98 SL2 shakes on highway

My '98 Saturn SL2 has had an intermittent problem where it shakes, usually on the highway when traveling over 60 mph. The shaking seems to come from through the steering column. I took it in a few months ago and I’m not sure what the mechanic did, but it fixed the problem temporarily. The problem is now back.

I suspect it could be related to my parking brake, which had been sticking in the past. My mechanic disengaged the brake from all but one wheel. Is it possible that this brake is partly engaged and is causing the shaking?

It always scares me a little when someone says, “My mechanic disconnected . . .” If something was wrong with the parking brake it should have been repaired, not by-passed, disconnected, or disengaged.

Having said that, the parking brake, even when fully functional, only operates on the rear wheels. The vibration you describe sounds more like a wheel balance/alignment or front suspension/steering issue.

Have you had the wheel balance and alignment checked?

Thanks for the repy, I will check out the wheel balance and alignment. If it is an alignment/balance issue, I wonder if there could be an underlying problem? I did have this fixed once, but it came back after a few months, leading me to think that maybe something else is causing the alignment or balance to be thrown off from time to time.

In my mechanics defense, he did offer to fix the parking break, but it was a little expensive. Who needs to park on hills anyway? Since it is a manual transmission I can still park almost everywhere by putting it in gear, I’ve only had to go down the block to a flatter spot a handful of times.

Find out what the mechanic did a few months ago that temporarily eliminated the shake. That might give you a clue as to what’s wrong.

Something similar happened to my '98. Turned out to be uneven brake wear caused by worn-out front wheel bearings. If you know someone with a hydraulic press to get the old ones out & the new ones in, you can save a LOT of money.