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Maintenance is a necessary expense of car ownership and could potentially keep away common problems like a shaking steering wheel. If your steering wheel is shaking, it’s essential to figure out the cause so you can take appropriate action to fix the problem. Here are five potential reasons for a shaking steering wheel.

Why your steering wheel could be shaking

A black steering wheel. Potentially one a steering wheel shaking.
Steering wheel | Taylor Glascock via Getty Images

If your steering wheel is shaking, one potential cause is misalignment. This means that your tires are not pointing in the same direction. Misalignment can be caused by hitting a curb or pothole or simply due to wear and tear.

Another potential cause is unbalanced wheels. If their weight isn’t distributed evenly, you may feel your steering wheel vibrate. If ignored, this could also damage other parts, like your shocks and struts.

If your brakes are causing your steering wheel to shake, it’s usually because something is wrong with your brake rotors. When your brake pads wear down, they can start to damage your brake rotors. Warped brake rotors can also cause vibration in your steering wheel when you press down on the brakes. 

An out-of-alignment suspension system is another potential cause of vibration in your steering wheel. According to Family Handyman, “Loose suspension parts (bushings, tie-rod ends, mounting hardware), a worn wheel hub bearing or drive axle CV joint can cause steering wheel vibration, usually at low speed, and likely will be more pronounced when turning into a driveway or when parking.” 

The final potential cause is bad bearings or bearings that aren’t properly lubricated. The bearings are what allow your wheels to rotate smoothly. When worn out or damaged, they can cause the vibration.

What can you do to fix the problem

If you think the problem might be with your tires, the first thing you can do is check the pressure and tread depth. If your tires are low on air pressure or tread depth, they may be causing your steering wheel to shake. You can also try rotating your tires to see if that solves the problem.

If you think the problem might be with your car’s alignment, you can take it to a mechanic and have them check it for you. Think the problem might be with your car’s suspension? The best solution is to take it to a mechanic or tire shop and have them check it for you as well.

Don’t ignore the signs of a shaking steering wheel

It’s always important to keep your car properly maintained for various reasons. The biggest reason being your safety. If you experience your steering wheel shaking be sure to take the proper steps necessary to tend to the issue.