Car Care Guide: Why My Car Vibrates When Turning Steering Wheel?

Does your car shake when you make a turn while driving? That’s not the case with you only. A lot of people have been complaining about the same issue. When it happened with us, we initially thought maybe it occurred due to some issues with the steering wheel or something, which unfortunately was not the case. It was bigger than what we imagined.

It’s easier to ignore a vibrating wheel at first, but it must be addressed immediately when it becomes recurrent. So yeah, those complaining ‘car vibrates when turning steering wheel’ are advised to follow the conclusions. There could be abundant reasons why your car shakes while turning. We have tried to explain some of them below.

Read on to discover why your car vibrates when turning steering wheel, when it vibrates and how to resolve it.

1. Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is crucial for the swift performance of the steering wheel. When your car is low on power steering fluid, you experience vibration while turning your car because there is not enough pressure to turn them.

If your car makes a certain sound/noise while turning, means you have low-power steering fluid. Also, there could be another reason for it, like the belt that pushes the fluid through the system has an issue and hence causes problem turning.

The car’s steering wheel will probably shake when that belt is not tight or the flywheel is bent. While turning the steering wheel, the pressure may change, resulting in steering wheel shaking. That said, it can be easily resolved by tightening the loose belt or flywheel.

If you have been using an old power steering fluid or haven’t changed it in a while, your steering wheel will likely cause problems while turning. Lastly, if you pour in contaminated power steering fluid, it can result in vibration or shaking.

2. Worn-out Brake Rotors

You might have noticed that your steering wheel vibrates when you slow down your car. It also happens when you press car brakes to either stop or slow down your car. If you are dealing with such issues, means your brake rotors need replacement. Brake rotors are extremely important for a vehicle’s brake system. Without them, you cannot stop or slow down your vehicle. While rotors typically go for 30,000 to 70,000 miles, they need to be inspected after every 12,000 miles for good performance.

Bad rotors can result in extra friction or vibration when the brake pads are pressed against them. Therefore, in such a case, it is recommended to replace rotors in pairs by an experienced mechanic or car maintenance expert.

3. Misaligned Wheels

Another common reason for steering wheel vibration is misaligned car wheels. This is typically the case with people who drive on uneven surfaces. Over time these bumpy roads disturb the wheel alignment and cause them to shake while turning.

How to determine if your wheels are misaligned? It’s simple, bend down, check your wheel’s tread, and spot uneven wear. If the outside has the full tread and the inside has entirely worn out, your car wheels likely need alignment.

4. Brake calipers sticking

As we said earlier, a car’s braking system is crucial for a smooth drive, if one thing is causing a problem, the entire system will be affected. Similarly, brake calipers are part of the braking system that contains brake pads, fluid, and pistons. They work togather to create friction that helps slow down the vehicle. If the brake caliper sticks, it can result in shaking or vibration when you hit 40miles/hour. In fact, the faster you go, the worse it gets, and you may start to smell a weird odor. Therefore, it is suggested to inspect your calipers every 12,000 miles.

5. High Speed

Often times your car wheels shake when you increase the speed while driving. It happens when your wheels are minimally or not balanced at all. The problem typically surfaces when your car is new and has a lightweight suspension system. For instance cars like Toyota HiAce has low-profile tires hence, you are most likely to experience this issue. Also, get it checked as soon as possible because if left untreated, it could lead to bigger problems with suspension and steering components. Take your car to an auto repair shop to get the issue resolved.

6. Worn-out bearings

Wheel bearings are crucial for wheel rotation. They also help in supporting the vehicle’s weight. They need to be properly lubricated to work smoothly. Otherwise, they get damaged or even broken sometimes. The weak or worn-out bearing makes your car vibrate or shake while turning. In worse conditions, they even cause strange noise from your wheels. If the issue has not escalated, it can simply be repaired by cleaning or lubricating. Otherwise, they must be replaced in worse conditions.

Car Vibrates when turning left – what could be the reason?

Some drivers also complain that their vehicle vibrates or shakes when they turn left. Not right nor backward, but only when they turn it left. The possible answer we got was that it was due to bad tires or shocks. However, it can also be due to an engine mount. In such cases, the best course of action is to take your car to a mechanic for inspection. They will tell you why it’s happening and how this issue can be resolved.

Conclusion

When you feel like your car is making a wired noise or vibrating while turning, park your vehicle on the side and check on the abovementioned factors. In most cases, the problem does not surface visibly, so you must take your car to a repair shop to check it internally.

Also, keep a careful note of when your car specifically vibrates or shakes and how often it does that, and for how long. This might make it easier for the mechanic to determine the issue.

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