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How do you get mud inside the tire?
You don't...I guess you hadn't seen the movie. That was a quote from the movie when Vinnie's niece told him what was causing the violent shaking of the steering wheel. His reply was the same as yours. They had recently gotten stuck in the mud.

Funny older movie. Might want to check it out. Its about a New York City lawyer down in the southern US.

 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
With only 48k miles I wouldn't think that the struts would be bad unless leaking oil.

Does the car ride smoothly on a smooth road, or can you still feel the shaking? If not, you may have a broken or shifted belt in one of the tires. Does it get worse/better/disappear if you accelerate or decelerate while cruising? That could be a sign if a C/V joint failure, again unlikely at that mileage.

I once had a customers car brought into the shop with what seemed like a tire balance issue. After fighting it for awhile, It turned out that he had aired up his tires at a gas station that had water in their compressor system and had gotten some water into one of tires. Doubt if this would be your problem, but thought I'd mention it.

If you ever saw the movie "My Cousin Vinnie" where his car was shaking due to "mud in the tires"...actually mud getting on the inside of the rims, this can commonly happen with ice and snow also.
Ok so after inspecting the struts. I didn't see any visible oil, lifted the boot and no oil either but there were large amounts of a dried yellow substance beneath the boot. I'm assuming it's the Strut Bumber but am I right in thinking it shouldn't be turning to dust? lol Also in the photo below you can see where the mount has lifted because there's no dirt under the area where it makes contact. When I put weight on the front of the car it moves slightly. Again I'm no expert but I would think there should be no movement.
I'm still going to take it to the shop since I was wrong about the bushings before and maybe I'm wrong about this too. If the mechanic comes to the same conclusion then I'll know what to look for next time.

I do have a question though for other HRV owners. I didn't see any visible bolts holding this in place so is this the only thing securing the strut?

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Ok so after inspecting the struts. I didn't see any visible oil, lifted the boot and no oil either but there were large amounts of a dried yellow substance beneath the boot. I'm assuming it's the Strut Bumber but am I right in thinking it shouldn't be turning to dust? lol Also in the photo below you can see where the mount has lifted because there's no dirt under the area where it makes contact. When I put weight on the front of the car it moves slightly. Again I'm no expert but I would think there should be no movement.
I'm still going to take it to the shop since I was wrong about the bushings before and maybe I'm wrong about this too. If the mechanic comes to the same conclusion then I'll know what to look for next time.

I do have a question though for other HRV owners. I didn't see any visible bolts holding this in place so is this the only thing securing the strut?

View attachment 35317
This is why it's always best to post with a picture, as they say "it's worth a thousand words" Nothing wrong here. Some movement up and down is normal. Where you want to look for signs of leakage is under the car, as pictured by the red arrow.
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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
This is why it's always best to post with a picture, as they say "it's worth a thousand words" Nothing wrong here. Some movement up and down is normal. Where you want to look for signs of leakage is under the car, as pictured by the red arrow. View attachment 35318
Oh, I already looked there. That was what my first sentence was referring to. As I said, there was no leak there just a build up of yellow sand like substance. Not sure if it's the bumper above that is falling apart.

I checked the top mount afterwards. Regarding your comment though, the strut mount is supposed to have play? That seems unusual because I replaced the rear ones and for sure there is no gap like that, although those were just shocks. The fact that I can see dust just starting to accumulate beneath that gap in the pic suggests that the area wasn't always exposed, if it was I don't think it would be that clean compared to the outside area. I could be wrong of course so will just have to see when I take it to the shop in the week. I'll report back what they find
 

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Oh, I already looked there. That was what my first sentence was referring to. As I said, there was no leak there just a build up of yellow sand like substance. Not sure if it's the bumper above that is falling apart.

I checked the top mount afterwards. Regarding your comment though, the strut mount is supposed to have play? That seems unusual because I replaced the rear ones and for sure there is no gap like that, although those were just shocks. The fact that I can see dust just starting to accumulate beneath that gap in the pic suggests that the area wasn't always exposed, if it was I don't think it would be that clean compared to the outside area. I could be wrong of course so will just have to see when I take it to the shop in the week. I'll report back what they find
I haven't looked but I would think that there should be a cover over the strut mount area.

Some up and down flexing of the rubber mount is normal when the car is bounced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I haven't looked but I would think that there should be a cover over the strut mount area.

Some up and down flexing of the rubber mount is normal when the car is bounced.
ok gotcha. Well if that is normal then I've exhausted all potential areas. The more obvious culprit would be the strut since those usually wear out pretty early and I have never changed them before but let's see. Hopefully that is it and not something more costly.
 

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This is the first Honda that I've owned, so I really can't comment on the life expectancy of their struts. 47,000 Mi doesn't seem like a lot to me. I can tell you that my Toyota and Subaru both had/have over 112,000 miles without strut replacement. The rear of the 2003 Forester now seems to be a getting a bit bouncy at times, I'm sure they could stand to be replaced (they won't be) but the car still rides pretty well, better than the HRV actually.

