5 Reasons WHy Your Conversion Van May Be Vibrating While Driving

October 30th, 2013 by

A relaxing drive with the family is one of the great benefits of owning a conversion van, but a persistent vibration can quickly ruin the fun. The problem can sometimes be easily resolved by  rotating the van?s tires or balancing its wheels, but sometimes the issue is a symptom of a far more serious problem. Vibration is often an issue that creeps up on a conversion van owner. The problem is minor at first, and drivers frequently take no action. However, as the vibration becomes more severe, resolving it becomes more important, and potentially more costly. The goal is to address these issues early to prevent them from ruining the driving experience.

Engine Issues

Sometimes a vibration is caused by an engine that is not running smoothly. This type of vibration is often felt when the engine is taxed during acceleration, or it may only become apparent at a certain speed. In other cases, the van will run fine for a while before the vibration begins. These issues can frequently be remedied by replacing the spark plugs or the spark plug wires. Following the manufacturers recommended service schedule regarding the fuel and air filters will also help.

Axle Issues

Another frequent source of vibrations in a conversion van is an axle that has become damaged. This can happen when the van is involved in a collision, or when it strikes some road debris. Axle related vibrations usually become more severe as the speed of the van increases. These problems can also indicate a bent or distorted driveshaft. The first step for a van owner with these issues is to inspect the constant velocity, or CV, joints. These are accordion shaped rubber boots at the end of the drive axles. The inspection should verify that the rubber is not cracked, that no lubricant is leaking out and that all of the clamps are in place.

Braking Problems

Vibrations that come on suddenly when the brakes are applied are usually a sign that one or more of the brake rotors is warped. Conversion vans are heavy vehicles, and the heat generated by normal wear and tear can easily bend a rotor. When this happens, the brake pads and calipers are unable to get an even grip on the rotor. This is what causes the vibration, which is more pronounced under heavy or emergency braking situations.

Wheel Related Problems

A great deal of vehicle vibration is related to the wheels. This type of vibration is felt through the steering wheel. The first step is to ensure that all of the wheels are fastened securely, and that all lug nuts are sufficiently tightened. The next step is to have the balance of each of the wheels checked. If this does not resolve the issue, owners should next look to the wheel bearings. Although these bearings are supposed to last for the life of the vehicle, heavy use can take a toll.

Tire Problems

Tires are the cause of the majority of vehicle vibrations, and curing the problem is usually straightforward. Vibration that only becomes noticeable at a certain speed is a sign of a tire out of balance. Uneven tire wear can also cause a vibration, which can be cured by a simple tire rotation. Other tire issues, such as a separated tread or a tire out of round, will require the tire or tires to be replaced.

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