Why is My Steering Wheel Shaking?

Every driver who’s ever thought about their car for a second will know that there are a lot of complicated components at work to allow it to move at all, let alone travel at speeds of over 100 miles per hour. But, as the person who is in control of the vehicle whilst it’s travelling at breakneck speeds, the most important part to focus on is the steering wheel. Should something happen to it, or to your ability to use it, even the tamest of driving situations can become dire. That’s why when something’s not quite right, it’s important to get a handle on the problem as soon as possible. This is why your car steering wheel might be shaking and what you should do to fix it.

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What Causes The Steering Wheel To Shake?

There are a few instances where your steering wheel might shake, but the most common of all is while you’re travelling at high speeds. Of course, 70 miles per hour (or above) is a speed that almost all modern cars are capable of without the steering wheel rattling about in your hands, so what’s causing this problem?

The most likely culprit is actually your tyres. They could be out-of-balance, which means that a certain area of the tyre isn’t handling the same amount of weight as the rest of it. As a result, the tyre won’t appear to turn in a perfectly circular path, but will instead feel as though it’s lifting or bouncing the car with every turn. This is what causes the steering wheel to shake.

If the opposite is your problem and you feel the steering wheel wobble when you’re braking, the problem may lie with your brake discs. If these have worn out, you could feel a shake in the wheel, and possibly in the brake pedal, as the car slows down.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Shaking Steering Wheel?

Technically speaking, the steering wheel itself doesn’t impact your safety (other than perhaps obstructing your control over the vehicle if the shake is severe) so it could be considered safe.

However, you must take into account the root cause of the shake. Whether it’s an issue with your brakes, tyres, or something else entirely, the repercussions of not getting that problem fixed could be deadly. Tyres and brakes need to be taken seriously, which is why there are such strict rules about keeping both in good condition, particularly with the former – after all, tread depth is no joke.

How To Fix A Shaking Steering Wheel

If your wheel is shaking while travelling at higher speeds and you think wheel imbalance is the problem, head to your local garage and ensure all four tyres are properly inflated to the correct pressure level. Similarly, check the tread on each tyre to determine if some kind of uneven wear is to blame. If you think this might be the case after an examination, change the tyre (or the whole set). Should the shaking continue after checking your tyres, you might require the help of a professional who can look into it further with experience and the proper tools.

If the shaking occurs when braking, your best bet is probably to head straight to a mechanic. You might need new brake discs, which unless you are a mechanic yourself, is unlikely to be a D.I.Y. job.

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