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Firstly I apologise for the length of the following post but I am trying to get in as much info as possible.

This problem started in spring 2015. Basically the car exhibits rhythmical vibration and shaking which is felt through the seat, peddles and steering, becoming noticeable from an indicated 65mph and gets progressively worse as you increase speed making motorway driving particularly unpleasant. The other day I hit an indicated 90mph (for the first time in a long time) and all I can say is I think we got some impression of what a F1 driver experiences with a flat spotted tyre given the violence with which the car shook. There is also a strange noise that is very quiet but definitely there. It is a constant tempo that increases or decreases in tandem with the speed of the car. The closest comparison I can give is the sound a helicopter propeller makes when you hear them in the air.

Whatever this problem is it started approx 18 months after I had a set of Goodyear tyres fitted. First thing I did was to rotate the wheels but there was no change in the symptoms so I took it to Lexus Carlisle who rebalanced them. However, the wheels were heavily corroded and Lexus advised that because of this corrosion it was possible that the wheels were losing the balancing weights, resulting in the vibration, and advised refurbishing or replacing them (two of them were also constantly losing tyre pressure as well). Now I couldn't find anywhere to refurbish them so I sourced a new set of aftermarket wheels in the same 8x18 size and, after funds allowed, six months later a new set were fitted by Lexus with the Goodyear tyres transferred onto them. However, there was no change and the symptoms where still there. I went back to Lexus. The wheels were rebalanced and rotated and the suspension geometry done. Still no change. Took to ATS for rebalancing. No change. Took to an independent (2 different ones). No change. I was then advised it was probably the tyres so two years ago a full set of Dunlops were fitted by Lexus. There was still no change to the vibrating and shaking and by now I was beginning to think it's me. I rotated the wheels again but still no change. I was then advised that all the brake discs needed replacing as the fronts were warped and the rears were heavily scored and pitted. As the car was also shaking under braking this gave me hope of a solution. So 12 months ago new discs and pads were fitted all round, but, whilst this did eliminate the shaking under braking the vibration and shaking at speed were still just as evident. At the last service in June the wheels were rebalanced again but I was told by one of the technicians that because the aftermarket alloys were the wrong offset (35 not 45), that would contribute to the problem!?! I tried to question that but he was insistent. That rebalancing made no difference either. So I have just sourced a set of refurbished Lexus GS wheels (from the 430 so are exactly the same size and offset) and had them fitted by Lexus with the Dunlop tyres transferred to them. The result? NO CHANGE IN THE SYMPTOMS. I am pretty sure therefore that it is not the wheels, tyres or the brakes!

I'm also pretty sure it is not a sticking caliper as all four have been replaced at different intervals since this started (again resulting in no change in the symptoms). They were checked and greased at the last service and also the other week when the new wheels were fitted. I have asked Lexus Carlisle on more than one occasion to inspect the suspension, front and rear, and, other than a new nsf shock absorber fitted at the last service because the original one had burst, they say they cannot find anything wrong (I do wonder how hard they check though as I don't think they want to spend time on this because all they seem to want to do is rebalance the wheels). I have also asked numerous times if a bearing has gone but they say no. The tyres are also at the correct pressure, 35psi as per the manual.

So, given the above, unless there is something wrong with the suspension what could it be? Prop shaft, drive shafts?

A further problem that has arisen over the last twelve months is I find I am constantly fighting to keep the car in a straight line once 50mph is reached and the steering feels very light. However, there is no noticeable vibration felt through the steering wheel until I hit the higher speeds I mention above. I also mentioned this when the car was serviced but the same reason about the wheel offset being wrong was given for this problem. Well now I have the right wheels so it can't be that, can it?

When I bought this car seven years ago I drove 300 motorway miles home along the M5 and M6. I wouldn't like to drive 30 motorway miles today. If I can't get it sorted I'm going to have no alternative but to get rid of the car and probably, unfortunately, end up with some newer nondescript eurobox as we can't afford a newer GS at the moment. I appreciate that it is virtually impossible to diagnose the problem from what I have written but I am convinced that the noise and vibration are linked as they started at exactly the same time so I would be very grateful for some pointers as to what else to check or get rechecked.

