96 SE heavy vibration on the Highway - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 09-29-2003, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default 96 SE heavy vibration on the Highway

Hello. I have read a few of the "vibration" posts and not sure if any of them fit. I hope someone can help this newbie. When I am driving at around 100-120 k my car will occasionally start to vibrate as though I am driving over a rumble strip. In fact when it originally started happening I simply thought I had hit a spotty bit of road. It has started to happen more frequently. This only happens at highway speeds and as soon as I release the accellorator it stops.

I have sunk alot into this car in the last year and am not looking forward to more lightening of my nearly empty wallet.

So far this year I have replaced serpantine belt, upper and lower intake gaskets, intake manifold, front pads and rotors.

I know the oil pan needs a new gasket as well. and the rear braks need replacement.
Sigh.

I hope you can help with my shaky ride.

Cheers and thanks.
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Old 09-29-2003, 04:53 AM   #2
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is there any noise with the vibration? is it rpm specific? is the vibration in the wheel or floorboards? try rotating wheels/tires see if anything changes as it wiill be less pronounced on the back. this will tell you its a wheel / tire problem, hopefully its something simple like this, like a tire belt, balancing or bent wheel...

let us know so we can help...
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Old 09-29-2003, 09:06 AM   #3
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I had the same problem when I got up to 65 mph and then It got worse and started happening at 50 mph. Turns out all that I needed to be done was rotate my tires
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Old 09-29-2003, 09:16 AM   #4
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Have ya had your tires balanced lately??,Wheel bearings,cv joints;Check things out!!
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Old 09-29-2003, 03:11 PM   #5
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My 92SSE does the same thing. It kind of feels like it slips into overdrive and then hits a "dead zone" and yes it does feel as though you are driving over rippled pavement..kind of a low groaning sound. It seems to smooth out if you accelerate. I sure hope mine is not a tranny prob...hope yours isn't either. I had a problem where the car would actually buck at about 50-55mph and would not stop until you hit the gas harder. My mechanic changed my wires, plugs, pcv and that problem went away. The low groaning in overdrive is still there though....and so is my crappy airflow from the vents even after cleaning my evap core. I've come to appreciate the car and to overlook certain flaws as it is an overall good vehicle.
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:48 PM   #6
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I took it in for Transmision service and had fluid and filter change and that seems to have done the trick. I love this car (96 SE) but she is getting expensive. Just had front calipers and pads done as well. cost me 500. Add that to upper and lower intake gaskets, manifold, brake cylinders, serpentine belt, oil pan gasket and a few other items up and coming including power steering fluid pump and water pump.

Why do you hate me oh great bonnevile.

Thank you all for your help.
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Old 10-27-2003, 01:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyg
My 92SSE does the same thing. It kind of feels like it slips into overdrive and then hits a "dead zone" and yes it does feel as though you are driving over rippled pavement..kind of a low groaning sound. It seems to smooth out if you accelerate. I sure hope mine is not a tranny prob...hope yours isn't either. I had a problem where the car would actually buck at about 50-55mph and would not stop until you hit the gas harder. My mechanic changed my wires, plugs, pcv and that problem went away. The low groaning in overdrive is still there though....and so is my crappy airflow from the vents even after cleaning my evap core. I've come to appreciate the car and to overlook certain flaws as it is an overall good vehicle.
My first post!

I was browsing the forums and found this discussion interesting. I own a 1992 SE purchased used in 2000. About a month later, I began to experience this problem. Too late to complain about it to the seller. Oh well...

The symptom was exactly as described. A low 'groaning' vibration while cruising in overdrive. I could feel it through everything; the pedals, steering wheel, floor board, etc. My rear-view mirror would even vibrate so much I couldn't see anything in it.

If I backed off the accelerator, it disappeared, but would return again as soon as I resumed speed. If I gave it just a little more gas, the engine seemed very sluggish and the vibration worsened. If I pushed the accelerator down further, it would kick-down and power returned to the engine. It only happened while cruising in OD at 60MPH and above.

So I finally became annoyed enough after about 7K miles to take it into a local repair shop, who test drove it while connected to one of those OBD computer thingies and detected something going on with the TCC, converter, and transmission. They referred me to a transmission shop, who did much the same but performed a more extensive road test.

$1470.00 and a week later, I had a completely rebuilt transmission.

