Learn Why Your Steering Wheel May Be Shaky

If you are driving on a smooth road and still feel some shakiness in the steering wheel, you know that there is something wrong. Even slight shaking in the steering wheel can cause a lot of stress, both physical and mental. 

Once the steering wheel starts shaking, your natural reaction will be to hold it tighter, which may cause a lot of pain in your arms and shoulders. It is also scary and can cause you stress. 

You may try to ride it out or just ignore the problem, treating it as a one-off incident, but it can make matters worse. It is best to take the vehicle to the garage for a thorough check-up when you notice it first.

There can be several potential reasons for the shaking of the steering wheel, and you must find out the exact cause and get it repaired as soon as possible. 

Reasons Why The Steering Wheel Is Shaking

How your car’s steering wheel is shaking can offer some clues about the actual problem, and some of these reasons may even surprise you. It is possible that if the shaking is minor, you may miss it a couple of times. 

On the other hand, some drivers are so familiar with their car’s workings that even a slight tremor is noticed by them immediately. Try to notice things about the shaking such as, if it is more at high speed or low speed, is the shaking more obvious when you start the car or when you brake? Etc. Some of the reasons for the steering wheel shaking can be

  • If the tires of the car are out of balance, they may shake the whole car, and you will feel the shakes in the steering wheel as well. Tires out of alignment are probably the most common cause of the steering wheel shaking. You may not notice the shakiness at low speeds but as you go fast, you will feel the shaking. As soon as you go very fast, again, the shaking may reduce. 
  • Check if the air pressure in your car tires is correct or not because a single flat tire can lead to a lack of balance. Then check the treads on the tires and ensure that they are not worn off. 
  • If the tires look good but the problem persists, you will need to look for the problem somewhere else. A bump could have damaged or bent the axle and prevented a proper connection between the wheels and the steering wheel. You may also notice sudden jerks while driving. 
  • If you notice that the car is wobbling a bit when you apply the brakes then in most cases it is the brake rotors that’s causing the issue. The rotors may have worn out or lost their shape, which can cause vibrations through the brake pedal. Brakes are extremely important as far as safety goes, and if you notice this issue, you must get it repaired as soon as possible. 

You can face this problem even with new brakes if they are not installed correctly. At times it is the brake pads that get worn out and result in shaking. Replacing the brake rotors and brake pads is not difficult, and you can stop the shaking in the steering wheel by carrying out a timely repair. 

  • If these two problems are not, then the next thing to look at is the suspension and alignment problems. The tie rod or a ball joint can be broken or worn out, especially in older vehicles. You should be careful while driving an old car and take it for regular maintenance. Sometimes, the suspension components can come loose, which can lead to more vibrant shaking. 

What Are The Best Options When You Notice Your Steering Wheel Shaking?

If you are an expert on cars and specifically understand each vibration of your car, it is best to seek help from professionals.

You can check some of the most common reasons, but taking any parts apart is not advisable. In case you have no idea about the car parts and how it works, it’s better to take it to a professional who can help you in accessing the condition of the car.

Explain the symptoms as clearly as possible to make it easier for the mechanic to zero in on the real problem area. Ask questions and listen carefully to all the answers.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions so that you are clear about the problem and will be able to prevent it from happening again. It is just like visiting a doctor for some health issue, and there is no harm in taking a second opinion. 

FAQs

Q. Why does the steering wheel of a car shakes? 

A. Turbulence on the road, rough driving, and many other hazards can lead to a bad alignment of the wheels and cause the steering wheel to shake. Apart from this, any old or worn-out part in the brake system can also make the steering wheel shake. 

Q. Do steering wheels normally vibrate a little? 

A. Some vibration in the steering wheel is normal while driving. However, if there is noticeable shaking in the steering wheel, something is wrong. It would be best if you got it checked thoroughly to find the real cause behind the shaking. 

Q. What are some of the common steering system defects? 

A. Broken parts, loose or missing nuts, bolts, damaged steering box, tie rods, etc., are common defects that you can see in a steering system. The pumps, fluid level, leaks, etc., can cause problems in a power steering system. 

Conclusion

We have mentioned a few reasons why a steering wheel may shake, but these are not the only reasons. A shaky steering wheel can cause serious damage to the car and be dangerous to the person driving.

Take the problem seriously and try to locate the true cause. You can visually inspect the wheels and look for missing parts, uneven treads, bent rims, etc., but you are better off taking professional advice than trying to repair yourself.

Ignoring the problem or trying stop-gap measures can lead to bigger damages and more expensive repairs. It is recommended that no driver takes a shaking steering wheel lightly and takes help from a professional to rectify the problem. 

Liam

Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.