You just had your tires rotated and now your car is shaking. Your car was driving straight and great before then, so you’re pretty sure the tire rotation has something to do with the shaking. So, what could have made your car shaky?
Your car shaking after tire rotation means your wheels are out of balance. The shop may not have rebalanced your wheels properly after the rotation or you may have lost a balancing weight, leaving you with imbalanced wheels. The shaking could also be caused by loose wheel lug nuts, wheel alignment issues, or even damaged tires.
The following guide provides you with full information on why your car is feeling shaky or wobbly after getting a tire rotation, and how to fix this problem.
Why your car shakes after tire rotation
Regular tire rotation is key to ensuring your tires last longer as well as meet your car tires warranty requirement.
However, you may experience your car shaking or vibrating after this tire service. This issue usually goes away after a short period of time.
But if your car continues shaking, then you have imbalanced tires and you should have them rebalanced.
Let’s discuss all the possible causes for your car shaking after tire rotation below:
As we have just said above, out-of-balance tires are the No.1 culprit behind your car shaking after a tire rotation.
This is especially true for the front tires. Unbalanced rear tires aren’t much noticeable compared to the front tires unless they have a severe imbalance.
Thus, if the rear wheels were unbalanced and then took the front after tire rotation, you’ll get a shaking problem.
And in some cases where your car shakes violently when driving at high speeds after a tire rotation, it means that your rear tires are severely imbalanced.
Simply moving them to front position is giving you a bad shaking experience.
Loose lug nuts
It is also possible that your wheel lug nuts are loose and are behind the shaking problem. Lug nuts come with a given torque setting that you need to adhere to when tightening your lug nuts.
A torque wrench can help you identify when you apply a proper amount of torque.
It also lets you know when to stop tightening to prevent overtightening that can lead to damage to lug nuts, brake rotors, and even studs.
Out-of-alignment wheels (uneven tire wear)
If your tires have uneven wear, your wheels will be out of alignment. And this increases the chances that you’ll likely experience noise and vibrations after a tire rotation.
Make sure you have your wheels aligned at the same time you go tire rotation. This will help them wear in and smooth out, so you don’t experience the shaking.
If you haven’t had your tires rotated for a prolonged period of time, some of the tires may have already suffered damage or become “set” as a result of uneven wear.
Rotating them will then result in shaking issues or simply poor performance.
Damaged tires with broken belts under the tread or on the sidewalls can also make your tire get out of round, causing noise and affecting gripability.
Make sure your tires are inspected during a tire rotation and replaced if they have any signs of damage.
How to fix your car shakes after tire rotation?
The quickest fix for a car that shakes after tire rotation is to have your wheels (especially the front wheels) rebalanced with the help of a road force balancer.
This involves pressing the tires against a surface as they spin. The idea behind this process is to stimulate your car weight, helping balance the wheels and tires more accurately.
We advise you to get back to the shop as soon as possible once you notice the shaking and have them check out your wheels for imbalances. Most shops usually balance the wheels as part of the tire rotation service.
If you wait for too long, the shop may assert that your shaking problem has nothing to do with their services as you should have brought it back the moment you noticed the problem.
If your wheels and tires are properly balanced but your car still shakes, you should also whether the lug nuts are properly torqued.
Wheel alignment should also be done at the same time you do tire rotation and balancing to end the shaking problem or prevent it from occurring in the first place.
For worn-out or damaged tires, you’ll need to replace them with new ones to end the noise and shaking, and even improve your overall car performance.
Why your car shakes at 65mph after tire rotation
If your case involves your car shaking at 6mph, or simply at high speeds, after tire rotation, it also signals an out-of-balance wheel.
You may have lost one of your wheel weights during the rotation process. Or your tire may have already been out of balance but you didn’t notice it.
Take your car back to the shop as soon as possible to have them fix this problem. In most cases, having all your 4 wheels balanced for high speed will help solve this shaking issue at high speeds.
Other likely causes include loose wheel lug nuts or poor wheel alignment. Your car could also be too old (and as you already know, older cars don’t do well when it comes to speeding).
Why your steering wheel shakes after tire rotation
Your steering wheel may show some minor shaking after a tire rotation. This is mainly due to uneven tire wear.
After the new tires get used to their new positions, however, the shaking and vibration will go away.
If the shaking doesn’t cease, then your front wheels are most likely out of balanced.
The technician rotating your cars may have messed up or one of the wheel weights may have been accidentally knocked off, resulting in the imbalance.
You should take your car back to the technician who did the tire servicing for you to have them balance the wheels and see if it solves the problem.
Another likely cause for shaking after rotation out of alignment wheels. If you have your wheels undergo alignment for a long period of time, you should have it done to your car to see if it helps solve the problem.
Poor wheel alignment usually causes uneven tire wear and cannot be solved by tire rotation alone.
What if your tires get noisy after a tire rotation?
You shouldn’t panic if your tires sound louder after you’ve done a tire rotation. However, this noise should improve after driving for around 50 miles.
In case the noise gets too loud, then it signals that you have an issue that needs to be fixed.
Noisy tires after rotation service could be caused by uneven wear patterns which were already there before the tires got rotated. This uneven wear will create a humming or helicopter-like sound until your tires break in and “settle” in their new positions.
And if your tires had uneven wear before the tire rotation, then it means you have poor wheel alignment—alignment is the main culprit behind uneven tread wear. Alignment can make your tires noisy in addition to causing vibrations in your car.
That said, you should consider having a wheel alignment done on your car to help minimize the noise and shaking.
Damaged tires may also be a source of tire noise, so be sure to inspect them for damages and unusual wear patterns.
If the tire rotation isn’t done correctly, then it means your tires won’t wear evenly and last as long as expected. In the case of directional tires, they won’t be able to perform properly, especially in wet weather.
The steering wheel can shake at highway speeds after tire rotations if the tires are out of balance. This is probably due to small imperfections which don’t cause any vibrations but will become noticeable once you increase your driving speed. Having your tires balanced usually solves this problem.
After a tire rotation, your car tires need to wear out and smooth out in their new placements. This will just take approx. 50 miles during which your car will feel different and unfamiliar. However, once your tires have broken in into their new position, your car will start feeling familiar.
Now you know why your car shakes after a tire rotation. The most common culprit behind this problem is tire imbalance. Loose wheel lug nuts, out-of-alignment wheels, and damaged tires can also make your car shake or vibrate after getting the tires rotated. These culprits can also cause your steering wheel to shake after this tire service.
When faced with this problem, you should take your car back to the shop to have the tires rebalanced properly. To prevent this problem from happening in the first place, make sure every time you go for tire rotation you have tire balancing and wheel alignment done on your vehicle tires. And ensure the shop tightens the lug nuts correctly on the wheels.