Car Shakes at 60 Mph: Why It Happens and How To Fix It

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Car shakes at 60 mph is a common problem that leaves many drivers worried, especially those who are new to owning a vehicle.

Car Shakes at 60 Mph

Although there are many reasons for this issue, worn or unstable tires and bent wheels are widely encountered. Read this full article to find other reasons and discover ways to fix your shaky car!

Why Does Your Car Shake When You Speed Up to 60 Mph?

Your car shakes when you speed up to 60 mph because of worn, unbalanced, over, or underinflated tires. It may also shake due to a problem with the brakes, spark plugs, or fuel filters. Hydraulic fluid leakage from the clutch or a suspension defect can also shake the car.

  • Worn or Unbalanced Tires and Bent Wheels

A car vibrates when accelerating at high speeds if it has worn or unstable tires or bent wheels. These are the most common causes, and you can diagnose them by inspecting the wheels and tires.

Reasons of Shaky Cars

You can detect unsteady tires if the steering wheel shakes. As the steering wheel vibrates, your car will also start shaking. The car vibration increases as you speed up, which you will notice through the foot pedal.

Unstable tires can also be the answer to “Why does my car shake at 60 but not 70?” It is because if one or more tires are out of balance, they may shake the car at a certain speed.

The tires can be unstable due to the following reasons:

  • Tire imbalance due to variations in tire construction leads to unequal weight distribution
  • Poor mounting or improper installation of a tire on the wheel
  • Changing tires or wheels without optimizing stability
  • Hitting potholes or impact due to road accidents
  • Avoiding tire maintenance and rotation
  • Inconsistent tire tread wear

Uneven tire wear over time is normal, but some factors expedite the process. Worn tires have a reduced tread depth and cause an unstable and shaky journey. When the front wheels are worn, only the front end of car vibrates at high speeds.

The following factors can damage the tires:

  • Improper tire inflation, be it over or underinflation. Underfilled tires wear from the outer edges, while overfilled tires damage from the center.
  • Misalignment, for example, the wheel may tilt inward or outward, or the steering axis may tilt forward or rearward.
  • Poor driving habits, such as hard braking or prompt acceleration, can damage tires.
  • Car suspension issues such as broken shocks, bushings, or struts can cause tire damage.
  • Driving on uneven paths or over sharp road objects can also be the cause.

Additionally, bent or out-of-shape wheels shake at 60 mph. It usually happens when you hit a pothole or if another vehicle crashes into the wheel in case of an accident. It can also damage the wheel bearings and lead to irregular tire movements.

  • Excessive Inflated or Deflated Tires

Excessively inflated or deflated tires are other reasons your car shakes when driving over 70 mph. These issues can damage the tires faster and also create imbalance and instability.
Overfilled tires are noticeable when only one or two have high air pressure. It creates an unstable situation for the tires and the car jerks. Underfilled tires have similar effects during the drive.

 

Both problems are easy to detect. You can visually observe the tires. If a tire appears too round or bulging from the edge, it must be overfilled. On the contrary, an underfilled tire has most of its surface area in contact with the road.

Moreover, you can check the accurate tire pressure in the car’s manual and use a pressure gauge to inspect the pressure in each tire. Observing the tires while driving also says a lot about their pressure. For instance, an overinflated tire bounces and displays reduced traction.

  • Sticky Brake Caliper or Warped Brake Rotor

A problem with the brakes, such as a sticky caliper or a warped brake rotor, may be why your car shakes when slowing down from high speeds. The caliper delivers pressure to the rotor to decelerate or stop the car.

If a caliper becomes stuck or does not release correctly upon pressing the brakes, the wheels will brake unequally. As a result, the imbalance causes a rhythm in the braking system, sensed as vibrations in the automobile, especially at fast speeds.

The braking rotor is a metallic disc that revolves together with the wheel. The friction created as the brake pads grind onto the rotor to slow the car creates heat. Excessive heat or forceful braking may cause the brake rotor to distort over some time.

A warped rotor has an irregular thickness, which causes unequal interaction between the brake pads and the rotor. Thus, the braking force disperses unevenly, generating tremors, particularly at fast speeds.

The vibrations created by a stuck caliper or a distorted brake rotor are the most obvious while braking or applying the brakes. Nonetheless, at greater speeds, the vibrations grow more prominent even without applying brakes.

  • Irregular Spark Plug Firing

Your car’s spark plug is a crucial component that ignites a mixture of air and fuel to generate power in your engine. However, a faulty plug might cause your car to tremble. Misfiring plugs normally cause automobiles to vibrate when idling or halting, but they can also occur when traveling at 60 mph.

When a plug becomes old or unclean, it can cause misfiring, but changing it is simple and inexpensive.

Other reasons for engine misfires include:

  • Poor spark delivery to the plug due to a problem with the ignition system
  • Improper fuel delivery due to a lean or rich fuel mixture
  • Engine overheating due to failing cooling system
  • Inappropriate sparking plug gap
  • Faulty electrical connections

Therefore, if you have engine problems and your car shakes at high speeds, dangerous outcomes are expected. You should take quick measures to repair the engine damage. Sometimes loose or damaged engine mounts fail to isolate the engine vibrations, so the car jolts.

