Why Does My Car Shake At High Speed? Causes And Solutions

why does my car shake at high speed

If you’ve ever felt your car vibrating at high speed, then you’re probably wondering what causes this and how to fix it!

Not only can this issue make you feel unsafe, but it can be a sign of mechanical problems which could diminish the lifespan of your car. 

However, there’s no need to panic; in this article, we’ve got a list of some of the most probable reasons your car shakes at high speed as well as the solutions. We’ll cover:

  • Wheel imbalances
  • Poor wheel alignment
  • Suspension problems
  • Brake rotor warping
  • Axle or CV joint issues.

Let’s get into it!

Possible Causes of Car Shaking at High Speed (With Solution)

Experiencing shakes at high speed is a common issue for drivers with older cars, especially those with manual transmissions. 

The first step towards solving this issue is diagnosing where the problem is coming from!

We’ve collated a list below of the 6 most common issues that can make your car vibrate or shake at high speed:

1. Wheel imbalance

salvador, bahia / brazil - june 27, 2020: empty tire is seen in an abandoned vehicle in a condominium in the city of Salvador.

A common reason for a car shaking at high speed is unbalanced tires. 

Unbalanced tires can not only cause the car to shake at high speeds but also at low speeds as well. 

When a car is on low speed, an unbalanced tire may cause slight vibrations. However, when the car is speeding along the highway, the vibrations are likely to increase.

Unbalanced tires often have a cupped wear pattern with a heavier section than the other. 

This can create an uneven weight distribution throughout the car, meaning the car shakes at high speed. 

Before visiting a professional, you can check for a wheel imbalance by inspecting the wear pattern on each tire, inspecting for damage, checking for bent wheels, and using the coin test


  • Visit a professional. Unfortunately, this issue is not an issue that can be easily fixed at home. Your mechanic will balance the wheels and reinstall them for you
  • Replace the tires. If you have identified tires with significantly more tread wear or damage, replacing the tires could fix the issue. However, there is a risk that this is not the issue, and the problem may persist.

2. Poor wheel alignment

car mechanic shows faulty brakes to customer

Poor wheel alignment can also cause your car to shake when driving at highway speeds!

Wheel alignment is an important aspect while you are running checkups on your car's maintenance. Potholes and curbs are known to misalign wheels, subsequently resulting in poor control and rapid tire wear.

The most common symptom of misaligned wheels is your car moving to one side and the driver having to adjust the steering wheel to drive in a straight line. 

Other signs include uneven tire wear, crooked steering system components, and bad wheel bearing.


  • Visit a professional. Fixing wheel alignment issues requires specific experience and equipment.

3. Suspension problems

Problems with your car’s suspension, such as worn-out shocks or struts, can cause your car to shake at high speed. 

This is because your car’s suspension system plays a crucial role in maintaining a smooth ride and good car control!

Furthermore, your car’s suspension contributes significantly to absorbing vibrations and shocks. 


  • Visit a qualified professional mechanic. They will be able to identify the specific issue with your system and recommend repairs and replacements. 

4. Brake rotor warping

A mechanic tightening the lug nuts of a wheel with a torque wrench

Brake rotors (also known as brake discs) are a critical component in your car's braking system. 

In conjunction with the brake pads, they work to slow down and stop your vehicle. 

If these rotors become warped, it can cause your car to shake when you brake and can compromise your vehicle’s safety. 


  • Professional resurfacing or replacement. If the warping is not severe, the mechanic may choose to resurface your brake rotor by applying a thin layer of material to the rotor.

  • In cases where the rotor is beyond salvage, it will need to be replaced.

5. Axle or CV joint issues

Automobile low - Wheel Alignment

Axle or Constant Velocity (CV) joint issues can cause your car to shake, especially during acceleration and turning. 

CV joints are integral parts of the car’s drivetrain that allow for the transmission’s power to be transferred to the wheels while allowing for the up-and-down motion of your car’s suspension. 

If these joints are compromised, it can lead to vibration and shaking.


  • Have your vehicle inspected by a certified mechanic. Issues with the axle or CV joint are complex to diagnose and repair. 
  • Your mechanic will be able to identify where the issue stems from and recommend repairs or replacements.

6. Engine misfire

Your car’s engine misfiring is the result of one or more cylinders failing to ignite the air-fuel mixture properly. 

This can disrupt your vehicle’s normal combustion process, causing the car to shake and ultimately damaging your engine’s components. This can be due to a faulty or dirty spark plug. 


  • Check and clean your spark plugs. These are usually attached to the cylinder head, and accessible through the engine bay. Here is a step-by-step guide to this process
  • If the issue persists, visit a qualified mechanic. They may need to replace the spark plugs or look elsewhere for the issue. 

Prevention Tips

The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent these issues and stop your car vibrating at high speed!

All vehicles require tune-ups every 60 to 100 miles, but it is important that you perform regular checks and maintenance especially when you experience any issues. 

We would also recommend servicing your car before any long car trips, as this can help prevent any issues that may otherwise occur.

Here are some tips to help you prevent issues with your car shaking:

  • Get your car serviced regularly. Nothing beats a professional’s opinion and expertise!
  • Perform the coin test on your tires. Not only will this identify weight distribution issues, but it will also ensure your tires have a safe level of grip
  • Be aware of any unusual sounds or movements. Being cognisant of how your car is performing can help you identify problems before they become unsafe or expensive to fix
  • Check your lug nuts are tight enough. Use a wrench to check that the screws that hold your tire on are securely fastened.