Here are the five common causes of “why does my steering wheel shake?” at low speeds:
- Problems with the tires
- Issues with the wheels
- Troubles in the axles
- Problems with the engine
- Troubles in the brakes
When you drive your car, you want to make sure that it's driving as smooth as possible and that it doesn't have any weird behaviors that could cause you to worry about potential car crashes.
One of the very common situations that you might encounter and be very scary is when your steering wheel starts shaking, especially at low speeds. There are some potential reasons for this happening, and understanding these reasons is extremely important to prevent the problem from getting more complicated.
This article highlights the five most common causes to help answer the question, why does my steering wheel shake at low speeds? Of course, you must take your vehicle to the mechanic whenever you experience this problem and have it resolved as soon as possible.
Why does my steering wheel shake at low speeds?
While steering shaking is a common situation, you must narrow down the list of potential culprits to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. Luckily, automotive experts extensively researched the main causes of steering wheel shaking. That we will summarize these in the following list:
1. Problems with the tires
If you've ever asked yourself, why does my steering wheel shake? First, you should look at the tires because they are the first and most common reason for this problem. However, you could easily deal with steering wheel shaking when the tires are not connected to their property.
Typically, if this shaking is coming because of problems with the tires, the issue is most likely related to the wheels and the wheel alignment. In other words, if there is some misalignment in your reels, your tires will not run smoothly on the roads, which will be translated into some shaking in your steering wheel.
You can perform a quick visual inspection and look at these tires. For example, if you notice that one of the tires is wearing out more than the others, it could be it, and it could be a problem with the tires that you have to resolve.
Keep in mind that if there is uneven clear we are, you want to make sure that you detect the problem because even if you replace all the tires, the problem will come again, and you will just lose the money you paid for the new tires.
First, resolve the issue causing even tire wear, then check with your manufacturer how many times you must replace at a time. In other words, you cannot only replace one tire to resolve the problem because you will need to replace two tires on the same axle or probably the four tires, depending on your manufacturer's recommendation.
After all this, you should be able to resolve your problem and no longer have any shaking in your steering wheel unless the problem is also linked to some other issues that we will highlight in this list.
2. Issues with the wheels
Once you confirm that the tires are in good condition, the next step is to look at the wheels. Sometimes the wheels might be due for replacement, or there might be some external damages that caused them to break down prematurely.
While you can perform some visual inspections to look for signs of cracks or other damages, you must leave it to professionals and have your mechanic perform a floor inspection to confirm exactly what is going on.
For instance, it could be an issue we'll be hearing or probably with a couple of nuts or bullets connected to those guys.
Remember that when your steering wheel shakes because of a problem with the wheels, you must take it seriously. Sometimes a shake in your steering wheel is just a minor sign. However, if you ignored it for a long time, you could easily deal with situations where your entire wheel and the whole tire pop out from your vehicle and get you involved in major critical situations you never want to be in.
3. Troubles in the axles
After confirming that your tires and wheels are all in good condition, the next step is to inspect the axles. Sometimes the problem with the axles could result in situations where you will notice that your steering wheel is shaking.
The problem could be indicating that one of the axles is bent or completely damaged, and you must resolve the issue before things get more complicated.
For example, if you have a problem with the drive shaft, you'll notice that your steering wheel shakes. If the problems keep developing, you might get up the top point where things get more severe, and you will start noticing some jerking in the steering wheel and other scary situations.
If you confirm that your problem is due to the axles, you should not continue driving your car because things will get worse. Instead, contact your mechanic immediately and have him look at the vehicle to resolve the issue before moving a single mile.
4. Problems with the engine
At this point, we're hoping that you were able to resolve the issue with the shaking steering wheel. However, if the problem still occurs, you might be dealing with more critical situations that have to do with the engine itself.
For example, you might notice that the steering shaking happens along with other symptoms indicating issues with the fuel delivery or problems with the air supply in your engine. In this situation, you'll see some other consequences and signs indicating engine problems that are hopefully more visible to you than just the steering wheel shaking.
If you cannot determine what is going on, the best course of action is to talk to your mechanic and have him check on the engine because it could be the problem causing the issue.
5. Troubles in the brakes
Finally, problems with the braking system sometimes result in situations where your steering wheel shakes. Again, since we're talking about the cut-out braking system, this is a very difficult critical situation that concerns your safety.
Anything that has to do with the brakes must be taken seriously because you won't be able to slow down or stop your vehicle in emergencies. Plus, no matter how important your trip is, you should not drive this vehicle at all, and you should get the thing resolved before moving any single model.
Why does my steering wheel shake when braking?
In some situations, you notice that the steering wheel only shakes when you hit the brakes. This indicates that your problem has to do with the braking system, and since the braking system consists of many components, we'll look at what exactly could be causing this situation:
1. The rotors
Depending on your braking system type, the first and most common problem that could cause steering wheel shaking when braking is a problem with the rotor. You want to ensure that the rotors are not worn out and they're not due for replacement because otherwise, you won't be able to function your braking system properly.
2. The brake pads
Similarly, if the brake pads are completely worn out and are not functioning properly, you'll notice that your steering wheel might shake whenever you hit the brake system, which could indicate a need for at least the brake pads.
Typically, you can look at the brake pads and notice that there isn't enough rubber on them, which means that it's getting close to the metal components. When that happens, the metal components interact with a different component in your rating system and cause some shaking in the steering wheel and other problems.
3. The brake calipers
If you're not dealing with a problem with the rotors or the brake pads, it will most likely be an issue with the brake caliper. Have your mechanic thoroughly inspect and confirm that the caliber is working properly.
Finally, sometimes what you're dealing with could be related to other external factors. For instance, if you didn't drive your car for a long time and there's lots of debris or contaminants sitting on the braking system, you can easily deal with issues that might be translated into steering wheel shaking.
Therefore, you might want to look at the braking system and remove any contaminants or stock components that are not part of your braking system. Also, you want to do some cleanup and remove the smaller components you cannot pick up by your hand. But, again, this is something your mechanic can help me with to restore your brakes and have your vehicle work properly again.
How much does it cost to fix steering wheel shaking?
As we mentioned earlier, whenever you deal with the steering wheel shaking, you must fix the problem, and the repair cost depends heavily on what is the root problem.
For example, if your issue has to do with the tires and you need to replace them, then the repair costs about 167 per tire, and it can pile up if you need at least four tires.
On the other hand, if the issue has to do with the engine, we are talking about significant repair costs that could end up with situations where we have to replace the entire engine, which could cost you around $7000. So keep in mind that engine repairs can be more significant, and if you're driving a luxury vehicle, don't be surprised to pay up to $10,000 in some severe scenarios.
That's why you must be mindful about what makes sense to be fixed versus when it's the time to sell your vehicle rather than losing your time, money, and effort. Then, finally, you get to the point where repair costs pile up and where it gets close to the value of your vehicle; that's when you have to be ready to sell your vehicle and buy a better one.
When your steering wheel shakes, it can be a very scary situation and gets much scarier if you're driving at low or probably high speeds. Sometimes things get more complicated if the shaking only happens when you hit the braking system. This article provides you with all the potential causes to help you answer the question, why does my steering wheel shake?
Typically, a shaking steering wheel is linked to problems with the tires, wheels, axles, and some other components. Whatever the cause for this shaking should be taken care of immediately, otherwise, things get more complicated, and it can easily get you involved in major situations where your life is at risk of crashing.
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