Why Is My Steering Wheel Shaking?

There can be numerous causes for your steering wheel shaking while driving, and it’s essential that you identify how and why this occurs so a mechanic can fix the issue promptly.

Deal with issues promptly rather than waiting until they worsen further and become more costly to address them. 

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When Braking?

If you face steering wheel shaking when braking, this could be caused by one or more of several reasons. An uneven tire pressure issue where one or more of the tires is underinflated could be causing the wheels to not glide smoothly over the road surface and spreading its unevenness through your car and steering wheel.

Steering wheel shaking when braking may also be caused by worn out brake pads and rotors, which could indicate that your braking system isn’t performing at its optimum levels. You should visit a mechanic immediately so they can diagnose and address this problem.

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When Driving at High Speeds?

Typically, when you encounter steering wheel shaking when driving at higher speeds it indicates something may be amiss with your car typically out-of-balance tires, misalignment issues or worn or bad wheel bearings and tie rods may be to blame, typically making concentration on driving much harder and making you miss important traffic signals more easily than normal, these issues often become more noticeable at higher speeds as they make you lose focus faster and become distracting, therefore it’s wise to address them sooner rather than later.

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When Driving at Low Speeds?

It is likely and normal to experience steering wheel shaking at low speed, as problems in other units of the vehicle are more pronounced. There is no need to worry, but you should have the vehicle serviced as soon as possible, such as wheel balancement.

Causes of Shaking in the Steering Wheel

Most common causes of steering wheel shaking can be listed as:

Bad Balance

If you have never changed your tires before, you may not have had your wheels balanced. Balancing, which is a must for every tire change, is done to ensure the balance of the wheels. Just because the tires are the same size and of the same quality does not mean they will work perfectly. The purpose of balancing is to distribute the weight evenly across all wheels. If there is an imbalance in the balance, it will cause the steering to vibrate when you step on the gas.

Steering vibrations due to imbalance are most noticeable at high speeds. However, it is not correct to say that all vibrations at high speeds are caused by imbalance. If the steering vibration suddenly stops when you take your foot off the gas at high speed, this steering vibration may be caused by the axle. Axle-induced vibrations mean that there is a problem in the mechanical parts of your vehicle.

Wheel imbalances

If you face any steering wheel shaking, you should check wheel imbalances out. One of the primary culprits behind an unstable steering wheel shaking is an out of balance tire, such as one with flat spots or uneven wear patterns. Furthermore, installation errors could have rendered them improperly balanced, especially among older vehicles using kingpin front axles rather than modern front-wheel drive cars equipped with ball-joint front axles.

Bearing Problems

Bearings in the wheel hub are vital for the healthy progress of automobiles. These parts allow the wheels to turn smoothly without friction. This makes it easier for cars to reach high speeds. Unlubricated, damaged or broken bearings can cause other problems besides shaky steering.

Because bearings are connected to the axle and hub assembly, when they are not working properly, they directly affect the drive shaft, causing the steering to vibrate. Bearing vibrations are usually felt when the steering wheel is turned. When driving straight, the steering wheel may not vibrate even if the bearings are damaged. Bearing problems can usually be fixed with a simple lubrication or cleaning, but if there is significant wear, they should be replaced.

Suspension Problems

steering wheel shaking can also be caused by suspension issues. Your suspension system connects wheels and tires to your vehicle’s body via various components that comprise its suspension system; any wear-and-tear issues in these components could create suspension issues that impact how they communicate with each other, potentially impacting how tires and steering wheel shaking interact with each other as well.

Tire Problems

Tire problems are the most common reasons for steering wheel shaking. If the suspension issues are severe enough, they could cause drive shaft imbalance and steering wheel trembling. Although rare, this should be investigated further if other potential issues have been ruled out; typically this requires consulting an expert mechanic.

Brake Issues

If the steering wheel vibrates when you apply the brakes, there may be a problem with the brakes. Brake problems that can cause steering vibration are usually one or more of the following.

  • Worn brake pads,
  • Loose connections in the brake system
  • Bad brake disks
  • Engine Problems

Faulty Wheel Alignment

You should also consider the wheel alignment issues, when you face steering wheel shaking. Misaligned wheels are one of the most common causes of steering jerks. This condition, where the wheels are at different angles or directions relative to each other, is called wheel misalignment. Wheel misalignment is usually a problem that occurs after a long period of driving. However, it can also occur earlier, depending on use. Avoiding potholes and bumps delays wheel alignment. If you want to know if the vibration is caused by wheel misalignment, you can inspect the tire tread.

A tire with poor wheel alignment may have asymmetrical wear, where only the inner side or only the outer side is deformed. Also, if the steering wheel pulls to the right or left when driving down the road, this is due to incorrect wheel alignment. Adjusting the wheel and balancing will not only eliminate steering vibration, but will also help you avoid worse consequences.

What to Do When Your Steering Wheel Shakes?

If you experience steering wheel shaking while driving, there are 7 steps you can take to solve this malfunction.

  • Stay Relax and Maintain Control
  • You Should Check Tire Pressure
  • Inspect Tire Condition
  • Balance and Align Your Wheels
  • Look at Suspension and Steering Components
  • Fix Brake Problems
  • Seek Certified Center or Mechanics


Here are the frequently asked questions about steering wheel shaking:

Is it Safe to Drive With a Shaking Steering Wheel?

It is definitely not recommended for long-term use.

How Do You Fix a Shaking Steering Wheel?

For your safety, any of the possible causes mentioned should be detected and the process should be completed at an authorized mechanic.

Can Bad Power Steering Cause Shaking?

Yes, bad hydraulics are among the common causes.

Can Tire Pressure Make the Steering Wheel Shake?

Yes, low or excessive tire pressure may be the cause.

Juan Gibson

Juan is an automotive engineer and an avid car enthusiast. He has over 15 years of experience in the car industry. In my free time, I write blog posts about cars, models and etc.

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