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Old 11-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Why does front end of my GMC Yukon XL shimmy?

I own a 2001 GMC Yukon XL ĺ-ton 4x4. I love this vehicle, however, in the past year Iíve noticed on occasion when Iím driving in the mountains, the front end starts to make a growling noise, then the front end starts to shimmy and the steering wheel begins to shake. It starts off very mild, but gradually increases in intensity to the point the steering wheel is shaking violently. I pull over. After I make a complete stop, I pull back onto the road and this noise and shimmying are gone for maybe 5 miles, but will sometime happen again. On some occasions the noise and shimmying/shaking steering wheel will move back and forth sometimes 3-4 inches, but then will gradually decrease and finally disappear. This almost always happens in the mountains either uphill or downhill, but almost never happens on flat terrain.

Iíve brought my vehicle into the dealer at least 5 or 6 times, but they cannot find anything wrong. Iíve even gone on test drives with the mechanic (usually on the freeway), but the problem never recurs. Of course the dealer and freeways are located on relatively flat ground. The mechanic says the electronic computer does not show any codes. They made a thorough inspection and found nothing wrong. I had them check the brakes and they did fine the front rotors had sever hot spots and had to be replaced (@ $900.00), but driving home the problem recurred when we started climbing into the Sierras. The mechanic says the front stabilizer shock absorber looked okay without any leaks and he is reluctant to replace it unless he knows for certain that is the problem.

Iím at a loss what to do now. I donít want to be driving in the mountains and have this problem recur resulting in a breakdown in an isolated area.

Didnít some Jeeps have a similar problem which Chrysler denied was occurring?

Can you give me any suggestions what to do?
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Old 11-08-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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LZ,

Welcome to to forum. The first thing that comes to mind is one of your CV Half Shaft Assemblies is starting to fail. A wheel bearing/hub can also produce like symptoms that you are describing.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:03 PM   #3
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That was the first thing I thought but since the dealer didn't see any thing obvious, I am going to guess the a-arm bushings, or ball joints or something in the steering linkage, idler arm or pitman. I think I would jack it up a little like when it'* on the road on the mountain, have someone jack the wheel back and forth between 10 and 2 and look for play, any little bit is alot on the road
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:40 PM   #4
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I had a very similar problem on a 1997 Olds Bravada. I brought to both dealer and Firestone, and every time they replaced the wheel bearing and the problem seemed better for a while, then would reappear. Finally replaced the CV Half Shaft and never had the problem again. No idea why the dealer could not find the problem.

You don't mention the miles on your Yukon, but if you do the work yourself you can replace the half shafts, wheel bearings, rotors and pads, all at the same time and likely under $600 in name brand parts. Really not a hard job. One single wheel hub replacement at a dealer is typically over $500 in parts and labor.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:08 PM   #5
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Not saying it couldn't be that. But the axles on the 1500s and bigger trucks are pretty big and they bolt to a flange. Personally have not had to replace one and haven't heard of many others having to. On the other hand most every full size with 150k has has had all the steering replaced. I did everything including the steering gear on mine, it was all bad at 150k and the PO didn't even tow anything
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:13 AM   #6
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I had a problem like that years ago on a chevy pick up. Turned out to be something weird going on with front tires
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