Steering Wheel Vibration-The Ultimate Guide

Last updated on August 7th, 2023 at 12:29 pm

We all wish to have a smooth drive when we turn on the ignition of the vehicle.  But we can’t expect it all the time. steering wheel vibration affects your drive , and take away the smooth driving pleasure. So, from this article, we are going to learn different reasons for why does my steering wheel shake.

There are numerous reasons for the steering wheel vibration. Among them, the common reasons for the vibration occur due to braking, accelerating, and the condition of tires. So, let’s have an in-depth analysis of why does my steering wheel shake.

Vibration in steering wheel while driving

Have you ever felt a steering wheel vibration when you drive? The chances are you might have. Most of the time, the steering wheel shaking happens when you drive at high speed.  There are many reasons for this issue.

The main reason is the unbalanced tires.

If you have replaced new tires recently, there’s a high tendency for steering wheel vibration. When new tires are replaced, the weight should be matched according to the area. If the counterweights of the replaced tires are not balanced, you will feel a shimmer in the steering wheel.

Steering wheel vibration also comes from tires if you have used the same tires for a while. When you use the same tires for a long period, the tires get imbalanced. So, the easiest way you can avoid severe issue is by merely checking your tires once in a while.

Experts advise the vehicle owners to check the oil in the vehicle, after riding 3,000-6,000 miles( 5,000 – 10,000 Kilometers) based on the oil type and the vehicle make . This is the ideal time to check the tires too. So, checking both oil and tires at the same time will save your cost too.

You can check whether the tires are balanced by performing a dynamic balancing. It means you check the condition of the tires when you do a test drive. From this, you can understand whether the steering wheel vibration is fixed or not.

Another reason for steering wheel shaking while driving is due to misaligned tires.

Misaligned tires also cause steering wheel vibration. You can confirm the alignment of tires, by merely looking at the tread of the tire.If there are worn out or torn areas, you need to check the alignment of the tires.

You might wonder what the reasons for the tire misalignment are.  Well, mainly, the tire misalignment depends on your driving. If you drive on a rough road at high speed or neglect the road bumps, chances are you need a tire alignment.

If your tires pull the vehicle when driving, it is also an indication that your tires need an alignment. When your vehicle is not in perfect condition, you lose its control. That’s why you can’t handle the vehicle when there is an issue in the alignment.

So, by paying attention to simple warnings, you can save your time, money, and the condition of your vehicle.

  • You can check the steering wheel vibration issue by checking whether all the tires are properly inflated. If the tires are deflated, you might feel a steering wheel shaking when driving.
  • The broken belt of a tire also a reason for steering wheel vibration. Once the belt of the tire is broken, it is impossible to keep the form of the tire. So, the tire starts to bounce, which causes a steering wheel shaking.

Steering wheel vibration at high and low speeds

Just as the points mentioned in vibration in steering wheel while driving, you might get warning signs when you drive at high speed.

As I mentioned above, you feel the steering wheel shaking when you ride at high speed. So, if your tires are highly worn out, you will notice the steering wheel vibration. At low speed also you might feel the shimmer in the steering wheel. But it happens due to tires with shifted belts or suspension issues or due to bent wheels.

The reasons like the quality of the tire/ wheel, damages on the belt, tire/wheel balance, and alignment cause for the steering wheel shaking at high speed. So, when you drive your vehicle at a higher speed, you will notice that your car is not performing in its usual way. Without taking time, you need to take the vehicle to a mechanic to fix the issue.

Steering Wheel Shaking When Braking 

Issues in the braking system also result in steering wheel vibration. When you drive and hit the brake at once, you might feel the shake in the steering wheel. But this doesn’t happen when you drive. So, by paying attention to the steering wheel shaking when braking, you can realize if there’s something wrong in the braking system. And that will help you to repair your vehicle before something big happens.

Brake rotors

The condition of the brake rotors is a must to have for a well-performing brake system. So, another reason for the steering wheel shaking when braking is caused by the brake rotors. If you brake excessively or if you hit the break at once, the brake rotors get worn out. 

Brake rotors wear out eventually but not faster as the brake pads. If you have replaced the brake pads recently yet you feel steering wheel shaking when braking, you need to check the brake rotors.

You need to have a mechanic check the condition of the brake rotors. If they are warped out, you need to replace the brake rotors.

Each time you brake down, the calipers which hold the grip of the rotor and stop or slow down the vehicle. But, if the brake rotors are not in its perfect condition, we can’t expect them to function properly. So having worn-out rotors cause steering wheel shaking when braking.

Brake pads

Unlike other components of a vehicle, the brake system plays an utmost role in the protection of the vehicle and its users. There’s no time for you to wait if you feel a slight change in the brake system. Therefore, having a well-functioning brake system is a must for every vehicle.

Imagine a bicycle. Then imagine you use the brake to stop the bicycle. Can you remember the brake pads squeeze and stop the rotors or at least try to slow down the speed of the bicycle? The same thing happens in your vehicle. When you hit the brake, the calipers get in contact with the rotors and stop the vehicle.

If you hear different sounds like grinding or screeching when you press the brake pedal, then the chances of having an issue in the brake system are higher. To recognize the problem in your brake pads, you don’t need a mechanic. You can simply have a look at the brake pads through spokes on wheels.

You will feel a steering wheel vibration If the brake pads have thinned down. Or if the brake pads are uneven, it also causes a shimmer in the steering wheel.

As the worn-down brake pads affect the steering wheel, it also affects the function of the whole vehicle. You can replace the brake pads on your own. It’s not a difficult task.

Brake calipers

If the brake calipers are stick, you will feel a steering wheel shaking. This kind of situation happens rarely. But, brake calipers sticking happens due to debris or the wrong installment of the brake pads or the brake rotors. If you feel a steering wheel vibration, you need to confirm the source for it.

You get a burning smell if the steering wheel vibration happens from the brake calipers. So, the scent gives proof that there is something wrong in the brake calipers.

If the shimmering of the steering wheel occurs by debris, you can simply clean the area by yourself. But, if it’s more than that, you need to get support from an expert.

The main reasons for the steering wheel vibration are the points I mentioned above, mainly by tires and brakes. But apart from them, there are other reasons for the steering wheel vibration.


If there is something wrong in the engine, the steering wheel will warn you about it before any component in your vehicle. There are many reasons for a vehicle not to run smoothly. There can be issues in fuel delivery or air-induction, which will cause the engine to vibrate unusually. So, if you can’t find anything wrong in brakes or tires, it’s better to check the engine of your vehicle.


When you feel a steering wheel vibration when you speed up, it’s better to check on the axle. If your vehicle faced an accident recently and you notice a vibration in the steering wheel, you need to pay attention to the condition of the axle of your vehicle. You won’t be able to control your vehicle with an injured axle. So, you would better take the vehicle to a mechanic before using the vehicle again.

When you look after your vehicle, it will protect you and your loved ones too. You need to be on alert if you feel something odd in your vehicle like a sound you have never heard before or shimmering in the vehicle. And keep in mind not to use the vehicle until you fix the issues in your automobile. In that way, you will be able to save your money and also your energy.

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