Causes and Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds

Causes and Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds – When driving a car at high speed, especially in cars that are more than 5 years old, there are disturbing symptoms such as the steering wheel wobbling, unstable, or vibrating. In fact, this is a normal symptom. Why? Due to wear and tear of components on the legs, especially those related to steering.

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Causes and Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds

In such conditions, we need to replace the components directly involved with the steering wheel. Repair of components is also still possible depending on the condition and which component is the source of the problem. For severe cases, even the replacement of one or two parts is not enough. The following is a list of components that may be the source of the problem and the characteristics of the malfunction.

1. Tie Rod End / Tie Rod

The first Cause and Solution of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds are tie rod end / tie rod. The Tie Rod is in direct contact with the wheel. Its function is to connect the Long Tie Rod/Rack End. Damage to the tie rod components can cause noises at high speeds. Severe damage is indicated by the vibration of the steering wheel when the vehicle is at high speed.

Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking
Tie rod end has different types. One is a tie rod end without a nipple for grease filling, and one has a nipple for grease filling.

How to check the tie rod we can by jacking up the front of the car tire. A physical examination that looks visible on the joint in the form of rubber. Check for cracked, cracked, or brittle rubber. When we remove the tie rod, make sure the rubber tie rod is still solid and does not move easily. The position should also return to its original position when you move it.

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The solution to this problem is to replace the tie rod. Spare parts stores usually sell tie rods in pairs. If it is difficult to find original components, you can use aftermarket components, such as the 555 brand. Tie rod prices are relatively cheap for most cars, especially aftermarket products, where there are many choices of brands and quality.

2. Long Tie Rod / Rack End

The cause of both steering wheels vibrating is damage to the long tie rod. The long tie rod connects the steering system to the tie rod. Components are as important as tie rods and are rarely damaged when we compare them to tie rods. One reason is that this part is not directly related to the wheel. Damage to the long tie rod also gives symptoms similar to tie rod damage, namely the sound of the legs. Vibration on the steering wheel can also occur if this component is damaged, although it is not as severe as damage to the tie rod.

Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking

How check the long tie rod is not as easy as checking the tie rod. We must first remove the tie rod so that we can easily move the long tie rod. Try moving the long tie rod. Long tie rods that are still good feel solid and not easy to move. Also, check the long tie rod joint in the steering boot. Make sure there is no cracked, cracked, or brittle rubber.

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If the long tie rod is damaged, we must replace it immediately. The price is almost the same as a tie rod. However, in some cars, the price is quite expensive. If it is difficult to get original parts, aftermarket long tie rods are also widely available in the market.

3. Link Stabilizer

Link Stabilizer serves to help withstand shock from uneven roads. The stabilizer link connects the chassis and shock absorber to balance the right and left suspension. Thus, the stabilizer link supports the work of the shock absorber. Damage to this component only has a minor impact on vehicle performance. However, this component will produce a gurgling sound when passing through an uneven road. And of course, for most people, it is quite disturbing driving comfort.

Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking

Inspection of these components can be started by ensuring the stabilizer link is installed correctly. Check both ends of the ball joint of the stabilizer link to see if it is worn, cracked, or broken.

If you make sure it’s damaged, then you have to replace the stabilizer link, for example, if it’s worn or obsolete. Link stabilizer is usually purchased as a set right and left. Like other components, a link stabilizer is also available with a large selection of aftermarket brands. For the record, installing the stabilizer link looks very easy and anyone can replace it themselves. However, if it is not tightened when installing the stabilizer link bolt, the impact you will get is the same as a damaged stabilizer link. So, properly install the stabilizer link and make sure the fastening bolt is firmly attached.

4. Lower Arm and Bushing

The third – Causes and Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds – is swing arm and bushing damage. The lower arm is a component of the legs in the form of iron wings that can swing. The range lower arm is damaged unless it is broken or bent due to a strong impact from a hole or collision. At both ends of the swing arm, there are bushings or ball joints that help the lower arm swing. These components are usually damaged due to age or incorrect use. Damage to bushings can cause the vehicle to drift and sway at certain speeds. In addition, the damage can cause a creaking sound when passing through potholes.


Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking
Causes and Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking, Unstable, and Vibrating at High Speeds – lower arm and bushing.


To check the lower arm, we simply see from the appearance of this component whether it is broken or bent. For bushings or ball joints, make sure the rubber is not cracked, broken, or oblique.

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Because lower arms are quite expensive and rarely break/bend, some people just replace the bushings. Replacing bushings is quite difficult or difficult for general vehicle users. So usually people do this part of the workshop by pressing and heating. I do not recommend replacing it with heating. Why? This is because it can make the lower arm unable to swing and break easily. To be safer, it is better to replace the swing arm, even though the price is quite expensive.

5. Tires

Sometimes, we’ve been around too many auto repair shops to find car diseases such as steering wheel vibrating but not getting better. After we tried to change the tires, the symptoms disappeared. There may be a lump that is not visible and makes the steering wheel vibrate at a certain speed. The best solution is to replace the tires. Try to change tires to at least one pair left and right.

Solutions of Steering Wheel Shaking
Best tire in the world – Image source: Tire Space

In addition to the damage to the components of the legs that have been mentioned, there are also other causes that cause the car to be unstable, namely not spooring and/or balancing.

Spooring aims to align the position of the right and left legs so that they are straight and balanced. If it not spooring yet, the car will be difficult to go straight and tend to run to the right or left. It is recommended to do spooring regularly every 6 months or every time to replace the legs, especially tie rods and long tie rods.

Balancing aims to stabilize the rotation of the wheel by attaching metal ballast. It is recommended to do spooring every time you change tires or wheels.

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