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Old 03-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #1
Clarke
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Question Crosstour Vibration / Flutter 20 - 25 mph

I have owned a 2010 Honda Crosstour 2WD EX for a little over one year. There is a slight vibration or flutter felt in the gas pedal and steering between 20 and 25 miles per hour during slight to moderate acceleration or going uphill. Allignment, new tires, tire rotation, and balancing does not fix the problem. It does not necessarily occur during shifting. It is only noticeable on smooth roads after the car is warmed up. The dealer noticed it and provided a transmission computer update that they thought fixed it, but it remains the same.

I noticed a couple of old posts on the web with a similar problem, and wondered if anyone else has noticed this or has a solution? Thanks.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
Aceman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
I have owned a 2010 Honda Crosstour 2WD EX for a little over one year. There is a slight vibration or flutter felt in the gas pedal and steering between 20 and 25 miles per hour during slight to moderate acceleration or going uphill. Allignment, new tires, tire rotation, and balancing does not fix the problem. It does not necessarily occur during shifting. It is only noticeable on smooth roads after the car is warmed up. The dealer noticed it and provided a transmission computer update that they thought fixed it, but it remains the same.

I noticed a couple of old posts on the web with a similar problem, and wondered if anyone else has noticed this or has a solution? Thanks.

Can you elaborate a little more? I'm having a hard time figuring out what exactly is taking place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
There is a slight vibration or flutter felt in the gas pedal
Physically in your foot you feel something? Which one is it, vibration, or flutter? And can you describe what your perspective of "flutter" is? (I'm going to rely on our sense of vibration being the same.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarke View Post
and steering between 20 and 25 miles per hour during slight to moderate acceleration or going uphill.
In the steering wheel you feel something? Or you feel like the car is pulling one way or the other? Is the steering wheel also doing the vibrating and/or fluttering?

These things (gas pedal and steering maladies) always happen together? Both in the same sort of "incident" and/or in exact sync a vibration is felt in the steering wheel and in the gas pedal?

And they only happen between 20-25mph when you are ALSO accelerating moderately OR going uphill?

Clarifying on those will help. . .but, so far just throwing out some stuff. . .

- Since the drive train and the steering and unconnected systems I think this might be a perception problem or a "feels like" thing, specifically tires. I know you said you had new tires put on, and tires rotated - were they the same brand and size of tire? Out of curiosity. . .I'm sort of grasping here but it's a goofy scenario. Either way let us know what exact brand and model of tire you have and we'll see if anyone else on the forum has had any problems with them.

- Can you take another 2wd CT from your dealer lot and replicate the problem?

- Has someone else driven the vehicle (without you in it) and experienced the same things? Trying to rule out the variable of you from this equation. If not, have a significant other, friend, co-worked, whatever, drive it and report back to you. Maybe even don't tell them what they are looking for.

- You're not drawing this observation from a steady and repetitive commute to one place are you? Like this will happen on any road, in any town, in any weather condition, right?

- The gas pedal in the CT is totally electronic, it is 100% drive by wire. It is connected to the firewall with a bolt and then connected to a little wiring harness on top, there is no physical feedback mechanism that the pedal could "bark back at you." I'm wondering if *everything* isn't vibrating, and your butt isn't feeling it because of the insulation disconnect of the seat. . .maybe get a half full cup of water with no lid on it and put it in a cup holder, see if it is vibrating in sync with the steering wheel and/or gas pedal.

- Does the vibration / flutter have any correlation to the "eco" light coming on/off? Not that the cylinder shut down is known for being obtrusive at all, it would be a red herring if there was a correlation.

- Things like windows and sunroof being closed or open and HVAC being on or off have been ruled out? I had a '95 VW jetta that would do a very very weird low frequency thunking when one rear window was open or the sunroof was open just a little.

- You could try disabling the active noise cancelling system (this is a stretch, but on my sonic theory. . .), it's fuse A15 under the hood. It will also disable many other things like navi, HVAC controls, power mirrors, power seat controls, probably power door locks - general interior comfort & courtesy things. . .but still, couldn't hurt to try.

- I'm reluctant to go into too many more mechanical troubleshooting things (though I can think of lots, many of which would have thrown a DTC code that your dealer would have seen, in theory), because I have a weird hunch this is either an environmental phenomena (circumstances you are heretofore unaware of in your driving), a personal one (the way you drive, the roads you take, etc.), a bizarre harmonic vibration, or something with the tires or wheels (possible for the wheels to be balanced, but not "true"). Actually swapping wheels would be sorta high on my list of things to check, and also equal (and correct 33psi) air pressure all around, and are they tightening the wheels with a torque wrench? I have been presented with newly installed tires that were majorly F'd up on more than once occasion.

