Why Your Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving Causes and Solutions

Learn why your steering wheel shakes when driving and discover common causes like imbalanced tires, brake issues, and suspension problems. Get expert advice and instant solutions at Auto Advisor Online.
Why Your Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving Causes and Solutions

Why Your Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving Causes and Solutions


  • Common causes of steering wheel shakes
  • Diagnosing the issue
  • Fixes for shaking steering wheels
  • Safety considerations
  • Related steering wheel problems

Common Causes of Steering Wheel Shakes

1. Imbalanced Tires One of the most common reasons for a shaking steering wheel is imbalanced tires. If the tires are not balanced correctly, it can cause the steering wheel to vibrate, especially at higher speeds.

2. Brake Issues If your steering wheel shakes when braking, it could indicate warped brake discs. The brake pads pressing against an uneven surface can cause vibrations.

3. Suspension or Steering Components Worn or damaged suspension or steering components, such as tie rods, ball joints, or wheel bearings, can cause the steering wheel to shake.

4. Low or Uneven Tire Pressure Low or uneven tire pressure can create an imbalance, leading to a shaking steering wheel.

5. Bent Wheels Bent or damaged wheels can also cause vibrations and should be inspected and replaced if necessary.

6. Engine Problems Worn engine mounts or defective spark plugs can cause vibrations that are felt in the steering wheel.

7. Low Transmission Fluid Low transmission fluid can cause grinding and shaking in your vehicle when you try to accelerate.

Diagnosing the Issue

To diagnose the cause of a shaking steering wheel, you should consider the following:

  • When does the shaking occur? Determine if the vibration happens at higher speeds, during braking, or at lower speeds.
  • Check the tires: Ensure they are properly inflated and look for any visible damage such as bulges or uneven tread.
  • Inspect the brakes: If the shaking occurs during braking, check the brake discs and pads for wear and warping.
  • Look at the suspension and steering components: Have a mechanic inspect tie rods, ball joints, and wheel bearings for any damage or wear.

For a more detailed diagnosis, visit our Auto Advisor Online tool which can help you identify the exact cause of your steering wheel issue.

Fixes for Shaking Steering Wheels

1. Balancing the Tires If imbalanced tires are the cause, have them balanced by a professional.

2. Replacing or Resurfacing Brake Discs Warped brake discs should be resurfaced or replaced to ensure smooth braking.

3. Repairing Suspension Components Worn or damaged suspension components should be replaced. This includes tie rods, ball joints, and wheel bearings.

4. Adjusting Tire Pressure Ensure all tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels.

5. Replacing Bent Wheels If the wheels are bent or damaged, replace them to restore balance.

6. Addressing Engine Problems Replace worn engine mounts or defective spark plugs to reduce vibrations.

7. Refilling Transmission Fluid If low transmission fluid is the issue, refill it to the proper level.

Safety Considerations

Driving with a shaking steering wheel can be unsafe. It can be a sign of serious issues such as brake failure or a loose wheel component. It’s important to get the problem diagnosed and fixed as soon as possible to ensure your vehicle remains safe to drive.

Related Steering Wheel Problems

Steering Wheel Hard to Turn This could be due to issues with the steering rack, serpentine belt, power steering fluid, power steering pump, or low tire pressure. For more detailed information specific to your own car, check our online instant solutions tool. Where you will find answers to all your vehicle issues from steering wheels to more complex issues.

Steering Wheel Shakes at High Speeds If your steering wheel shakes at high speeds, it is often due to imbalanced tires or damaged suspension components. Properly balancing the tires and checking the suspension can resolve this issue.

Steering Wheel Shakes When Braking This is commonly caused by warped brake discs. Ensuring the discs and pads are in good condition can help eliminate this problem.


Can bad wheel bearings cause the steering wheel to shake?

No, worn wheel bearings are likely to be noisy and will only cause the wheels to shake if failure is imminent. They must be replaced when damaged.

Can low tire pressure cause the steering wheel to shake?

Yes, low tire pressure can cause your steering wheel to shake. Ensure all tires are inflated to the correct pressure levels.


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