The steering wheel shakes when accelerating is a common issue in many vehicles. It can be caused by various problems, such as misaligned wheels, worn suspension components, or incorrect tire pressure. Other potential sources of the shaking could include worn brakes, low engine power, and even transmission issues. To identify the source of the shaking, it is important to have the vehicle inspected by a professional.
In this blog post, we will cover what may cause a steering wheel to shake while accelerating and how to identify possible solutions. Rich’s auto repair will also provide insight into some of the most common culprits behind this issue and discuss preventive maintenance steps to help prolong the life of your car or truck.
The Steering Wheel Shakes When Accelerating: What Causes It?
It can be quite unnerving when you are accelerating and the steering wheel begins to shake. If this is happening in your car or truck, it’s important to understand what might be causing it. Below, we cover the most common causes of a shaking steering wheel when accelerating.
Misaligned wheels can cause the steering wheel to shake when you accelerate. This shaking is usually most noticeable at higher speeds, such as on highways or interstates. If your vehicle’s wheels are misaligned, they will vibrate against each other while driving, resulting in a shaking steering wheel. You can easily check for misalignment at home by using a tape measure and comparing your vehicle’s wheelbase on both sides.
Worn Suspension Components
Your car or truck’s suspension components help keep the entire vehicle stable while driving over bumpy roads. Over time, these components can wear down, resulting in a shaking steering wheel when you accelerate. To prevent this from happening, it is important to have your suspension components inspected and replaced as necessary.
Incorrect Tire Pressure
Having the wrong tire pressure can cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because incorrectly inflated tires will not provide enough grip on the road surface, resulting in vibrations that are felt through the steering wheel. It is important to check your tire pressure regularly and adjust them accordingly.
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If the brakes are worn, it can cause a shaking feeling in the steering wheel when accelerating. This is usually more noticeable during braking than when accelerating, as the vibrations caused by worn brake pads travel up through the steering column. To fix this issue, the worn brake pads must be replaced.
Low Engine Power
Low engine power can also cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is usually caused by an accumulation of dirt and debris in your car’s engine. To check for this problem, you will need to have the engine cleaned and inspected by a professional mechanic.
Another common cause of a shaking steering wheel when accelerating is transmission issues. These can range from worn clutch plates to failing torque converters and more. If you are experiencing this issue, it is important to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
Damaged Inner CV Joints
The inner CV joints in your vehicle’s drive axle can become damaged over time, resulting in a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because the inner CV joint acts as a bearing between the transmission and wheels and can cause vibrations if it is worn out or broken. To fix this issue, you will need to have the inner CV joints replaced by a professional mechanic.
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Broken Motor Mounts
Broken motor mounts can also cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. Motor mounts help keep the engine secure in its place and if they are damaged or worn out, it can cause vibrations that are felt through the steering wheel. To fix this issue, you will need to have the motor mounts replaced by a professional mechanic.
Loose Lug Nuts
If the lug nuts on your car or truck have become loose, it can cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because they are responsible for holding the wheels to the vehicle’s frame and if they become loose, their grip will be compromised, resulting in vibrations through the steering wheel. It is important to check your lug nuts periodically and tighten them as necessary.
Stuck Brake Caliper
Feel a shudder in your steering wheel when you accelerate? It could be the result of an issue with your brake caliper. If it’s stuck, pressure isn’t being released properly resulting in vibrations through the steering wheel. To address this problem and get back on smooth roads again, make sure to have your brakes inspected by a professional mechanic!
Bent driveshaft or axle
A bent driveshaft or axle can also cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because the bent component disrupts the balance of your vehicle, resulting in vibrations that are felt through the steering wheel. To fix this issue, you will need to have the driveshaft or axle replaced by a professional mechanic.
Dirty or Worn Spark Plugs
Dirty or worn spark plugs can also cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because the spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel in your vehicle’s engine, and if they become dirty or worn out, it can cause misfires that result in vibrations through the steering wheel. To address this issue, you will need to have the spark plugs cleaned or replaced by a professional mechanic.
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Torn or Disconnected Vacuum Hose
Lastly, a torn or disconnected vacuum hose can cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating. This is because the vacuum hoses are responsible for carrying air and fuel to the engine and if they become damaged or disconnected, it can lead to misfires and vibrations through the steering wheel. To fix this issue, you will need to have the vacuum hose inspected and repaired or replaced by a professional mechanic.
