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Steering wheel shimmy

2000 Mercury Sable Wagon, 108,000 miles. Car is in very good condition, all maintenance kept up. Recently, at speeds above 50 miles an hour, the wheels develope a litte shake that I can feel in my feet and through the steering wheel. Could it be that the wheels need to be balanced? Any other thoughts?

A couple of thoughts

  1. One or more the tires may be out of balance. Check the wheels in case a weight fell off.

  2. Check the lug nuts for tightness. Have any of the wheels been removed recently? I had changed a front tire on my wife’s 98 Windstar. A month a so later there was a slight shimmy/vibration at 65 mph. I pulled off the highway and found the lug nuts were coming loose on that wheel.

  3. How old/worn are the tires? One of my cars started to shimmy around 45 mph. The tires were worn, but had about 10k left on the tread. I replaced them anyway and the shimmy stopped.

  4. Have the front end checked for wear and tear, i.e. ball joints, tie rods, etc.

Ed B.

Thanks Ed,
I will check the lug nuts. I rotated the tires about a month ago. I used a torque wrench and tightened the lugs to specifications. The tires have about 15,000 miles on them and have a lot of tread left.

These cars are noted or weak tie rods. Both of mine have been replaced on my 2001 and I’ve only got 57,000 miles on it.