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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting a vibration in the steering wheel when stopped at a stop light. It goes away as soon as the light turns green and I start to accelerate. There is no vibration during normal driving and no vibration when braking to stop at the light.

Thought I'd get some ideas from the forum before I start investigating and/or taking it to a repair shop for diagnosis.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the link. I'll start investigating the possible causes next weekend.
 

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If your idle is steady it is surely the mounts as per Carbuf
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I'll look at the motor mounts too but I'm going to have to do some research first on how to identify a bad motor mount.
 

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The front you can easily see, the others are another thing altogether!!

Look closely for cracked/missing rubber. Not always easy to see in dark holes and if covered by dirt/grease.

Those that support engine weight will have settled down to the edge of the mount.

The front one primarily resists upward movement of the engine when it increases rpm, so it can be ok on the bottom but still faulty at the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I checked out the motor mounts and to my untrained eye they look OK. Plugs and wires OK too. Checked for codes and none found.

The vibration is not real bad and if I put the car into either neutral or park the vibration immediately goes away. Also goes away as soon as I accelerate.

Haven't checked out the throttle body yet but I wanted post some updated info on the issue.
 

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You never did say if your idle is smooth and steady and at the correct rpm?

Since it happens in gear I still suspect the mounts.

If it is engine mounts they usually get progressively worse until they start making a knocking sound so you have a while yet.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate your suggestions. Right now I don't have a way of checking the rpm as my van doesn't have a tach. I'm going to have get get some help so I can have some one observe the engine while the vibration is occurring in the steering wheel and see whether the engine itself has any unusual movements. After that I may bite the bullet and have my local garage give me their opinion on the source of the vibration.
 

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When the alternator was replaced on our van, the shop didn't install the proper unit with the Lutens decoupler and the vibration at idle was immediately noticeable. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info. I'll probably take the serpentine belt off and check all the pulley's etc for proper operation (as soon as it warms up a little).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I removed the serpentine belt today. Then I started the engine and put the car into Drive (with the e-brake on and also stepping on the brake pedal). The vibration was still there. So I think that eliminates any of the components that are driven by the belt as causing the vibration.

Later this week I'll have some help and we'll try and determine if it looks like the motor mounts are the cause (by observing the behavior of the engine with the engine running and the transmission in "D"rive).
 

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It's just like mine, the torque converter bolts are loose. You can remove the little shield on the bottom of the trans and access them. Mine is quiet now. Search for my post and you can here the noise and see the loose toque coverter bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks. It's not entirely clear to me what shield you took off to see the bolts (I haven't climbed under the vehicle yet to look). Do you have any more info on the location of the shield?
 

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Sure, so where the trans mounts to the engine, on the bottom of the trans, the bell housing hangs down lower than the engine. There is a little stamped metal close out there. You need a 10mm socket, and I can't remember if it was an 18mm. There are 2, 10mm bolts, and one bigger bolt remove these three and the shield will come out. You can then access the torque converter bolts.
 

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I pulled this from the service manual.

Install torque converter-to-drive plate bolts and torque to 88 N·m (65 ft. lbs.)
 

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As you mentioned...put the van in drive and with the motor running and brake fully on give it a little stab of throttle. Not much...and have someone watch the engine standing at the side of the vehicle. Any problems with mounts should result in excessive engine movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We looked at the engine today and thought we saw some engine movement. We changed the front mount and I think it helped some but the vibration is still there. The rubber in the old front mount had openings you could see thru whereas the new one did not have this. Don't know if this was just a design difference or the openings in the old indicates that it was bad. Probably next try changing the other mounts (did the easy one first).

Also looked at the torque converter bolts but they appear to be nice and tight.
 

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There aren't supposed to be any missing rubber pieces so that front mount was pretty bad, found my '03 in the same condition.
 

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You didn't tell us what engine you have (did 4 cyl's continue to 2004).

My 2002 3.8L has started vibrating the steering wheel at idle. It only occurs when the AC compressor is on, and maybe not always even then. Yes, that happens in the winter w/ the defrost setting. Doesn't bother me enough to search further. Pretty sure my engine mounts are OK since I removed the tranny ~3 years ago and they looked excellent then.
 
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