It’s shaking at high speeds because of a wheel or steering-related problem. In most cases, it’s a bad wheel bearing, unbalanced tires, damaged wheel, or faulty u-joint(drive line component).
Experiencing shaking or trembling when driving at high speeds is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Therefore, it's crucial to address this issue promptly to prevent any accidents or damage to your car.
To ensure your safety and prevent any further damage, it's recommended to take your car for a vehicle health inspection. By addressing the underlying cause of the vibrations, you can ensure that your vehicle is safe and reliable to drive at all speeds.
Ensuring your car's tires have the right air amount is essential. If you put too much air in the tires (this is called "overinflating"), it can cause problems. The tire won't be able to grip the road as well, and it could bounce like a basketball. This bouncing makes the car vibrate at high speeds and wears out the middle of the tire faster than the edges.
The wheel bearings help the wheels spin smoothly and stay upright in your car. However, they can wear out over time and start causing some problems. If you have a worn-out wheel bearing, the wheel becomes harder to spin and feels rough. This can make the car shake or vibrate when you're driving. You might also notice noise from the wheel bearing, especially when turning the car at high speeds.
When driving, the tires always wear down slightly. As the tires wear down, they become unbalanced, so they don't spin as smoothly as they did. When a tire is unstable, it can bounce up and down on the road while driving. This bouncing can cause the tread on the tire to become uneven, which is called "cupping." When a tire is unbalanced for too long, it causes the car to shake when going around 50 miles per hour or faster. The shaking can worsen the quicker you go.
When changing a tire on a car, it's essential to ensure the lug nuts are correctly tight. The lug nuts are the screw-like things that hold the wheel onto the car. However, tightening them too much can stretch the metal studs that the lug nuts screw onto. This can weaken the studs, and they might break off while you're driving, which is dangerous! But if you don't tighten the lug nuts enough, they might become loose, and the wheel could wobble or shake when driving at high speeds. This wobbling can make the car vibrate, posing safety risks and uncomfortable rides.
You might accidentally hit a curb or a big pothole when driving, damaging the edge of the vehicle's wheel. This makes the wheel not spin perfectly round anymore, even wobbling it slightly. In this case, the vibrations will predominantly come from the damaged wheel.
The U-joint helps the driveshaft spin so the wheels can turn. It comprises little needle bearings, an outer cup, and an inner yolk. Over time, these parts can wear down and get loose, causing your car to shake. You might feel this shaking in your seat while you're driving. As the U-joint wears more, you might notice its lubrication grease seeping out.
Explore the following typical inspection results that show a potential cause for the symptom and select the one you believe is similar to your vehicle's issue.
The proof image shows how over-inflated tires can cause wear down in the middle, making it dangerous and leading to additional damage to the vehicle.
A customer dropped off their vehicle, concerned about a very high-speed vibration they noticed. Additionally, they mentioned that the tires on the car were wearing out.
During the test drive, the technician confirmed a slight tire vibration when the car reached about 68 mph. The shaking was noticeable in both the steering wheel and the seat.
After a vehicle health inspection, the technician found that the tires were over-inflated, according to the door sticker. Additionally, all four tires had worn down the tread in the center. This wear pattern is consistent with over-inflation and can lead to dangerous driving conditions.
Based on their findings, the technician recommends that all four tires be replaced and inflated to the pressure specified in the door placard. They also recommend a four-wheel alignment, improving tire wear and handling.
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