“My steering wheel shakes at 60 mph and I’m freaking out because I don’t know what causes those tremors!” 

It’s human nature to fear the unknown, especially when it affects our lives directly! Thus, it’s reasonable to worry when your car presents unusual, intense shakes while driving and the situation is getting worse.

While there are various issues that potentially cause your car to shake when traveling at high speeds, the 3 most common causes are problems with your tires, braking system, and engine. In today’s article, Driverevole will discuss in detail these common culprits and reveal their best fixes.  

Tires’ Problems 

Why does my car shake at 60 mph? Tires are the first to suspect!

It stands to reason that tires are the usual culprit of steering wheel shakes at 60 mph. When traveling, you need tires that won’t let you skid out of control, meaning they have to cling onto the road’s surface and cause vibrations.

But there are more tire problems that cause car vibrations than you think! It might be the tires themselves, the axles, or even the steering wheel’s poor control.


If tires are to blame, the wobbling is more noticeable at high velocities than at low ones. When your car runs with unbalanced tires, you could feel a tremor at speeds of 50 mph or more. However, the shake might go away as you ramp up your velocity.

You might possess an imbalance tire if your car shakes at steady velocity and the vibrations get nastier at higher speeds. Another possibility is that one of the wheel loads just dropped off. Take your vehicle back to the repair center and rebalance the tires to address the issue.
Tires’ problems also trigger wobbles when driving. – Car Treatments

In this case, ensuring your tires are perfectly inflated should be your priority. If you have a blowout, you won’t be able to maneuver the car as smoothly as usual.

After checking the tire pressure, you should inspect the treads. You may get your tires rotated if they are wearing patchily or buy replacement tires. Either way, a more comfortable and safe ride is well worth the investment.


If you’ve already ruled out potential problems, the culprit may reside between the tires and your steering wheel.

A fracture typically causes broken CV connections in the joint buckle. Moisture and grime get into the pin and spoil the lubricant protecting the splines.
A broken axle might cause a car to shake. – Masterparts

A crash might have distorted or somehow wrecked your axle, severing the connection between the wheels and the steering mechanism. This can be the cause of any jerking sensations you’re getting from the vehicle.

Steering Wheel’s Poor Control 

Finally, if your steering wheel and tires are not working well together, the wheels themselves may be to blame for the wobbliness. Old tire bearings, bad tie rod ends, or ball joint problems also lead to excessive steering wheel wobble.

The tie rod holds the suspension parts sturdy and secured. If your tie rod end fails and goes out of its position, your suspension components will also slacken, causing vibrations and rattles that might be noticed when steering the wheel while your car is moving.
A shaky wheel is an early sign of a bad tie rod. – Car Roar

Bringing the vehicle in for maintenance is your best bet here. To help the technician pinpoint the root of the issue, take note of the times and distances over which the shaking occurs. For example, is the shakiness more noticeable when you turn corners or when you’re heading straight?

Brakes’ Issues 

Aside from the tires, your brakes may also be the source of the vibrations you feel when driving at 60 mph.

Brake Rotors 

If your discs aren’t correctly rounded or your calipers get stuck, you may sense some vibrations while braking, although they are more noticeable at greater velocities if the tires are shaking.

Thus, after replacing your brake pads, your braking rotors should be removed and checked for any glaze or groove. Depending on how severe the condition is, sand or replace your rotors and discs. This makes sure you have the smoothest rides with no squeaks.
Check your rotors for any issues. – The BRAKE Report

That is to say, your rotors have gotten worn, out of form, and distorted. When this happens, you may also notice oscillations in your foot brakes. As your brakes are what enable you to come to a safe halt, you should examine and address this problem as soon as possible.

Additionally, if you (or the mechanic) don’t install the rotors properly, the brake pads won’t be able to clamp down securely. As a result, your steering wheel shakes while braking.

In all cases, head to the nearest repair shop. The technicians will tell you whether you need replacement brake rotors, reconditioned ones, or just an adjustment.

Brake Pads 

If your rotors are still good, an inspection of the brake pads is next in line. When the wobbling becomes more noticeable when you use the brakes, the issue is almost certainly in the braking mechanism.

Scratch across your ceramic platter with a small knife. You will notice a squeaky noise right away.
Bad brake pads might cause car shaking. – LiveAbout

You should never ignore such brake tremors, even if you’ve recently installed replacement brakes. 

And although the rotors and pads are where you should focus most of your attention, you still have to examine the whole mechanism to find the root of the issue.

Engine’s Troubles 

The last possibility is that your vehicle’s engine may give up at 60 mph, causing the automobile to tremble.

Spark Plugs And Transmission 

Typically, malfunctioning spark plugs (including the oil in spark plug well) induce wheel tremors. In this case, you can feel the car’s wobbles throughout the ride, and the engine will attempt to die several times.

You can keep this problem at bay. It's advisable to replace your spark plugs as a part of your periodic servicing, at periods spanning from 48,000 to 240,000 kilometers depending on the kind of plugs your car utilizes.
A bad spark plug might be your culprit. – Oards Automotive Hub

Gearbox problems might also make for an uncomfortable drive with the car shaking. Grinding, lost, or sliding gears are further indicators of a gearbox failure.

Suspension And Alignment 

Vibrations when traveling might also result from suspension and alignment issues. As the previous part mentioned, damaged ball joints and bad tie rods are more likely to cause tremors in older automobiles. Thus, you should pay them extra attention if you’ve had shaky rides for some time.

Vehicle drivers will hear a clunking sound if their tie rod tip is loosened or damaged.
A broken tie rod might yield shakes when driving. – The Drive

Simply said, when you get your vehicle up to speeds above 45 mph, you’ll begin to feel some intense shakes since the suspension parts have come slack and developed free play.

If that describes your car’s behavior, it’s time to call it quits and get the car to the auto repair shop before the issues become worse. Your automobile will vibrate intensely, and the check engine signal should pop up if there is a problem with the emissions unit.

Wrapping Up 

Your steering wheel shakes at 60 mph, and there are various potential reasons behind that! It might be due to a flat tire, a distorted axle, a defective brake rotor, or even a contaminated spark plug. 

Yet, no matter what the culprit is, it’s vital to get your car checked and repaired as soon as possible! No one wants to risk their life driving a shaky car! 

For more content like this, refer to our Fun Driving section.

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