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

autozone and most other places the parts are total garbage. if you must use oem parts, stick with napa because the quality is the same or better than oem. my napa alternator is going on 7 yrs without issues. stock one lasted two yrs.

on a side note, if you warped the first set of rotors, you will likely do it again if you do not change your driving style.
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Old 10-03-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Thanks for the suggestion on getting that bolt seated properly. I cant believe i didnt even think about using a vicegrip or pliers haha. Thanks man, ill do that asap tomorrow so i dont end up driving down the highway and having my caliper pop off haha.

As for the warped rotors, both sets were warped from the get go. I wish it had been due to my driving so i could have had some kind of reason to blame it on haha, instead of it being crappy workmanship. Like the second i drove off after installation my car was vibrating when braking, thats why i had assumed it was something else after i swapped the first set, but i just got unlucky with 2 sets in a row. The guy at autozone even confirmed how crappy their rotors are. He told me he has seen some people come in 4 or 5 times in a row to swap them. Ill defs go with napa next time though for better quality.
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Old 10-04-2011   #20 (permalink)
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johndeerebones is a jewel in the rough johndeerebones is a jewel in the rough johndeerebones is a jewel in the rough
Re: Vibration in brake pedal and steering wheel when braking

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsaricer View Post
Thanks for the suggestion on getting that bolt seated properly. I cant believe i didnt even think about using a vicegrip or pliers haha. Thanks man, ill do that asap tomorrow so i dont end up driving down the highway and having my caliper pop off haha.

As for the warped rotors, both sets were warped from the get go. I wish it had been due to my driving so i could have had some kind of reason to blame it on haha, instead of it being crappy workmanship. Like the second i drove off after installation my car was vibrating when braking, thats why i had assumed it was something else after i swapped the first set, but i just got unlucky with 2 sets in a row. The guy at autozone even confirmed how crappy their rotors are. He told me he has seen some people come in 4 or 5 times in a row to swap them. Ill defs go with napa next time though for better quality.
I'm on my second set from them too, same result. I think this set is worse than the first! Everywhere has chinese junk now...
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Turning wrenches doesn't pay enough and after only 10 years the body is wearing out. Wanna retire one day..
10 credit hours away from John Deere master certified tech.
Also couple years exp in GM and some GM training
Went to school for cars, wound up staying with Deere
dealer for a while. So schooling there too....
Master certified ASE tech-experience in both

Wife's 2004 Chevrolet Suburban Z71
Mine 2001 Civic EX, D17A2, BMXA 4 spd auto, ~190k
Ours 2007 Chevrolet Impala LT
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Old 10-04-2011
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