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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2004 SF AWD 3.5L with 143k miles on it. I have been going through a lot to discover the issue of vibration to the tune of over $600 between three places who diagnosed and/or repaired.

Problem

It started as mild vibration in the pedal where I could drive up to 60mph and then slowly increased to heavy car shaking. Eventually the vibration got to the point I couldn't do more than 60mph and only drive in the far right lane on the highway (to not be in others way). I'm pretty sure at night the cars saw the car shaking so badly because the tail lights might have been a giveaway. Cars and trucks move from behind me due to speed and the crazy shaking when I am trying to keep up. It's been at least five weeks and I do not drive anywhere I don't have to.

History of recent repairs

End of May front brake pads changed. June 10th all four tires replaced new. Vibration started July 9th. Center bearing replaced July 15th. Hyundai, private mechanic and tire place made diagnoses on July 19th. July 24th rear brake pads replaced. August 3rd front rotors and brake pads replaced.

Diagnoses

I truly know that everyone (minus Hyundai, I assume they did) has test drove and felt the vibration and think it is totally unreal at how much the car shakes. Like strange, odd, unusual, excessive, etc...

Goodyear said it was the center support bearing, replaced it at $314, vibration remained. They then said it was the transfer case and differential (work they don't do). They had changed the transfer seal prior to this issue but no clue how related it is.

Hyundai said it was both front axles @ $1316, paid the $108 diagnostic fee and left. Would have replaced the axles as Autozone has them for $59 each but, I couldn't get a 2nd opinion to mimick that.

Private mechanic said it was a busted belt in tire and then that it was the rack and pinion. He never followed up so I assume he didn't want to do the work. He didn't charge me for the diagnosis.

The tire place rebalanced all tires, said it was the axles, bearings, u-joints or motor mount. They didn't charge me anything.

Citgo thought it was the front rotors and brake pads, replaced both at about $202, vibration stopped tremendously but restarted to the 60-70mph range in about 5 days.

After Citgo saw it still vibrated somewhat they said it was the u-joint. I went back to Goodyear to have them show me what they changed as the receipt description said rear u-joint (this car has no rear u-joint). They said they used that because there was no center support bearing description in the system. Anyway, Goodyear showed me why it wasn't the axles, rack and pinion, and u-joints. I saw everything and both axles were strong and they said two axles rarely need replacing at one time. There isn't a rear u-joint and the front one was ok, according to them, I don't really know.

So back to the transfer case/differential. That entire long black cylinder tubing that leads from the front to the back where the AWD power gets transferred, has some "play" in it. It moves basically and Goodyear doesnt think that it should move and that the movement causes the vibration while accelerating. I asked them if this could be tightened, they said no and that it would cost between $2k-$5k and that they do not do this kind of work.

Inquiring mind

So... I would like to know if anyone has had or noticed their transfer case (the front section where the silver cami looking thing that is at the beginning of the black cylinder tubing, possibly the transfer case or differential) having play/movement? If so, what did it take to fix it? Is it true it can't just be tightened? Was it really a $2k-$5k dollar fix?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
 

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I have a 2004 SF AWD 3.5L with 143k miles on it. I have been going through a lot to discover the issue of vibration to the tune of over $600 between three places who diagnosed and/or repaired.

Problem

It started as mild vibration in the pedal where I could drive up to 60mph and then slowly increased to heavy car shaking. Eventually the vibration got to the point I couldn't do more than 60mph and only drive in the far right lane on the highway (to not be in others way). I'm pretty sure at night the cars saw the car shaking so badly because the tail lights might have been a giveaway. Cars and trucks move from behind me due to speed and the crazy shaking when I am trying to keep up. It's been at least five weeks and I do not drive anywhere I don't have to.

History of recent repairs

End of May front brake pads changed. June 10th all four tires replaced new. Vibration started July 9th. Center bearing replaced July 15th. Hyundai, private mechanic and tire place made diagnoses on July 19th. July 24th rear brake pads replaced. August 3rd front rotors and brake pads replaced.