Maybe some other owners with higher mileage HRV's can give you a better idea of when the struts crap out. Of course YMMV, how you drive and the road conditions will have a effect on their longevity
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
So I decided to take it to the Honda service center, figured it might be easier if it's a quick fix and they have the parts. They gave me a quote for over $2k saying it's an issue with the Steering Rack Pinion and that would need replacing. None of the issues I'm having is related to that so I'm a bit skeptical, especially since they told me it's both the steering rack pinion AND the Control arms. I had to leave the car because I had work so I wasn't there to get the explanation directly from the mechanic but I'm going to try a mechanic near me to get a second opinion.
 

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Sounds like the mechanic doesn't know what is causing it. This is what technicians call the "shotgun" method. You just start blowing things away until you hit on the part causing the problem. I'd definitely get a 2nd opinion. If it is the tie-rods ends that are loose in the steering rack, they alone can be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Sounds like the mechanic doesn't know what is causing it. This is what technicians call the "shotgun" method. You just start blowing things away until you hit on the part causing the problem. I'd definitely get a 2nd opinion. If it is the tie-rods ends that are loose in the steering rack, they alone can be replaced.
You're absolutely right. I went in the morning to pick up the car and I pressed them for a direct answer. The mechanic pointed to these hairline wears on the control arm bushing. While I'm not an expert I have seen far worse in cars that didn't have this bounce that I am experiencing. So it's clear that he just doesn't really know what the problem is. If the next mechanic I go to says the same thing then I'll be shocked but even if it is the issue, from what he's saying it shouldn't require replacing the entire control arms which is what they wanted me to pay for.

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I agree, if these bushings were a common point of failure, I'm sure that one of the many members here would have mentioned it. Hard to tell from just a pic, but from what I see, they look OK.

Replacing just the bushings can be a real PIA. Especially if you don't have the proper tools. Complete replacement control arms can usually be had for around $100, so most techs opt to go that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
These minor hairline socalled cracks are normal in a perfectly functioning rubber bush in any LCA, according to some oem literature.
I figured as much. They did a test drive and the guy doing it obviously wasn't aware of the issue I came there to fix because he seemed unbothered by the bounciness of the car. Because I drive it every day and friends who I carry before and after the issue immediately noticed the ride was uncomfortable. So it seems it's not an obvious problem unless you've driven the car before or drive it for long periods.

Since they checked the entire suspension and those hairline cracks are all they could find, I can't help but think that it's the struts that are going bad but because they're not completely broken you won't notice a significant difference. Since I drive it daily I immediately notice how the car bounces more than it did before. I'm going to see what the other mechanic says on the weekend but if he finds no problem then I'm going to just replace the struts myself and see if it fixes the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Took longer than I had hoped but eventually got a resolution. I took the car to get it aligned and the mechanic noticed underneath the rear control arm bushings was ripped. I missed it and I guess the guys at Honda did too. Needless to say I did not pay the $2k Honda wanted me to pay to replace both Control Arms+Steering Rack & Pinion. Instead I just bought the bushings and had them pressed in, total cost about $100. Seems like finding a mechanic who will actually do a thorough check is easier said than done, everyone just wants to replace anything they find without first doing a proper diagnosis.
 

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Took longer than I had hoped but eventually got a resolution. I took the car to get it aligned and the mechanic noticed underneath the rear control arm bushings was ripped. I missed it and I guess the guys at Honda did too. Needless to say I did not pay the $2k Honda wanted me to pay to replace both Control Arms+Steering Rack & Pinion. Instead I just bought the bushings and had them pressed in, total cost about $100. Seems like finding a mechanic who will actually do a thorough check is easier said than done, everyone just wants to replace anything they find without first doing a proper diagnosis.
I agree, most techs these days get paid Flat Rate for the work they do and as such they are in a hurry to get the job done. It takes time to do a thorough diagnosis and that doesn't pay. Not to mention that a lot of techs don't even know what to look for. Good auto techs are far and few between, many are really just parts changers. If all you need is new brakes, struts, fluid changes, etc, they can handle it.

Sounds like even if you would have gave Honda the go on the $2000.00 repair, you'd still have the problem. I have to say that I am surprised to see that the bushing failed at this mileage. I wonder if it had been damaged somewhat when initially installed.

Thanks for posting the update, maybe it will save someone else some grief. Glad to hear that you got it resolved.
 

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Our cars are generally the most complex consumer product we'll ever own.

At Honda there's probably a team of 300 people associated with suspension bushing engineering.

These days a tech has to pretty well be a genius to fix anything unless OBDII is very specific, a part is obviously broken, and/or missing entirely.

Near impossible to be an adequate tech these days.
 
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