What can cause a steering wheel to shake?

A Shaking Steering Wheel has multiple causes, Warped Brake Rotors, A Failing CV Axle, A Loos Tie Rod or Worn Struts are just the most common ones.

A steering wheel shaking can happen for various reasons. Let's see the main ones.

Tire-related issues

  • Unbalanced tires: This is the most common cause of a shaking steering wheel, especially at higher speeds. When tires are unbalanced, they vibrate as they rotate. Consequently, the steering wheel shakes.

Unbalanced tires cause the steering wheel to shake while driving and needs to be rotated and balanced

  • Misaligned tires: If your tires are out of alignment, they won't make contact with the road evenly, which can also cause vibrations. This can happen from hitting potholes, curbs, or wear and tear over time. This can also happen if you have loose wheel bearings, resulting in poor wheel balance.
  • Damaged tires: Flat spots, bulges, or other imperfections in your tires can also result in a shaky steering wheel.

Unbalanced tires with deformities, causing the steering wheel to shake and vibrate while driving

Brake problems

The braking system can be the culprit behind the steering wheel vibrations. Here's why:

  • Warped brake rotors: When your brake rotors, which are the "discs" under your wheels, get warped or bent, they can cause steering wheel vibrations when you apply the brakes.

Warped brake rotor has an uneven surface which causes the vehicle to shake while driving, especially while braking

  • Stuck brake caliper: If a brake caliper is stuck, it can cause one wheel to drag, stressing the brake pads, which can also lead to a steering wheel vibration.

Stuck brake caliper causing the brake to partially apply, generating heat and vibrations on the steering wheel

Suspension issues

  • Worn shocks or struts: These components help to absorb bumps and keep your tires in contact with the road. When they wear out, they can't do their job as well, which can lead to vibrations.

Worn struts

  • Loose or worn suspension components: Ball joints, tie rod ends, and other suspension components can wear out or become loose over time, making the steering wheel shake.

Have your car inspected by a professional near you: They will first perform a Digital Vehicle Inspection and then diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of action.