Diagnoses

I truly know that everyone (minus Hyundai, I assume they did) has test drove and felt the vibration and think it is totally unreal at how much the car shakes. Like strange, odd, unusual, excessive, etc...

Goodyear said it was the center support bearing, replaced it at $314, vibration remained. They then said it was the transfer case and differential (work they don't do). They had changed the transfer seal prior to this issue but no clue how related it is.

Hyundai said it was both front axles @ $1316, paid the $108 diagnostic fee and left. Would have replaced the axles as Autozone has them for $59 each but, I couldn't get a 2nd opinion to mimick that.

Private mechanic said it was a busted belt in tire and then that it was the rack and pinion. He never followed up so I assume he didn't want to do the work. He didn't charge me for the diagnosis.

The tire place rebalanced all tires, said it was the axles, bearings, u-joints or motor mount. They didn't charge me anything.

Citgo thought it was the front rotors and brake pads, replaced both at about $202, vibration stopped tremendously but restarted to the 60-70mph range in about 5 days.

After Citgo saw it still vibrated somewhat they said it was the u-joint. I went back to Goodyear to have them show me what they changed as the receipt description said rear u-joint (this car has no rear u-joint). They said they used that because there was no center support bearing description in the system. Anyway, Goodyear showed me why it wasn't the axles, rack and pinion, and u-joints. I saw everything and both axles were strong and they said two axles rarely need replacing at one time. There isn't a rear u-joint and the front one was ok, according to them, I don't really know.

So back to the transfer case/differential. That entire long black cylinder tubing that leads from the front to the back where the AWD power gets transferred, has some "play" in it. It moves basically and Goodyear doesnt think that it should move and that the movement causes the vibration while accelerating. I asked them if this could be tightened, they said no and that it would cost between $2k-$5k and that they do not do this kind of work.

Inquiring mind

So... I would like to know if anyone has had or noticed their transfer case (the front section where the silver cami looking thing that is at the beginning of the black cylinder tubing, possibly the transfer case or differential) having play/movement? If so, what did it take to fix it? Is it true it can't just be tightened? Was it really a $2k-$5k dollar fix?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!
I notice the first thing you list is the transfer case seal. If you let it get too low on oil for too long, you could have damaged the transfer case and it is on it's last legs. I know there have been several carrier bearings go bad that cause vibrations, but I would think that would be the center bearing you talked about being replaced by Goodyear.
 

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Shaking/vibration is always something in motion.. Rack and brakes is static..

Harsh vibration under load (acellerating) and then cease when foot removed for accell pedal to a smooth roll is good indication of axle problem if shake at front.

Seen a SM where the rear member for the upper differential mount got bent, driveshaft met differential on slight angle and tore up the rubber coupling, make sure they straight in line.

I have never replaced carrier bearing in 9 3/4yr Hyundai...

Transfer leak.. better keep it full of oil, it need chage every once in a while.. ever see aged rotten gear oil staining and black filth/stench in a Hyundai transfer case,,, it nasty.. go a long way if clean oil kept in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Johnaauld and sbr711 for your great responses!!

Johnaauld -- Yes, the center support bearing was also termed "carrier" by Goodyear so it's probably the same just labeled differently on the work order receipt.

sbr711 -- I had suspension work Aug 2012 on the left front side because a bearing was loose or something to that nature. I went into Goodyear about it because I would always hear a click-click noise when I would back out of my driveway and turn to go towards the right. They charged me over $700 for the left side and wanted both sides done but I could not afford that on short notice.

You both have brought something to my attention though, that I am pretty certain can be the culprit to Goodyear's transfer case detection. I bought the car December 2011 and Goodyear has taken care of it the entire time. I have never had the transfer case oil changed/filled except when the seal was replaced this past spring. Unless that's something they top off during oil changes, it's been done once in 19mos. If that length of time was neglect then it would explain why the transfer case may have rotted and be on its last legs. Sheesh...

Thank you both for your helpful advice.
 
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