Driving down the road and experiencing steering wheel shaking can be an alarming situation as a driver, and definitely not a problem that should ever be ignored. Yet, most of the time, a shaking steering wheel has a logical explanation. If your steering wheel is trembling and shimmying like it has a bad case of the chills or tremors, there are a handful of issues that could be to blame, and sometimes, these issues work together to create what seems to be a massive issue.
Issues with Your Tires Being Out of Balance
Something as simple as your tires being out of balance can cause your steering wheel to feel as if it is shaking. Tire imbalance occurs because uneven wear can change the weight of the tires and how they meet up with the road while the car is in motion. Severe imbalance can cause major shaking of the steering wheel as the wheels turn at a rapid pace. Thankfully, the fix for this problem is simple; just have your tires balanced.
Problems with Steering
Vehicles tend to have either a steering box or what is referred to as rack-and-pinion steering systems. There are multiple points in both setups that can become worn or damaged. For instance, internal gears can wear down and cause a shimmying action in the steering wheel when you make certain movements. Most often, this problem is a quick fix by replacing whatever it is that is damaged in the steering system.
Issues with Your Brake Rotors
Warped rotors occur when brakes are left unchanged for a long period of time, but they can also come along with normal wear and tear in the brake system. The rotors are what brake pads press to in order to stop the vehicle, so they naturally can become warped with heat and friction. If you are experiencing steering wheel shaking when you apply your brakes, rotors could be the problem.
Problems with Worn Axles
The front axles turn the front wheels, and if the axles are worn or damaged, you will feel the results in the steering wheel when you drive. This kind of problem can be as slight as a shimmy or as severe as major jerking, so reach out to an auto repair shop to find out what’s going on if you suspect the axles are to blame.
Issues with Shocks and Struts
The shocks and struts are part of the suspension system and serve the purpose of ensuring you have a comfortable, less-jarring ride in your vehicle. However, these parts of the suspension system can and do wear out. It is common for even a single worn shock or strut to create a fair amount of jarring that can be felt in the steering.
A shaking steering wheel can be something basic or more serious, but is never something to disregard. If you are having issues with a steering wheel shaking in your vehicle, reach out to an auto repair shop for advice.