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1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.

1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
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Year and Model: 850R 1996
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1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Post by wackenhut »


I just got new tires, balance and alignment. I noticed that at speeds above 70, there is a slight vibration in the steering wheel. Does anyone know what this could be related to, maybe the tires weren't balanced correctly? Not sure if it could be something else. Please let me know.

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Re: 1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Post by lext »

I have the same thing with my car. I'm wondering if it's the engine mount. I know there's one near the passenger side wheel well, but the other two scare me a bit. Looks like they're quite hard to get to, hard to get off, and will require me going all the way in under the car with just the jack stand between concrete and 2 tons of metal.
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Re: 1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Post by polskamafia mjl »

The motor mounts are actually quite easy. The front one is the easier of the two and doesn't require you to be very far under the car at all. The rear one also isn't very difficult but you are under the car. Use at least two quality jack stands and also leave the jack under the car. Engage the parking brake and chock the back wheels. You could also simply use ramps. They aren't very expensive and may make you feel safer. If you don't want to buy a set you can easily make them from wood.

And OP, any part of the suspension could be causing a vibration. If you question the first shops balancing then maybe start by getting a second opinion. From there you'll want to jack up the front of the car and inspect anything that moves. Wiggle the wheel at 3 and 9 to check the tie rods and 12 and 6 to check ball joints.
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Re: 1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Post by jreed »

There are several possibilities for steering wheel vibration. In one case a few years back I had an alloy wheel that was bent and even though I had a recent alignment and a wheel balance, the car shimmied at ~60-65mph. The tire guys found the bent wheel and put the tire on a refurbished wheel I bought, and the problem was solved.
If you rotate the front wheels to the rear and the steering wheel vibration goes away, that would suggest that the source of the problem is in one or both of the front wheels.
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Re: 1996 850R Slight Steering Wheel Vibration

Post by rspi »

Was the vibration there before you had new tires installed?
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