06 Lacrosse shimmy at highway speeds, notably when windows are cracked??

showme

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Hi, I'm new to this forum, but this problem has been ongoing for awhile, so I need to find the solution. First, let me say that we got this car from my mother in law with 50k on it. She is elderly and drove it seldom. It's always been well maintained. Since it's "my wife's car" I'm normally the passenger, so I notice things my wife doesn't. Here's the problem- The car runs great, steers fine, and the previous tires which were on it when we bought it from her mom wore evenly and didn't seem to have any issues. When we get on to the highway and pick up speed with the windows up, I don't really notice it, but if we crack the windows, especially the rear windows, I can 'hear' what sounds like a shimmy or wobble like sound very clearly. I told my wife early on about it. We're both retired, so there aren't a lot of trips on the highway, but occasionally a trip to St. Louis is made (an hour north of us). We took a trip to Phoenix last fall, so I replaced the tires with new Michelins (the old one's weren't Michelins), and it seemed to help clear things up. On the other hand, we had the windows up the entire trip. The other day, we took a ride up to St. Louis, and the weather was fair, so we cracked the rear windows, and I heard the original "wow-wow-wow" (for lack of a better description) again. It sounds like it's at the rear of the car, although it sounds like the whole car is involved. Maybe that's just because it's the rear windows that are down a few inches, or that I'm in the passenger seat, I don't know. It doesn't affect the steering, and the car doesn't drift either way. Again, the tires still have less than 10k, maybe more like 7-8k. I've done some research and have found everything from cv joints, out of balance drive shafts, out of whack tires and wheels, but I HAVEN'T seen anyone say that this problem is only noticeable when the windows are down or cracked open. We really like this car, but as a guy who use to drive 150 miles a day round trip to work, I don't like anything that seems out of sync with the way a vehicle should drive. Has anyone had this problem? Are there any troubleshooting procedures that would get right to the source of the trouble without having to pay multiple shops to play hit and miss with guessing what's wrong? Any comments or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, Lee Butcher, Park Hills, Missouri
 

2007LucerneCXL

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Not a lot of details regarding the actual sound, a noise with the rear window is cracked isn't much to go on. What happens when all the windows are down? Does it change with speed? When just driving around town is it noticeable? Can it be heard if doing it on the driver's passenger door? Lots of possible answers or it may be nothing at all but it needs to be better defined.
 

MelsRegal

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If the only time it is noticeable is with the rear window cracked open the problem has nothing to do with anything in the front of the car. Furthermore a shimmy or wobble is something you feel either in the steering wheel or the seat of your pants. Are you sure what you are experiencing isnt purely wind noise caused by the open window? The only other possibility is a rear wheel bearing but after all this time I would expect it to be noticeable all the time.
 

showme

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Well, I've given all the details I have to work with. It's the same with the front windows cracked or down, but we usually just crack the back ones if it's nice out. Just driving it around town (speeds below 50mph or so) there is nothing really noticeable. It was noticeable with the windows up before we put on the new tires, but as I said, it seemed to disappear until the other day after those were installed. The shimmying isn't felt so much as heard. I don't even know if shimmy would be the correct word for what is going on. I just know the uneven sound is immediately noticeable when the windows are open at higher speeds than in town driving. I'm a fan of "older" vehicles (my daily driver is a '51 Chevy pick up, original set up, except for a '56 235 engine), and my other truck is a Chevy Silverado 3500 diesel, but I've mainly owned Chevy trucks with 350's over the years. But my wife has owned a Taurus, a Lumina, etc. Never before have I experienced anything like an uneven sounding 'wind rush', or whatever that noise is coming from. Sorry I can't give you anymore details, but these are the details that I have to work with. So I'm assuming this is a problem that no one has had, or never noticed with their 2006 Lacrosse?
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2007LucerneCXL

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Not being able to hear it from this side of the screen has its limits LOL. It may rust on the brake disc's, wheels are not torqued properly, tires are making a noise, it's kind of guessing. Hopefully there's others on the forum that may have suggestions.
 

richardnewton

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I don't feel comfortable with those types of sounds. So I would swing by a good mechanic with a lift to check out the suspension bits and brakes for health & safety purposes.

May just be wind noise. Could be a bearing, brakes or something else which would be more problematic. Maybe a dragging parking brake that needs adjusting (and will save you the cost of a brake job down the line).
 

Alan 55

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If the only time it is noticeable is with the rear window cracked open the problem has nothing to do with anything in the front of the car. Furthermore a shimmy or wobble is something you feel either in the steering wheel or the seat of your pants. Are you sure what you are experiencing isnt purely wind noise caused by the open window? The only other possibility is a rear wheel bearing but after all this time I would expect it to be noticeable all the time.
I believe also that a rear wheel bearing could be a possibility.
 

Rich B.

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Good- bad problem. Now I would think if a bearing or disc hang up you'd maybe hear more of a screeching steady sound. You'd certainly feel an unbalanced wheel on the front but perhaps not rear. Think I recall a similiar sometime phenomena and was due to wind infiltration/air pressure differences and perhaps even wheel design disappating air flow (not Buick).

I'd check for cupping tires not necessiliary straight tread traversing tires and aside from that, guess you don't have a sunroof? Think all was covered in above posts and only things I could think of also- duplicate things.
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