Why does my car shake at high speeds?

Written by jay motes
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Why does my car shake at high speeds?
A car shaking at high speeds can cause be safety hazard. (speedometer image by Joy Fera from Fotolia.com)

At high speeds, even the slightest problems with tires, drive components and suspension systems can be magnified and cause a car to shake. More than just an annoyance, the shaking can cause damage and may even cause the car to wreck.

Tire and Rim Problems

The most likely cause of high-speed shaking is a wheel that is out of balance. Tire shops can balance a tire quickly and inexpensively. However, drivers should first examine the tires for obvious problems such as improper inflation and bulges. Bent rims can also cause a car to shake at high speeds.

Suspension Problems

If no problems are found in the tires or rims, suspension problems are the next most likely cause of a vehicle shaking at high speeds. Worn ball joints allow play in the steering and can cause a car to shake. Shocks and struts that have lost their dampening ability are another possible culprit. Bad motor or transmission mounts may also cause shaking during acceleration.

Axle or Drive Train Problems

Components in the axle or drive train are more likely to make noises when turning, but may also cause shaking. Warped brake rotors may cause shaking at high speeds when the brakes are used. Worn constant velocity (CV) joints and wheel bearings can also cause problems at high speed, and should be inspected for play.

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