Why does my steering wheel vibrate?

If your car has developed a vibrating or a shaky steering wheel, this could be more than simply an annoying feature.


It could be an indication that your car has a serious issue that needs to be investigated and rectified promptly. The best way to be sure what is causing the problem is to visit one of the friendly garages in the Protyre network and get a trusted professional to take a look at it.

Vibration through the steering of your car is not only irritating, it can be dangerous. Vibration can have a number of different causes, from loose wheel nuts to poor wheel alignment, and it’s important to identify the issue so that you can get it resolved in the right way.
 
Tyres are one of the main reasons that you may experience steering wheel vibration. There are a number of possible problems that can cause this. These include damaged or deformed tyres; if you see a bulge on the sidewall, for example, you need to get the tyre replaced quickly as it could lead to a high speed blow out. In many cases, the damage is caused by a tyre kerbing or by hitting a deep pothole. At Protyre we can supply budget brands such as Falken as well as premium tyres including Pirelli and Bridgestone to ensure you stay safe and stay within your budget.
 
How you look after your tyres is important too. If your tyres are under or over inflated, this can lead to uneven tread wear. You may be able to correct this by swapping the tyres to different wheels, but it’s important to check the pressures regularly to prevent problems. At Protyre our tyre professionals can advise you on avoiding uneven wear.
 
If your car has been stood unused for a long time, the tyres can develop flat spots. Although this can cause vibration, it’s something that should correct itself after a few miles. If you are intending to leave your car unused for a while, inflate the tyres to a higher pressure which will help prevent flat spots developing.
 
It’s important that your wheels are properly balanced. If they’re not - if you’ve lost a balance weight for example - this can lead to vibration at certain speeds. If you’re experiencing this, simply bring your vehicle to your local Protyre garage for a balance check.
 

How do I find out where my nearest Protyre garage is?

We’re the local garage you can trust, with many garages nationwide finding a Protyre close to you is simple, just click the button below and enter your postcode:

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Five reasons your steering wheel is vibrating

Taking prompt action will ensure your safety and will protect your vehicle from damage. Here are the most common causes of steering wheel vibration:
 

1. The wheels are not balanced

When a new tyre is placed on your wheel rim, the technician has to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed across the wheel. This is done by fixing on small weights, which is called balancing the wheel, with special equipment needed to do this.
 
If a wheel is not carefully balanced, your steering wheel will vibrate. This is a particular problem in newer cars, as they often have lightweight suspensions and low profile tyres. This issue needs to be sorted out quickly to avoid future problems with your shocks, struts, suspension and steering.


If you are unsure if your wheels are balanced correctly, why not book your vehicle in for a Wheel Alignment service?

Book Wheel Alignment
 

2. The wheels are misaligned

Wheel misalignment can cause shaking of your steering wheel. This is a problem that can be brought on by driving over potholes, mounting kerbs, and going over speed bumps too fast.
 
When you take your vehicle in to be examined by an expert, they will check the tread on your tyres. If the tread is uneven, such as the inside being more worn than the outside, this indicates misalignment. They will be able to get your wheels and axles pointing in the same direction, which will cure the problem.

Get a Free Alignment Check with Protyre, just click the button below to book your vehicle in today:

Free Alignment Check
 

3. Wheel hub bearings issues 

If your wheel hub bearings need to be lubricated or replaced, this will cause shaky steering when you are turning. The bearings enable the wheels to turn properly and support the vehicle’s weight by connecting to the axle or hub assembly; therefore, you will probably also hear strange noises.
 

4. Suspension issues

The suspension system is fairly complicated, with its purpose being to connect the wheels to your vehicle. If this is worn or corroded, it can cause a driveshaft imbalance and shaking.
 
Typically, steering wheel shake caused by a suspension issue will increase as your speed increases and when you maintain a particular speed. An expert will be able to inspect the whole suspension system and find the problem.

Get peace-of-mind with a Free Suspension Check at your local Protyre, just click the button below to book your vehicle in today:

Free Suspension Check
 

5. Braking system issues

A shaking steering wheel as the brakes are applied is a sure sign of a problem with the braking system. This could be worn brake pads or shocks, or it could be a problem with the discs. An expert technician will be able to examine the various elements of the braking system to find the exact cause. Solving the problem may include cleaning parts of the braking system, tightening them, or replacing worn parts.

Protyre offer Free Brake Checks across our garage network, click the button below to book one today.

Free Brake Check
 
No matter what the cause of your shaking steering wheel, your friendly local Protyre garage will be able to quickly diagnose and rectify the fault to get you back on the road. The quicker you get it sorted out, the better the outcome will be.

About the author

Dean Richardson

Dean is a Regional Director for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protech Academy. The ...

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