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Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph

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New User

Apr 4, 2017, 8:39 PM

Post #1 of 5 (1170 views)
Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph Sign In

Guys, I have been through a lot with this car. I'll keep it short.

When braking at high speed, usually more on turns at 60-80 mph,
the car shakes violently, the steering shakes violently. It takes a few tries to get it to shake to diagnose. While driving without braking, it shakes, not as crazy as when braking, but still does.

Uphill, shakes more. Downhill, shaking almost completely stops.

At exactly 40 mph, there is a wobble. It is just noticable.

Shaking started in mid 2014 driving across the usa. Stoppef somewhere between and got both half shafts replaced, plus the right bearing.

Shaking did not stop.

New tires all 4, balanced, shaking did not stop.

New front rotors, shaking did not stop, new brake pads as well.

New rear rotors, shaking did not stop.

Checked runout with rotary dial indicator, within spec all 3 except
1, rear right was 11 1000ths. Replaced the rotor. Shaking did not stop.

Found that my front left wheel had give left to right. Found out that
it was my lower ball joint moving bad. Had it replaced immediately.
Shaking did not stop.

Same mechanic suggested he re-shave my rotors, because they had grooves in them, ah, I didnt buy it at first, but later that day
I did all 4 rotors myself, even greased all of the slider pins.
Shaking did not stop, just as I predicted.

People tell me tie rod end sometimes, mostly rotors, and balancing.

I haven't had my tires balanced yet, but will do soon.
I highly doubt that is the issue, because I had my wheels checked to see if they were bent, which was not the case according to these tire guys, that the balancing was a little off for one of the wheels, but not enough to cause shaking.

Brand new steering rack and pinion, shaking did not stop.

Checked runout of all 4 hubs, all within spec.

Please help me.

2002 Subaru Outback H6 3.0L VDC AWD Sedan

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 5, 2017, 4:35 AM

Post #2 of 5 (1132 views)
Re: Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph Sign In

Something just doesn't add up here.

If you have a vibration when braking, you have a problem with the brake rotors, either the rotors themselves or the way they are installed.

You may have more than one issue if you are also getting a vibration when not braking. Tires and wheel are the most likely suspects although I wouldn't rule out issues with the C/V axle.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 5, 2017, 6:57 AM

Post #3 of 5 (1122 views)
Re: Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph Sign In

Ditto - something doesn't add up with this since 2014!
The source problem is being missed somehow IMO. Yes the CV half shafts can be bad but in the same way not so likely nor all the playing with brake rotors.

Notes: Shaking thru the wheel strongly suggests front problems not the rear as the primary cause. There's no mention or I missed it of replace calipers just lubing them and very well might feel free and behave fine for doing just that while you are doing it and not knowing that they are dragging from inside could be caliper itself and as I recall most or all Subaru vehicles use front brakes for parking brake not mentioned at all. If that drags - that's the problem and would show up as uneven brake wear on fronts.

Other not mentioned is trueness of wheels and tires. You can balance a triangle meaning wheel and tire together off vehicle be fine but not when carrying any load. The flaw of a wheel will wear the tire so balancing may actually make it worse and both would be ruined.

AWD to me also means all four wheels and tires must match totally. Tire wear, tire pressure, wheels all the same or you are confusing it.

I'm unsure of exact intended AWD design for this and others may be different. I don't think all wheels really have drive engaged at all time in fact not at all unless it tells it to enable rears in this case as this is a FWD dominant car and would only drive from those most of the time. Interesting you said it was different downhill which also means less or almost no power being applied the rears are just coasting along.

That's the clue most likely to me. The AWD is being confused from one unsolved problem wheel, tire or brake and throw in sensors for it to operate as well.

Just common sense tells me that if all wheels were engaged at high speed a car (any) would be out of control if a real surface issue demanded 4 wheel drive at 80 MPH maybe even 60 doubt it could calculate that on a Subaru budget.

I'm leaving out the super expensive performance cars where I can only bet they can't behave or do their claims of surreal performance at super high speeds of really only some Euro roads allowed and road itself in condition for that. Would be a waste elsewhere IMO almost anywhere else? This has to mean those vehicles would routinely replace all tires frequently and maybe all wheels too for those people that don't care less about that expense,


New User

Apr 12, 2017, 1:19 PM

Post #4 of 5 (1086 views)
Re: Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph Sign In

So guys I went ahead and put all 4 brand new rotors on, found that a slider pin in the front left was rott fused into the hole. Got it out, lubed it. Re-lubed all other slider pins as well. NO CHANGE. Still shook the same exact way.

I decided a day later to take it to a cheap 2-manned fuggly tire place again which last time they told me my rims were not bent, this time around I asked them to do the balancing of all 4 tires, then I watched them after I told them to rotate them. Front to rear, rear to front. Plus, I saw that the front tires were visibly more worn than the rear tires.

These were the weights they put on before rotation:

Left front tire, outside .50 weight

Right front tire 1.00 oz inside, outside 1.50 oz

Rear right tire 1.25 oz outside.

Real left tire 1.0 oz outside

They charged me $40. I drove on the freeway and presto, 90% of the shaking was gone.

Sadly, still, there is some vibration in the car still, very miniscule amount of shaking in the steering, but night and day. My next venture will be replacing the 2 rear tires with new.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. something to add:

When you let go of acceleration, and accelerate, even slightly, there is a tug and shake, as if the car is acting as an upside down pendulum, weight shifting from the front to the rear vise versa. My only 2 guesses is a link between the transmission and another part, or the rear differential.
The feeling I get when it tugs, is 2 tugs spaced 1/4 seconds apart when I let go, and 1 tug upon acceleration. It jolts my body. Any ideas or intuitive deductive reasoning for that?

(This post was edited by gdannoyed86 on Apr 12, 2017, 1:31 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 12, 2017, 1:45 PM

Post #5 of 5 (1076 views)
Re: Car and steering shakes at 40 mph, 60 mph - 80 mph Sign In

You may NOT be able to replace just 2 tires or same problems with AWD - the rolling distance of a new tire even exact is longer per revolution. If same brand and super close wear maybe.

RF tire with that much weight? If new I'd take that one off and turn it 180* (degrees) and check balance again. Is it rim or tire? You find out that way.
It then wore into that and can be OK. If later you take a tire off rim for any reason you index where it was in relationship to rim or it's all messed up from then on.

IDK - that isn't that much weight for balancing depending on size of tires.

So you were told the rims were NOT bent. Take them for their word they checked both bent or up and down with no tire on it spinning on balancer.

You're getting there just all this suggests to me when last time all four where new they were NOT rotated enough IMO. I would take an AWD especially and mark each tire inside where it was dated and miles out of sight with tire marker.

Finding those brake pins - even one not free from rust means you or that needs to be a routine. New pins available the tend not to rust - ask. Lube those with brake specific grease. See now that one was stuck it didn't work properly if left too long then the uneven wear comes in that AWD especially isn't tolerant of well never mind horrible for brakes - all of it.

These cars generally have shown above average trouble free use for many years and some very high miles too. All of those that did so well paid strict attention to rotating tires and checking brakes using the schedule listed for "severe" use not to be mislead by the higher miles and months of ordinary use which almost no car qualifies for,


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