Is It Safe to Drive With a Shaking Steering Wheel?

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A person driving with a shaking steering wheel

If you can’t maintain control of your vehicle, you shouldn’t drive.

However, for one reason or another, you can experience issues with your steering. This can make it nearly impossible to stay in control. So is it safe to drive with a shaking steering wheel?

Today, we’ll share some of the most common causes so you can get them fixed. You’ll enjoy smooth travels before you know it.

Buckle up, and let’s get started!

What Is a Shaking Steering Wheel?

A vibrating steering wheel can be a scary experience for any driver. Depending on the cause, the sensation can be minor or severe.

Typically it intensifies at higher speeds or during certain driving conditions. You can feel it throughout the entire vehicle in the most severe cases.

A car experiences shaking in the steering wheel for a reason. An automobile in good working order doesn’t experience this sensation, especially when driving on a smooth surface. If you encounter this issue, identify the cause of the situation as soon as possible.

Is It Safe to Drive With a Shaking Steering Wheel?

No, it is not safe to drive with a shaking steering wheel. It is typically a sign of a severe problem. It can affect your ability to control the car, which can be dangerous. This is the last thing you want to experience at high speeds.

If you notice vibrations while driving, have your automobile inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

They can diagnose the underlying issue and recommend the necessary repairs to restore your vehicle’s handling and safety.

What Causes a Shaking Steering Wheel?

You may find several common reasons why a steering wheel might shake.

A qualified mechanic can identify these with no trouble. If you don’t have the training or experience, trust a professional to narrow down the issues for you.

Wheel Alignment

One common cause is an alignment issue. A car out of alignment can cause uneven wear on the tires. Eventually, this can cause movement in the steering column, especially at higher speeds.

Misalignments can occur for various reasons, including hitting a pothole or curb, driving on rough roads, or general wear and tear over time.

Symptoms include uneven tire wear, pulling to one side while driving, and shaking in the steering wheel.

A wheel being realigned

Unbalanced Tires

Another common cause is unbalanced tires. Tires can experience this issue over time due to regular wear and tear.

Additionally, hitting a curb or pothole can cause problems. When a tire is unbalanced, it can cause the steering to move aggressively.

Fixing the issue involves counterbalancing uneven weight distribution. This ensures the tire rotates evenly and smoothly, reducing shaking in the steering wheel and improving handling. 

Having your tires balanced regularly is essential. This can help avoid excessive wear and tear on the suspension system and tires, which leads to more severe problems.

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Suspension Issues

Suspension issues can also cause shaking to occur. The suspension system absorbs bumps and vibrations from the road. When working correctly, it creates a smooth and stable ride. 

Unfortunately, the components can wear out, become damaged, or fail over time. This causes the vehicle to become unstable.

Common suspension issues include worn or damaged shocks or struts, worn-out ball joints, or bushings. These issues can cause uneven tire wear, poor handling, and noticeable shaking while driving.

Brake Issues

Brakes can also cause a shaking steering wheel. The brakes are an essential safety feature, responsible for slowing down and stopping. 

Over time, the brake components can wear out or become damaged. When this occurs, the brakes malfunction and cause the car to shudder.

Common brake issues that can cause steering problems include warped brake rotors, worn-out brake pads, or damaged brake calipers. These issues can cause the brakes to become less effective, causing instabilities.

Close up of a damaged brake pad

Wheel or Tire Damage

Wheel or tire damage can also cause shaking. Tires can become damaged due to hitting a pothole, curb, or road debris. This can cause the tire to become unbalanced, leading to vibrations.

Common tire issues that can cause shaking while driving include bent rims, damaged tires or wheels, or uneven tire wear. These issues can cause vibrations at various speeds, but typically above 60.

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A flat tire

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Shaking Steering Wheel?

Sadly, there’s no way to tell how much fixing a shaking steering wheel will cost.

The most common issues we’ve discussed could cost anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars. You need to have a trained professional take a close look at your vehicle to address the issue.

In addition, these issues tend to only get worse with time. If you delay taking your car to the shop, it’ll likely only get more expensive. So don’t procrastinate because you’re afraid of how much the repair bill might be.

Don’t Ignore a Shaking Steering Wheel

We don’t recommend ignoring a shaking steering wheel. It can indicate a severe problem with your vehicle’s safety and performance.

A shaking steering wheel can point to many different issues. In addition, it can affect your ability to control the vehicle and brake effectively.

By addressing the issue promptly, you can help ensure that your car is safe to drive and avoid the risk of more severe problems or accidents in the future.

So, if you experience a shaking steering wheel, don’t ignore it. Have it checked out by a professional mechanic.

1 comment
  1. You left out the dangerous of an impending tread separation. The wheel shaking will happen at both 35 and 70 mph . A tread separation can be catastrophic tire destruction and possible serious damage to the vehicle . Needs immediate attention.

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