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I took my 2003 Saturn Vue V6 AWD in and had two new rear tires installed. Immediately after leaving, once I hit 40 MPH I had excessive violent shaking in the steering wheel and whole car. I went back since it felt like either out of balance or loose lug nuts. They checked both and no problem.

Went to my local repairman who does my alignments and he has much more sophisticated balancing equipment. He found them not completely balanced and fixed them.

Problem still existed. We assumed we had bad tires - he replaced them and still same problem. I talked to a mechanic friend and he knew I had just replaced the transmission a month before - he said that sometimes when a transmission is replaced, the CV shafts don't get seated correctly and that by jacking the car up to change tires, the CV shafts could pull out causing the shaking. We looked and they seem to be fully seated.

Need help figuring out what is causing this shaking. It becomes a harmonic imbalance to where you have to stop the car and start again to have no shaking, but once you get around 35MPH you can feel it starting again. HELP !!!

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! I'm wondering if this might be some other problem occurring which was exacerbated due to the tires being changed. There is a situation called "death wobble" which usually affects 4WD vehicles. This problem occurs because of slack in the steering elements and possibly the wheel bearings. You might want to have your entire suspension checked for viability. The only other thing I could think of is if the torque converter lock up isn't working correctly. I don't know why it would start now, but might be an issue. Feb 3 at 15:56
  • I had this symptom once on a Subaru because of a bent front axel half shaft. No idea why having rear tires installed would cause that though, unless they put jacks under the axels or something strange like that. Feb 3 at 16:28
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Thanks for all the responses. We found the problem. I ordered the rear tires for the car that were the correct size...I didn't realize that they had an incorrect sized tire on the vehicle when I bought it. So I ended up with two different diameter tires on an AWD vehicle which I found out doesn't work. Apparently running different sized tires on AWD vehicles is a bad thing !!! This is the first AWD I have even owned and wasn't even aware of this...but I just learned something new. Luckily I didn't break anything. Thanks again !!!

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I had a similar issue on a 2014 AWD Ford Escape. It had a significant wobble at about 50-55 MPH. I removed the drive shaft which drives the rear wheels and that reduced some of the vibration but not all. Next I jacked up the front of the car and with someone in the driver's seat I had them put the car in drive and watched both the left and right CV axles. Both shafts were out of round. I replaced the drive shaft and both CV axles with new ones and the wobble issue was resolved.

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