what does it mean when your steering wheel shakes

What Does It Mean When Your Steering Wheel Shakes?

by

Jeffrey
July 5, 2022
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When your steering wheel shakes, it can be a sign that something is wrong with your car.

It’s important to know what the potential causes of this problem are, so you can get it fixed as soon as possible.

In this blog post, we will discuss what could be causing your steering wheel to shake and what you can do about it.

The steering wheel is the large wheel that you hold in front of you when you are driving.

It is what you use to steer the car.

The wheels are attached to the axles, and the axles are what turn when you turn the steering wheel.

The faster you turn the steering wheel, the sharper your turn will be.

There are lots of different types of steering wheels, from basic ones that just have a smooth surface to grip to ones that are more complex with buttons and controls built into them.

Some steering wheels even have heaters in them to keep your hands warm in cold weather.

When you are driving, you should always have both hands on the steering wheel.

How Does The Steering System Work?

The steering system is what allows drivers to control the direction of their car.

It consists of several components, including the steering wheel, the steering column, and the steering gear.

The steering wheel is connected to the steering column, which in turn is connected to the steering gear.

The steering gear is what actually controls the movement of the wheels.

When you turn the steering wheel, it sends a signal to the steering gear, which then tells the wheels to turn.

There are two main types of steering systems – manual and power assist.

Manual Systems

In a manual system, the driver uses a steering wheel to provide input to the car’s front wheels.

The front wheels are attached to the car via a system of linkages, and the driver steers by turning the wheel.

This input is transferred to the front wheels via a series of gears, which rotate the wheels and cause the car to turn.

The number of turns can be controlled by the driver by turning the wheel more or less.

By turning the wheel, the driver specifically controls the angle of the front wheels relative to the car’s body.

This angle is known as the caster angle.

The caster angle is important because it affects how well the car tracks in a straight line and how stable it is at high speeds.

what does it mean when your steering wheel shakes

Power Assist Systems

In a power assist system, the steering wheel is still used to provide input to the car.

However, instead of the driver having to turn a series of gears to control the car’s direction, a hydraulic pump provides assistance.

The pump is connected to a reservoir of hydraulic fluid, and when the steering wheel is turned, it pumps fluid from the reservoir into a cylinder.

This in turn pushes on a piston, which helps to turn the front wheels.

The amount of assistance provided by the pump can be controlled by the driver, and it can be turned off entirely if desired.

One advantage of power assist systems is that they require less effort from the driver to steer.

This can be helpful in situations where precise steering is necessary, such as when driving in tight spaces.

Additionally, power assist systems can provide a boost of power when turning the wheels at high speeds.

This can be helpful in emergency situations where the driver needs to make a quick turn to avoid an obstacle.

Power assist systems are generally more complex than manual steering systems, and as such, they tend to be more expensive.

However, many newer cars come standard with power assist steering, so it’s becoming increasingly common.

Causes Of Shaking Steering Wheel

A Misalignment

A misalignment is what happens when your car’s suspension components are no longer aligned properly.

This can cause your car to handle poorly, and it can also lead to premature tire wear.

The most common symptom of misalignment is a steering wheel that shakes when you are driving on a straight road.

If you notice this, it’s important to have your car checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Left unchecked, a misalignment can cause serious damage to your car’s suspension and tires.

In some cases, it can even lead to an accident.

So if you notice your steering wheel shaking, don’t ignore it.

Get your car to a mechanic and have it checked out.

Bad Shocks Or Struts

Shocks and struts are an important part of your car’s suspension system.

They work together to keep your tires in contact with the road, providing a smooth ride.

Over time, however, they can wear out, causing a number of problems.

One of the most common is the steering wheel shake.

This can be caused by a number of factors, but the most likely culprit is worn shocks or struts.

When they’re working properly, shocks and struts help to absorb bumps and vibrations.

However, when they’re worn out, they can’t provide as much support, leading to a harsh ride and steering wheel shake.

If your steering wheel is shaking, it’s important to have your suspension checked as soon as possible.

Left unchecked, it could lead to more serious problems, such as premature tire wear or even an accident.

Faulty Steering System

The steering system is what allows you to control the direction of your car.

It’s made up of a number of different components, including the steering wheel, steering column, and steering gear.

If any of these components are damaged or not working properly, it can cause your steering wheel to shake.

