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Has your steering wheel been shaking with no explanation? Does the problem get worse at high speeds until it feels like your car may shake apart? Shaking steering wheels are a concerning issue in a Nissan. Fortunately, the fix is usually fairly simple.

Common Causes of a Shaking Steering Wheel

There are a few common reasons for your Nissan’s steering wheel to shake. Each comes with their own auxiliary problems and concerns, so if you suspect that any of these are the culprit, it’s a good idea to mention your concerns to a mechanic as soon as possible.

Unbalanced wheels
These are perhaps the most common reason for your steering wheel to shake. If your tires have been improperly rotated, this means that your vehicle’s weight is not being properly and evenly distributed. In turn, this causes parts of your vehicle to vibrate, especially the rod leading to your steering column (rack and pinion). If left unchecked, this can lead to further issues with your tiresshocks, and struts.

Misaligned wheels
These are another common cause for a shaking steering wheel. Most frequently, wheel misalignment is due to consistently driving on rough terrain, such as on rocky roads or over potholes. If your wheels are misaligned, you may also notice uneven wear on your tire treads as a result of the misalignment.

Bad bearings 
These can also cause your steering wheel to vibrate alarmingly. Bearings can be “bad” if they are cracked, worn, or improperly lubricated. This causes friction in your wheels and can make it difficult to turn. If your ball bearings are bad, chances are, you’ll need a full replacement to mitigate the damage.

Bad brakes
These might be the cause of your shaking steering wheel if the problem primarily occurs when you hit the brakes. If that’s the case, the direct cause is likely worn shocks, brake pads, or brake discs. The problem can also be caused by large levels of contaminants built up on the flat surfaces of your brakes. If you suspect that you have brake issues of any kind, it’s imperative that you bring your vehicle to a mechanic immediately, as brake issues can be incredibly dangerous for yourself and other drivers.

Wear and tear on your suspension
It is the last of the common causes of your Nissan’s shaking steering column. Shaking may be caused by normal wear, sudden damage, or loose parts. Your steering wheel may also shake if there’s an imbalance in your driveshaft.

Preventing a Shaking Steering Wheel

As with all vehicular issues, there is no way to guarantee that your Nissan will never suffer from a shaking steering wheel. Sometimes, damage just happens. However, there are a few basic steps you can take to minimize the potential.

First, keep on top of your Nissan’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular oil changes and wheel rotations are necessary to keep your car running smoothly, quite literally. Furthermore, having your vehicle checked for damage on a regular basis allows you to catch issues before they cause further harm.

Second, it’s important to top off your fluids regularly. If you don’t keep the right type and amount of oil in your engine, your ball bearings may dry out or become sticky with residue, which can directly lead to a shaking steering wheel, among other issues.

Third, driving responsibly is perhaps the easiest way to minimize all types of damage to your vehicle. Driving with sharp turns or too fast for the road and conditions can cause direct impact damage. Furthermore, grinding on your brakes may generate large amounts of brake dust, which can gunk up your brake pads and cause safety issues as well as steering wheel vibration.

What to Do if You Notice Your Nissan’s Steering Wheel is Shaking

Nissan Wheel Alignment Check

If you notice that your steering wheel is shaking when you drive or reach certain speeds, bring your Nissan by Professional Automotive of Marlborough, MA today. For 22 years, we have been the lead providers of automotive repair in the Marlborough and surrounding areas.

Whether you need a simple inspection or a thorough diagnosis and engine repair, our dedicated, highly trained technicians are here to make sure you get back on the road quickly and safely. Call us today for an appointment or stop in. We look forward to meeting you.