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A Quick Car Question about my moms car

My mom (not old enough yet) has a 2008 Kia Optima. Sometimes whenever we drive down the highway at a top speed, the steering wheel starts to vibrate. It makes her hands shake, and I ask her what the problem is. She says “Probably just something wrong with the alignment of the wheels”. Do you think she’s right? It doesn’t happen when we drive slowly. I’m just a bit worried about my mom’s car, because someday, when I’m old enough to drive, I want the car.

check tire balance? …under warrantee? take it in to dealer to check alignment…

Your mom needs to take the vehicle in and have it checked out. Anytime the steering wheel starts to vibrate at any speed, it’s an indication there’s something wrong with the vehicle.


Rather than wheel alignment, this is more likely to be (pick one or more of the following):

Defective tire(s)
Tires in need of rebalancing
Worn/damaged front-end components

Suggest to your Mom that, since this is a potential safety issue, she really needs to take the car to a shop that specializes in front-end work.

If the front-end shop tells her that there is a defective/worn ball joint or tie rod end, or another front end component, thank them, pay the bill, and then drive to the Kia dealer for warranty-related repairs. I am assuming that even Kias have a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty for 3 yrs/36k miles. Although you failed to give us the odometer mileage, most likely this car still has less than 36k on the odometer. Don’t pay for repairs that are covered under warranty!!

If you are told that the problem lies in the tires, try to have the front-end shop rebalance the tires. If that is to no avail, then have your Mom go to a reputable tire shop for new tires. This is a safety-related issue, so you need to keep bugging her about this problem until she does something about it.

Probably just something wrong with the alignment of the wheels That sounds like denial. Something wrong with the alignment can be dangerous. Frankly I am not at all sure it is alignment issue.

There is something wrong and at best it will only get worse and more expensive to fix. It may well become more dangerous while it is put off.

Besides tire balance, make sure the lug nuts on each wheel are secure. The nuts can work loose if they are not tightened properly.

Ed B.