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2012 Prius shakes,dealer says its normal!

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by priusseaglass2, Jun 5, 2013.

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  1. priusseaglass2

    priusseaglass2 Junior Member

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    Location:
    Madison WI
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    II
    So at 19+K I notice the car has tire noise and shakes. Take car in for 20000 mile service and the dealer tells me I have cupped tires. They say the car must be out of alignment to get cupped tires. I think not because the car goes straight down the road. They have nothing to offer in regards to getting new tires free or adjustment on new. I should have pushed hard for a resolution to the problem right then and there but did not. I rack up miles fast so I put up with the problem and at 37000 have the dealer put on new tires and check the alignment. Alignment was in specs but not to complete center. So I have them align the car.
    On the way home I notice I still have a shake, felt in the floor and the passenger side head rest shakes back and forth. They rebalance the tires and tell me all fixed. I drive off only to feel the same shake.
    I go back and insist on talking with the service manager. Take him for a ride and he can't feel the problem and says all he feels is the normal Prius road roughness. He says if I leave the car they will check it out further the next day. I tell him maybe the reason my first set of tires went bad is due to the shake. Look further than the tires! Next day when I pick up the car they tell me they road forced balance the tires and let air out of the tires to soften the ride.
    Of course the car still shakes. I take the car to a different dealer and tell them I need the car completely checked out and not to focus just on the tires. They tell me the tires where way under inflated and out of balance, one even by one and a half ounce. They tell me all is fine. I drive off and still it shakes. Go back and take the tech for a ride. He can't feel the problem.
    So has anybody else got a shake in the floor that is best felt at between 65 -72 miles per hour? How do I correct this? If this is normal for a Prius why did I not feel it for the first 19000 miles? I say it must be drive train related but I can't seem to get people to not focus on the tires. Car is 15 months old and I closing in on 40,000.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat! first, 37k on the oem's is outstanding. second, did you get michelin energy savers? you need to go to a good alignment place i think, the dealers have their place, but proly not for tires. all the best!(y)
  3. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Mine has always shaken a bit at higher speeds. It is normal.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    I have a bit of vibration from the drive train at highway speeds on my '13. I'm going to take it in after a fill up or two to check the alignment. My '10 had a vibration at 65-70mph but I think that was contributed to a worn hub. I'm sure that most of my '10s life it lived vibration free. 92,000 miles before I traded her in.
  5. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Member

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    Your alignment can be off and still track straight.

    Did the shake happen during your tech drives? You said the tech couldn't feel it but could you? If it is drivetrain related, you can easily put the car on a lift and step on the pedal to 65-72 mph.
  6. Bingee

    Bingee Member

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    No shakes with my 2012 I would take it in to a shop that does alignments , balancing
    And frame work. Then go from there good luck
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  7. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    I had a similar problem with another car over a decade ago. I finally found a tire/alignment shop with the equipment to grind the tires round. That plus a dynamic balance actually worked.
  8. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Member

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    Every tire and alignment store in the nation, will tell you that cupped tires = bad shocks.

    If you question the alignment; do not go to Toyota. Go instead to a place like Firestone who offers a lifetime alignment package. Toyota wants to re-align my Prius every 20k miles. They are simply hungry for things they can charge me for.

    But mis-reading tread wear, ... they want to avoid replacing your shocks for some reason.



    btw, our Prius is at 45k and no shake here.
  9. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

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    Most cupping issues can be traced to alignment issues. The Prius offers no adjustment in the rear (unless you do shims), so that probably exacerbates the issue for some vehicles. Some tires are simply more prone to cupping than others.

    Also, I have a lifetime alignment from Firestone, but I would not recommend it. The quality of the work is truly inconsistent, and a lot of times I will get the car back with a steering wheel that is off-center. The techs there are simply not familiar with newer vehicles, and they refuse to understand the proper alignment procedure and often fail to perform the required zero-point calibration after the alignment (even though Hunter codelink can handle it).
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  10. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Member

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    Last month I had to spend a day at a commercial tire outlet replacing rubber on my dump truck. In my boredom I looked over their wall charts showing various forms of tread wear. Otherwise I am no mechanic. Certainly not an expert on this stuff :)





    By brand? Tread pattern?





    My Toyota dealership recently installed an alignment thing in their carport, as each vehicle is dropped-off, they automatically get a printout of your alignment. I am certain that it is purely to increase their revenue stream. At 20k they did an alignment on my Prius, and again at 40k they wanted to do another alignment. After discussing it here, I had decided to have all of our alignments done at Firestone to take advantage of their 'lifetime' guaranty.

    In full disclosure, I have not gone to Firestone yet. To me, the car handles great. I can not detect any alignment issues. So I was going to delay until the next time that the dealership says it needs another alignment.

