Car starting to vibrate on highway and transmission leaks a lot

Hi guys,

I was on the highway this morning and everything was fine until the steering wheels and the whole car start vibrating a lot. I was able to come back home driving 20km at around 40km/h

It's not doing it when I'm below 60km/h. It's also not doing it when I brake. And I have the impression it's coming from the back.

Tires are good, I changed the back shocks 3months ago and the top left engine mount bushing last year. The car has 180.000 km.

I had a similar issue on a old Mercedes van I had, that was the bearing wheels, at this time the wheel hub was super hot so I checked this time on this car when I came back but it wasn't hot.

Any idea??

Thanks a lot.
 
Last edited:
:
MZ5 -11
My first guess would be winter, if you have winter there, check that there isn't any snow or ice inside the rim. I have had couple times snow and that vibrating has scared very good.

Second guess would be to check that all the wheel nuts are tight.
 
:
2010 Mazda 5 Sport
Swap that tire and rim up front and I bet the vibration moves up front. Swapping side to side and it may be hard to feel it change.

If it's really bad, I bet you'll be able to roll the tire and see it.
 
So I looked more into it this week end:

I did drive around my block to feel the symptoms, and when I came back, I realized a lot of oil was in the back lane.
1644804507338.png

I lift the car and look underneath and realized that was coming from the transmission...

So I don't know if the wheel bearing or CV axles was bad and damaged the transmission to leaks during my test drive. Or if the leaks from the transmission result in the car to vibrate... or something else.

Any idea on where to start?? :sneaky:

Thanks
 
Last edited:
:
MZ5 -11
If it's trans oil, you should check the oil level in transmission fast as possible.

In automatic trans, low oil level may cause lots of different problems.
 
If it is the hub bearing there may be some play in the hub. With the car up in neutral wiggle the wheel back and forth holding it at the 6 o'clock and 3 o'clock position. Have someone look at the inside to see if the hub is moving independently from the knuckle. To check for hub bearings at the shop we used to just put the car up in the air with someone "driving" so you could listen to each bearing with a stethoscope. Bearing noises usually are worse at highway speeds and they are hard to diagnose while driving.
 
Hi, thanks Maikel and Klone,

I just lifted the car and did some investigation. I found a lot of play going from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock and it seems to be the lower ball joint that is loose. Is it possible that this is the only problem? will the ball joint failure result to have vibration only above 60Km/h?

@klone121 are you saying 6 o'clock and 3 o'clock position or you wanted to say something different? I always heard 12-6 or 3-9 but never 6-3. Thanks

I couldn't really find any source of leaks for the transmission, there is oil all over. Do you think the ball joint could have failed and cause the shaft ouput seal to leaks? or damage something else? I'm still not sure about the bearing situation.

Thanks 🙏
 
So I did a bit of progress today, I jacked up the car and started. No leak in Neutral but in Drive it's leaking a lot and I heard a big "clunk" noise when I shifted from neutral to drive.

I showed on the picture where the leaks is coming from.

I'm planning to remove the transmission and have a look.

1645221135078.png


1645221177635.png
 
So I've made some good progress today, removing the transmission and looked at it.

There is a big hole in the case just above the CV Axles....

1645491685234.png


1645491710201.png


1645491739630.png


Its pretty crazy, I don't know how this happened...

Do you think it is fixable? I guess I will have to open it, change the case, but I don't know how far I will have to go to clean from all the small broken pieces. I never opened a transmission...

Any recommendation?
 
Update: The CV axle was actually the issue, it has play and so with the vibration it damaged the transmission housing...
Wow! That's wild. Did the lock ring fail? It is pretty rare to see a CV joint go catastrophic like that without a torn boot letting dirt and debris into the Cage. Usually flings grease all over the car when the boot fails too. Sounds like you'll need a Trans and a new CV Axle. The other side could also be damaged.

1653407505090.png
 
Hi, thanks Maikel and Klone,

I just lifted the car and did some investigation. I found a lot of play going from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock and it seems to be the lower ball joint that is loose. Is it possible that this is the only problem? will the ball joint failure result to have vibration only above 60Km/h?

@klone121 are you saying 6 o'clock and 3 o'clock position or you wanted to say something different? I always heard 12-6 or 3-9 but never 6-3. Thanks

I couldn't really find any source of leaks for the transmission, there is oil all over. Do you think the ball joint could have failed and cause the shaft ouput seal to leaks? or damage something else? I'm still not sure about the bearing situation.

Thanks 🙏
Sorry I'm so late on replying to this- Its best to lift car and neutral and move tire in and out on both the lateral (12 and 6)-ball joints and the horizontal (3 and 9)-tie rods and hub bearing. There is also an axle seal where the CV joint pushed into the trans that can fail to cause leaking often called an axle seal or output shaft seal.