The 5 Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving

When you are driving a perfectly tuned car, it will feel even and smooth when on a flat road. But sometimes this is not the case. The steering wheel connects the driver to the car and, to some extent, to the road.

If there is something wrong with the car, the steering wheel is one of the first places it will show. Therefore, whether your vehicle starts to vibrate at low or high speeds, it is a sign that there is a malfunction. Not all shakes indicate a possible breakdown. Your car contains moving pieces operating at high speeds. When one piece breaks, it slowly starts a chain reaction that leads to possible malfunctions of significant car parts.

Sometimes it is the terrain. But when this issue persists, it could be one of the following reasons.

Reasons Your Car Shakes on High and Low Speeds

1. Check your tires

Spare Tire

It makes more sense because the steering wheel is directly linked with the tires. You can feel any issue with your tires through the steering wheel. The most common problem with car tires is when the tires are not balanced. It will not show at low speeds, but you will feel the vibrations when you pick up speeds between 45mph to 60mph.

The first resolution should be to check your tires and see if one has developed a flat or is slightly deflated than the other tires. This issue is common with cars that have not recently moved. Also, check for uneven tire wear.

The obvious solution would be to inflate all the tires and then consider a possible tire rotation. If the damage to the tires is too much, you should consider all tire replacements. Tire replacements are costly, and you should exploit all avenues first. But at the same time, remember safe tires are the ones in good condition.

2. Individual wheel areas

The wheel does most of the work for the tires. Here it would be best if you started with the bearings. Normally bearings should never wear out, but they do. And if by replacing them, your car still vibrates when you pick up speed, then dig a little deeper.

Does the steering wheel vibrate as you take a turn? If so, then the problem lies on the tie rod ends. If the shaking happens while driving straight, then the issue is on the ball joints. Whichever case you need a speedy resolution to prevent further damage to your car’s navigation.

3. Axle

Axle problem

If the problem is in the axle, then your steering wheel will vibrate even at low speeds. The vibrations will increase to somewhat violent if you increase your speed. Usually, you get axle damage if your car has been to an accident.

But perhaps it may be the driveshaft broken and not the axle. When this happens, the car tends to lean either to the right or left by itself. A drive shaft issue is a significant red flag, and you should take your vehicle to an auto shop immediately.

4. Engine

Mostly when the steering vibrates, the engine is not the problem. But if you analyze carefully engine trouble can send vibrations all over the car. The issues might be coming from faulty fuel delivery, or issues with your air induction. It could also be that the spark plugs have malfunctioned. All these problems will send vibrations to the steering wheel at both low and high speeds.

In some cases, the problem might be a damaged engine mount. If so, then you will know as the entire car will be shaking and not only the steering wheel. Whatever the case, it calls for a speedy resolution, and you should call your mechanic immediately.

5. Brakes

man changing brakes on car

The braking system is vital to every driver. When you get an engine blow is devastating as the car stall. But a brake failure is risky because the car will not stop. Ensure you address all brake related concerns immediately.

Proving that the issue is coming from the brakes, the car will vibrate each time you apply the brakes. But if it does so when gaining speed, then perhaps the issue is a stuck brake caliper.

6. The steering wheel and suspension complications

Power steering

Your vehicle should always stay aligned. If the alignment is off, then your car tires will develop uneven tire wear, as noted. It may also lead to the premature wear of suspension and steering components. There are no fast solutions when it comes to your steering wheel component. To be in control of your car, you must take your vehicle to an auto shop for a professional to align it.

The concern may be a loose suspension, loose steering wheel components, or worn out shocks and struts. A number of these problems call for an immediate replacement of the worn-out parts.

How to prevent your steering wheel from shaking

The best way to ensure your car is always in good condition is to practice preventative maintenance. The following are the best car practices to avoid steering wheel shaking complications.

  • Balance and rotate your tires after 5000miles
  • Use tires that are conditioned to run seasonally.
  • Make regular checks of your tire pressures. At least adjust them weekly or monthly.
  • Over tightened lug or loose lug nuts may cause damage to your tires and wheel area. Always ensure to hand torque the lug nuts.
  • At least get a computerized four-wheel alignment once per year, or each time you make tire replacements.
  • Always drive carefully and avoid hitting potholes and bumps at significant speeds. It often results in unbalanced wheels.
  • Take your car for a routine maintenance service check after every 5000 miles and have them replace all worn out parts.

Conclusion

The problem of a steering wheel vibration often starts slow before it grows turbulent. The vibrations will only increase if you continue to ignore the early signs. The longer you hold before you take your car for repairs, the more it collects damages in other areas.

It may lead to severe complications and will eventually be too expensive to repair extensive damages. Always resolve the issue as soon as you notice your steering starts shaking at any speeds.

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