Whenever your car seems to malfunction, it can be a troubling experience. Whether you’re out on the road or just in your driveway, realizing that there is an issue with your car can start a chain reaction of bad thoughts about how much time and money it will cost you.
But the good news is, if you have a little knowledge beforehand of what it means and how to react when your car steering wheel shakes, then you can save yourself a little stress and anxiety. Here’s what you need to know about a shaking steering wheel.
What Are the Common Causes of a Shaking Steering Wheel?
Cause 1: A tire imbalance. Often enough, tires can be imbalanced and this can cause shaking in the steering wheel.
A common sign that this is the cause of your steering wheel’s shaking is an increase in shaking as the vehicle speeds up. Basically, the faster you go, the more pronounced the imbalance is, and this translates into shaking. On the other hand, the slower you go, the less obvious the shaking becomes.
You can also look for spots on your wheel where a wheel weight might have once been placed. If you see outlines or spots, the wheel weight might have simply fallen off.
You should take your car to a certified tire technician who can perform a test on your car to determine if it is properly balanced. They can also suggest a course of action specific to your car and its tires.
Cause 2: Loose wheel bearings. Another common issue drivers face has to do with loose wheel bearings.
Over time, the bearings slowly lose their lubrication and their effectiveness. An easy way to check if this is the underlying issue is by jacking the front of your car up and moving the tires back and forth with your arms. If you hear a clunking noise, then this is a good sign that the bearings are the culprit behind the shaking.
Fixing this issue is probably best left to a professional mechanic, unless you have lots of experience with cars. Once the bearings are replaced, the steering wheel shaking should stop.
Cause 3: Suspension issues. The suspension is what allows your car to absorb energy from any imperfections on the road or other shocks when you are driving.
The suspension system is made of several components, with each performing a vital function for your car. These components can get worn out or damaged in some way, and this can have drastic effects on your suspension system.
The best course of action for the everyday car owner is to take a flashlight and look around the wheel for any noticeable damage or loose parts. Taking your car to a mechanic is ultimately the wisest plan, as you’ll be able to get a thorough inspection performed on your suspension system, which will hopefully identify the exact cause of the shaking.
Shaking in your steering wheel is a serious problem, one that should not be neglected. It could be a sign of a major problem with your car, and though the shaking might only be inconvenient or annoying now, it could turn into a safety issue that puts you and other drivers at risk. It’s important for you to identify the exact cause of the problem and get it fixed immediately.