A steering wheel has a significant role in defining your vehicle’s overall balance and handling.
This is why most drivers can’t bear an unbalanced steering wheel or ones that are shaking, even for a day.
If this is also happening to you, you may be wondering why is my steering wheel shaking?
Your steering wheel could be shaking due to unbalanced tires, misaligned wheels, brake issues, bad bearings, and suspension issues.
Often, it is a sign of a bigger problem under the hood.
It is no surprise that such problems worry car owners.
So, today we will tell you all there is to know about a shaking steering wheel and its causes.
We will also answer some commonly asked questions about shaking steering wheels and how to fix them, so keep reading!
Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel Is Shaking
As we stated, most steering wheels often shake due to problems such as unbalanced tires, misaligned wheels, and brake issues.
Below, we discuss each of these problems in detail.
If you’re wondering how do you fix a shaking steering wheel in each of these situations, we’ll discuss that too.
1. Unbalanced Tires
Unbalanced tires are the most common reason behind shaking steering wheels.
Your vehicle’s weight should essentially be equally divided between its four ties.
However, wear and tear of the tires can cause the weight distribution to become uneven.
Sometimes, this uneven distribution is temporarily fixed by adding weight to the steering wheel.
However, this added weight can move, break, or fall off the wheel.
This often happens when you’re driving too fast or drive on a very bumpy road.
The loss of the added weight can cause all the tires to lose their balance.
These unbalanced tires then make your steering shaky, especially if you’re driving fast, such as over 50 mph.
Ignoring this problem could result in a poor fuel economy too.
If you notice your steering wheel shaking while driving above 50 mph, ensure that all your tires are properly inflated, and your tire pressure is okay.
If all tires are properly inflated, take the tire to an expert and ask them to repair or add a new weight.
2. Misaligned Wheels
Sometimes, the steering shakes as you drive because your vehicle’s wheels are in the wrong position.
Mainly, wheel misalignment issues occur after an accident or a very long off-road drive.
You can tell that you have misaligned wheels if your vehicle moves slightly to the left or right when the steering is entirely centered.
In the case of misaligned wheels, the solution is simple.
Just take your vehicle to the workshop and ask for a wheel alignment.
You can also ask for a check on suspension components since they have a massive role in keeping the wheels aligned.
3. Brake Issues
Brake issues are a relatively uncommon yet alarming reason behind a shaking steering wheel.
Take notice if your steering wheel only vibrates when you push the brakes.
Also, see if there is any shakiness in the brake pedals too.
If you can sense any of these issues with your car, your vehicle’s brakes are the problem.
Depending on your vehicle’s condition and usage, the brakes can have several issues.
Sometimes, the brakes drag because of the hydraulic faults in the vehicle.
Other times, it’s the brakes’ old age that causes problems.
Regardless of the root cause, most brake issues will affect your steering wheel and pedals.
This will make your driving experience annoying and dangerous.
Hence, it is best to keep an eye on such issues so you may solve them before things go out of hand.
A working solution for brake issues is to replace the brake pads.
However, depending on the root cause, your vehicle’s brake system may need further repairs and replacements.
Try to schedule an appointment with an expert car care center and let them analyze the issue in depth.
4. Bad Bearings
Damaged or old wheel bearings could be another reason behind your steering’s shakiness.
If the steering shakes only as you turn the wheel, the problem is the wheel bearings.
A vehicle making abnormal noises during turns also indicates a problem with the bearings.
Mostly, wheel bearings go bad because of a lack of lubrication.
Driving regularly is another reason your vehicle’s wheel bearings might wear out.
An accident or a pothole can also cause dentures on the bearings, ruining their functionality.
In most cases, getting a replacement is the only solution for a bad wheel bearing.
Delaying the installation of new bearings can damage the wheels and also pressurizes the suspension components.
Hence, it’s best not to wait to get a repair if your steering is shaking due to bad bearings.
5. Suspension Issues And Worn-Out Steering
If you’ve checked your vehicle for all the issues discussed above and found that none apply to your vehicle, you might feel compelled to ignore the shaking steering.
Trust us, don’t do that.
Instead, check if you missed out on something.
Sometimes, a steering wheel shakes because it’s the wheel itself that’s worn out.
If you’ve ever wondered why does my steering wheel shake when I drive fast, you should check the steering or suspension components as soon as possible.
The parts in an old suspension system or steering get loose over time.
This disrupts the whole structure, damaging the car’s stability and control.
Thankfully, you can easily resolve this issue.
Closely inspect parts like ball joints, bushings, shock mounts, and springs for looseness or wear.
Replacing the damaged parts usually stops the steering wheel’s shakiness.
Is It Safe To Drive With A Shaking Steering Wheel?
Yes, in most cases, you can drive safely even when your steering wheel is shaking or vibrating unless there is an issue with the brakes.
However, you must drive very carefully and at a low speed if the steering wheel isn’t perfectly under your control.
How safe driving with shaky steering depends on the reason the shakiness is there in the first place.
Hence, you must adopt different precautions when driving depending on what’s causing the steering to shake.
Given below are precautions that you must take when driving with a shaking steering wheel in different situations:
- Unbalanced Wheels: Try to drive at a consistent and low speed and ensure that your vehicle isn’t overloaded.
- Misaligned Wheels: Avoid large holes and bumpy roads at all costs.
- Bad Bearings: It’s best to drive on straight highways and take fewer turns. Also, try to cover no more than 15kms – 20kms per day.
- Brake Issues: The safest option, in this case, is to not drive. If you have no other alternative, you must avoid sudden brakes and drive at a decent speed.
- Suspension Issues: Try your best not to let your vehicle overheat. Also, try to choose smooth roads with fewer turns and heights.
A shaky steering wheel while driving is both annoying and dangerous.
It’s best to find out the cause behind a shaky steering problem and resolve it as soon as you can.
This will not only let you enjoy a smooth drive but also saves your vehicle from bigger issues and increases its lifespan.