    So what is the answer?
  11. WE0H

    WE0H ^^My garage queen^^

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    All the rental Prii I have driven since mid 2009 have not shaken at any speed. My 2012 is glass smooth at any legal speed or above [​IMG]

    Mike
  12. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

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    Nonsense. Bad alignment will do. Actually it did it to my previous set of tires. No problems after it was fixed.



    why don't you qualify this? how bad vibrations are we talking about?
  13. zebelkhan

    zebelkhan Member in good standing

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    I am around 25k mile mark on my 2012. I have felt a slight vibration around 65 to 70 mph from the day I got my car too. However, I noticed vibration is most noticeable while driving on certain highways, and is almost non existent (cannot tell if it is a vibration or just feel of the road) in others so for now I have decided to blame the roads and don't do anything about it.
  14. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Active Member

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    RobH talked about getting the tires 'dynamically balanced'. I haven't heard of that in a long time.

    That is where the tire/wheel/brake disc/hub are all spun up on the car with a powered roller. An accelerometer is attached to the suspension somewhere. It's on the blue jack in this vid.
    Is this what you are talking about RobH?

    With the Prius you may have to put it in 'Test Mode' to spin the front wheels.

    This procedure would be a good last ditch test to see if you have out of balance brake discs or something off center in one of the hubs. If you had a 'Road Force Balancing' done and still have the shakes, something is not right.

    I didn't know shops still had this equipment but it will temporarily cure a weird balance situation. You have to keep the wheels on the same studs after doing it.

    This is a blast from the past! But it would at least tell you if, and where you had a balance problem.
    WE0H likes this.
  15. priusseaglass2

    priusseaglass2 Junior Member

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    Model:
    II


    Yes the car did shake while I had the service manager and the tech with. Head rest did not rattle around but I figure that was because of the passenger in the seat stabilized it. I travel over some pretty new pavement and the shake is there. When on rougher roads it mixes in with the road ride, but because I know its there I can still feel it. I actually put a water bottle in the cup holder and watched the water dance around. I think I need to test drive a 2012 some where and see if I feel the same thing and have water dancing around. Like I said before. No trouble in the first 19000 so why now if its normal for the Prius. I plan on having a brother that's not heard my story test drive the car and see if he can feel anything out of the ordinary. My wife also feels the problem and was actually the first one to notice the problem. Car has not been in any accidents or hit any major pot holes to bend anything.
    Can I do what someone suggested and raise the front of the car and run it and watch for the shake? I seen it done where with the car raised one side was strapped so it could not turn and the car was run. No shake so the guy switched the strap to the other side and sure enough the unstrapped side shook. Turned out to be a bent axle. Not sure how the tranny works etc. on this car and if such a trick would be the thing to try on this car????
  16. Martholland

    Martholland Junior Member

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    I had the same with new tires! On a new car. The dealer had the tires balanced, the were ok and still a shake. They were not capable to solve this problem. I went to specialised tire-shop, and the noticed that the tires were not evenly round. They changed the the best ones to the front and advised me to go back to the dealer and ask for better tires. Most of the shaking dissapeared with the changing of the cupped tires to the back.
    ForestBeekeeper and WE0H like this.
  17. Bill Norton

    Bill Norton Active Member

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    Priglass2,
    You said you had the tires 'Road Force Balanced', correct?
    Can you ask that shop to do it again and let you watch?
    Those dealer guys don't like doing warranty work that won't make them money.

    I had new tires mounted on new 17" wheels and had them Road Force balanced. 3 of them were at '6lbs' and 1 was at 20lbs of road force. I was told to keep that one on the rear and "maybe I won't feel it". ( I bought the wheels and tires as a 'take-off' from person that upgraded his Scion F-SR)

    If all is well with the roundness and balance of the tires, indeed, you have to look at the car.
    As you said, bent axle ( but how does that happen?), out of balance brake discs, out of roundness on a hub/axle front or rear are all possibilities.
    When you drive one front wheel and not the other the spider gears (in just the differential) are getting a workout, but since it is not for long and no real loads are happening, it should be fine. On the Prius you have to put it in 'Test Mode', which is just a bunch of key strokes to disable traction control. I don't have the routine in front of me now, but you will need it for your testing idea and if you find a shop that can do 'Dynamic Balancing'.

    Hopefully you just have a bad tire and not some weirdness with the hubs/axles/discs.... Good Luck !!
  18. ForestBeekeeper

    ForestBeekeeper Member

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    That would certainly cause an issue.
  19. peterjmc

    peterjmc Ping pong in Ding Dang...

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    Just because the dealer says they balanced out fine, doesn't mean that there isn't a problem with the tires.

    I had a dealer mount some new tires on my 18" wheels. I took the car out and there were noticeable vibration issues and bouncing between 60mph+. I took it back, and the tires balanced out fine, but looking at the tires as they spun on the system, you could visually see a "hop" on the wheel. TireRack sent me a replacement tire for that one. I also eventually took all those wheels and tires to a specialty shop that had a Roadforce balancer to get them all rebalanced.

    --

    So I recently (last week) got rid of the 2010 Prius and the newer Prius did have vibration issues at 65mph+. I had them roadforce the OE wheels before I stored them away for the winter, and they were able to do some slight corrections to the factory balance. No more vibrations. :)
    ForestBeekeeper likes this.
  20. Mattmartin1082

    Mattmartin1082 New Member

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    I had a car a few years ago (not a prius) that had a shaking issue like that. Turned out it was a brake rotor that was warped.
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