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Old 06-23-2017, 07:51 PM   #1
nemets88
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Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

My 2005 Malibu Maxx is shuddering/vibrating aggressively at around 60 mph. Just did a tune up, trans fluid change, suspension appears to be solid. This started up a few months ago and doesn't happen all the time. Can't figure this one out. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Wheel tire vibration? Engine misfire, not enough info to give advice from here. Up hill, steady load?
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

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Wheel tire vibration? Engine misfire, not enough info to give advice from here. Up hill, steady load?
Thanks for the quick reply. Possibly a wheel tire vibration. I had the tires balanced, no dice. No engine misfire. Steady load. Happens most noticeably when traveling on a flat, straight, smooth road. Once it starts to vibrate/shudder, I can let off the gas and it becomes more aggressive as the car slows down. Does not happen as a cause of braking.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:45 AM   #4
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Better description, check the front axles shafts, particularly for bad inner joints, bad tires in respect to road force variation issues also, this requires a special balancer.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:44 AM   #5
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

A quick test:

Is the vibration in the steering wheel (front end issues) or through the seat (rear end issues). Then rotate the tires, front to rear.

If the problem is tire and wheel related, the vibration will move. If it doesn't move, the problem isn't tires and/or wheels.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:45 PM   #6
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Good advice unless in the unlikely case it is all 4. Tough to give meaningful help from here, of course.
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

What bugs me is, he says it doesn't happen all the time....bad tires/out of balance tires will.......
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Old 06-24-2017, 02:51 PM   #8
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Agreed, but combine a little bearing play and that condition can be cyclical under the right conditions, all theoretical of course. Frt axle inner tripots can cause this if they are binding up.
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Old 06-24-2017, 04:55 PM   #9
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Thanks for the tips. It bothers me that it doesn't happen all the time, because it makes it hard to diagnose.

When it vibrates or shudders, it can get pretty violent - the steering wheel, seats, floor, basically feels like the whole car.

I checked the tires - visually, they appear okay, but I know they are pretty old. Rotated them last night and took it for a drive, and of course I couldn't get it to vibrate real bad like it can sometimes. Maybe felt like the vibration moved toward the rear, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.

My next stop was to maybe just replace outer tie rods anyways, just in case. I also planned to check the axles. What is the best way to do this? If I grab the shaft, should I try to just move it around and see if it has any play?
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:00 PM   #10
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Actually the inner tripots binding can reall only be checked when removed.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Okay I just jacked the car up and inspected CV axles. Moved them around a bit with my hand inspecting for play. Boots appear okay, no rips or tears. Passenger side (more suspect for the vibration) moves in and out a little and makes a clunk sound when I do this. Driver side does not. It was also a little wet on the inside joint.

Would it be a fair assumption that this is the cause? Should there be any play in these? Can I replace just the passenger side, or should I do both sides? What would be a decent replacement? This car is almost at 200k and I really don't care to have the best parts on it, but I also don't want to have to do it again in a couple months.

Thanks a million for the help.

Last edited by nemets88; 06-25-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:34 AM   #12
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

When removed you can check the inner joint by moving it in and out in the boot, there should be no binding, or sticking at one point, takes a little experience to feel this. Reman axles are cheap for these cars. Also check your motor and trans mounts.
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Old 06-25-2017, 12:18 PM   #13
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Sure this is not a misfire?
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:13 PM   #14
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

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Sure this is not a misfire?
No, I can't be 100% sure. It certainly feels like the vibration is caused by something mechanical in the suspension/wheel area. I have no engine code, and the car runs fine normally.

I just bought a cv axle, and I'm hoping to get it in the mail in the next couple days. I'm thinking this is the culprit. I will swap it out and report back.
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:48 AM   #15
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Re: Shudder at around 60mph - 2005 Malibu Maxx

Well I just dropped a new axle into the passenger side, where I thought the source of the vibration was coming from. No dice. Got on the highway up to 70mph, and the car started shaking like crazy still.

Any other ideas?

Last edited by nemets88; 07-03-2017 at 10:33 PM.
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