Sentra vibrates on highway

I?ll start from the beginning. When I graduated high school my parents bought me a new Nissan Sentra. At that time I did most of my thinking without my brain. Shortly after, on a snowy day the guys and I were out and about in the city. The streets were empty and so where the parking lots. Using our collective thinking powers we decided to throw the car around in the snow; in an empty parking lot of course. It was tons of fun, until we left the parking lot. All I know is that somehow I ran right into a curb.

The car has never been the same after that. Every time I take it on the highway and do anything over 60mph the car vibrates, and it doesn?t track completely straight. I?ve had it aligned and all the wheels balanced. I don?t remember side of the front took the hit and you really can?t tell on the road which side it?s coming from. It was never a problem up on till now that I have a job; with a one hour commute each way. The vibrations are driving me mad-they just wont stop!

I?m guessing it might be one of the front hubs or CV joints. I like to do work myself but I don?t know if this is in my range (I?ve done brake rotors before).

Please help me, I don?t want to go mad. And please don?t tell my parents.


Has anyone checked the rims to find out if you bent one? What kind of shop is doing your alignments & tire balance? If it is a national chain-type of place, find a local & independent shop that specializes in alignments. Tell them what is going on and someone should be able to sort it out.

The car has snow tires and summer so there is no way for me to track back which rim was bent. I took it to a small shop for the alignment and they didn’t notice anything wrong. But I don’t think they really took the time. Is there another way for me to figure out which side is causing the vibration?

I don’t know how to figure out which side. If it is a tire or rim issue you can find out a little bit by moving tires around to see if anything changes (e.g. swap front/back and/or left/right).

I have no idea what the point is about the snow/summer tires and tracking back. You don’t have to know which rim hit the curb - someone who knows what they’re doing needs to inspect.

Speaking of which - did you tell your story to the alignment shop? Did someone there test drive the car? If so, what did they say? If not, you need to have someone do that.

Have the engine craddle/subframe/lower control arm inspected.

When you hit a curb with a front wheel drive vehicle that energy is transfered thru the lower control arm into the pivot points on the craddle/subframe for the control arm. This can bend/tweak the craddle/subframe/control arm. If you just had a front wheel alignment done, this won’t show up. But if you have a four wheel alignment performed it will indicate if the tracking is off between the front and rear tires.