Steering Wheel Wobbles While Driving

A wobble in the steering wheel feels like the wheel is shaking to the left and right. This may get worse the faster you are driving. Almost feels like the wheel has a mind of its own. If severe enough, then it may feel like like it wants to jump right out of your had.

There are several things that can cause this. Most common is a problem in one of the front tires. One may have a lump in it, or an irregular wear pattern. This is easy to feel. Just rub your hand along the circumference of the tires to feel for a lump, feathering, or roughness. A best rim can do this as well. Rotating tires is a good way to diagnose this. Out of balance wheel/tire may enhance the situation.

All tires in the last few decades are steel belted. If a belt has shifted, this would also cause the problem. This type of tire problem is a little harder to find. It is not usually visible. Swapping the front tires with the rear, then going for a drive would make the feeling change. Since now the tire with a problem is in the rear. This is assuming the rear tires that are now on the front are in good shape.

Loose steering components are another common cause. Inner or outer tied rod ends that are loose will make the wobble or shaking. These need to be inspected regularly. If one were to break, you would loose the ability to steer the car or truck.

Worn upper or lower ball joints, or other suspension parts is another possibility, along with worn control arm bushings.

Basically if your vehicle has this condition, get it checked as soon as possible by a mechanic, just in case it is a safety issue with a component that is ready to break.

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Comments (16)
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  • Guest - Greg

    My holden Commodore only makes the steering wheel wobble like hell at speed ie. On the Exspress way when I'm braking from 100ks down to let's say 90 to 80ks. Ive had damaged disc before and im Shaw it's not the front brakes although it does feel like a brake problem. Could this be my something worne in my steering rack .

  • Guest - Jeff

    I have a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, while driving the steering will jerk to the left at 35 mph. it does the same while in a curve. I was told about a rear sub-bolt missing but can't find one in no store or on line. Now I can't drive over 35 mph without the steering trying to pull to the left or to the right and feels like the van is weaving back and forth. What is the problem?

  • Guest - Ned

    In reply to: Guest - Jeff

    I would assume assume the rear sub-bolt is referring to a bolt in the lower subframe, rear section. Not the rear of the van, but the rear of the front subframe. If that is the case, You need to get that fix right away before something real bad happens.

  • Guest - kevin

    i have a 97 ford expedition 5.4l. when i drive at low or high speed the steering wheel wobbles and the viechle vibrates bad

  • Guest - Drew

    In reply to: Guest - kevin

    Hello if the steering wheel vibrates while driving and your foot off of the brake pedal, it is most likely that your tires are out of balance, or your tires need to be replaced, the cheaper route is to try to balance them first, if no change replace tires, 95% of driveability issues are tires

  • Guest - Sheila

    2006 Dodge Caravan, front end shimmey. Get worse as you go faster, pulls to the right.

  • Guest - Jeff

    In reply to: Guest - Sheila

    I bought a new set of tires, had tie rods replaced and an alignment. When I left the shop I had to bring it back because the problem got worse. Then I was told that a sub bolt was missing and needed to get one, but the shop could not find one from parts store or on line. Now, my 2006 Dodge Caravan can't be driven over 35 mph without it pulling to the left or feeling like someone is trying to jerk the steering wheel out of my hand and now it's weaving back and forth.

  • Guest - Mike

    In reply to: Guest - Jeff

    Have you looked at a salvage yard for the part?

  • Guest - Drew

    In reply to: Guest - Sheila

    Check air pressure on tires
    95% of drive ability issues are tires,
    Possible tires are out of balance
    If it shimmys while stopping you have worn/warped rotors

  • Guest - rick zerklr

    I just changed cv axle and all 4 ball joints went to take it around the block steering wheel wobbly what is causing this

  • Guest - Drew

    In reply to: Guest - rick zerklr

    This can be a few things, try to rotate tires see if problem follows, if it wobbles while you are stepping on the brake pedal and stopping, you have bad/warped rotors.

  • Guest - nette

    Hi i have a mini van 2006 my steering wheel wobble and everytime i step on the gas to go it pulls to my right.

  • Guest - Drew

    In reply to: Guest - nette

    Hello it is very possible the your tie rod is worn or the tire is low on air. If not try rotating tires if problem continues alignment will need to be checked

  • Guest - tommy

    My truck acts like the power steering pump is out. But when i drive the steering wheel shakes a lot. Then it goes away mostly. If i turn a little while driving its shakes again then smooths out! Is that my pump or is it in my gears? thanks

  • Guest - Stanley

    In reply to: Guest - tommy

    Well, that depends on what model truck you have. But, the belt could be slipping, or the shaft on the pump pulley has broken and will sometimes turn the internals of the pump, and other tiomes not.

  • Guest - James

    Thanks for this information. Just ran into this problem today.