The most common cause of a faulty steering system is a loose steering wheel.

This can happen if the connection between the steering wheel and the axles is not secure.

Brake System Issues

One common brake system issue is when your steering wheel shakes.

This can be caused by a number of things but is often the result of brake pads that are worn down and need to be replaced.

Another possibility is that the rotors are warped and need to be resurfaced.

In either case, it’s important to have the problem diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible to avoid more serious damage to the brakes.

Loose Steering Wheel

If you’re driving and your steering wheel starts shaking, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong.

The most common cause of a shaking steering wheel is an imbalance in the tires.

This can be caused by a flat spot on the tire, worn tires, or even just mismatched tires.

If your tires are evenly worn and well-inflated, then the problem may be with your wheels.

Wheel imbalance is often caused by bent rims or weights that have come loose.

In some cases, it may be necessary to have your wheels professionally balanced or replaced.

If your steering wheel is still shaking after addressing tire and wheel issues, then the problem may lie with your suspension.

Worn shock absorbers or loose steering components can cause the steering wheel to shake, so it’s important to have your car checked out by a mechanic.

Obstructions In The Wheels Such As Pebbles

If you’re driving down the road and suddenly your steering wheel starts shaking, it’s important to pay attention.

This could be a sign that there’s an obstruction in one of your wheels, such as a pebble.

If left unchecked, this can cause serious damage to your tires and potentially even your suspension.

If you notice your steering wheel shaking, slow down and check your tires.

If you see anything that could be causing the obstruction, carefully remove it.

If the shaking persists, it’s best to get your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

Taking care of this problem early on can save you a lot of money and hassle down the road.

Worn Out Tires

Most people are familiar with the telltale sign of a worn-out tire: a distinct steering wheel shake.

This shake is caused by the tire’s tread pattern no longer being able to grip the road surface effectively, resulting in a loss of traction.

Worn tires can also cause Issues with braking and handling, making them a serious safety hazard.

If you notice your steering wheel shaking, it’s important to have your tires inspected as soon as possible.

A professional mechanic will be able to determine whether your tires need to be replaced or simply rebalanced.

Suspension Problems

When your steering wheel shakes, it’s a sign that your suspension system isn’t working properly.

The suspension system is what keeps your car from bouncing around while you’re driving, and it also helps to absorb shocks from bumps in the road.

If the suspension system isn’t working correctly, it can cause the steering wheel to shake, as well as make the ride much less comfortable.

There are a few different things that can cause suspension problems, such as worn-out shocks or springs, or a misaligned wheel.

In most cases, suspension problems can be fixed fairly easily by a mechanic.

However, if the problem is left unchecked, it can eventually lead to more serious issues, such as decreased fuel efficiency or even a loss of control while driving.

Hitting A Pothole Or Curb

Hitting a pothole or curb can be a jarring experience, and it can also cause damage to your car.

If you hit a pothole hard enough, you may hear a crunching sound as the suspension system absorbs the impact.

In some cases, hitting a pothole can also cause the steering wheel to shake.

This is usually an indication that the wheel has become misaligned.

If left unchecked, this can lead to premature wear on the tires and may even cause the car to pull to one side.

Hitting a pothole can also damage the wheel itself, as well as the axle and other suspension components.

In severe cases, it may even cause the tire to come completely off the rim.

Driving On Uneven Surfaces Such As Gravel Roads

When your steering wheel shakes while you’re driving, it’s usually an indication that your tires are not gripping the road surface evenly.

This can be caused by driving on an uneven surface, such as gravel or a pothole-filled road.

The shaking can also be caused by a problem with your suspension system.

If you notice that your steering wheel is shaking, it’s important to have it checked out by a mechanic as soon as possible to ensure that there isn’t a more serious problem.

In most cases, however, the cause is simply an uneven road surface.

So try to avoid driving on gravel roads if possible, and be extra careful when driving over potholes.

Common Symptoms Of A Problem With Your Car’s Steering System

Steering Wheel Shakes

If your steering wheel shake only occurs when you brake, it’s likely due to warped brake rotors.

When the rotors become warped, they no longer make full contact with the brake pads, causing a vibration.

This can happen gradually over time or suddenly if the rotors experience an impact, such as hitting a large pothole.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to have the rotors resurfaced or replaced.

If your steering wheel shake occurs while you’re driving, there are several potential causes.

