Causes of steering wheel shakes

Some of the most common symptoms in a car are transmitted to the driver by the steering wheel shakes. These shakes tell us what happens to our car, but also what to do. If we detect the message transmitted by the steering wheel in time, we could avoid costly repairs to our car and avoid possible serious accidents caused by these mechanical problems.

Many drivers choose to ignore the signals transmitted by the steering wheel vibrations, considering that they do not indicate a serious technical problem or that they simply will disappear by themselves. In reality, the vibrations of the steering wheel are extremely important signs, which should never be ignored, and they can often make the difference between life and death on the road.

Problems with brake discs

If the steering wheel starts to shake only when you brake, there are probably some problems with the brake discs. In most cases, it is found that the brake discs are no longer parallel to the brake pads and calipers. Basically, they are no longer perfectly centered, and this happens either because the parts are of poor quality, or because the car was driven incorrectly.

This offset feels like a slight shake of the steering wheel, usually when you press the brake pedal at a high speed. If you do not take action, the problem will intensify, and the vibrations will start to feel even when braking at lower speeds. To correct the problem, it is necessary to rectify or resurface the discs which are shown in the video below, and if this is no longer possible, replace them with new ones.

Steering rods

The steering rods are part of the steering system of the car and are metal parts that attach the bar head to the steering box, practically connecting the wheel to the steering wheel. In this case, the vibrations are transmitted from the wheel to the steering wheel by means of connecting rods, and these can occur due to the asphalt pits or the inappropriate taking of the turns by the driver, which forces the steering wheel, which leads to wear of the ball-type joint.

This kind of technical problem should not be treated superficially because the use of the steering linkages and the bar ends will lead to an increasing play of the steering wheel, which can produce vibrations, especially at higher speeds, thus risking the loss of the control of the direction and the production of serious traffic accidents.

The wear of the steering linkages can be easily identified by the specific noise that this car component makes, iron to iron, especially when we get into a pit or pull the steering wheel harder. Indicated in such a situation is that the connecting rods and the tie rod ends are replaced immediately with new ones.

Steering rack

The steering box can also cause steering wheel shakes over time. Because it is composed of several elements, their wear will lead to the malfunction of the steering box components

This means that from the wheel to the steering wheel there will be a small distance where the wheels are not controlled by the driver through the steering wheel. This is how vibration occurs, even at low speeds. This kind of technical problem is very serious, and if you find yourself in this situation, you should immediately go to an authorized service for verification. If you choose not to do so, you may not be able to control your car anymore, which can lead to a crash.

One symptom that indicates that you may be experiencing technical problems with the steering box is the leakage of fluid under the car, which in conjunction with the vibration of the steering wheel most likely indicates such a malfunction.

Unbalanced wheels

Even the poor balance of the wheels or their imbalance over time can lead to serious steering wheel shakes. Unfortunately, to unbalance a wheel you need only a deeper pit, which can cause a jump of a lead with which a wheel has been balanced, also, it can twist a wheel or make swelling in the tire.

There may also be situations where a larger screw or other foreign body enters the tire, causing the steering wheel to vibrate. Therefore, it is recommended that the car wheels be first checked so that the problem can be solved quickly and with minimal costs.

Sway bar link

The vibration of the steering wheel can also be caused by the failure of the stabilizer bar link. This unites the stabilizer bar of the car swing arm, being composed of a joint with a ball of steel and rubber.

In time, the dust and moisture make their way between the rubber and the metal, which begins to rust, so that means the ball will start to function unproperly. The driver will first hear a metal beat, and if he chooses to ignore it, as the wear and tear of this car component increases, he will begin to feel shakes in the steering wheel as well.

A check at an authorized service will determine exactly if the anti-roll bar is responsible for vibration and if its wear is pronounced, it must be replaced immediately. Drivers should know that each of the steering components is very important and no signs of a game or steering wheel should be ignored, indicating a possible technical problem, because neglecting this can put your life, the passengers in the car and the car to other participants in high-risk traffic.

Misaligned tires

Another symptom that is responsible for the steering wheel shakes. Wheels that are unproperly aligned cause the tires to wear unevenly thus leading to steering wheel vibrations, it is better to check this issue before it could lead to unwanted consequences.


Suspension related problems also cause the steering wheel to shake. You can spot these even at low speeds. Checking the suspension is easy because these parts are on sight. When the car is parked, check your suspensions to see if you see cuts, high wear or tears that are not good signs. It is advisable to change your suspension.

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