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My first thought whilst reading your post was, propshaft, possibly a coupling worn or even prop balance weight thrown?

Not sure of the configuration on your car maybe a prop centre bearing failing?

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2 hours ago, NemesisUK said:

My first thought whilst reading your post was, propshaft, possibly a coupling worn or even prop balance weight thrown?

Not sure of the configuration on your car maybe a prop centre bearing failing?

Has the car been in an accident that the current owner knows nothing about?

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20 hours ago, NemesisUK said:

My first thought whilst reading your post was, propshaft, possibly a coupling worn or even prop balance weight thrown?

Not sure of the configuration on your car maybe a prop centre bearing failing?

Many thanks for that. I'll certainly get that looked at. 

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19 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

Has the car been in an accident that the current owner knows nothing about?

Apparently when it was a demo car owned by Lexus Bristol it was 'sideswipped'. I was told that as a result the nsr wheel arch was repaired and both ns wheels were refurbished. I only found this out this year at the last service.

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Hey, Chris111!

If you check prop shaft and everything else that everyone has offered and it will not solve your problems with vibration, try getting an all 4 wheel tracking re-done. I was experiencing same issue- from about 80mph it would start quite annoyingly (yet, not massively) vibrating. As tyres were worn, I thought it must have been that. Got them changed- same issue. Someone told me to do the tracking, and, although doubting, went to do it (had a cross-europe trip coming in a week or so...). And what a change it had made! All vibrations were gone instantly.

Obviously, your problem might be different, but in my case that was the whole issue.

Oh, and warped discs- had a proper scare on those, and apparently that was only dust on disc, and braking really hard few times in a row without coming to a full stop has solved the issue (well about 95% of it).

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4 hours ago, Chris111 said:

Apparently when it was a demo car owned by Lexus Bristol it was 'sideswipped'. I was told that as a result the nsr wheel arch was repaired and both ns wheels were refurbished. I only found this out this year at the last service.

The repair might not have been completed correctly ?How did you find out about the sideswipe?

The car was presumably offloaded by Lexus Bristol to a car dealer from whom you bought it? If so, you might have grounds for rejecting the car as you were not informed that it had been in an accident?

 

Food for thought????

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3 hours ago, Rem Zuk said:

Hey, Chris111!

If you check prop shaft and everything else that everyone has offered and it will not solve your problems with vibration, try getting an all 4 wheel tracking re-done. I was experiencing same issue- from about 80mph it would start quite annoyingly (yet, not massively) vibrating. As tyres were worn, I thought it must have been that. Got them changed- same issue. Someone told me to do the tracking, and, although doubting, went to do it (had a cross-europe trip coming in a week or so...). And what a change it had made! All vibrations were gone instantly.

Obviously, your problem might be different, but in my case that was the whole issue.

Oh, and warped discs- had a proper scare on those, and apparently that was only dust on disc, and braking really hard few times in a row without coming to a full stop has solved the issue (well about 95% of it).

Thanks for your reply. I have had the tracking checked and done when needed about half a dozen times since this started but it didn't eliminate the problem unfortunately. Glad it worked for you though.

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43 minutes ago, royoftherovers said:

The repair might not have been completed correctly ?How did you find out about the sideswipe?

The car was presumably offloaded by Lexus Bristol to a car dealer from whom you bought it? If so, you might have grounds for rejecting the car as you were not informed that it had been in an accident?

 

Food for thought????

I found out about it from the Lexus portal when I saw the record of the wheels being refurbished and then asked for confirmation when I took the car in for its service in June. The car was registered in May 2006, the repair work was done in August 2006 and was sold by Lexus Bristol in September 2006 to a private individual who owned it for about five years. I bought the car from an independent trader who had taken it off a BMW dealership as it had been traded into them. If the initial buyer was aware of the repair work I'm not sure the company I bought it from would have known. I also think that if it had been badly repaired any symptom of this would have shown sooner rather than later (i.e. not nine years later), or am I being naïve to think that? The car drove fine for the first four years of my ownership just last three have been the problem.

