Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving

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Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving

If the steering wheel shakes when driving this generally indicates one of the following:

(1) Imbalance front wheel.
(2) Loose front end parts.

Car Troubleshooting

Let's examine each of these possible causes. Incidentally, the first is the more common of the two...

Imbalanced Front Wheel
If the wheel is imbalanced when its weight isn't evenly distributed throughout (i.e. there are "heavy spots"). Such a wheel will rotate unevenly. Also, it'll often vibrate when the vehicle reaches a certain speed. This vibration is transmitted directly to the steering linkage and, ultimately, up to the steering wheel as is the case with this vehicle. A wheel can become imbalanced if one of the small metal (i.e. "balancing") weights falls off it or, if its tire gets "out of round" (i.e. not perfectly round).

Loose Front End Part

Front end parts such as tie rods and ball joints will vibrate if they're loose. Due to the overall design (i.e. "geometry") of the front end, these parts will often vibrate severely when the vehicle reaches a certain speed. As before, this vibration will ultimately transfer up to the steering wheel.

What to do?

First, have the front wheels balanced. This procedure is fairly inexpensive and, seven out of ten times, it'll fix the problem. However, if the problem persists after the wheels have been balanced, the front end of this vehicle will need to be inspected

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