Thursday, March 23, 2006

Weird problem with car... expert opinions appreciated!

Something happened to my car yesterday night and I can't figure out what went wrong with it. I had a mechanic check it today and even he doesn't have a clue. The problem is having me a little worried... I mean what if I'm driving half way and one of the wheel falls off? That would be disastrous and more importantly really expensive to fix!

First of all I drive a Proton Iswara that's a little less than half my age. I'm 25 so you do the maths. Now what happened was I was driving home yesterday night when the car started shaking. To be more specific I should say that I could feel the steering wheel wobbling violently. First thing I suspected was a flat tyre so I stopped in the emergency lane, got down and took a look. As far as my naked eye could see nothing was wrong.

It's not just a wobbly steering wheel though, there's also a rythmic thumping sound that's coming from the front right wheel (of course the sound can only be heard when the car is in motion). It was about 11pm and I was tired so I decided to drive back home and pray that the wheels would stay attached till I'm home. The wobbling got worse... it was difficult to drive in a straight line and then suddenly...

something even stranger happened...

The problem just went away! It was smooth driving all the way back and my car is home with all 5 tyres intact (including the spare). The sound was gone, the steering was back to being less wobbly and I could drive straight and make turns without any difficulty. That's damn scary and as I mentioned earlier I got a mechanic to look at it today. He couldn't find anything wrong with my car.

The mechanic told me that usually there are 2 reasons for a shaky/wobbly car. The first being a spark plug malfunction whereby your engine vibrates violently because the combustion in your engine has gone haywire. I'm pretty sure that's not the problem I'm experiencing because my wobbling only occurs when the car is in motion and you can feel it through the steering.

The other thing he mentioned was the drive shaft which makes more sense to me. But then problems with the drive shaft don't happen on and off. Like the mechanic said... if it's broken then it's broken... it won't be okay one minute and kay-o the other. The mechanic has looked through the car and I guess I should trust him. He's not my regular mechanic though.

Personally I'm thinking it may be something to do with the ball bearings. Anyone have any similar experience? I'm having doubts about the safety of my car now but if I don't drive I don't have my freedom!

posted by wyejon at Thursday, March 23, 2006 (permalink) |

5 wise words from our readers:

a golden opinion from Blogger Dragon City

from what i see here, there must be a dead rat inside your tyre rims...and the rat fall on the way to ur the problem suddenly gone lor...

make sense?

8:32 PM  

a golden opinion from Blogger wyejon

dragon city: frankly speaking I also thought the same thing :P But I was thinking of a tree branch or something like that.

8:39 PM  

a golden opinion from Blogger 010101

You probably ran over some long stuff on the road (like old fan belts, chains, strip of old tyres) which got entangled onto the wheel axle (driveshaft). As your tyre rotate, the long piece is flipped around the tyre well (mudguard) creating the thumping sound. It also caused the front wheel to be unbalanced with the extra uneven weight which you felt as wobbling.

I had a similar experience - but it was a dog chain embedded into the rubber of the rear tyre - lots of thumping sound and circular scratches on the rear door - and a total new tyre replacement, but being stuck to the rear, I didn't feel the wobbling.

9:17 PM  

a golden opinion from Blogger wyejon

andyc: yeah... that sounds just about right!

8:41 PM  

a golden opinion from Anonymous Ben

your tyre is "pregnant"!..that was what my mechanic said to me when i had the same wobbly and violent shaking on a particular side of the car. This usually occurs when the pressure of your car tyre is far too great, hence when it hit a pothole or a dent in the road, a section of ur tyre will swell up. Its a preclude to a puncture.

1:17 AM  

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