By thoroughly understanding the causes of a shaking steering wheel when accelerating, you can ensure that your vehicle is in optimal condition and ready for the roads. However, it’s important to remember that any time you experience this issue, it’s best to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
How Can You Tell If It’s a Serious Problem Or Not?
If you experience a shaking steering wheel when accelerating, it is important to determine whether the issue is serious and requires immediate attention. There are certain tell-tale signs that can help you identify if the problem is severe or not.
Signs of a Serious Problem
Don’t let vehicle issues catch you off guard! If your car is exhibiting any of the following indicators, make sure to seek out a professional mechanic before they become more serious.
- The shaking becomes worse or more severe when accelerating
- You hear loud noises coming from underneath the hood
- You smell burning odors coming from the engine bay
- There are visible signs of leaking fluids or smoke
If you experience any of the above symptoms, it is important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause and address the issue before it becomes worse.
Signs That It Is Not Serious
On the other hand, if you experience any of the following symptoms, the issue may not be serious and you can likely get it fixed yourself:
- The shaking is mild and only occurs when accelerating
- You do not notice any loud noises coming from under the hood
- There are no visible signs of leaking fluids or smoke
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is likely that the issue can be fixed yourself by inspecting and tightening all connections, belts, and hoses.
It is important to remember that if you are unsure of the cause of the steering wheel shaking when accelerating or feel uncomfortable with attempting to fix it yourself, it is always best to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. Having the issue diagnosed and repaired correctly will help ensure that your vehicle is safe and ready for the roads ahead.
The Potential Consequences Of Not Addressing The Issue Quickly
If you don’t address the issue of a shaking steering wheel when accelerating quickly, it could result in serious and costly damage to your vehicle. Not only can this cause wear and tear on parts that can lead to expensive repairs, but it can also put your safety at risk. A shaking steering wheel when accelerating is often an indication of a larger underlying issue, and by not addressing it quickly, you could be putting yourself in danger.
It is important to remember that the earlier you can identify the cause of the shaking, the easier it will be to fix and avoid any more serious damage. If you experience this issue, make sure to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic as soon as possible to ensure the problem is addressed correctly and quickly.
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Ultimately, understanding the causes of a shaking steering wheel when accelerating can help you better prepare yourself for any potential issues that may arise with your vehicle. To avoid unnecessary hassle, it’s wise to have a professional mechanic take a look if your vehicle is experiencing any issues. This will provide peace of mind that the problem can be accurately identified and rectified quickly so you’re back on solid ground sooner.
How Do I Fix A Steering Wheel That Shakes When Accelerating?
When your steering wheel shakes when accelerating, it can be a sign of an underlying issue within the vehicle’s engine. To ensure that your vehicle is running securely and efficiently, it’s important to identify and address the root cause as soon as possible.
The tools you need
The tools you need to fix a shaking steering wheel when accelerating will depend on the underlying cause of the issue. However, some basic tools you may need include:
- Socket Set
- Wrench Set
- Vacuum Hose Clamps
- Spark Plug Cleaner/Replacement Kit
Once you have the necessary tools, you can begin to inspect the vehicle and troubleshoot the issue.
Step 1: Check the vacuum hoses
The first step is to check the vacuum hose that connects the engine to the air intake. This hose should be in good condition and properly connected, if it looks worn or damaged then it will need to be repaired or replaced.
Step 2: Inspect all connections, belts, and hoses
It is also important to inspect all connections, belts, and hoses. These components should be tightly connected and in good condition. If they are loose or worn then they will need to be tightened or replaced.
Step 3: Check the spark plugs
The next step is to check the spark plugs. Spark plugs can become dirty over time and if this is the case they will need to be cleaned or replaced.
Step 4: Check the engine mounts
Finally, it is important to check the engine mounts. If the engine mount is loose or worn it can cause a shaking steering wheel when accelerating and will need to be tightened or replaced.
By following these steps you can help ensure that your vehicle runs securely and efficiently. If you are still experiencing shaking when accelerating after completing these steps, it is important to seek out professional assistance as soon as possible to ensure your car’s safety.