-ace
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #3
Clarke
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Thanks for the reply.

A better word is shudder. It is a vibration / shudder / chuggle from the front end, engine area that I perceive through the pedal / wheel as the seat is soft, as you say. There is no steering pull. It always only occurs at about 22 mph and stops at 25 mph. It does not occur during moderate to heavy acceleration. It is more noticeable after the engine is warm. It does not occur during coasting. It can be prolonged and made more noticeable by driving up a steady smooth hill at 23- 24 mph.

The dealer said that the mechanic felt the vibration. I was not in the car. It was attributed to needing a transmission update.

The new tires are Bridgestone Dueler H/TP-Metric BL 25/65R17 101H, which were actually a replacement due to flat spots on the original tires (car sat a long time on lot), a freebee from a Firestone shop, after the Dealer wanted me to wait to see if the flat spot fixed itself. These are the same brand and size, but a different, actually better higher speed rated tire. The tire shop should have torched them correctly. I have them at 32 psi with a dial air pressure gauge.

The vibration is not in sync with the eco light -- I cannot feel that transition. Not related to windows or AC. I am certain that it is not due to road conditions. It occurs like clockwork anywhere, however very mildly under most conditions.

I still suspect the tires/wheels but they have been rotated and rebalanced by Firestone. Honda service tech, while investigating thumping from flat spots, discovered that the car was way out of alignment. Dealer said this was a known issue from cars being very tightly chained down on rail flatcars during delivery from Ohio, and that I might hear more about it, never did. I wonder if this have damaged a wheel bearing or drive shaft? I asked a Honda tech about the drive shaft and he said that this would be more noticeable at higher speeds.

I plan to bring the car to another Honda dealer and have them check the vibration and also have the Firestone shop rotate (about due) and balance again and check for the problem. I've owned the car 14 months and has 13,100 miles.

Thanks for the diagnostic tips!
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
MichiganRich
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Mine does it too. I haven't tried to get my dealer to do anything about it yet. It really bugs me!

Good explanation. The worst time for me is when I'm pulling onto a side road having turned off a main road and accelerating back up from that magic 22 mph.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:16 AM   #5
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Ok. . .my $0.02, I think it's either continued funkiness with tires, or potentially out of true rims (40% chance), a transmission gremlin (40-45%), or something that is beyond me (15-20%).

- Have you rotated the tires/wheels that are on there now (i.e. with the new tires?)


I'm leaning towards a transmission gremlin because this statement:

It always only occurs at about 22 mph and stops at 25 mph. It does not occur during moderate to heavy acceleration. It is more noticeable after the engine is warm. It does not occur during coasting. It can be prolonged and made more noticeable by driving up a steady smooth hill at 23- 24 mph.

Sounds like very routine transmission functions gone slightly awry. The "moderate to heavy acceleration. . .not during coasting" sounds like either it's screwing up a kickdown (aka downshift) into a lower gear to accelerate, or depending on where you are in the rev range, it's having a hard time upshifting into that next gear as it accelerates (hard to say without being in your car with you and looking at your tach as this happens). It's funny because the transmission behavior in "moderate to heavy acceleration" would be exactly identical only to going up an incline, which you said is the other situation that this happens.

So. . .obviously the tranny is extraordinarily complex and is hard to troubleshoot without having a lot more technical knowledge than I have and also the dealer's HDS technical computer. . .but there are a bunch of things you can do to maybe hone in on it and at least guide the dealer into things it could and couldn't be, so hopefully they can get it resolved in as few visits as possible. If one of the 100 or so sensors in the transmission is smart enough to realize that a part is failing or not sending a signal it will wither illuminate your check engine light and/or blink the "D" indicator in your gauge cluster. However, there's lots of stuff that can happen that won't trigger a DTC (the code that trips the light).

- First thing: check your ATF level under the hood, and also look at the fluid, it should still be bright and translucent. . .if it is dark or gunky in any way that is a major red herring.

