cornflakes

Shaking steering wheel

15 posts in this topic

Sorry, not exactly sure where this would go (under wheels or steering wheels?).

Yesterday on the way home from work, my front right tire became suddenly flat. I felt it immediately

as the steering wheel was tugging to one side and my speed went down even though I was stepping on it.

Luckily there was a tire shop just a minute away from where I was and I slowly drove it in. I drove it in for maybe

just a km or 2 at most while the tire was nearly flat.

They checked for holes or any puncture and nothing. Then he found out it was the tire air nozzle/needle (where you put

air into the tire or release air out). The base of it had broken or punctured so if you tilted the air nozzle, you'd hear the air come

rushing out. He replaced it for me and re-installed my tire onto the car. This morning, I found that when I drove at higher speeds

(around 80-100 km/hr), the steering wheel would shake/vibrate. The car didn't feel like it was shaking, nor was there any pull left

or right...it drove fine, but the steering wheel was shaking a lot at higher speeds.

Does anyone know what might be the cause? I have a feeling it is directly related to/connected to what happened yesterday

with the flat. Could it either be the tire itself or could my rim have been bent while driving on a flat tire?

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1. Did he re mount and balance the tire and rim?

2. Possible the tire is ruined from driving on it while flat.

3. Bent rim from driving flat.

I would bet it's number 1 or 2.

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He just removed the tire, replaced the nozzle and put the tire back on.

Is there a way they can test if it's the tire or the rim that is causing the vibrating steering wheel at higher speeds?

Mind you, the car itself doesn't feel shaky. I don't feel any vibrating at the tires or wheels. It's only the steering wheel.

Of course, I could be wrong and maybe I just wasn't able to feel anything vibrating or shaking from the wheel/tire.

Also, I may have an electrical issue with the car lately. My brake lights don't work and I checked the fuses and they are all ok, so

it's either the brake light switch (simple) or it's an electrical/circuit issue? If it's an electrical issue, could that possibly be affecting

my power steering that in turn could result in a shaking steering wheel at high speeds or is that totally unrelated?

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Just went back today and he balanced the tire for me. We'll see tomorrow morning when I drive at 80-100km/h again if the steering wheel still shakes or not.

He said if it still does, it's the tire and I'll need to change it. The good news is I asked him if the wheel was ok and he said yes. The wheel is not bent or the problem.

That would suck cuz I have aftermarket wheels and I can't find these wheels again...i'd either have to get a whole new set of 4 to match or drive with one odd mis-matching

wheel.

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He just removed the tire, replaced the nozzle and put the tire back on.

This morning, I found that when I drove at higher speeds

(around 80-100 km/hr), the steering wheel would shake/vibrate. The car didn't feel like it was shaking, nor was there any pull left

or right...it drove fine, but the steering wheel was shaking a lot at higher speeds.

Mind you, the car itself doesn't feel shaky. I don't feel any vibrating at the tires or wheels. It's only the steering wheel.

After replacing the tire on the rim, the tire may not be in the same position in relation to the rim and therefore the wheel/tire should be re-balanced. Normally with one front tire out of balance you would get vibration felt throughout the front of the car at a certain speed range, say in your case from 80-100. If it does not vibrate/shake at speeds past 100 or at some higher speed, then it is almost certainly just a simple wheel balance. If the the vibration/shake gets worse the higher the speed past 100 and really bad car shake at say 140-160km, then it is almost certainly a loose or worn tie rod end or both balance and tie rod. What is causing you to only feel it at the steering wheel is either the balance is off very little or that the wheel is not bouncing up and down (vertical) as is typical in a balance problem, but moving from left <> right (horizontal) which is usually a symptom of a loose/worn tie rod end and because it tracks straight, probably very slight, only on one side loose tie rod end. There is of course a possibility the tire steel belts were damaged or moved off center while driving on the flat which would also cause the car to shake the higher the speed. Try the 100-160kmph run and see if it gets worse or disappears at a certain speed. This will help you guide the mechanic to check the tie rod ends first..then do a balance anyway as that should always be done after a tire is removed from the rim. I hope this long, rambling post can guide you to get this fixed. Let us curious members know the outcome..K?..Nuff said...

