Automotive

Bumpy feeling when driving 75-85 km/h and at highway speeds

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  • Dec 13th, 2020 11:29 pm
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Dec 23, 2003
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Bumpy feeling when driving 75-85 km/h and at highway speeds

I have a 2012 Camry with 180K on it. Lately, I have been noticing that when I get to the 75 km/h to 85 km/h speeds and at about 120 km/h, the vehicle feels like I am on a bumpy road. I don't feel any vibration when I brake, and when driving, I don't feel any steering vibration but just the bumpiness in the car. Here are some of the things I have tried so far and have not solved the problem:

- Tested with my new Michelin Cross Climate 2 tires on the OEM alloy rims (also had the balancing checked)

- Swapped to Michelin X ice Xi3 on OEM Steel rims (also had the balancing checked). These tires are in their 5th winter with 7/32" left.

- Had a brake service done in April and have had front pads/rotors changed as well as rear pads. The rear rotors were not replaced as my mechanic said were OK. In hindsight, I should have changed it after 9 years and 180K. I can look at this at my next service.

- Wheel alignment was done in April

I am not sure if this is related, but when I go over some bumps, I can hear some sort of clunking noise in the car. I need to remove all the things in the trunk, back seat, check the spare tire jack and make sure nothing is causing that sound.


Any idea what could cause this and how much approx would it cost to fix? I have not taken it to the Dealership as I wanted to get some idea from here first as I know there are some very knowledgeable people on here. Hopefully, this is not a big safety concern. I am thinking something suspension related (bushing/ball joint).

Thanks

UPDATE: I booked an appointment with my local dealer later this week to see what they say. Hopefully it is something relatively cheap....
Last edited by hightech on Dec 14th, 2020 11:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Deal Addict
Oct 3, 2013
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hightech wrote: I am not sure if this is related, but when I go over some bumps, I can hear some sort of clunking noise in the car. I need to remove all the things in the trunk, back seat, check the spare tire jack and make sure nothing is causing that sound.
Unless REALLY bad, warped rotors should only produce "bumpiness" when braking. And assuming you haven't hit anything recently, we can likely assume your alignment is still good.

If everything is secured and you are still hearing the clunking, a suspension issue would make the most sense. That would probably fit with a car that feels "bouncy" driving at high speeds too, as it quickly traverses over small bumps that would otherwise be too gradual for a driver to perceive at lower speeds.
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Oct 3, 2017
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You made no mention of any work or inspection of the shocks and other suspension components.
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
You don't say how bumpy.

I wonder if a belt has shifted in one of the tires. That would be bad.. but you swapped all 4 tires and wheels?

Bad shock/strut or a drivetrain or suspension component worn or out of balance.
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Oct 23, 2017
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GTA West
When you mentioned clunking over bumps, I thought of rubber chassis bushings. Look and see if one or more is worn out. I had mysterious issues with my 2007 Santa Fe that turned out to be badly worn rubber bushings in the rear suspension. It took quite a while for the mechanics to figure that out but the repair was simple and cheap.
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Feb 5, 2007
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could be wheel balancing happened to my matrix
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2004
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This is a weird one...were both sets of wheels balanced at the same place, or different places? Trying to eliminate an out of cal. balancer. The "occurs at certain speeds" part typically points to something that's rotating being out of balance though.

Aside from that possibility my guesses are going to be:
-Bad/worn/popped out control arm bushings (Camry is McPherson front end right?)
-Bad wheel bearing(s)--bad ones would tend to make noise but if they're unbalanced for whatever reason then it would be more vibrations than noises. And wheel bearings are the next thing th

-Bad CV joints/axles...

It actually could be bolts missing on some rotating assembly too, most likely the case if the drive axles are bolted in somewhere--most likely on the diff side--and bolts have backed out and gone AWOL.

