My Car Shakes… Do I Need An Alignment?

NO! You either need to balance the tires, or if they’re wornout, replace them. That will fix the vibration in the steering wheel. And the front end should be inspected to see if there are any parts that are super loose, in rare cases that can cause a vibration, but 99% of the time it’s wheel balance.

I have people call me daily asking for a wheel alignment appointment, I always ask them is there any particular problem they are trying to fix? 1 or 2 of them say “yea it shakes”.

Some well meaning soul told them to get an alignment and that would take care of the shake.  He’s wrong, it won’t. There was a time that was true, but it was a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away and mostly on trucks and motor homes with straight axles.

At this point if I just kept my mouth shut I’d make more money, but I have a big mouth and usually I ask them if they are planning on buying new tires anytime soon. If they are, I tell them get tires and then call me to set up a time to check the alignment. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

So if you’re vehicle’s shaking between 45 and 65MPH while you’re just cruising along, go get the tires balanced.  That is what’s going to fix the shake. Not the alignment.

One more thing, if it only shakes when you step on the brake, you have a brake problem, not a tire problem.  One or both of the brake rotors on the front are warped. If your vehicle has 4 wheel disc, it could even be coming from the rear.  Which is fodder for another post directed at brake shakes, not tire shakes so I won’t talk anymore about that so I don’t confuse you.