PS: just noticed you were posting your last post same time as me..so make sure he checks the tie rod end if it still shakes.

Edited by Retired old Gearhead
Skids likes this

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thanks for the reply. I appreciate long responses with more indepth information. The more the better for me to learn. Sorry, I don't know what a tie rod is. I'll look it up. Actually, I'm going for a little stroll soon, so I'll be able to find out if the shaking steering wheel still happens or not at 100km/h.

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great news, the balancing of the tire did it. No more shaking steering wheel at 100km+. Smooth as before.

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See?..Sometimes things seem worse than they are..now all is fixed for $20 and with the low Canadian dollar..good deal in my books. Hope the same is true with your electrical issues...

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People, I am somehow facing similar situation. :cry:

WhenI used to drive beyond 105-110kph the steering start shaking. Also, the car tend to shift left, if I removed hands from steering wheel on a straight road, the deflection is minor but noticable. I was thinking it because of old tires and wheel alignment and balancing. I recently got new tires and the mechanic told me my shock absorber are slightly out of place. Next day I have given my car to service centre and the service guy told me about shock absorber mount issue. Being a big ticket item, I have parked this for next service. 

I later went to local mechanic and he explained me that the camber is problem, my left front wheel is coming out on top ( positive camber, I guess 5° ). Solution he suggested to use a thin bolt used to join knuckle and shock absorber since camber is not adjustable in spark, though I don't prefer it as thin bolt may got fast wear and make big issue later. Now, I got two theories, shocker mount and positive camber, are they interlinked?

I am in big confusion and little bit in hurry as I am planning for a 500km journey in 10days.

PS - after tire change I haven't tried driving about 80, but it deflect on left.

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Ya..have them resolve it the way you described..works generally well...Shaking sounds like wheel balance..all minor stuff...

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Not a hands on mechanic anymore, but every time I had a vibration issue, almost always it was tires out of balance. Since I drive my cars gently, in 57 years of driving, never had to replace a ball joint or tie rod. I usually replace shocks after driving 100,000 miles (160,000 km). I have no clue why the shock absorber is out of place. May be your shocks are just worn out, just go to any reputable large auto shop and get new shocks. I don't think the mounting of shocks allows any possibility of error. The mountings are a tight fit. I remember messing with camber on my 1976 Camaro, by trying various shims of different thickness. That seemed to help reduce pull to one side.

Edited by Bobby MSME

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Thank you Retired Old Gearhead and Bobby MSME.

As suggested by you I will check with auto guy here and will get wheel alignment & balancing redone.

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Ya..Shocks, struts etc are held in place by fasteners. Only way they can move is by impact like a collision. As Bobby said..99% of the time it is alignment or most likely balance.

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As collision word came in, I need to add a small piece (may be with big impact) of info what I have.

As this is pre owned/used car, it got a bumper to bumper hit during rainy days in Mumbai. Its bonnet n rear hatch is replaced. This was a back to back kind of minor accident. This is what the company service center guy told me, when I took it right after purchase.

I personally didn't talk to previous owner as it was exchanged with a new vehicle at pre-owned car dealer (Truevalue run by Maruti Suzuki India), from where I bought it.

Though now, I took many lessons, why not to go for a used car. :hammer_self:

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6 hours ago, ChevyBeat said:

As collision word came in, I need to add a small piece (may be with big impact) of info what I have.

As this is pre owned/used car, it got a bumper to bumper hit during rainy days in Mumbai. Its bonnet n rear hatch is replaced. This was a back to back kind of minor accident. This is what the company service center guy told me, when I took it right after purchase.

I personally didn't talk to previous owner as it was exchanged with a new vehicle at pre-owned car dealer (Truevalue run by Maruti Suzuki India), from where I bought it.

Though now, I took many lessons, why not to go for a used car. :hammer_self:

I learned that lesson after buying 5 or 6 used cars, until I finally started buying only new cars. New cars come with warranty, and there is no chance of abuse by previous owners.

ChevyBeat likes this

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