The vibration I experienced was converter 'shudder' at TC lockup. The converter was also slipping, fluctuating between 50~150RPM of slip according to the diagnostic computer. If I recall correctly, acceptable slip is supposed to be 20RPM or less. In addition to a bad TCC assembly, the rebuilder also found a few other internals with extreme wear, due in part to the vibration transmitting through these parts + increased heat.

I planned to drive the car from Michigan to California the following month with the car loaded to the max (I was moving to CA), so I wanted the transmission rebuilt for peace of mind instead of 'patched up'.

Anyway, it ran like a champ through the mountains at 75MPH+. It also runs 250RPM lower at any given cruising speed than it did before and fuel economy improved 4~5MPG.

If you haven't already, you might try replacing your trans fluid with the recommended Dextron III/IIe fluid. As the thread creator discovered, replacing the trans fluid will solve many cases of converter shudder caused by trans fluid that is 'expended' or adulterated by a transmission additive (Duralube, Slick50, Prolong, etc.).

Of course, it won't cure any excessive wear or damage that has already occurred, in which case your trans certainly has an overhaul in its future at some point, but if you could get another 25,000 miles with a $60 'fix' before requiring an overhaul, better later than sooner.
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Old 10-27-2003, 02:09 AM   #8
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we had occaisional bad vibration from the front end, turned out we needed new rotors. the ones we had on were warped. it would vibrate when i came to a strong stop too.
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcsenter
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyg
My 92SSE does the same thing. It kind of feels like it slips into overdrive and then hits a "dead zone" and yes it does feel as though you are driving over rippled pavement..kind of a low groaning sound. It seems to smooth out if you accelerate. I sure hope mine is not a tranny prob...hope yours isn't either. I had a problem where the car would actually buck at about 50-55mph and would not stop until you hit the gas harder. My mechanic changed my wires, plugs, pcv and that problem went away. The low groaning in overdrive is still there though....and so is my crappy airflow from the vents even after cleaning my evap core. I've come to appreciate the car and to overlook certain flaws as it is an overall good vehicle.
My first post!

I was browsing the forums and found this discussion interesting. I own a 1992 SE purchased used in 2000. About a month later, I began to experience this problem. Too late to complain about it to the seller. Oh well...

The symptom was exactly as described. A low 'groaning' vibration while cruising in overdrive. I could feel it through everything; the pedals, steering wheel, floor board, etc. My rear-view mirror would even vibrate so much I couldn't see anything in it.

If I backed off the accelerator, it disappeared, but would return again as soon as I resumed speed. If I gave it just a little more gas, the engine seemed very sluggish and the vibration worsened. If I pushed the accelerator down further, it would kick-down and power returned to the engine. It only happened while cruising in OD at 60MPH and above.

So I finally became annoyed enough after about 7K miles to take it into a local repair shop, who test drove it while connected to one of those OBD computer thingies and detected something going on with the TCC, converter, and transmission. They referred me to a transmission shop, who did much the same but performed a more extensive road test.

$1470.00 and a week later, I had a completely rebuilt transmission.

The vibration I experienced was converter 'shudder' at TC lockup. The converter was also slipping, fluctuating between 50~150RPM of slip according to the diagnostic computer. If I recall correctly, acceptable slip is supposed to be 20RPM or less. In addition to a bad TCC assembly, the rebuilder also found a few other internals with extreme wear, due in part to the vibration transmitting through these parts + increased heat.

I planned to drive the car from Michigan to California the following month with the car loaded to the max (I was moving to CA), so I wanted the transmission rebuilt for peace of mind instead of 'patched up'.

Anyway, it ran like a champ through the mountains at 75MPH+. It also runs 250RPM lower at any given cruising speed than it did before and fuel economy improved 4~5MPG.

If you haven't already, you might try replacing your trans fluid with the recommended Dextron III/IIe fluid. As the thread creator discovered, replacing the trans fluid will solve many cases of converter shudder caused by trans fluid that is 'expended' or adulterated by a transmission additive (Duralube, Slick50, Prolong, etc.).

Of course, it won't cure any excessive wear or damage that has already occurred, in which case your trans certainly has an overhaul in its future at some point, but if you could get another 25,000 miles with a $60 'fix' before requiring an overhaul, better later than sooner.
Good post. TCC slippage is a problem that most don't want to address because of cost. Keeping the fluid changed reguarly will help prevent damage to the TCC.
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Old 10-29-2003, 01:25 AM   #10
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I wonder if the TCC is the problem with my car?...When I accerlate, especially from 1st gear to 2nd the car will shudder( when tranny is cold dosn't do it as bad). Fluid was changed as per Techno procedure in the summer.
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