Vibration at 50mph above/highway speed

Hi All,

I bought an old 2005 Mitsubishi endeavor about 4 months ago. Have had several issues, most have been resolved but one still remains and that is the steering wheel vibrates 50mph above/highway speed

I’ve done wheel alignment. I brought the car to my mechanic and they checked all tires and was told one of the tires needed to be balanced. They did that.

However today when I was on the highway, the steering wheel vibrated again. The thing is the vibration only happens OCCASIONALLY at 50mph or above. There’s no weird noises as far as I know, no clucking/clicking/thumping or noise of any kind.

No vibration at all times at slow speed or when driving in the city. There’s also no noise that I’m aware of either.

Any advice? Could it be the axle/CV? but if it is, wouldn’t it have more symptoms? Could it be a bad job at wheel alignment/balancing?

I’ve also replaced front brakes and rotors

A worn strut can cause a vibration at highway speeds.


Thanks but my issue is not that severe. Just slight vibration on the steering wheel

That’s how it starts out.

What you can do is have someone follow you in another vehicle.

Then when the vibration occurs, signal them to look at the tires while driving.

This will probably require the vehicles to change lanes so both front tires can be observed.


ok thanks.

A steering wheel vibration could still be caused by a worn strut, even if it wasn’t nearly as bad as the vdo posted above. Certainly should be considered for a 12 year old vehicle. Loose bushings or ball joints could cause the same thing. If the vibration seems to be speed related, it comes on abruptly at certain speed, and remains when coasting, focus most of your att’n on something to do with the wheels. If one wheel wasn’t properly balanced, all the wheels should be suspect as being unbalanced. I find those wheel weights all the time laying on the side of the road when I’m taking walks, so I know they falling off, and not infrequently. I was having a problem with uneven tire wear and flat spots on a rear wheel and did all the normal stuff like checking radial and axial run-out, wheel bearing, strut function, and finally discovered the wheel and tire assembly was out of balance.

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Thanks… I did bring the car to my mechanic two weeks ago and they checked all wheels and one of them was unbalanced. So, they balanced that one only.

I’ll bring it to another mechanic tomorrow…

Is it safe to rule out CV joint/axle shaft?

I once had a tire causing a very slight intermittent shimmy. I repeatedly put it on a lift and pushed, pried and shook everything in the front end and even replaced the idler arm. Once when inspecting things I removed the front tires and rolled the right one across the floor to get it out of my way and saw it make a slight tip to one side. I cleared the floor and rolled the tire the 80 foot length of the shop and once every revolution there was a tip. Of course I had inspected the tires many times and felt sure that they weren’t the problem.

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Rotate tires (front to back) to see if it makes a difference.

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Is it safe to rule out CV joint/axle shaft?

If it’s a steering vibration, I would NOT rule out CV / axle. Not saying it is, but it could be.

I had a steering vibration in an older Caravan most noticeable above 40 mph, and ONLY when I was on the gas at least a little bit. If I backed off the gas, the steering was more-or-less normal. There was NO trace of the usual clicking sound of a worn CV joint, and one mechanic pronounced the axle as ok, before another guy was confident the axle was dead. He replaced it, the problem vanished.

Follow @insightful’s advice about rotating tires to help judge if it’s wheel / tire specific. If the vibration disappears or changes when moving tires front to back, then it’s probably not steering gear.


I brought the car to a new shop today. The put it on the lift. They said nothing wrong with the wheels/cv joints but the pointed out the drive shaft is loose (?) and needs to be replaced. They said that’s where the vibration comes from.

I kinda don’t believe this since the car passed state inspection and had gone to a few different mechanics and this was never mentioned.

Anyway, so I brought the car to ANOTHER new shop to get a second opinion. They said it’s not the drive shaft because if it is, the vibration should come from the back, not the steering wheel. They said most likely it’s tire balancing since on of the clippers of the front tire is missing. They cant do wheel balancing today because they’re super busy.


Let them balance the wheels and see how it feels. Let us know the results.
The overwhelming majority of vibrations at speed are out-of-balance wheels. Sometimes they’re too erratically worn (bad wear patterns) to get them really smooth, but it’s always worth a shot.


I brought my car to a proper tire shop today and they told me ALL my wheels were bad. They were really unbalanced. I saw the results myself on the balancing computer. They said they could try to balance them but probably wouldn’t work in the long run. The guy, without me telling, said it’s probably because the car was parked for a really long time. Which is true, the car was parked at the dealership for about a year and was only moved a few times.

So, I’m ordering new tires that will be here on Monday.

I am not sure why the shop that balanced one of my tires didn’t catch this

Outstanding. Let us know how you make out.

Whenever Consumer Reports gets a car for test, they go over it with a fine tooth comb and document all of the details that aren’t right from the manufacturer, then correct them all before testing the car. A compilation showed wheel/tire balance as being one of the most common out-of-spec conditions in new cars. In short, you have a lot of company. Wheel/tire balancing is done by the factories automatically by machine, and it apparently isn’t one of manufacturers’ priorities. I guess they figure it’s cheaper to just let the dealers correct any that the customer complains about.

Will update. Thanks :slight_smile:

The wheels are bad? I hope that they are not bent.

This suggests that the tires have flat spots. This can go away after 10 miles of travel causing your inconsistent vibration and the person that balanced the tires may not have been able to observe this if the vehicle was driven far enough before balancing.

I see flat spotted tires on occasion, sports cars that are only driven 2,000 miles per year general have old hard tires that flat spot in a short period of time. The owners sometimes don’t like being told that their tires are too old to perform properly.

Can you post a link to this story, I would like to know which manufactures are struggling with this.

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Replaced ALL 4 tires with BRAND NEW-BALANCED tires… Unfortunately the shaking still occurs. I brought it to another mechanic, he also agreed that the drive shaft needs to be replaced and it COULD be the source of the shaking. Regardless, if it’s the source or not. This mechanic agreed with the other mechanic that the shaft needs to be replaced for safety.

The last thing he could think of is that the CV joints but since I don’t have other symptoms (clicking while turning or other noises), he said it’s unlikely.

So, I don’t know. I’m at lost here :confused:

What kind of tires? How were they balanced?

I once put four new Continentals on a pickup truck I had and could not get them to roll smoothly, no matter what I did. I ended up replacing all four with BF Goodrich tires and was back to my smooth ride. Had the truck for 11 years, and only had ride problems with the Contis.

You should know that “road force balancing” is much better than regular spin balancing.

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not suggesting that you don’t get the axle replaced. I’m only trying to add information.

Sumimoto, the brand.

They used one of those “spinning” wheel balancing computer

So this vehicle is AWD? It has both front cv half shafts and a rear driveshaft and rear differential? If so there’s certainly plenty of things that could go wrong and cause a vibration. I presume the driveshaft “looseness” problem is a bad u-joint. If so, definitely fix that, b/c it will eventually cause vibrations if not already and it will eventually break too, in which case you’ll be on the side of the freeway waiting for a tow truck. Driveshaft u-joint repair is usually not overly expensive.

Since you have new tires and balanced wheels, I presume they checked them for side to side wobble and out of round in the process, and without any other clues, all the suspension and steering parts look good and no sign of too much play, probably the next thing to do is replace both front half shafts and a front end alignment.

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