Why is my steering wheel shaking at high speeds?

When driving, it’s important that you always feel in control of your vehicle, especially at high speeds. A persistent shaking coming from your car’s steering wheel shouldn’t be ignored as it can be incredibly dangerous. This is why drivers benefit from understanding some of the issues’ most common causes. Being able to trust your car will react the way you expect it to will mean you’re more equipped to handle the problem and be less anxious on the road. 

There are three common culprits for a loose steering wheel: your wheels, brakes and your suspension.

Most often, the issue will stem from the wheels themselves. If you’ve jarred your car recently, by driving over a pothole or hitting a curb, it’s possible that you’ve accidentally knocked your tyres out of alignment. This can cause a whole host of issues if it isn’t dealt with quickly, with steering wheel vibration being one of the easiest indicators that something has gone wrong.

If alignment isn’t the issue, it’s also possible that your wheels are out of balance. This could mean that one or more of your tyres aren’t properly inflated, your treads are worn unevenly or something mechanical could be wrong further up your drivetrain. If you’re finding the shake is happening most noticeably around 80kph, then this could very well be your issue.

Brakes are the next logical culprit, especially if the shake occurs while you’re braking. The common issue will be with your brake rotors, a mechanical wheel that a brake pad physically clamps onto when you press the brake pedal, bringing your car to a stop. If this part wears out of shape, the clamp won’t apply evenly, and you’ll feel the wheel and pedal start to shake.

If your vehicle is older, then the components that make up your suspension could be worn down and loosened. This will cause a potentially severe shaking that you’ll feel in your wheel, and will need to be looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible, to prevent further damage to your car.

Is it safe to drive with a shaky steering wheel?  

It can sometimes be difficult to know just how worried you should be about your vehicle. Do you need to bring your car to a mechanic if your steering wheel starts shaking? Can you wait until the next service?

The short answer is that you should get it looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible. The longer you delay having them fixed or replaced by a professional mechanic, the worse the damage is going to be to your car and your wallet.

How do I fix my shaking steering wheel? 

Unfortunately, there’s no handy tip or quick fix for dealing with a shaking steering wheel. Whatever the cause may be, it will almost certainly require a mechanic to repair. As soon as you notice your steering wheel start to shake, take note of what conditions cause the vibration – your speed, the road condition, etc. All this information will be helpful to your mechanic when it comes time to diagnose what the problem is (if it isn’t something immediately obvious like the condition of your tyres).

Your mechanic will perform the necessary repair; a wheel alignment, wheel rebalancing, tyre or brake rotor replacement, and get you back on the road smoothly.

If you feel like your steering wheel has been vibrating a lot lately, our expertly trained team at Highfields Mechanical can perform all of these repairs and more. Give us a call today on (07) 4646 1780 or fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch.

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