On an AWD vehicle with a driveshaft, I once found a cause of vibration that occurred not at speed but at speed with throttle to be exactly this--one of three bolts that secured the shaft on the front end had gone missing therefore making the rotating assembly unbalanced, and with throttle applied and power going through it became quite apparent as a vibration. Replaced all three bolts with new ones and problem gone instantly. This is a FWD vehicle but something similar could happen if CV bolt(s) were missing. On some vehicles they don't bolt in at all, they just pop in, but I'm not sure about Camry.
[OP]
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George613 wrote: You made no mention of any work or inspection of the shocks and other suspension components.
I had my vehicle checked out about a year or so ago. I didn't have this issue back then. I think I should just book an appointment and take my vehicle in for a maintenance inspection which covers the following:

Maintenance Service - Synthetic 0W20

Replace engine oil & filter.
Remove & inspect engine air filter element. 1
Lubricate locks, latches, & hinges.
Confirm lights, horn & wipers function properly.
Check coolant, brake, transmission & washer fluid levels.
Perform battery service and comprehensive electrical charging system evaluation.
Inspect valve clearance(audibly).
Inspect drive belts for damage, adjust tension if required.
Check steering gearbox, linkage, and shock absorbers for looseness, damage, or leakage.
Inspect ball joints and dust covers, driveshaft, and steering rack boots, chassis nuts & bolts for looseness or damage.
Remove wheel and brake drum, check pad/shoe thickness. Examine brake calipers, wheel cylinders, and brake lines.
Inspect fuel and exhaust systems for leaks or damage.
Examine tires for damage and wear, check & adjust the pressure (rotate if required, additional charge).
Perform a road test.
Last edited by hightech on Dec 13th, 2020 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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[OP]
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fergy wrote: You don't say how bumpy.

I wonder if a belt has shifted in one of the tires. That would be bad.. but you swapped all 4 tires and wheels?

Bad shock/strut or a drivetrain or suspension component worn or out of balance.
2 different sets of tires and wheels. Both sets were balanced at different places to rule out any balancer issues.
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[OP]
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leeoku wrote: could be wheel balancing happened to my matrix
I have tried 2 different sets of tires and wheels. Both sets were balanced at different places to rule out any balancer issues. 4 Wheel Laser alignment was done in March.
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[OP]
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ES_Revenge wrote: This is a weird one...were both sets of wheels balanced at the same place, or different places? Trying to eliminate an out of cal. balancer. The "occurs at certain speeds" part typically points to something that's rotating being out of balance though.

Aside from that possibility my guesses are going to be:
-Bad/worn/popped out control arm bushings (Camry is McPherson front end right?)
-Bad wheel bearing(s)--bad ones would tend to make noise but if they're unbalanced for whatever reason then it would be more vibrations than noises. And wheel bearings are the next thing th

-Bad CV joints/axles...

It actually could be bolts missing on some rotating assembly too, most likely the case if the drive axles are bolted in somewhere--most likely on the diff side--and bolts have backed out and gone AWOL.

On an AWD vehicle with a driveshaft, I once found a cause of vibration that occurred not at speed but at speed with throttle to be exactly this--one of three bolts that secured the shaft on the front end had gone missing therefore making the rotating assembly unbalanced, and with throttle applied and power going through it became quite apparent as a vibration. Replaced all three bolts with new ones and problem gone instantly. This is a FWD vehicle but something similar could happen if CV bolt(s) were missing. On some vehicles they don't bolt in at all, they just pop in, but I'm not sure about Camry.
You raise some good suggestions. As for the tires, I have tried 2 different sets of tires and wheels. Both sets were balanced at different places to rule out any balancer issues.
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George613 wrote: You made no mention of any work or inspection of the shocks and other suspension components.
my vote is with George
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Check the sway bar links.
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The clunk noise could also be a loose caliper pin. Sometimes when you get your brakes serviced that could happen.
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Nov 10, 2018
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I am fairly certain I know *exactly* what this issue is. I ran into this a few times when I owned Japanese cars. (high mileage)

Replace all 4 rotors and your problem will go away. I'm not a betting gal but if I was...
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