5 Common Reasons Why Your Steering Wheel Might Shake

There are some things that are more concerning than others when driving your car around, and a steering wheel that's acting funny is certainly one of them. If you start to notice a shaky steering wheel in your vehicle, whether it's while you're driving or braking, consider if it's even safe to drive. Our authorized Subaru service center is happy to help you arrange for the vehicle to be brought into our service center. After all, nothing is more important than your safety. Below, we look at five of the more common reasons for the steering wheel in a car or SUV to be shaky. If you have any questions, please reach out to us or take a moment to schedule a service appointment conveniently online.

Person's hand on a steering wheel

5. Suspension Problems Could Cause Shaking In The Steering Wheel

Automotive suspension is complex, especially when it comes to the fully-independent suspension found on all the latest Subaru models. Over time, poor road conditions, demanding off-road trails, and even normal use can take a toll on the many suspension components. If something goes wrong with something like the shocks or springs, the wheel could start to bounce and cause you to feel it through a shaking steering wheel. You may notice the shaking steering wheel when accelerating, braking, or simply while driving. Whatever the case, it's something that you should have looked at by experts right away. It's just not safe to keep driving a vehicle with a shaking steering wheel.

Technician works on a car's suspension

4. Road Conditions

Most of our nation's roadways were designed and built a very long time ago, and they're starting to show their age. That means less than optimal road conditions are just a part of everyday driving. Sometimes, poor road conditions can cause a shaky steering wheel, and you may not even be able to see the problem when looking at the road from behind the wheel. If your steering wheel is only shaking on a particular stretch of road and nowhere else, the road may be to blame.

3. It Might Be The ABS

ABS stands for Antilock Braking System, and it's standard on all modern cars built over the last decade and beyond. It's this system that prevents your vehicle's tires from locking up and skidding out of control. It does this by rapidly pulsating the brakes, so the tire continues to rotate. It may sound odd, but this helps the vehicle come to a stop in a shorter distance compared to simply skidding to a stop. Of course, the rapid on-and-off action of the brakes may be noticeable in the steering wheel. So, if you had to slam on the brakes in response to a surprise and the steering wheel felt a little shaky, you may not have anything to worry about. However, if it happens every time you stop, that may be an issue with the brake rotors.

New tires waiting for installation

2. Wheel Balance

You know how those old top-load washing machines would go nuts when a load of jeans got all gathered up on one side? The same principle applies to the tires on your vehicle. This is why little weights are often attached to a specific part of your wheel at the tire shop, and it's these weights that keep every wheel perfectly balanced. Whether a third-party tire shop just didn't get the balance right on your wheels or one of the weights got knocked off, unbalanced wheels can cause a shaky steering wheel.

1. Warped Brake Rotors

When you step on the brakes in any car built over the last thirty years or so, a set of brake pads are hydraulically clamped onto a steel disc. This is called the rotor, and these disc brakes are standard on the front of modern cars. In fact, every Subaru also has these disc brakes on the rear wheels, as well. Whether it's from emergency braking, poor-quality brake pads, or simple age, these rotors can develop a warped surface. This means you could feel a shaking in the steering wheel when you apply the brakes. That's because the pads are being applied to an uneven surface.

Click to schedule your next service appointment at Subaru Superstore of Surprise in Surprise, AZ
Order Parts Online from Subaru Superstore of Surprise in Surprise, AZ

Subaru Superstore of Surprise

13090 N Autoshow Ave
Directions Surprise, AZ 85388

  • Sales: (623) 544-4000
  • Service: (623) 232-7200
  • Parts: (623) 232-7201
  1. Subaru Superstore of Surprise

    13090 N Autoshow Ave
    Surprise, AZ 85388

    • Sales: (888) 448-2021

Map Data
Map data ©2019
Map DataMap data ©2019
Map data ©2019