Steering Wheel Shakes? [Archive] - Forum


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03-02-2004, 04:52 PM
My steering wheel shakes at 60+mph. First I thought that it was the tires, but they are balanced. Then I thought brakes, none of them are dragging and I replaced them in November. Also, it doesn't shake all of the time. Sometimes it is perfectly fine but a minute later it's going nuts.

I jacked up the front end of my car to see if I could move the wheels "up and down" or "left and right." There was no up and down movement. But when I tried to move a wheel left and right I could move both wheels and turn the steering wheel by putting force on one wheel. I thought that the steering wheel locked up when the car was off...

First are there any ideas on why my steering wheel randomly decides to shake?

Second should the steering wheel be "locked" when the car is off?


03-02-2004, 07:32 PM
I would get an alignment. :)

Mike Jung
03-02-2004, 07:49 PM
My steering wheel does not lock when the key is taken out (neither have the other GA's that I had used during a rental).

03-02-2004, 08:04 PM
Thanks for the replies guys.

Dr_Kyle: An alignment sounds like a good idea

Mike: Thanks for the info an the steering wheel not locking

If anyone else has an idea of what might be wrong don't hesitate to reply...

03-04-2004, 07:09 AM
Hmm, didn't notice that the steering wheel doesnt lock

03-04-2004, 09:41 AM
I don't think ours is supposed to "lock" is just impossible to turn.

03-04-2004, 01:16 PM
check the inside of your tires if they look like this it needs an alignment. About $59 at Sears Auto and they do all 4 wheels. (Don't know exactly what they do to the back but whatever)
But yeah mine was shaking at about 70mph so I got it aligned and volia, no more shaking.

03-04-2004, 02:07 PM
If they look like this?? Im confused to what your picture is supposed to be showing

03-04-2004, 02:14 PM
It may be the old are the tires?

03-04-2004, 03:35 PM
My car has had a bad shake,more like a "nibble" while driving too. I work at a car dealership & first thing I checked was the balance. Everything is right on! An alignment does not have anything to do with a steering wheel shake, only with the way the car tracks. Now, if the alignment is way out of specs and has caused the tires to get choppy, it may cause a shimmy. I have had my tires rotated & replaced several times & I still get a shimmy. I think there is something loose in the steering rack internally. I test drove a 03 GAGT with 150 miles on the same test track, same conditions, and shimmy!! The dealer I'm working at now (non-GM) had a problem with a certain model of cars with a nibble. They ended up replacing steering racks under warranty. I'm still trying to get my steering rack replaced. Also, these goodyears also tend to cold spot & get hard if they sit for any length of time. So it might be a tire issue too, but I don't want to spend money on buying a complete set of tires. I know this was a long winded reply, but hope it makes some sense.:cool:

03-04-2004, 05:18 PM
I'm not sure but, I don't think an alignment will take care of the issue. The car tracks just fine.

As far as the steering wheel locking, I know mine doesn't. When the car is on the ground it's VERY hard to move the tires, but it is possible. If I put a jack under the front of the car and raise it up, I can move both wheels left and right easily (both wheels at the same time).

ras2002GT: The tie rods seem to be ok, and I don't know what else to check in the front end. The tires are Blizzaks, new this winter, so I'm pretty sure it isn't them. When I have my other set of wheels on with RSA's I get the same "nibble". You might be on to something as far as the rack. I just might break down and take it to the dealer.

Is there anything else I can do to try to find out what is wrong on my own?


03-04-2004, 05:23 PM
I've seen brake rotors that are out of balance cause this , if they're really rusty then pieces can break off ( usually cooling fins ) putting the balance out . I'd get the front end checked out as well . I assume since you say you had the tires balanced that a rim isn't bent and the tires are OK ?

03-04-2004, 05:35 PM
Yeah, I'm almost 100% sure it isn't rims or tires, I've had 2 completely different sets of wheels/tires on my car. When the problem started during fall I changed my brake pads and rotors because I thought that it was the root of the problem. I do have smooth braking from 70+MPH which is nice...


03-04-2004, 05:41 PM
OK , only thing left is the front end ( joints , tie rods ) or the axle half shafts , CV joints ? :confused:

03-04-2004, 07:07 PM
The best part about this whole thing is that when I go to the dealer, they try to blame the shaking on the fact that I have my car lowered. Besides the fact that it was there before I lowered my car, a drop in suspension will not affect the driveability of the car in a straight line. I think it is the steering rack also because when I drove the 03 GAGT the steering seemed tighter, as if Pontiac had changed something on the rack itself. I think I'll call the dealership and find out if there are two different part #'s from 02 to 03 :)

06-23-2004, 05:18 AM
Hey TJC13, how do you check the tie rods to see if they are ok? What do you look for?

06-23-2004, 07:51 AM
How is your car driving? Is is smooth most of the time until you hit a bump and then it goes crazy? I had this problem with my Corsica. My sister ****ed the car royaly(SP?) when she ran over a tree stump that was in the middle of the road and she couldn't dodge it. Well we had to replace both struts and alignment and tires. Well my passenger strut mount bearing went bad...this inturn caused the strut to go bad and when I took the strut off..not only could I move the rod up and down but left and right! My car would drive fine until I hit a bump and then it would shake like crazy..I mean real time I didn't even make it to work because I thought the car was going to fall apart. I would say get your struts checked out..its worth a look..oh and the bearings also.

06-23-2004, 08:49 AM
No, it's pretty smooth until I hit 65+mph...

06-23-2004, 08:52 AM
I had a shakey steeringwheel at 100Km/h (60mph) and it only got worse when turning right at those speeds. Turned out the lugnuts on my left-front wheel had gotten loose (took half as much force to loosen them as from the other side). Tightened them up properly and no more shaking. One of those things that I'm glad I caught on to before something really bad happened. :nono: