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2000 Outback Shimmy

I have a 2000 Subaru Outback. The steering wheel starts to shimmy after I hit about 70 on the freeway (and ocassionally when I slow to a stop). Someone told me I just need and alignment. Does this sound right?

Could be lots of things - at that age, it could be wheel bearings, ball joints, bad tires or an alignment. Do you feel it more when banking on a curve or is it always the same once you reach 70 mph?

If it’s any comfort, if you’re only getting it at 70, it’s probably the earliest of warnings of a bigger problem. Attend it now and you won’t have it stressing or damaging any of the other front end parts.


Make sure the lug nuts are tight on all four tires, especially the front tires. This happened to my 98 Windstar, I was on the expressway (65 to 70 mph) when I noticed a very slight shimmy. I slowed down and got off at the next exit. The lug nuts on the front right tire were coming loose, the tire had been replaced a few weeks earlier and perhaps the nuts weren’t tightened properly. Once the nut were tightened the shimmy went away.

Ed B.

The first and easiest check is the wheel balance considering the speed it occurs at. You can rotate the tires yourself without balance to see if it changes or have the tires rebalanced by a garage/tire shop. It also could be a bad tire or rim.

Once you exhaust these easier to address items some of the other possibilities listed above come into play.