Vibrations are the most annoying issues a car can develop, especially when you are enjoying a smooth ride on the road, and your car starts to shake at 60 MPH.
This experience can be terrifying if you find yourself in such a situation. Car shakes could be caused by faulty wheels, tires, steering wheels, low transmission fluid, or bad spark plugs.
But how can you put a permanent stop to this?
In this article, we will explore the major causes of this problem, things to do, and what to look out for.
Why Does My Car Shake While Driving?
When your car shakes, it indicates there’s a problem with the;
- Tie rods
- Transmission fluid
- Brakes and brake calipers
- Motor mounts
As a driver, your car should move smoothly on flat surfaces at any speed. However, if your car has been with you over a long period of time, it may likely develop some kind of issues, and shaking can be one of them.
So, here are the major reasons why your car shakes at a certain speed.
What Causes My Car to Shake at 60 MPH?
➢ Tyre-related Issues:
Tires play an important role in vehicular movements. To enjoy a smooth ride, all car tires must be in good shape.
However, to prevent your car from shaking at high speeds, you must pay close attention to these common culprits:
Unbalanced tyres have been one of the major culprits behind this problem in vehicles. One of the common signs of an unbalanced tyre is vibrations.
At this point, you will feel the vibration coming from the steering wheel and foot pedals whenever you are approaching a certain speed, usually on a highway.
Worn-out tires are one of the reasons your car shakes at 60 mph. To identify a worn-out tire, you must inspect your tires regularly, and change the affected ones when and where necessary.
Expired tires can play a role in car shakes. While driving at 60 mph, your car’s vibration intensifies as the speed increases.
Damaged wheels are also another reason why your car shakes at 60 mph. This is usually caused by bad potholes, and the bad condition of the road which can cause the wheels to bend, or fall out of balance.
Low tire pressure
This is similar to unbalanced tires. Low-pressure tires have lower resonance frequency. You will notice your car shaking when driving due to improper tyre pressure or when your tires are not properly aligned.
➢ Brake-related Issues:
Brakes play an important role in the movement of a car. Good brakes allow smooth car movements without vibrations.
However, if you feel vibrations from your car when you apply the brakes, your car may be having either of these problems;
- Worn out brakes
- Warped brake rotor
- Rusted brakes
- Rusted or worn-out brake calipers
Another culprit behind your car vibrations could be worn out or rusted brake calipers.
Keep in mind that there are certain things to look out for whenever your car shakes as a result of faulty brakes.
- Burning smell that won’t stop as long as you keep driving
- Vibrations from the brakes at 60 miles per hour
- Vibrations from the steering wheel at 30 mph
Apart from car shakes as a result of a bad brake system, brake fluid leakage could lead to brake failure. It is important to check your brakes before driving out.
➢ Axle Issues:
A bent axle can also be suspected when your car shakes or vibrates at a certain speed. Axle problems are usually common in vehicles that have been involved in any kind of accident or collision.
In the course of the collision or accident, axles are either bent or broken, thereby causing vibrations as you increase the speed.
➢ Engine Problems:
Car jerking or shaking is usually common if sufficient oxygen, spark, or fuel isn’t getting to the engine. At this point, you will notice your car shaking from the engine compartment when the speed of your vehicle is increased.
However, if your vehicle shakes while driving, it could indicate either of these:
- Dirty fuel injector
- Clogged fuel injector
- Faulty spark plugs
- Clogged air filter
- Dirty air filter
1. Steering Components:
Many car steering components are used to enable the car to turn from one side to the other side. However, each of those parts must be in good and stable condition to make turns smooth and effective.
The most common steering issue is the power steering issue. Power steering has a role to play in vehicular movements, and could be responsible for the shakey or vibrating movements arising from the car.
You can always check the power steering fluid leakage. These leaks could come from the hoses.
If you notice these shakes upon turning the steering wheel, it can indicate a problem with the steering wheel which is responsible for the shaking and vibrations.
2. Bad Radiator Fan
A faulty car radiator fan won’t directly affect the engine’s performance but will cause your car to shake when driving.
When you turn on your vehicle engine, the fan attempts to turn, but it teeters instead as a result of its bad condition. As you speed up, the wobbling from the fan will definitely shake the car.
3. Dirty or Clogged Fuel Injector
A dirty fuel injector can also be the reason your car shakes, especially when accelerating between 60 – 70 mph. A dirty fuel injector makes your car lose power while accelerating at a certain speed.
4. Low Transmission Fluid
A common cause of vibrations is low or no transmission fluid. A low transmission fluid can mean trouble.
Transmission fluid should be checked regularly in order to enable the car to function effectively. Always check your transmission fluid level, and add your car’s correct transmission fluid for a smooth ride.
5. Bad Spark Plugs
Car spark plugs are usually overlooked but they play an important role in vehicular movements. They ignite the combustion required for your car to start.