- While parked in your driveway try some of the following and note if any of these moves seem to: take a long time to engage; engage too forcefully/with shock; take a long time to disengage.
P to D
D to P
N to D
D to N
P to R
R to P
N to R
P to D3
D3 to P
P to 2
2 to P
P to 1
1 to P
1 to D3
D3 to 1
1 to D
D to 1
N to 1
1 to N
2 to N
N to 2
(if funkiness is detected, note which shifts cause it)

- Can you replicate the same shudder when the tranny is in D3 for the entire episode? If you cannot replicate it in D3 that means the problem might lie with 4th or 5th gear.

- If you manually shift from 1-2-D3 as you accelerate from a stop can you cause the shudder? If so where.

Here are some diags from the dealer service manual. . .before I do that, FYI the torque converter will kick in when you're at a constant speed once you're above 31mph. Torque converter lock/unlock problems are a malady pretty easy to diagnose because they are semi-violent feeling and very throttle sensitive. However it doesn't sound like your issue happens at that speed or above.

So, if we were to think that this is a tranny problem, specifically a problem with a clutch/valve/or solenoid on a gear 1-5, here is where the shifts normally occur under light, medium, and full throttle acceleration. This can help you hone in on what gear might be acting up.

And here are the downshift points again under light, medium, and full throttle.


(note - you're going to want to do that 5th to 4th downshift at full throttle test between 111-121mph at least 5 times to give us any useful data )

Ok - if it's a tranny problem, you'll probably be able to verify that fact and isolate where it's happening (i.e. which particular gear under what kind of throttle, or is it torque converter related [probably not], etc). Obviously this isn't 100% of the tranny diagnostics, but I think this is definitely enough for you to poke it hard enough to get angry. . .if all of this doesn't help isolate it then at least you have some good trial and error to share with your dealer tech.

hope this helps and look forward to next update

-ace
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:29 AM   #6
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I was involved in diagnosing a similar complaint on a Ford a while back. A vibration felt in the pedal and even steering wheel a bit. It turned out to be the ABS system running a test cycle. This particular vehicle was designed to run an ABS test cycle at approximately 1 mile after start up. The customer complained about a vibration in the pedals and steering wheel a bit that lasted about 5 seconds. The tech that was involved was not aware of this test cycle that was designed to cycle the ABS solenoids for 5 seconds as a means to make sure they are fully operational. Often drivers can go many years without ever using their ABS, and this is a way to test and keep everything in good running order. Often car computers can have this test cycle done at unusual intervals. It can be set for time duration, mileage duration or even both. I don’t have access to a CT shop manual at this time, so I don’t know specifically how or if this applies to a CT. This wasn’t even in the Ford shop manual, but was taught at their ABS factory training. Just two more cents to throw in the hat.
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
Clarke
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Yes, I did rotate and re-balance the new tires, there was no change.

The shudder may not be noticed during moderate to heavy acceleration because the car passes through the 22-25 mph range very quickly.

The trany fluid is clean/translucent.

I need to run your other suggested shifting tests. However, it appears that the shudder occurs in either 2nd or 3rd gear in D depending on hill grade and acceleration; I'm still checking this out.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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For the record I tried to "force" my CT do do this this weekend by repeatedly doing some 20-30mph acceleration runs at different velocities and I couldn't feel any funkiness. . .so, it's not a "that's just how they are" thing I guess.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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Update:

I had the wheels rotated and rebalanced again today, which did not help 20-25 mph shudder problem.

I then brought the car to another Honda dealer who performed a "drivability test". They reported: "Did feel concern. Did check for codes (none present). Vech is going into econ mode at that speed (3 cylinders) and the feeling is the torque in between gears (at that speed) Condition is normal."

I question their conclusion because the vibration only occurs under load and I would not expect the econ mode to come on only in that narrow 20-25 range no matter where the car is in the gear range or rpms.

They also blame the torch "lock" or something? Wouldn't that occur at a set spot in the gear range and not at a set speed?

I ran further up hill tests after leaving the dealer and the vibration occurs between 20 and 25 mph in any gear: D, D3, 2, and even in first at very high rpms.

The gear box shifts smoothly back and forth through all gears when standing still.

I wonder if it could be an axle/linkage related problem from the over-tight tie down on the rail cars that the selling dealer said caused an original alignment problem.

Does the Dealer's explanation make sense?
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:16 PM   #10
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Torque converter lockup is what they are talking about, it's the last piece of hardware sandwiched between an automatic transmission and the output end. It will lock the output to the transmission when it can to save gas, when you accelerate out of a steady speed (over 31mph) it will unlock, it will also unlock as you decelerate.

That was one thing I mentioned too as a possibility but the only part that doesn't make sense is the speed you're noticing things happening is under where the torque converter would lock up.