Is it Safe To Drive If My Car shakes When I Accelerate?
Driving a vehicle that shakes when accelerating is relatively safe, but can potentially lead to further problems in the near future that may even pose a safety issue as you’re driving down the road. It is important to address this problem as soon as possible by seeking professional help and conducting a routine car inspection.
If your car is shaking when you accelerate, it could be because of several reasons such as worn-out tires, loose suspension parts, an engine misfire, or a faulty transmission system. It is always better to be safe than sorry so ensure that the issue is fixed right away in order to prevent any further consequences.
While it is not a major safety issue yet, it should still be addressed immediately in order to ensure the security of yourself and other drivers on the road. Taking care of these issues early can help you avoid costly repairs down the line that could have been avoided with simple preventive maintenance.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Shaking Steering Wheel?
The cost of fixing a shaking steering wheel depends on the underlying cause and can range from $250 to $500. In some cases, it may be necessary to have the entire engine component replaced which can cost up to $1,000 or more depending on the vehicle make and model.
It is always best to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic in order to identify the cause and get an accurate estimate. This will help you determine what repairs need to be done so that you can make an informed decision when it comes to fixing your vehicle.
It is important to note that while there are many DIY solutions available online, it is always best to consult a professional in order to ensure the safety of your vehicle and avoid any further complications down the road. Taking care of these issues quickly can help you save both time and money in the long run.
Remember, it is important to address this issue as soon as possible in order to avoid any potential safety hazards while driving.
Will Insurance Cover These Repairs?
It depends on what the cause of these damages is. Car insurance may help cover the cost of repairs if the issue is the result of a collision or another covered incident. It’s best to check with your insurer for more information about your specific policy and coverage.
Ultimately, assessing any damage to your vehicle should be done with professional care and attention in order to ensure the safety and longevity of your vehicle.
It is important to do routine maintenance checks on your vehicle in order to identify any potential problem areas before they get worse. Regular inspections will allow you to address any problems quickly, helping to keep your car running safely and efficiently.
Is It Worth Fixing If The Cost Is High?
It is always worth taking the necessary steps to ensure that your car is in good working condition. The cost of repairing a shaking steering wheel may be high, but it is important to remember that these repairs can help prevent any further damage from occurring which would be even more costly in the long run.
Taking care of these issues promptly can help you save both time and money, as well as ensure your safety while on the road. A professional inspection will help you identify any problem areas before they become more serious and costly further down the line. It’s always best to address these issues sooner rather than later in order to avoid any further complications.
Some Tips For Keeping Your Car In Good Shape Overall
Regular maintenance and inspections are important measures to take in order to keep your car running at its best. Whether you’re looking to address a specific issue or just maintain your vehicle overall, there safely and efficiently several steps you can take in order to ensure that your car is running safely and efficiently.
Check the tire pressure and tread depth
Taking a few minutes periodically to check your tire pressure and tread depth can go a long way in keeping your car in good shape overall. Incorrect tire pressure or lack of tread depth can affect the handling, fuel efficiency, performance, and safety of your vehicle. Improperly inflated tires create extra drag on the road which leads to increased gas consumption, while low tread depth can lead to dangerous emergency stopping situations.
Check the fluids
Regularly inspecting your car’s fluids is another important part of routine maintenance. Checking the oil, coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid levels will help ensure that your engine is running smoothly and efficiently. Low or dirty fluids can lead to serious problems with your vehicle so it’s always best to get these inspected as soon as possible.
Pay attention to warning signs
Finally, it is important to pay attention to any warning signs that may be indicating a problem with your vehicle. Strange noises, strange smells, or weird behavior while driving can all indicate an issue that needs prompt attention. Ignoring these issues can lead to bigger problems which will end up costing you more money in the long run.
Taking the necessary steps to keep your car in good shape overall can help you save money, and time and ensure a safe ride for yourself and anyone else who may be traveling with you. Regular inspections, proper tire maintenance, and keeping an eye out for any warning signs will all contribute to a better driving experience in the future.
FAQs about Steering Wheel Shakes When Accelerating
Why does my steering wheel shake when I drive over 60 mph?