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1 hour ago, Chris111 said:

I found out about it from the Lexus portal when I saw the record of the wheels being refurbished and then asked for confirmation when I took the car in for its service in June. The car was registered in May 2006, the repair work was done in August 2006 and was sold by Lexus Bristol in September 2006 to a private individual who owned it for about five years. I bought the car from an independent trader who had taken it off a BMW dealership as it had been traded into them. If the initial buyer was aware of the repair work I'm not sure the company I bought it from would have known. I also think that if it had been badly repaired any symptom of this would have shown sooner rather than later (i.e. not nine years later), or am I being naïve to think that? The car drove fine for the first four years of my ownership just last three have been the problem.

Many thanks for the full response Chris. I agree with you that these avenues can now be closed.

I will however keep a watching brief as to how this situation develops.

Regards

John

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 4:14 PM, NemesisUK said:

My first thought whilst reading your post was, propshaft, possibly a coupling worn or even prop balance weight thrown?

Not sure of the configuration on your car maybe a prop centre bearing failing?

Was thinking the same as Peter as I had an issue a while back on a previous IS that sounds like your issue - a vibration that was only felt at around 70mph+ and a rhythmic noise at that speed+ which could only have been mechanical as it sped up and slowed down with speed. It did get worse over time and I investigated the fact that it could have been the drive shaft coupler which is only rubber but there was a lot of owners especially in the states owning other cars mentioning they had the issue and replaced the coupler and resolved the issue. However, turned out mine was associated to corrosion on the inners of the alloy wheels as I witnessed when the tyres were taken off. Once cleaned up the issue went away. It was associated to the wheels not very good at keeping their pressures. A picture below if of a coupler which could be your issue ?

coupler.jpg.edb7b5e0f956ab6127061fb70d34e0d7.jpg

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Thanks for the replies. If there is a problem with either the propshaft or drive shaft coupler could I please ask if anyone thinks the problem I mentioned with the steering (fighting to keep in a straight line and feeling very light) is connected? It's just I would hate to get only one problem fixed if there are two. I was thinking track rod ends?

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Update. The car went in today and is with them for a few days. A run along the M6 with one of the technicians driving resulted in him describing the car as 'very loose'. He also confirmed to me he could hear the noise which he said will be thoroughly investigated by himself together with the suspension and steering components. I also wrote a short 'essay' (like my initial post above) for them so I could give as much information as possible, describing what I feel and hear, what has been done in the past to try and rectify it as well as mentioning the potential causes of the problem which @NemesisUK and @is200 Newbie put forward. Thanks very much.

Only slight downside is the courtesy car. A Yaris. Now there is nothing wrong with that except it's a manual so I have to learn to drive one of those again! I haven't driven one for years.

Will hopefully know more beginning of next week.

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Good luck with this. I have the rhythmic noise as well so I’m interested in the outcome. 

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Finally got the car back this afternoon after nine days and the problem was diagnosed as the prop shaft bearing. The car does now seem to be a lot better to drive and the noise does appear to have gone. Unfortunately I was unable to do more than 50mph during the journey home so am unable to confirm for myself that the vibration has gone, although Steve the technician who worked on the car is confident the problem is now sorted. The problem with the light steering was traced to it toeing out so a 4 wheel alignment has sorted this and as a result the steering now feels much more weightier. 

Will be going out for a long fast run tomorrow and hopefully, after more than three years, I've got my car back to how I remember it and will enjoy driving it again.

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good job.

 

How easy do these prob shaft  bearings go or do you need to drive like  certain style for these to wear out

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Quick update. Been out in the car a couple of times and all seems to be fine. I say 'seems' as I'm paranoid about this especially as I have been told on previous occasions that it had been 'fixed' (by balancing the wheels, etc.) and also the fact that driving on some of the road surfaces here result in the car displaying the same symptoms! I will say though that high speed driving feels fine now, not that I drive fast, but I was able to overtake vehicles (safely) under circumstances I wouldn't have done recently because I knew the car would shake and vibrate. I have my car back again😁.

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On ‎11‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 5:35 PM, usuf_x said:

good job.

 

How easy do these prob shaft  bearings go or do you need to drive like  certain style for these to wear out

Sorry I have no idea how easy they go. I would assume it's the same as a wheel bearing or any other bearing. When they wear out, they wear out. In my opinion I don't think that any particular driving style would cause this but would also be interested if anyone knows different.

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