They send out some bolts of electricity through a small gap which ignites both the fuel and air mixture, putting the pistons in motion, thereby getting your vehicle running. A faulty spark plug will cause your car to shake, especially when approaching a certain speed.
6. Worn Out Tie Rod ends
For safe driving, tie rods play an important function in the movement of your car. A bad tie rod end may be the reason your car shakes while driving.
7. Clogged or Blocked Transmission Filter
Every car manufacturer will advise you to change your transmission filter after 30,000 miles or once in two years. A clogged transmission filter may be responsible for your car’s shaking movements at a certain speed.
8. Disconnected And Torn Vacuum Hose
A disconnected vacuum hose can cause severe vibration/shaking while driving your car. A disconnected vacuum hose reduces the air pressure which can lead to sensor malfunction thereby leading to problems such as misfires, vehicle losing power, backfires, and other problems which can cause your car to shake.
9. Bent Or Broken Driveshaft
For cars that have RWD (Rear Wheel Drive), the engine sends power to the rear axle and connected wheels are delivered through the propeller shaft, also known as the driveshaft.
However, a slight bend or break on the driveshaft will definitely cause your car to shake while driving. The shaking intensifies as the speed increases.
➢ Loose Lug Nuts:
Loose lugs if not tightened well can eventually loosen off, and your wheel can fall off while you are driving. A loose lug nut can actually make your car shake when driving and could be a serious problem.
➢ Damaged Or Broken Motor Mounts:
Attaching the car’s engine to the vehicle frame is the major purpose of motor mounts. Another purpose is to reduce the car’s engine vibration so the vehicle occupants won’t feel the frequent vibrations and shaking while the vehicle is in motion.
A bad or faulty motor mount can be noticed when idling, but vibrations and shaking will be noticed better when the vehicle is in motion because the engine will have to work harder.
What Can I Do In Case My Car Begins To Shake On The Highway?
If you notice your car shaking, it is important to consider the following:
1. Balance your wheels and tires
Every problem has a solution including this one. You can balance your wheels on your own and save costs by following these step-by-step guides.
- Lug wrench and
- A flat-end screwdriver
Step 1. Gently remove the weights of the wheel.
Before you rebalance your wheel, it is important to take off all the weights to achieve accuracy and balance the wheels easily.
Step 2. Gently remove the wheels
This comes after all the weights have been removed. Remember that these wheels are quite heavy and you may require extra hands, so it is important to apply safety measures while taking the wheels off.
Step 3. Gently clean the wheels
Your main focus should be on the rims and the tire treads. Wash them carefully so they can appear cleaner when you fix them back.
Step 4. Properly balance the wheels
In order to balance the wheels properly, you will require a wheel balancer. Without a wheel balancer, the aim of balancing your wheels will be defeated.
Step 5. Put the weights back on
Before putting the weights back on, mark your spots with chalk or something similar to it. The points enable you to put the weights in case there is an unbalanced wheel.
Step 6. Recheck the wheels and adjust
After putting the weights back on, recheck to be sure everything is properly fixed. This will guarantee a smooth movement of the vehicle.
Right after checking if the wheels are properly balanced, you should ensure the movements are good and smooth. If they move without issues, the car is good to go.
Step 7. Return wheels back to the original position
In the final stage, tighten up the lug nuts, lower the car jack, and your car is back in position.
2. Repair Worn out Motor Mounts
To stop these vibrations, a faulty motor mount should be removed and replaced immediately. A broken motor mount can lead to poor performance from other motor mounts because these other mounts will have to bear the load of the faulty motor mount.
3. Transmission Fluid Level
Always check your transmission fluid level, and make sure you top up your car with the appropriate transmission fluid for a smooth ride.
4. Take Your Car To A Professional Mechanic For Regular Servicing
Routine service will help your car to run smoothly and efficiently. Car servicing can help to correct some issues with your car that could lead to vibrations.
Can I still drive my car even if it keeps shaking on a highway?
Driving after noticing these signs on your car may not be a good idea. This is because overlooking these problems may lead to even more serious issues and can cause severe damage if ignored.
Can I fix these issues on my own?
Of course, you can, but it is best to call the attention of auto experts to properly diagnose and find lasting solutions for your car.
Are these issues expensive to fix?
Vehicles tend to develop issues at any point. However, the severity of the problem will determine the amount that will likely be spent on fixing or replacing it.
Can these vibrations go on their own?
Vibrations in your car could mean that there is a problem with your car and it needs urgent attention. Even if the shakey or vibrating movements stop, it is best to take it to a car mechanic for a proper check because the problem may return, and this time worse.
Car shakes can be caused by various problems. Worn-out tires, brake pads, calipers, loose lug nuts, low transmission fluid, and a whole lot of other reasons can contribute to the shakey movement of your car.
Ignoring these problems can really cause severe damage to your car. What could have cost you fee hundreds of dollars could eventually rise to thousands of dollars if left unaddressed.