Imagine driving along and your notice a strange vibration in your car’s steering wheel. It may get worse when you apply the brakes or hit a certain speed (Note: Don’t ever tell your auto mechanic you noticed it going 85 MPH…). It could be anything from a little rumble feeling like your steering wheel is about to come flying off.
We asked Master Mechanic Ryan Frost of the Scarborough VIP Tires & Service location to talk about common causes for this issue and how they are often resolved.

 

How frequently do customers come in with a shaking steering wheel?

This problem is far more common in the winter months when we have snow and ice but is a general concern that comes up throughout the year.

What are the most common causes of this problem?

There are three (usual) suspects: 

  • Warped front routers
  • Out of balance tires
  • Snow and ice built up in tires and wheel wells

All of which are pretty quick to diagnose and easy to remedy in the same day.

Can any of the above causes be resolved by the customers?

Yes – in the winter time, always make sure that your car’s tires and wheel wells are clear of ice and snow. This build up is probably the most common cause for strange noises and vibrations coming from vehicles in the winter. If snow and ice have built up, they will affect how your tires move. It’s as important as cleaning off your windshield.

The other causes are easily repaired, typically in a few hours or less.

What should customers do if they notice their steering wheel shaking?

If it’s winter and there is snow and ice, first you want to make sure your tires and wheel wells are as free and clear of snow and ice as possible. If this doesn’t fix the situation, stop by any of our locations and we will be happy to take a look and diagnose the issue.

Your local VIP mechanic should also show you what the problem is - even if it is just snow and ice in a hard to reach place – so you can be aware of it (and know how to fix it) in case it happens again.

Any other words of advice for customers regarding New England winters and our vehicles?

Be aware of winter auto maintenance. New England winters can be harsh with snow AND ice. Keep tires and wheel wells clear. Keep fluids filled. If you every have a question about something your vehicle is doing that doesn’t seem right, stop by your local VIP and we will be happy to check it out at no cost.

This article is made possible byVIP Tires & Service. VIP is a complete automotive repair and service center. When you choose VIP for tiresauto inspection, automotive serviceoil change, wheel alignment, brake repair services, muffler & exhaust repair, or any other car maintenance, you can rest assured that we will keep your vehicle running right. Open 7 days a week and with 56 locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, VIP is right around the corner when you need us.