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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've checked all the tires, the brakes, the suspension components, the struts and rear shocks and springs. When it goes down the road, slow or fast speeds, it feels like there's a flat spot in a tire, I mean it's really shaking. It started only recently, and I don't recall hitting any potholes or anything. The tires all rotate smoothly, I've grabbed all of them and gave them a shake top and bottom, and on the sides, and they are solid. The upper strut mounts are solid. I even tried changing the tires front to back. What am I missing? Engine mounts? Dog bone? Clutch? Does this sound familiar to anyone?
 

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2001 and 2002 Jettas, 02J 5-speeds
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I've checked all the tires, the brakes, the suspension components, the struts and rear shocks and springs. When it goes down the road, slow or fast speeds, it feels like there's a flat spot in a tire, I mean it's really shaking. It started only recently, and I don't recall hitting any potholes or anything. The tires all rotate smoothly, I've grabbed all of them and gave them a shake top and bottom, and on the sides, and they are solid. The upper strut mounts are solid. I even tried changing the tires front to back. What am I missing? Engine mounts? Dog bone? Clutch? Does this sound familiar to anyone?
My experience what you were talking about was with 1970 Chevrolet K5 Blazer. We used to drive it all over the ranch in deep South Texas with no potholes. All of a sudden one day driving into town, the thing felt like was going to shake itself apart. It need to the front end alignment. That is the only experience I've had with what you're saying.

The driveshaft(s) could be bad and causing the vibration you're experiencing. It's my experience with when they go bad is a lot of clicking, grinding and clicking when you are turning hard left or right.
 

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It sounds like a cord has broken in one or more tires. Run your hand over the entire tread. All the way around. Anything other than totally flat it suspect. If you find one throw the spare on and see if it resolves the issue.

I had this issue on a truck a couple years ago. I still had reasonable tread and they were 4 to 5 years old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It sounds like a cord has broken in one or more tires. Run your hand over the entire tread. All the way around. Anything other than totally flat it suspect. If you find one throw the spare on and see if it resolves the issue.

I had this issue on a truck a couple years ago. I still had reasonable tread and they were 4 to 5 years old.
Yup, I checked all the tires, inside and out, and the treads, and even swapped the rears with the fronts. The only other tires I've got are the studs, and it's almost time for those. I believe I'll grab a couple and swap the fronts just to check it out. Thanks for the reply.
 

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Years ago had bad vibration quickly develop driving down road. Slowly made it home vibrating the whole way. Turns out replacing passenger side axle fixed it. Believe it was the inner CV joint gone bad. Try jacking car up and check for excessive play on inner joint.
 

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I've checked all the tires, the brakes, the suspension components, the struts and rear shocks and springs. When it goes down the road, slow or fast speeds, it feels like there's a flat spot in a tire, I mean it's really shaking. It started only recently, and I don't recall hitting any potholes or anything. The tires all rotate smoothly, I've grabbed all of them and gave them a shake top and bottom, and on the sides, and they are solid. The upper strut mounts are solid. I even tried changing the tires front to back. What am I missing? Engine mounts? Dog bone? Clutch? Does this sound familiar to anyone?
You've got a bad cv shaft.
 

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2001 and 2002 Jettas, 02J 5-speeds
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I've now got the same thing happening to my '02. I've got no "...clicking, grinding and clicking...". All of the boots are intact also. I'm used to grease being everywhere. That's how I know it's time to replace.

@Rob Craig (or anyone) how does one check that the axle is bad when they seem ok?

Any insight is greatly appreciated.
 

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Broken boot just means dirt got in so it would fail faster; it can still fail? Q: Did the steering wheel shake? That's what mine did on two different cars.
I know it's totally counterintuitive but replacement did the trick. Considering the cost of a mechanic the replacement shafts don't cost much if you replace them yourself (easy job).
 

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2001 and 2002 Jettas, 02J 5-speeds
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I've replaced both on my '01. Both boots were blown so it was a no-brainer. These aren't as obvious.

The '02s are original (214k mi). Is there a way to check them while still in the car before I pull them?

Thank you for your insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Update: Problem solved. Drucifer wins. Turns out there is a broken cord in the tread of the front driver's tire. It's quite a lump there now, but I couldn't detect it when I first checked. Since then, it has become much more pronounced and now I can plainly see it from the side view. It's quite a lump, spanning about 16" of tread. So, what this means is that the problem began in the left rear, since that tire was back there originally, and I have swapped front to back. This car is undriveable now, but I have an appointment for new tires next week. I hope it'll make it the two miles to the shop, thumping down the road. This is one of those situations where you find damage, it'll cost some money, but it's a relief that it's not worse. The front end, axles and struts are all tight. I'm not gonna bother with the spare, because I've got alternative transportation. Thanks everybody for the advice and insights.
 
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