Join the Car Talk Community!

The front end of my Chevy Bel-Air shakes and shimmies...

RSS
Dear Tom and Ray:


The front end of my 1966 Chevy Bel-Air shakes and shimmies violently whenever I step on the brakes lightly. It stops when I step on them harder. Would improper wheel balance cause this?
Blaine

RAY: Geez, Blaine, I hope you're still alive to read this. Improper wheel balance would NOT cause your problem, and whatever is causing your problem is potentially very dangerous.

TOM: Yeah. Everyone knows I'm a world class cheapskate, Blaine, but I never cheap out when it comes to vibrations in the front end. When things in the front end shake, wheels could be ready to fall off, especially on heaps as old as the one you're driving.

RAY: You could have ball joints that are ready to fall off, tie rod ends that are ready to come loose, and if any of those things break, it could be curtains for you AND your Bel Air (and we'd hate to see such a wonderful car destroyed!).

TOM: Of course, it might be something less dangerous, like a cracked or warped brake drum, or brake shoes that have been contaminated by grease or brake fluid, but how are you going to know until you get it checked out?

RAY: Next chance you get, push the car or tow it (we're serious about this; don't drive it) to your mechanic and have the entire front end and brake system checked out. We don't mind losing readers to Ann Landers or Dear Abby, but we hate losing a reader to a bad front end in a Bel Air.
Tags (Browse All)

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit


Rocket Fuel