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Steering Wheel Shakes Then Goes Away – What Could Be Wrong?

If you notice your steering wheel is shaking, it is a sign you should park your vehicle and carry out an inspection.  Once the car's front wheel is having an issue, it can be hazardous for you as a car owner to continue driving the car. We asked automobile experts about the reasons behind this, and here are the answers. 

Your steering wheel could shake for a number of reasons, these include: 

  • Damaged brake rotors
  • Poor axle system
  • Tire balancing problems, issues with alignment
  • Worn-out steering
  • Bad wheel-bearing

When this occurs, it can be life-threatening as you can lose control of your vehicle leading to an accident. Shakey steering wheels should be fixed as soon as possible. Hang on and keep reading to learn more on how to solve this. 

Interior view of car with black salon, Steering Wheel Shakes Then Goes Away - What Could Be Wrong?

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Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel is Shaking [And How to Diagnose The Problem]

steering wheel in the new modern car

Here are some of the problems or situations associated with the steering wheels of your car shaking. This also includes easy ways you can diagnose the exact issue. 

Damaged Brake Rotors

When the break is used in an emergency driving situation, it needs to be pressed very fast. Since the break works as a hydraulic system, the rotors that make it work would have to respond speedily too. 

If you frequently get into emergencies where you need to use the brake, the brake rotors might eventually bend over time. A deformed brake can result in a shaking wheel. 

To diagnose the problem simply observe how swift your brake responds. This should have been showing signs for a while since the brake would be inefficient during use. Hence, fixing this problem requires getting it repaired as soon as possible by a qualified technician. 

Poor Axle System

The wheel and axle system in a car have the same primary purpose of maintaining the stance of a car, whether during motion or not. 

If the axle system is damaged, though it always takes time to discover this, then it might cause the steering wheel to wobble. Since noticing a bad axle system takes expertise, the problem would need to be diagnosed by a qualified mechanic. 

Tire Balancing Problems, Issues With Alignment

Tires on all four sides of the car should be balanced for optimum performance. If they are not balanced, you will experience a shaky steering wheel while driving.

Your vehicle's suspension keeps your tires aligned and makes sure you move evenly even after encountering rough roads or portholes. Tire and wheel alignment problems can cause your steering wheel to wobble while you drive. 

The clue to diagnosing this problem is that when you start driving at a high speed, you would feel a loss of control of the steering wheel.

Worn Out Steering 

If you understand the function of a steering wheel, you would know that they control movement and direction while you drive. Worn-out steering, especially on old cars, can lead to a shaky wheel. 

The steering might simply malfunction because of surrounding parts getting out of position. Maybe one of the screws used for holding it in position has been loosened and it needs replacement. 

To diagnose this problem, check out the ball end and lower ballpoint that might be shifting out of position. All these parts affect how the steering works. 

Bad Wheel Bearing 

A damaged wheel bearing in a car can result in the steering wheels shaking. The shock absorber helps manage shock when the car bumps on a hard surface. However, it does not mean it won't affect some internal parts. 

One of the parts shocks affects your car is the steering wheel. Especially if you drive against hard, rough surfaces. To diagnose, if during these turns, your steering wheel shake, the problem might be a bad wheel bearing.

Also, during turning, if you should hear strange noises such as knocking or whining, then that must be a bad wheel bearing. 

How to Stop Steering Wheel From Shaking

driving car on highway, close up of hands on steering wheel

If you want to stop the steering wheel of a vehicle from shaking, you need to identify the problems first. This is one reason taking your vehicle for a routine check-up is important. 

Except if you are an automobile expert, it might be difficult for you to identify and repair some of the problems listed above. Here are the actions that you can take though: 

  • The brake rotor will be changed.
  • Balance the tires by returning the wheels to their position. 
  • Fixing the wheel bearing and steering wheel. 

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake and Then Stop?

As explained above, the most likely reason your steering wheel will shake and then stops after a while is an issue regarding the suspensions, steering problems, or even a problem with the wheel axle. After this main reason, other possible causes are factors that escalated from the primary reasons stated above. 

What Causes Intermittent Vibration at Highway Speeds?

Driving - speed concept

When the speed is about 50 miles per hour and above, your car might experience periodic vibrations, this is usually a result of the instability of the tire. If the tire is not stable or aligned with the wheel, then even a highway speed can cause erratic vibration. 

Can a Bad Wheel Bearing Cause Vibration?

Yes, a bad wheel bearing can cause vibration. Some of the signs of a bad steering wheel are:

  • Grating sounds.
  • The vibration of the steering wheel
  • Tires carry a lot of loads, hence, faster wear and tear

Is It Safe to Drive With a Shaky Steering Wheel?

It is unsafe to drive with a shaky steering wheel because of different reasons that could lead to more complications.

For example, if the reason for the shaky steering wheel is an unbalanced tire, it might loosen while on the load and lead to an accident. So, it is better not to drive with shaky steering and seek the help of automobile experts to get it fixed. 

Can Alignment Cause The Steering Wheel to Shake? 

Grid sensor sets mechanic on auto. Car stand with sensors wheels for alignment camber check in workshop of Service station.

If the wheel is not aligned correctly to the other wheel system, then it might be the cause of the shaky steering wheel. Cars that bump into large potholes or against hard stones on roads are very liable to get their wheels misaligned. 

A death wobble is caused when the steering cannot control the wheels correctly. This typically results in the car's front wheel wobbling and losing control. In fact, driving at high speed in this situation can be fatal.

To Wrap Up

There are several ways you can get rid of the periodic shaking of the steering wheel. Most of which have been explained in this article. A qualified expert can also help troubleshoot your steering wheel wobble and fix it. 

To learn more about car steering wheels, here are some articles you should check out: 

How to Turn on Heated Steering Wheel Lincoln Nautilus

How to Clean a Sticky Steering Wheel