One possibility is that your tires are unbalanced.

This can happen if you hit a curb or pothole, or if one of your tires is wearing down more quickly than the others.

Tires Are Not Gripping The Road Surface Evenly

One way to tell if your tires are gripping the road surface evenly is if your steering wheel shakes.

This happens when your tires are not making full contact with the ground, which can create a dangerous situation while driving.

There are a few different reasons why this might happen, such as bald spots on the tires or misaligned wheels.

If you notice your steering wheel shaking, it’s important to take action right away to ensure safe driving conditions.

You can either take your car to a mechanic to have the tires checked and replaced, or you can try adjusting the alignment of your wheels yourself.

Car Pulls To One Side While Driving

Getting behind the wheel should be a relaxing experience.

But what happens when, all of a sudden, your steering wheel starts shaking?

And, even worse, your car pulls to one side while you’re driving?

This can be a cause for major concern.

Fortunately, there are a few potential explanations for what may be happening.

One possibility is that your tires are unevenly worn.

This can happen if you frequently drive on rough roads or fail to rotate your tires on a regular basis.

Uneven tire wear can cause your car to pull to one side and your steering wheel to shake.

Decreased Fuel Efficiency.

A decrease in fuel efficiency can have many causes.

It might be a sign that your tires are low on air, or it could indicate a more serious problem with your engine.

One of the most common causes of decreased fuel efficiency is a dirty air filter.

When your air filter is clogged, your engine has to work harder to draw in air, which uses up more fuel.

Another potential cause is a faulty oxygen sensor.

The oxygen sensor is responsible for monitoring the air-fuel mixture in your engine, and if it isn’t working properly, it can lead to increased fuel consumption.

In some cases, decreased fuel efficiency may also be due to a dragging brake caliper or wheel bearings that are in need of repair.

Brake Pads

Steps To Remove Brake Pads And Rotors

If your car has disc brakes, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to remove the brake pads and rotors.

First, you’ll need to remove the caliper bolts that hold the caliper in place.

Once the bolts are removed, you can pull the caliper off of the rotor.

Be careful not to let the caliper hang from the brake line, as this could damage the line.

Next, you’ll need to remove the retaining clips that hold the pads in place.

With the retaining clips removed, you can now take out the old brake pads and insert new ones.

Finally, reassemble everything in reverse order and make sure all bolts are tightened before taking your car for a test drive.

If your car has drum brakes, the process is similar, but you’ll need to remove the drums in order to access the brake shoes.

what does it mean when your steering wheel shakes

Steps To Install New Brake Pads And Rotors

Installing new brake pads and rotors is a pretty straightforward process, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.

First, make sure that the new pads are compatible with your car’s make and model.

You’ll also want to pay attention to the thickness of the pads – they should be the same thickness as the old ones.

If they’re not, it could throw off your car’s braking performance.

Once you’ve got the right pads, you can begin installing them.

Start by putting the new pad on the caliper, then reattach the caliper and tighten all bolts.

Next, do the same with the other side of the car.

Finally, check that everything is secure before taking your car for a test drive.

FAQS

What You Can Do About If The Problem Is Caused By One Of These Factors

If the shaking in your steering wheel is caused by worn-out tires, you’ll need to replace them as soon as possible.

If the problem is caused by suspension problems, you’ll need to take your car to a mechanic to have it fixed.

If the shaking is caused by hitting a pothole or driving on an uneven surface, you may be able to fix it yourself by realigning the wheels.

However, if the problem persists, it’s best to take your car to a professional for an inspection.

In most cases, a steering wheel shake can be easily fixed if it’s addressed early on.

However, if the problem is left unchecked, it can eventually lead to more serious issues.

So if you notice your steering wheel shaking, don’t ignore it.

Be sure to have it checked out as soon as possible to avoid any potential problems.

When You Should Take Your Car To A Mechanic To Get It Checked Out

If the shaking in your steering wheel is severe, or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms such as a loss of control or decreased fuel efficiency, you should take your car to a mechanic to have it checked out.

In most cases, a simple tire replacement or suspension adjustment will fix the problem.

However, if the problem is left unchecked, it could eventually lead to more serious issues.

So if you notice any unusual shaking in your steering wheel, don’t hesitate to take your car to a mechanic for an inspection.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with LetsGoForARide.com, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.