Have you noticed that your steering wheel shakes a little at high speeds? This is normal and not something to worry about. But why does it happen?
Steering wheels are engineered to handle g-force when drivers push the pedals and activate their vehicle’s brakes. But the actual car structure can’t handle much more than that. Here’s what we’ll uncover about why you experience wobbling sensations in your vehicle!
Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake At High Speeds?
If you’ve noticed your steering wheel shaking at high speeds, it’s likely because your tires are misaligned. In most cases, uneven wheels can cause vibrations that travel through the vehicle’s frame and into the steering wheel assembly. Additionally, if your car’s brakes aren’t keeping up, there may be an issue with how effectively they’re maintained.
Let’s find out how often these steering wheel trembles occur and what they signify, so tune in!
1. Misaligned Tires
Your tires’ alignment can impact how effectively they maintain their shape in various situations, such as when you’re driving through rocky terrain or down a winding route.
Furthermore, when your tires are correctly aligned, they’ll be able to maintain their structure even when they’re being pushed to their limits.
However, if they’re misaligned, their structure will be compromised in some way, which can cause them to shake as you drive down the road.
As a result, this can cause the car’s steering wheel to shake at high speeds because the tires are not holding their position on the road.
2. Uneven Wheels
Another issue is if your wheels are unevenly spaced or if one side is larger than the other.
That said, it will result in your wheels wobbling when you turn them — or even worse, scrape against each other when you’re turning quickly!
Because of that, when the wheels are not balanced, there is a greater chance of tire wear and strain.
Consequently, this can cause a vibration, leading to quivering steering wheels at high speeds.
3. Unreliable Brakes
Having a reliable brake system on your car is essential because, without one, your vehicle will not be able to get up to speed and stay there.
In the event that your brake pads are not gripping the rotors properly and causing them to vibrate at high speeds, this may be due to debris or cracks in the braking system.
Overall, your brake system may be failing to stop you promptly. If this is the case, you will see your steering wheel shake at high speeds.
4. Warped Brake Rotors
A warped brake rotor indicates that your rotor is out of round. Warping happens gradually, although it is more likely to occur if you brake heavily or frequently in stop-and-go traffic.
In most cases, your brake rotors may be warped if you notice that the steering wheel or brake pedal wobbles when you apply the brakes to slow down or stop.
For that reason, it’s possible you won’t even notice the shaking if the contort isn’t very bad. However, the vibration will be present if the twist is severe.
By that very fact, if there is something wrong with the rotors on your vehicle, they can cause tremors because of their tangled rotor brakes.
5. Sticky Brake Caliper
When driving, the goal is to use your brakes as little as possible.
However, sometimes you’ll find that your vehicle’s brakes are getting stuck on something—like a curb or pothole.
On the other hand, a corroded caliper piston from a damaged piston boot is the most frequent reason for a sticky brake caliper.
Inevitably, your steering wheel will shake while driving because there is no friction between the rotors and brake pads.
6. Exhausted Tires
Tires are made of rubber compounds and can lose their ability to hold traction when worn out due to excessive use or overuse.
With that, when a tire loses its ability to hold traction, it will cause your steering wheel to shake at high speeds because more weight is applied to each tire.
That is why your car’s steering wheel may tremble if your tires are overused and exhausted from prolonged handling.
7. Bent Axle
A bent axle is a result of hitting a curb. That said, the problem is that when you hit a pothole, there’s a sudden stop followed by a very rapid acceleration back to average speed.
So, when you’re going fast and suddenly stop, your wheels will move forward quickly and snap back into place before they’ve finished moving forward.
Under those circumstances, your steering wheel will shudder at high speeds because the steering system is forcibly working against the bend.
8. Engine Defects
Engine malfunctions are common in all cars, but they pose a grave risk to older vehicles with VTEC engines or turbochargers.
Besides that, if one or more cylinders aren’t working correctly, it could cause problems with uneven wear on parts like pistons or valves.
Although the entire car may shake due to an engine failure, the steering wheel will typically give you a warning before that happens.
9. Worn-Out Suspension Parts
If your steering wheel shakes at high speeds, it could be due to worn-out suspension parts.
Additionally, these include the shocks, struts, and springs. In other words, your car’s suspension is crucial for maintaining its balance at speed.
Therefore, if a part of the system is worn out or not working correctly, it will cause vibrations in your steering wheel that can be distracting and uncomfortable.
10. Defective Wheel Bearings
Theoretically, wheel bearings are built to endure the car’s entire life.
Still, they might get defective over time. Therefore, they are particularly at risk if you strike a pothole, a high curb, or a speed bump while moving quickly.
Inevitably, these critical parts can cause the steering wheel to vibrate if they are damaged or not adequately maintained.
11. Weak Suspension Springs
A vehicle’s suspension springs’ primary job is to support it while it travels through uneven terrain.
Further, when a suspension spring is weakened, it tends to compress very quickly, which is why you may notice your steering wheel wobbles, especially on jerky roads.
That said, the suspension ring is more likely to be the issue if you notice that your steering wheel wiggles while it is parked.
To know more, you can also read our posts on why your steering wheel is shaking, why your steering wheel is hard to turn, and why your car is leaking power steering fluid.
For the most part, you can rely on the power of your vehicle’s suspension to keep your car stable.
As you can see, these issues result from mismatched tires, uneven wheels, and unreliable brakes.
Ultimately, by knowing the basics of a car suspension, you should be able to steer your way out of all uncomfortable situations!