That it vibrated for you in any gear is a sign that should lead us to believe that the problem isn't in the main guts of the transmission, like the gears or the clutches or the valve bodies.

So did the dealer agree with you that something was felt, but that there were no codes thrown, thus it's "normal?"

The railcar thing sounds like total BS, Honda ships 80% of its vehicles made in the US via rail. . .it would be an epidemic if they were doing something wrong. And a lot more CRVs than Crosstours come out of the East Liberty plant and get loaded onto railcars, there should be like 10 CRVs for every CT that has a 25mph shudder if this is the culprit.

I heard they totally baby them when they load them in those railcars!


In all honesty I heard Honda does have some pretty cool railcars.


Long story short - if the dealer agrees that your car is having a vibration, then ask to take a test drive in another crosstour on the lot and show how it can't be duplicated. Then ask for a loaner and tell them to call you when yours is fixed. Start documenting this very well because 3 visits and they can't fix this and you might be able to lemon law it, in my state you could if that were the case.

-ace

Last edited by Aceman; 03-22-2012 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:32 AM   #11
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hello, my wife has the 2011 crosstour awd. I don't drive her car much but i noticed exactly the same problem. I've never taken note of the speed, but to me its basically when the car switches to second gear and u keep accelerating.....there is a few seconds of obvious vibration. As i remember driving the car when it was new it always has done this.....but at first it was almost not noticeable but now its getting worst. The passenger can easily feel it too. My wife never noticed it till i brought it up. To me, that's just not right what the car is doing. She wants to wait for the next oil change to bring it up, i think this is more than balancing the wheels, possibly a tranny problem or axle?
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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Hey DannyG - welcome to the group. Sorry to hear about the shuddering problem, but yes it looks like you've at least come to a place where we can put our heads together on this.

First I just threw up a bunch of links here that may be of interest for you guys with this problem.

Second, I think that maybe making an open Google Docs spreadsheet recording your handle on here, vehicle year, trim level, engine, drive wheels, VIN #, and mileage you first started noticing this would be very helpful, if someone wanted to do that. . .

Who knows, there might be a very clear pattern in VINs or mileage or something that we're not picking up from these sporadic reports but that would be very obvious if they were listed out, even just a handful of them.

In the mean time, I still think doing a ride with a mechanic in your vehicle, showing the problem is real, then riding in a brand new car on the lot and showing it's absent there should be reason enough for them to take your car until they can find out what's going wrong. It's an agressive technique , but I'm somewhat concerned at the #s of reports now. I also wouldn't wait until your 2nd oil change unless it happens to be this week or something.

Super critical for anyone experiencing this (or any sort of chronic plague of a problem under warranty): document your actions very well, if you bring it into the dealer save the invoice and then make a dated note any time it acts up again and immediately make another appointment to bring it into the dealer. God forbid it's a serious problem, you'll only get help if you can show how they were unable to fix it over x # of visits, etc., etc. This is how I got Honda do "goodwill" me an entire $3k air conditioning replacement when I was 5k miles out of warranty, it's because I had a stack of well organized notes and invoices for the 20k miles leading up to it. BMW paid $3500 for a new transmission for me last year for a car that was like 6 years out of warranty. . .If you end up getting something fixed or replaced at an independent shop, save those too - Audi paid me back for catalytic converters I replaced one time, that was like $2k. Good records are a life saver.

Personally I scan everything auto related (invoices, receipts, etc.) to have "hard copies" and I also maintain a Google Doc spreadsheet where I have space to write in more notes or things that might not have an invoice.

Open to ideas on how we can attack this thing!

-ace

Last edited by Aceman; 03-24-2012 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Yep, the second dealer felt it and said that it was normal. Next step is the test drive in another vehicle.

Thanks for the links!

Clarke
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:20 PM   #14
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We have a 2010 CrossTour and it shudders hard at 22mph - The brake, gas peddles, floor shake real hard - we even opened the hood and was able to see the motor shaking real hard. If you drive up a small hill at 22mph - you can really see and feel it real bad.

The dealer replaced one of the drive shafts and it went away for a little bit, but now back even worse. They also warped the rotors tightening the bolts down too tight as well.

It doesn't do it under hard acceleration - only at normal acceleration or driving at 22mph. I really need to get the video camera under the hood to take a video.

I test drove a bunch of others that don't do it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:23 PM   #15
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If Honda calls this shudder a " Normal Operating Condition" this will be my last Honda.
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