C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

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10mbc
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C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

So I recently got my Citroen C5 2.0 HDI 110bhp from 2003 that has 286000km on the clock. I am the third owner so the km might have a chance of being somewhat correct. While it was a good car generally speaking, a lot of things were not up to snuff and I addressed most of them but now I have 3 left which give me headaches. I would love to have a place to just go and let them fix it but that is not the case unfortunately as my main mechanic does not want to properly investigate this issues and general multi brand auto shops don't want to touch Hydraulic suspension cars because they are not accustomed to them.

1. I would like to provide more details about the first issue as this is one of the more problematic. The steering wheel is shaking starting at about 120km/h and going up to 130 km/h. At around 150km/h it becomes way less noticeable, almost stops. Please not that the legal speed limit on the highway in Romania is, basically, 140 km/h so I would like to be able to drive to this speed without issues. Right now I am forced to drive at 110km/h because of this issue. The problem is that this does not happen right away, when I just start driving it's all good but after some time it will creep up. When driving straigt forward the issue is present, but when turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right the shaking stops. When braking I feel a slight shake at the initial press but no bumpiness after. At low speeds I feel no vibration when braking.

I would like to mention that I had summer tires at first, OEM Citroen C5 15inch alloys with brand new Dunlop tires fitted and balanced at one of the 2 tire shops that have the proper adapter for C5 wheels. Starting November I use OEM Citroen C5 "steel" wheels that are looking like steelies but are, actually, made of alloy with Michelin winter tires that I took from my old Octavia (that had zero issues on the highway). All were balanced at a reputable tire shop here in my home city. I would like to mention that the issue is more severe with the summer wheels compared to the winter ones, but do note that the summer wheels are heavier so I think that might be the main difference.

I also would like to mention that I had my wheel alignment done in a specialized shop. If you have any idea please let me know. Sorry for the long post, but I tried to include all the details as they might be useful. Thank you!
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Gregor
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by Gregor »

Wheel geometry problems maybe, due to worn bushes, silent-blocks etc..?
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tich731
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by tich731 »

My recent experience with wheel balancing at a reputable tyre dealer was not good. After having new front tyres on my C6, they tried twice to balance the wheels and were unsuccessful on both occasions. I then took the car to a tyre shop while in France and they were able to balance the wheels with no difficulty.
It may be worth getting yours checked at another place.
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myglaren
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by myglaren »

I had similar problems with both my C5s. At around 68~75 mph there was vibration and the wheel would tremble and the steering column would 'chatter'.
No amount of balancing and re-balancing would cure it, nor would any of the tyres I had fitted - Michelin, Firestone, Vredestein etc.

What did fix it was never intended to - fitting Sailun Atrezzo tyres!
They were chosen for grip under winter conditions and proved good on that count. They were also noticably quieter and 'smoother' that any others and it wasn't until they had been on over a month and was returning from Little Horwood that I realised that there was no vibration whatsoever and that they hadn't been balanced as the fitter didn't have the adaptor.

Only had Sailun tyres since and none have been balanced.
None of the tyres lasted long on the C5 - all just managed a year on the front wheels but the Sailun ones were no worse in that respect - with the exception of the last ones fitted. Lower mileage that year due to Covid restrictions (no rallies) and they were mud & snow tyres which should have had a shorter life but were like new at the end of the year (MOT time).
Unexpected to find budget tyres that perform so well and a pleasant surprise.
I was going to fit them for the Civic's birthday but the ditchfinders fitted when I bought it are still perfectly OK.
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

I don't even... I am more confused now than when I posted the situation. And this makes no sense.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Or Driveshafts - my wheel nearly came off it was so bad on my MK I with little warning.
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

What you mean your wheel nearly came off? What can I check on the driveshafts? I fear that if I just ask for the driveshafts to be checked I will not get much of a result - I have already performed an inspection on the car and besides an anti roll bar link (which I have replaced on the spot) the mechanic found nothing wrong.

Thank you!
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Put it this way on my MK I C5, I had it regularly serviced at the main dealer and all work undertaken by them - yet on the way to town one day, the wheel started shaking and got worse and worse until I had to pull over - got out and the wheel was at another angle!

Had it towed to the garage - driveshaft shot. How that wasn't picked up back in the day I'll never know.... So just thought it worth a mention if you have a high mileage vehicle and have ruled out the ovbious wheel balancing and tracking options first.
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

So I went to my mechanic yesterday and fixed some issues. I have checked the driveshafts and the left hand one has some play both at the wheel and at the gearbox. The right hand one has no play in it.

I have also replaced the front brake discs + pads because they just looked bad from the inside and I would say that the vibration has toned down but it's not entirely fixed yet.

I will order the short drive shaft and have it ready for the next time.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Good, at least you have found the issue. Don’t leave it too long before replacing the driveshaft as you don’t want more damage.

Discs can become warped (like when the discs are really hot and then you drive through a deep puddle of water for example) and cause slight vibration, but this is mostly felt when braking. But if they are extremely hot and suddenly cooled, it can cause them to warp which is when you will get vibration.
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Clogzz
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by Clogzz »

I have some of that from wear in the centre of the steering rack.
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

At this point I am not 100% sure replacing the driveshaft will fix it so I am not sure this is fixed. Unfortunately it will take most likely over a month to get it replaced as my mechanic is busy and there are a lot of hollidays in the coming days.

I am not sure how to test if the problem is from the steering rack.

I do have another appointment to a large car service center on the 3rd of December, I did that 2 weeks in advance as they are pretty busy also, I would maybe go there and see their diagnostic as they might have a better idea as what / how te test.
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Have you tried swapping the wheels between front and rear? If the vibration changes that would suggest the problem is due to wheel balancing.
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Clogzz
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by Clogzz »

When driving straight forward the issue is present, but when turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right the shaking stops.
Just like mine with its 220,000 km-old steering rack. 8-)
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Re: C5 2.0 HDI 2003 - Shaking Steering Wheel

Post by 10mbc »

Clogzz wrote:
01 Dec 2021, 01:34
When driving straight forward the issue is present, but when turning the steering wheel slightly to the left or right the shaking stops.
Just like mine with its 220,000 km-old steering rack. 8-)
Hmm... Is there a direct way to test for that? How did you determined it's the steering rack?

I have moved the rear wheels to the front and the front to the rear just yesterday. Please note that in the meantime I have switched from summer wheels to winter wheels and the problem is still there.