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steering wheel shakes and vibrating

Steering Wheel Shakes And Vibrating: 5 Common Causes

The steering wheel in your car is the main way of controlling the direction in which it moves. However, a steering wheel that shakes or vibrates is something that could cause you to lose control. Not only is it dangerous, but it could also damage the car. If your steering wheel is shaking uncontrollably, you should pull off the road and stop the car.

The main cause for the steering wheel to shake or vibrate in modern cars is often due to the wheel alignment. Since the wheels want to go in different directions than they should, it would potentially cause the steering wheel to shake uncontrollably and this would create the shaking effect.

Having your steering wheel shake whilst driving is not an uncommon issue and oftentimes, people complain about this issue whilst driving their cars. You must have a basic understanding of what could be causing this issue. We aim to help you understand what could be causing these steering wheel problems.

Top 5 Causes For The Steering Wheel Shakes And Vibrating Issue

The best way to figure out what is causing these steering issues would be to visit your mechanic. However, there are prevalent issues that often occur and these could be the cause of the steering wheel problems. Some of the following reasons could be the main causes for your steering wheel to shake uncontrollably.

1. Bad Wheel Alignment

Bad wheel alignment
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: If you often drive your car and when you let go of the steering wheel, it automatically turns in one or the other direction, which could be a sign of bad wheel alignment. The natural wheel alignment of your car will often allow it to pull to the left. However, the steering wheel should not shake when you point it in a straight line.

Solution: Adjusting your wheel alignment is one of the cheapest things you can do. You can visit almost every tire shop and they will check your wheel alignment. With a few changes made to the steering of the car, your car would be going straight. Bad wheel alignment is a common issue if you have been driving on bad roads.

2. Uneven Tire Tread

Uneven tire tread
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Problem: Tires have a set level of tread that they need to maintain grip and remain in an operational condition when driving. However, tires tend to wear, with some wearing more than others. This is why we often change the front and back tires to alternate them. An uneven tire tread could cause some shaking in the steering wheel. The feeling is often felt when pulling away!

Solution: The only real solution would be to change your tires and this could be expensive. You will need to ensure that the tread on each tire is similar and this will enable the car to drive evenly on the road. Uneven tire treads could be challenging and expensive to deal with. This is not to mention how unsafe it is to drive with less-than-optimal tire tread.

3. Brake Calipers Stuck

Broken brakes
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Problem: Brakes are essential to stopping and slowing down your vehicle. However, the brake calipers can often become stuck and this would cause them to stick to the wheel. While this is an unusual problem that could occur, it might force one wheel to turn slower than the other and this would cause some vibrations.

Solution: There could be various reasons for the stuck brake caliper, including debris causing it to stick. If you are handy with tools, you can figure this one out at home. However, you might have worn brake calipers as well. It is often best o visit your mechanic and allows them to potentially diagnose the problem.

4. Suspension Problems

worn car suspension
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Problem: The suspension features numerous shock absorbers, which would reduce the impact of the car when taking bumps. However, these shock absorbers might be worn, which could lead to a few significant problems when it comes to driving on the road. If one works more than the other, it rotation of the wheel would cause vibrations.

Solution: You can check each shock absorber at home to see if any of them are stuck or if they need some lubrication. However, these suspension problems can be frustrating, and having a mechanic check the car for possible faults might be your best solution. It can be very expensive to replace your faulty suspension.

5. Worn Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: Another major cause for trouble with the car shaking or pulling to one side has to do with the wheel bearings. The wheel bearings allow the tires to rotate smoothly, which makes it possible for the wheels to keep turning. However, these bearings wear out over time and could hinder the movement of one wheel and cause shaking.

Solution: You can easily find new bearings online and these can be replaced at home. You simply need to remove the wheels and locate the bearings to replace them. Unfortunately, this could also require some tools. If you don’t have the mechanical skills or the tools to do the job, you can do it for an affordable price at your mechanic.


Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake At High Speeds?

One of the scariest experiences you can have is when your steering wheel shakes uncontrollably on the freeway and when you are driving at higher speeds. Wheel bearings are often the main cause for this to happen and you should pull over immediately. It can lead to a massive crash and even death to not have control of your car at high speeds.

Why Does My Steering Wheel Vibrate When Turning In One Direction?

If the steering wheel shakes when only turning right or left, you could be dealing with wheel misalignment. This means that the tires no longer work together when going in either direction. Your best bet would be to check the wheel bearings and the wheel alignment. You can do both at your mechanic and it won’t break the bank.


An avid car enthusiast, I love spending time researching new cars and seeing how technology improves each year. With a passion for cars, I often find problems with certain vehicles and believe these should be addressed to ensure everyone can have a happy driving experience. I spend hours on the road each year and having driven numerous cars, I have encountered some basic and unique problems. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with you to help you prevent and even deal with some of these issues before they become fatal!!!

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