60-65 MPH wheel shimmy, struts bad?

Hi. I have a 1998 Lexus GS300 with 178,000 miles. I feel a shimmy in the steering wheel at about 60-65 MPH. I don’t feel it at slower or faster speeds than the 60-65 MPH range. It also seems it’s worse at the beginning of a drive and improves with time, but never really goes away. It has been going on for a few years.

I thought a when I bought new tires few months ago and had them balanced and aligned that the shimmy would go away. It did improve, but it didn’t go away completely. My mechanic said to put 500 miles on the car to break in the tires then bring it back in to re-balance them. That didn’t help.

He said that it could be the struts, but that they aren’t leaking. It costs $800 to replace the front struts, and $400 to do the back.

I plan to keep this car for another 60,000 miles.

Have the struts gone bad? Does it need to be replaced? Is it safe to drive if I don’t replace them? Any consequences if I don’t replace them? Is it worth it?


98 car? Probably on 3rd set of $600 tires? And you feel struts are not worth paying for? It’s your call. You have to live with annoying shimmy for next 60k miles

@UncleViper I’m not implying that your struts are causing the vibration, but there’s no doubt that they are significantly worn at this point. They do wear out, even if you can’t see leakage.

This sounds like a pretty nice car that you’ll be keeping for awhile. I think it deserves new struts.

I also suggest you have a competent shop evaluate your steering and suspension components. There might be some worn components at this mileage.

+1 to db’s comments.
New tires do not have or need a break in period. Shimmy should be looked at as to cause and corrected. Your struts probably are tired at this point, however shimmy can also be caused by worn out tie rod ends, ball joints, bent rims, and other causes. All of this should be evaluated by a good chassis shop. These are all normal wear items, but they ARE normal wear items.

I had a shimmy but it went away when I fixed a motor mount. My struts and shocks are original - 95 corolla. 250 k miles but there are no potholes down here.


Congratulations on your nice ride.

Obviously your struts have some wear at this point, due to 250K and 19 years

But they’re probably not blown out

You’ve gotten used to the car over the years

It is possible that a “new” person would drive your car and have a different opinion than yours

Most drivers only tend to notice bad struts when they get to the point where the car is a continuous yo you after every single bump

Other than agreeing that struts can fail with no sign of leakage and that people become acclimated to a worn strut or shock problem, it could be that at 178k miles the car may have a loose tie rod, tie rod end, wheel bearing, etc. which is causing a shimmy.

An alignment should mean that things like that were checked before performing any adjustments but you never know.

check the driveshaft the is a big rubber damper on it that can go bad over time