  • Restricted Fuel Flow Due to Filter Blockage

A lack of fuel or a blocked fuel filter might cause the engine to stall. The engine demands a continuous and appropriate fuel supply at higher speeds. When the fuel supply is insufficient, the engine might fail to keep running and finally stall. In such cases, the car shakes at 60 mph then stops.

  • Low Transmission Fluid or a Faulty Transmission Part

Based on the type of transmission, i.e., automatic or manual, transmission problems might cause your vehicle to shake for a variety of reasons. Generally, shifting into gear causes greater car shaking than intended. You may not notice the shaking if you have an automatic transmission, but in case of a problem, your check engine light should be on.

Aside from transmission gear troubles, the transmission fluid might cause rocking. Transmission fluid is used in vehicles to keep the gears operating freely by lubricating moving elements. When the fluid level is low, there is insufficient lubrication to allow the gears to operate. Because of low fluid, your vehicle will shake at any speed, especially while changing gears.

Faulty transmission parts can make the car jolt. Axle problems, specifically bent axles, are common. Damaged CV joints can affect the smooth rotation of wheels.

  • Clutch Master Cylinder Discharge

The clutch master cylinder is a part of the hydraulic clutch system of a manual transmission car. It translates the driver’s clutch pedal command to engage and release the clutch. The clutch cylinder has hydraulic fluid providing the required pressure for clutch activation.
A leakage in the cylinder can be a reason your car shakes intermittently at high speeds.

The cylinder might leak due to the following reasons:

  • Applying extreme force on the pedal
  • Breakage of cylinder seal due to heat or age
  • Cylinder damage due to impact or corrosion
  • Contamination of hydraulic fluid or using the wrong fluid

 

  • Misaligned or Broken Suspension Elements

When there is something wrong with the suspension, the vehicle may shake or vibrate. Springs, struts, bushings, control arms, and joints are all part of the suspension system. If one or more of these elements become worn, broken, or misaligned, the suspension will become unbalanced or unstable.

Poor alignment of suspension parts can result in imbalance. It can result in unequal weight distribution, premature tire damage, and vibrations. Moreover, the suspension mounts linking the suspension elements to the vehicle’s chassis can get loose. As a result, the suspension system’s stability and alignment might suffer and shake the car.

The bushings are flexible and offer to cushion the suspension. If the bushings degenerate, the suspension might experience excessive play, resulting in vibrations.

How To Fix a Car That Shakes When It Hits 60 Miles per Hour?

You can fix a car that shakes when it hits 60 miles per hour by adding weights to balance the tires. You can fill the tires to accurate pressure or replace the worn tires. Besides that, you can replace clogged filters or faulty spark plugs and fill the transmission reservoir.

  • Balance, Fill, or Replace the Tires

The car might shake due to various tire problems, such as inappropriate pressure, imbalance, or wear. Therefore, you will have to take the repair steps accordingly. Use an air pressure gauge and a pump to fix the under or overfilled tires. If you have unbalanced wheels, you can fix them in your garage without a mechanic.

The steps below will help you balance the wheels:

  1. Park your vehicle on a flat surface, loosen the lug nuts, and remove the weights.
  2. Ask someone to help you remove the wheel because it can be heavy.
  3. Clean the wheel rims and tire tread. You can wash the wheel for thorough cleaning.
  4. Use a wheel balancer to balance the wheels and put on the weights.
  5. Adjust as needed and check if the wheels move smoothly.
  6. Fix the wheels by tightening the loose lug nuts, then lower the car and remove the jack.

Replace one or more tires that look damaged. Make sure you choose the right size, otherwise, the car shaking problem will persist.

  • Replace Clogged Filters or Faulty Sparking Plugs

Changing the fuel filter regularly may maintain appropriate engine performance. Moreover, it can avoid fuel system problems. A filter may cost anything from $10 to $100 on average. Labor expenses might vary based on the cost per hour of the shop and the intricacy of the task at hand.

Fix a Car That Shakes

You do not have to spend the labor cost if you have basic tools, such as screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches. If dirty or worn ignition plugs are the reason your car jerks, you can replace them yourself or hire help. You can locate the plugs after going through the user manual and replace new ones using basic car tools.

  • Replenish the Transmission Reservoir

The cost of transmission fluid varies based on three factors, i.e., brand, kind, and quantity. It is critical to use the fluid suggested by the car manufacturer. The price per quart might range from $10 to $30 or more, but if you prefer to have a professional do the procedure, you might have to pay more.

Repairing Car Shaking Problem

Conclusion

The car shaking when it reaches 60 miles per hour is a well-known issue among car owners. The good thing is that we have some causes and fixes for this problem. So far,

you have gathered these points from the article:

  • Problems with tires, wheels, fuel filters, and ignition plugs are common causes of a car shaking and are easy to fix.
  • Sticky brake calipers, warped brake rotor, and discharge from the clutch cylinder can also shake the car.
  • Balancing or replacing shabby tires and changing clogged engine filters can stop the vibrations.

With this knowledge, you can determine the cause of a shaking car and take suitable actions to enjoy a smooth drive!

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