Diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and noise; determine necessary action

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Diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and noise; determine necessary action. 

Lesson Plan for

AUT 184-185/AUT 291

Automotive Service Technology Section B/Automotive Special Problems

Course HS Title:

Automobile Service Technology/Special Problems


KCTCS Courses included in HS Title: (Lesson is prepared for course highlighted.)

KCTCS Course No.

KCTCS Course Title


This lesson will instruct the student on how to properly diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and noise; then determine necessary action. Knowledge of these techniques and the skills required to correct problems associated with this task are necessary for a student to acquire if they wish to compete for high paying, high skilled jobs in an Automotive Repair Facility. Entry level technicians need to be able to perform this task to 100% accuracy. Incorrectly performing this task can lead to an automobile accident or create customer satisfaction issues.

Prepared By



Grade Level

No. Students


Lesson Length:




Diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and noise; determine necessary action.




Given the proper tools and instruction, the student will be able to properly diagnose wheel/tire vibration, shimmy, and noise, determine necessary action and pass a written test covering proper procedures with 100% accuracy.


Skills Standards:

OH 001

OH 002

OH 003

OD 002

OD 003

OD 005

Common Core Technical Standards:


New Common Core Standards:

RST 11-12.2

RST 11-12 3


Textbooks and Workbooks


Title/ISBN No.




Chris Johnason 

Auto Suspension and Steering 


Goodheart Wilcox 


James D. Halderman 

Automotive Technology Principles, Diagnosis, and service 


Pearson prentice Hall 






As Needed

Four Post Lift (12,000 lb minimum) 


As Needed

Electronic Wheel Balancer 


Content/Presentation/Demonstration Outline

   Instruct students that when diagnosing a wheel/ tire vibration, shimmy, and noise to remember the steps to proper diagnosis. Step one is to verify the complaint. In this case drive the automobile and check for the symptom. Step two is a basic inspection of the systems involved.

   Perform a visual inspection of the wheels and tires for missing wheel weights, damage to wheel, or other defects. If nothing is found it is possible to take the wheels off and balance each wheel/tire assembly. After balancing the technician can do run-out of the wheel assembly to check for a bent wheel or defective tire. Check tire for possible buildup of mud, gravel, snow, ice in the center of the wheel.

   It is possible the wheel has water or fix-a-flat in the tire throwing off the balance. Look for proper wear patterns on all the tires to determine if problem is suspension related. If nothing is found check related systems like the driveline. It is possible there are problems with the half shafts and drive shafts. Remind students to always verify that the complaint has been fixed after the repair.

   Possible Causes of Shimmy/Vibration: 1. Tires out of balance. 2. Tires worn unevenly. 3. Tread separation in tire. 4. Excessive rim or tire runout. 5. Worn steering suspension parts. 6. Loose or worn wheel bearings. 7. Rim loose on hub. 8. Worn and loose U-joints or CV joints. 9. Bent drive shaft or axle. 10. Excessive toe-in or toe-out (rare).

   Correction for the problems listed above: 1. Balance tires. 2. Replace tires. 3. Replace tire. 4. Replace rim or tire. 5. Replace worn parts. 6. Adjust or replace wheel bearings 7. Tighten lug nuts; replace lugs; replace rim. 8. Tighten or replace U-joints or CV joints. 9. Repair or replace drive shaft or axle. 10. Perform wheel alignment.

   Possible Causes of Noise: 1. Dry tie rods or ball joints. 2. Dry control arm bushings. 3. Worn out control arm bushings. 4. Worn out strut rod bushings. 5. Worn out shock absorber bushings. 6. Loose suspension/steering fasteners. 7. Loose lug nuts, cracked wheel rim. 8. Springs improperly positioned. 9. Wheel covers loose or broken. 10. Loose wheel bearings.

   Corrections for listed problems above: 1. Lubricate or replace the joints. 2. Lubricate or replace the bushings. 3. Replace bushings 4. Replace bushings. 5. Replace bushings or shock absorbers. 5. Tighten fasteners 7. Tighten lugnuts; replace rim. 8. Properly position springs. 8. Replace wheel cover 10. Adjust wheel bearings



refer to content

Evaluation and feedback Prior to Testing or Lab Work


Objective 1. / Formative assessment / Instructor will observe students as they practice the procedure to assure correct procedure and safety practices are being followed. A checklist will be utilized to chart student progress on the task. Questioning techniques will be utilized as necessary to demonstrate student comprehension / Adaptations and/or accommodations for special needs students will be added if required.

STUDENT ASSESSMENT: (Assess student progress with performance criteria.)


Objective 1 / Summative assessment / written test questions on stated objective / adaptation and / or accommodations for special needs students will be added if required.

IMPACT--Reflection/Analysis of Teaching and Learning: (How did students’ progress in relation to the state objectives? Was the instruction successful? Analyze samples of student work particularly that which is unsatisfactory, for the purpose of planning further instruction.)

REFINEMENT--Lesson Extension and Follow-up: (To be filled in as the lesson is modified during initial planning and/or during the teaching learning process.)

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