This shaking is most likely caused by an imbalance in your wheel’s weight distribution or tire alignment. When starting around 50 to 55 miles per hour, the wheel will begin to vibrate and this vibration will become more noticeable as you speed up, usually becoming most pronounced around 60 mph. This can be addressed with a wheel alignment or balance service to restore the proper weight distribution and alignment of your tires.
How can I avoid this issue in the future?
The best way to avoid this issue is to regularly maintain your vehicle and check for any signs of wear or damage on the tires or suspension components. Additionally, regular inspections can help identify any potential problems before they become more serious.
What should I do if I encounter this issue?
If you experience shaking or vibration of the steering wheel when accelerating, it’s important not to ignore it. It could be an indication of a more serious problem such as an alignment issue, a worn suspension component, or even a loose wheel bearing. It’s best to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic in order to diagnose and address the issue as soon as possible.
Can low-power steering fluid cause shaking?
Yes, low-power steering fluid can be one of the causes of shaking when accelerating. This is because the lack of fluid can lead to reduced pressure in the system, which in turn can cause a loss of control and increase the likelihood of vibration or shaking. It’s important to check your power steering fluid levels regularly and top up as necessary.
Can an alignment cause a shake?
Yes, alignment issues can cause constant vehicle vibration. Alignments should be checked regularly to ensure that the angles of your wheels are in line with one another and that they have proper contact with the road surface. This can provide a more comfortable and stable ride, as well as improve the performance of your vehicle. Alignment issues should be addressed promptly to prevent any further damage.
How do you get rid of a steering wheel wobble?
If your steering wheel is wobbling or vibrating, the first step should be to inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage. It’s also important to check the alignment and balance of your wheels, as an imbalance can cause wobbling or shaking when driving at high speeds. If all else fails, you may need to have your suspension and steering system inspected for any signs of damage or wear.
Can I just add power steering fluid?
If you are experiencing shaking due to low-power steering fluid, then yes, adding more can help in some cases. However, it’s important to first check your vehicle’s service manual for the correct type and amount of fluid that is recommended for your particular make, model, and year. It’s best to have a qualified mechanic perform the service in order to avoid any potential damage to your vehicle.
Will your car shake if you need an oil change?
No, a car will not shake if it needs an oil change. However, failing to regularly change your vehicle’s oil can lead to low lubrication levels which can cause a decrease in performance and even damage certain components of your vehicle’s engine over time. It is important to stick to the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer in order to keep your car running in optimal condition.
Can a new tire cause a shake?
Yes, a new tire can potentially cause a shake in certain cases if it is not correctly balanced or installed correctly. When having any new tires put on your vehicle, it’s important to have them professionally balanced and aligned by a qualified mechanic. This will ensure that the new tires are correctly fitted and reduce the likelihood of shaking or vibration when driving.
What does an out-of-alignment car feel like?
If your car is out of alignment, you may experience shaking and vibration when driving. You may also notice a decrease in the performance of your vehicle as well as increased fuel consumption. It’s important to get the wheels aligned regularly in order to ensure that they are properly set and provide you with an optimal ride. Additionally, regular wheel alignment can extend the life of your tires and other suspension components.
Conclusion for Steering Wheel Shakes When Accelerating
Steering Wheel Shakes When Accelerating can be caused by a variety of issues, including low power steering fluid levels, misaligned wheels, and imbalanced tires. It’s important to diagnose and address the issue as soon as possible in order to ensure that your car remains safe and performs optimally.
Additionally, it’s important to stay up-to-date on regular maintenance, such as oil changes and wheel alignments, to ensure that your vehicle is performing properly. With the right care and maintenance, you can reduce the likelihood of steering wheel shakes or vibrations when accelerating.
While there are a number of potential causes for steering wheel shake when accelerating, the best way to diagnose the issue is to take your car to a certified mechanic. They will be able to inspect your vehicle and determine what, if any, repairs need to be made. Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share this post with your friends, car enthusiast groups, or anyone else who might find it helpful!
William Moore is an automotive specialist with two decades of experience, ready to give your car the care it needs. He understands all facets of auto maintenance and repair, from oil changes to brake jobs. Working with the latest tools and technologies, he provides complete service on all makes and models of cars. With his attention to detail and commitment to quality workmanship, you can expect excellent results.