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Impreza shuddering and slowing down.


Nick89
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Hi all. On a recent trip back from up North, I started feeling a bit of a shudder in my Impreza. Its a 1998 2 liter auto naturally aspirated rocket ship. I could feel it through the steering wheel, and got worse as I braked / slowed down. Naturally I pulled over to the side of the road, and had a look at my tires. In the past, I've had a similar issue with the steel belts in the tires breaking and the tire getting a bulge in it (****ing potholes). But the tires were fine, and all my wheel nuts were on tight. So I carried on.....and the wobble had gone! A few kilometers later, after doing some braking, its started happening again. And it carried on like this the whole way home.....would shudder for a bit, then clear up.

When I got home, I unpacked all my gear, and went for a few laps around the block. Same issue. Would be fine for a bit, then start shuddering. But this time, I noticed the car slowing down...almost like I'd yanked the handbrake up a few notches. I really had to put my foot into it to get it to go!

So what do you experts reckon? Im a bit basic when it comes to diagnosing, but I can fix most things myself. CV joint? Wheel bearing? Something more terminal? If anyone has had this issue before, or could point me in the right direction, that'd be much appreciated. Cheers.

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Had the front wheels of this morning. Rotors turn freely by hand, or as freely as they should. Front left CV boot is torn. Not making any knocking noises so I doubt the CV joint is buggered.

Took my old man for a drive this morning, he's an ex motor mechanic so he has at least half a clue. Drove for about 10 minutes around suburbia without any issues. After 10 minutes, the shaking reappeared, and got progressively worse. It was again accompanied by the dragging feeling when coasting. Went for a short trip down the motorway, still shuddering, and off an off ramp. Shuddering to a halt at the bottom of the off ramp, we waited for the lights to go green, and when taking off, it was completely shudder free from then on all the way home. Bizarre. It almost feels as if something is out of round??

I'm not sure if its brakes binding up, as it doesn't pull to one side under braking. Unless its both front brakes binding evenly?? Then again, theres no vibration or pulsing through the brake pedal either....so I'm fairly certain its not brakes. I'll keep tinkering and let you know what I find....

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Sounds possible, but there was no movement in the wheel when I gave it the wriggle test. I've just had the caliper off, which was tight, and the brake piston is REALLY hard to squash back in. Ive got a g-clamp on it, and it doesn't want to budge. Even with the bleed nipple open a fraction its still solid as. Possibly seized caliper? I'll keep on skinning my knuckles, throwing tools and swearing heaps, and get back to you with any progress! Cheers for the feedback guys.

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 Joker said:
another vote calliper, & not necessarily the front neither

I say that because I had feedback though the steering wheel from a bulge in the rear tire once on

A+ seizing caliper remove pads and check pistons n caliper can move back

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Yep, I pretty certain the caliper is seized. No movement in it whatsoever, even with a g-clamp. Whats the fix? Is it a new seal kit or something? And is it something I can do myself or do I have to fork out for an expert?

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Go to pickapart and get another complete caliper. They're cheap as dirt.

Worth spending the extra $10 and getting a proper flare nut spanner too, the brake line fittings tend to be soft as **** and if you round one off you'll be cursing.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Problem solved! It did turn out to be a seized caliper. Front left. Looks like a classic case of water in the brake fluid. Obviously the previous owners never thought to change it. My old mans mate who is doing the job said it was the second worst seized caliper he's ever dealt with! Hard case. Easy fix, cheers for the feedback.

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