Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake?

No motorist enjoys a steering wheel that begins to shake. This indicates that something is wrong with your vehicle, and it can make driving unduly unpleasant and frightening.

If the road is clean and you nevertheless experience a jerky ride, only the vehicle itself is to blame.

When you discover that your steering wheel is shaking, waiting for the issue to resolve itself can only worsen matters. Thus, we strongly advise you to take immediate action.

Why does my steering wheel shake when I brake?

There are several probable causes for a trembling steering wheel, some of which may surprise you. Depending on how your vehicle is swaying, it may reveal signs that can assist a professional mechanic in diagnosing the problem.

Once you’ve identified the issue, note when it worsens. For instance, is it worse at low or high speeds? Is it worse when you apply the brakes?

This information can assist a mechanic in establishing the source of your steering wheel’s shakiness.

Steps To Remove Brake Pads And Rotors

  • Loosen the bolts holding the wheel in place.
  • Raise the vehicle with the jack and position the stands underneath to secure it.
  • Remove the wheel by completely unscrewing the wheel’s nuts.
  • Spray WD-40 on the nuts securing the caliper, and then remove it.
  • Disconnect the safety pin and observe how it was initially installed.
  • To avoid disconnecting the brake lines, hang the caliper on the suspension coil.
  • The brake pads and rotor can now be removed from their sockets.

5 Common Causes For A Shaky Steering Wheel

1. Unstable Tires

Unbalanced tires are the most general cause of steering wheel vibration. Because the tires required some time to restore to their natural shape, those of us who recently converted to winter tires that were already mounted may have experienced some shaking during the first hundred miles.

5 Common Causes For A Shaky Steering Wheel

When tires are mounted on rims, they must be balanced to run completely straight. Consider a wobbling bicycle wheel; a car tire has the same problem on a much smaller scale but rotates much quicker, so the vibrations spread rapidly.

Professionals must do tire balancing since it needs pricey and specialized equipment. Fortunately, the price range is only $15 to $75, which is reasonable.

2. Misaligned Wheels

About wheels, misalignment is another possible reason for steering wheel shake. Wheel alignment requires that the wheel be positioned relative to the ground and parallel to the car’s body.

Wheel misalignment occurs when the suspension is worn or after it has been replaced. Thus, this is not a frequent task, but it is nonetheless essential. As with tire balance, misalignment cannot be rectified by a do-it-yourself technician and must be performed by a professional.

3. Brake System

As the car slows down, the braking system relies on a metal disc installed on the axle to withstand the friction. It is natural for the rotor to rust, chip, crack, and bend with time. The flaws cause the brake pads to contact the disc even when the brakes are not engaged.

When you apply the brakes, the vibrations and shaking will intensify because the warping generates unequal contact.

4. Used Suspension

Links, couplings, suspensions arms, coils, and other suspension systems work together to keep the car on the road, keep it steady, and allow you to navigate.

Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles have constant-velocity joints (CV joints). They can deliver power to the wheel irrespective of the angle, which is essential because the front wheels are utilized for steering.

Used Suspension

The failure of the CV joint is marked by a rumbling sound and steering wheel tremors. The left CV joint groans when turning to the left, but the right CV joint displays symptoms when moving to the right.

However, if the issue is severe, it will persist even when heading directly, and ignoring it could result in the wheel falling off.

In addition to a broken control arm, worn bushings, and suspension, the steering wheel will shake if the system cannot absorb the flaws in the road. The defective suspension will accelerate the deterioration of other components, reduce vehicle control, and pose a grave safety concern.

5. Steering Rack

The steering rack is attached directly to the steering wheel, making it a likely suspect. Rack failure causes steering wheel drift, insensitivity, and shaking.

In addition to the steering rack, the traction control system should also be inspected. Recently, I’ve observed a substantial amount of power steering fluid underneath the vehicle and a shaking steering wheel.

As the pressure decreases, it becomes progressively difficult to spin the steering wheel.

What To Do When Your Steering Wheel Shakes?

When the steering wheel begins to shake, you should always seek emergency assistance, regardless of the precise nature of the problem.

The symptoms you are experiencing may indicate a serious issue that concerns the durability or safety of your car.

Take it to a trained auto mechanic so they can determine what the problem is and how to fix it.

How To Diagnose A Shaking Steering Wheel

Although the five causes mentioned above of a shaky steering wheel are the most common, they are not the only possible explanations. Numerous engine issues can cause the entire vehicle to shake, but you may only be detecting the shaking in the steering wheel.

There could be issues with the ignition, air intake, or fuel delivery methods. After reading the list above, you are still uncertain why your steering wheel is shaking, so you should take your vehicle to a competent mechanic immediately.


1. Is it safe to drive with a shaking steering wheel?

It is often unwise to operate a car with a trembling steering wheel. If the problem is not the tires, it is a serious failure that can result in the loss of brakes, vehicle control, and significant engine damage.

2. How do I fix my steering wheel from shaking?

In most instances, a simple tire rotation or wheel alignment can resolve the issue. If you regularly replace the brake rotors, disc brakes, and suspension system, you will prevent shaking induced by their failure.

Also, Read:- Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

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