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Prius vibration problem

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by Pavel Volkov, Mar 14, 2013.

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  1. Pavel Volkov

    Pavel Volkov New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I bought 2012 Prius ii around 6 weeks ago. From day one I started noticing vibrations in the steering wheel most noticeable at highway speeds. I can describe this as high frequency vibrations that become very very annoying especially if you drive to work for an hour every day. This car has OEM Bridgestone Ecopia EP 20 tires. I took the car to the dealership twice already, they balanced the tires twice and road force tested it twice. They replaced front tires for me because based on the test results one tire was at 16 lb the other one at 19 lbs. the new tires are at 8 and 10. They keep on telling me that this is by design and is a characteristic of the vehicle. However the Prius I test drove when I was buying it did not have this problem, otherwise I would never buy it. This vibration happens in any mode and I can even feel it at lower speed now though it is not as noticeable. I had a few people including Prius owners drive my car and everyone feels the vibration. With so many Prius models sold I highly doubt that everyone just accepts it as a feature :)

    Does anyone else experience vibrations driving at 60-70 mph? I will go back to them and ask to test drive similar vehicle to compare results. Any other suggestions are appreciated, based on your responses I will be able to tell them how many people do not have this issue.

    Thanks,
    Pavel
  2. Mike500

    Mike500 Interessen-Gemeinschaft Prius

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Two
    No Pavel,

    That is not acceptable.

    I don't know where you are, but you might take your car to a place that has a dynometer and does engine balancing. If they put the car in the test mode, they can determine if the vibration is in the engine and/or drive train or just the tires.

    Most dealers do not have the equipment to do this. It might cost you a couple of hundred dollars, but it would be worth it to find the problem. I've gotten flywheels for other cars that had a "harmonic" vibration at one certain speed.

    If it is found to be a factory defect, you can ask Toyota to fix it and to reimburse you for the tests.

    Hope this helps,

    Mike500
  3. The Dude

    The Dude Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I've never noted any rattling similar to what you're describing. My pos Prius rattles like crazy at low speed, but anything over 60 is smooth.
  4. OceanEyes

    OceanEyes Active Member

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    Location:
    Southeastern Connecticut
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    No rattles in my 2012 Four at any time. Hope they can find out what is wrong.
  5. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I don't see any of the vibration problems you are seeing

    Welcome to priuschat by the way :)
  6. car compulsive

    car compulsive Active Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    Two
    No, the vibration is not normal. The dealer should be able to eliminate it unless the car was involved in an accident in the past ( or was just built wrong like some Buick Lucerne & Cadillac DTS units that had a factory suspension shake when new).

    I always make sure I take a thorough test drive in the actual car I'm buying to attempt to spot these types of problems before I sign the contract. Regardless of a brand's quality reputation, these are complex devices with plenty that can go wrong.
  7. friendly_jacek

    friendly_jacek Senior Member

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    Pavel,
    Could it be a loose component in front suspension or steering? Call Toyota headquarters customer service and politely demand a total resolution. It that fails, you have lemon law to fallback on. Know your rights.
  8. Pavel Volkov

    Pavel Volkov New Member

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    I am in Boston area, any place you can recommend for this test?

    Thanks,
    Pavel
  9. B. Roberts

    B. Roberts Hypah Milah! Ayuh.

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    Model:
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    Make sure that the inside of your rims are clear of debris. Winter mud and small rocks can stick to the wheel's inner surfaces causing vibration at speed. After you inspect the wheels and clean them thoroughly, get them "Road Force Balanced". They will measure wheel and tire roundness or how true the all are.

    Don't give up. After a Road Force Balance is done and the wheels and tires check out... your Prius should be smooth at all speeds. If not, then it's the car's suspension or some other harmonic vibration that's causing the trouble.
  10. Pavel Volkov

    Pavel Volkov New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    I guess I will keep this updated with what happens next.I called the corporate office and opened a case. The manager from the corporate called me back next day and I explained the situation to her. She promised to call me back in a day with the next steps. She has not called back yet.
  11. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Another member here, Eco Boi, is experiencing the same problems you are I believe. You can try searching for his thread.
  12. Gerald Christiana

    Gerald Christiana New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five


    Pavel,
    I purchased a 2013 Prius V 5 to replace a 06 Prius. The 06 was enjoyable with no probelms in 42,000 miles.
    The new Prius had a noticeable vibration from the start that begins at 32 MPH and Peaks at 38 MPH. We use the Prius for around town trips and didn't notice the much higher Vibration that occurs at 59 MPH until we were testing the car with a Toyota Service Manager. He requested that we drive on a main road with a 65 MPH speed limit. He then requested that the cruise control be set to 59 MPH. He then called a Toyota Service rep. and told him about the problem and vibration experienced. The Rep. had the Service manager change the power modes and then the manager told the service rep that his reccommendation had no effect. We then drove two other prius Vs one with the optional tires and one with the standard tires and both had the same problem. The Service Rep. came to the dealership and explained that the problem could be in the phase angle of the motor. So at his requested speed of 59 MPH with me driving the dealer service manager in the back seat, and the service rep. connected to the on board computer he stated that he turned of and on the phase shift with no effect. Now he and the dealer service manager were in the car with me and admitted that the vibration existed. We then drove another Prius V 5 and it had the same charastic vibration. My third service order was closed out with the Comment that "Vehicle performs as designed" and the service rep telling me there was nothing else Toyota would do.
    My abritation hearing is next month.
  13. massparanoia

    massparanoia Active Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
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    It sounds like toyota has another quality issue they are not going to do anything about.
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
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    Plug-in Base
    gerald, have you tried driving any other model v besides the 5?
  15. Pavel Volkov

    Pavel Volkov New Member

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    Good like to you Gerald. I would love to know ho this will end. I will keep updating this post with my progress. I have a feeling that Toyota will find the problem if enough people complain and there is going to be a recall at some point.
  16. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon Junior Member

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    I have the same problem with my 09 Prius with 65,000 miles. I have the 2nd set of tires on, Bridgestone Ecopias. The vibration did not occur initially, with the new tires. It sounds like I am going over a slight rumble strip at 40 -65 MPH. I initially thought it might be tire cupping, but it does not correspond to tire speed. The tires have been balanced and force tested twice. Unrelated, I had the A/C core and condenser replaced ( with extensive disassembly of the dash -- damned mice ) last Fall, and it was noticeable after that. It is not a wheel bearing as noise does not change on turns. It could be an exhaust-related noise. There is noise with the air turned off or on. It seems to be a drive-train noise. It reminds me of drive-shaft noise. It seems louder some days more than others. I can hear it at very low speeds some days. I have an 04 Prius with 140,000 miles also, so there is no question that the noise is abnormal.
  17. chuckwagon

    chuckwagon Junior Member

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    I should also note that lately, I also had the steering column recall performed.
  18. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    I would tell them to take their Prius vehicle back as it is a defected vehicle since they can't even solve this vibration problem. If its still new and not too far within the warranty period, I would ask the Manager if he can swap your Prius out with a different vehicle. This is unacceptable since you've paid a high amount of money for a vehicle that is working without any defects.

    Please let us know how everything went, good luck.
  19. Dan4500

    Dan4500 Junior Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    What do you mean tires are 8 & 10 lbs? Tire inflation pressure should be well above 30. See the label on the driver door frame. I can't believe they only filled the tires to 8lbs. If true the tires will be ruined in just afew miles as you are essentially riding on the rims.
  20. The Dude

    The Dude Member

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    Welcome to the Prius Experience. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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