Why is My Steering Wheel Shaking? Common Causes of Land Rover Steering Wheel Shaking Explained

Land Rovers are known for being vehicles of some grandeur. Seen as a luxury vehicle by many and a valued off-road 4×4 by others, a Land Rover is a signal of engineering excellence, history, and prestige. Sometimes though, problems, like with any other vehicle, may occur. One often reported by motorists and certainly not exclusive to Land Rover drivers, is steering wheel shake. It can be unnerving, especially if driving on a motorway at 70mph. Do you have full control of the vehicle? Will the wheels turn?

In this edition of our blog, we put your mind at rest and explain the causes of why your Land Rover steering wheel is shaking and what you can do to get it fixed.

The Land Rover steering wheel is shaking! What’s causing it?

There can be a variety of reasons for the steering wheel in your Land Rover to start shaking. Your driving style may cause it; it may be caused by general wear and tear, or it could be due to poor maintenance. Let’s look at the common causes of Land Rover steering wheel shaking.

Wheel alignment

Your Land Rover should have its wheels aligned. They should face straight forward when you drive straight forward. If they don’t, you could have a problem. If your wheels are not properly aligned, driving could make your steering wheel shake and vibrate. Sometimes, wheels are aligned perfectly fine but hitting a pothole or a kerb could jolt the alignment and cause the wheel tracking to move out of place. This will then lead to your steering wheel vibrating. Our team at RCV can help with Land Rover wheel alignment should you need this problem fixed.

Failing brake pads

If you try to slow down in your Land Rover and find the wheel shakes and vibrates as you do so, it could be that your brake pads are significantly worn. This is a huge safety concern and should be addressed right away.

Faulty suspension

If your suspension has worn down or had parts fitted incorrectly, you could see your steering wheel begin to shake. Suspension plays a vital role in the handling and control of your vehicle, which in turn affects the safety aspects of the Land Rover. You should tackle this problem quickly as it could cause significant problems further down the line.

Wheel imbalance

If your wheels have not been balanced properly you may notice your steering wheel shaking as you drive your Land Rover.

Uneven tyre wear

If your tyres have worn at varying levels, you could see your steering wheel shake. The uneven tread depth will cause an imbalance on your Land Rover that leads to the wheel shaking. This could also lead to suspension problems as at each wheel, the suspension will be working differently.

Broken or dry bearings

If the bearings for your wheels and steering components are excessively worn or not lubricated sufficiently, they could lead to your wheel shaking as the parts grind against each other and fail to work as they should. If not treated, the worn parts will eventually break completely and could lead to larger problems with your Land Rover.

How can you tell what is causing a shaking steering wheel in your Land Rover?

So, we’ve picked out five common causes of Land Rover steering wheel shake but how do you know which problem your vehicle is enduring? Much depends on how and where you are driving. If the steering wheel vibrates when you do some driving manoeuvres or only when driving at certain speeds, this could help you discover where the fault lies within your Land Rover.

Land Rover steering wheel shakes when braking

If the steering wheel of your Land Rover starts to vibrate and shake as you brake, it could mean your brake pads are worn. You should seek help from a Land Rover specialist to rectify this as soon as possible so you can avoid putting yourself and other road users at risk.

Land Rover steering wheel shakes when accelerating

If you notice that your steering wheel starts to shake as you accelerate in your Land Rover, it is likely to be related to your suspension. Parts that are worn, not fitted properly, or not suitable for your vehicle could cause the suspension to not work as it should. This, just like with the brakes, should be addressed as soon as possible as further problems could develop if it isn’t rectified.

Land Rover steering wheel shakes when driving at high speed

If you drive on the motorway or other roads where higher than normal speeds can be enjoyed a vibrating steering wheel may show your wheels are imbalanced.

Depending on how far developed the problems are, each journey could be the last one before the problem escalates to something much more severe. Luckily, you can do a few home tests before taking your Land Rover to a Land Rover service centre.

How can I test my Land Rover to uncover the causes of a shaking steering wheel?

If you feel confident enough, you can do a few tests at home to assess and check over your Land Rover. Whilst professional guidance is always recommended for an in-depth check, you can assess your Land Rover at a basic level at home.

Inspect your tyres

Have a look for significant signs of wear. This could be uneven levels of wear, random flat spots and vastly different levels of tyre pressure between the four wheels. Even one wheel showing more wear than another could mean your steering wheel is vibrating a lot.

Listen for unusual sounds when driving

If you drive your Land Rover and often hear sounds that may seem a little out of place alongside your steering wheel shaking, there could be a problem that needs investigating. Listen out for grinding, rubbing, and clunking sounds. This could mean parts are worn and getting severely damaged.

Look for wheel damage

Your tyres may appear fine but the wheels themselves may have seen better days. Look to see if the wheel bows or has chips. This could result in an uneven drive that then causes your steering wheel to vibrate.

Test your brakes

As you apply the brakes in your Land Rover, listen out to see if they make unusual noises or don’t respond as normal. If the steering wheel shakes as you brake, it’s a sign all is not well with the braking system.

What should you do if your Land Rover steering wheel is shaking?

The best advice is to have a Land Rover expert like RCV take a look. With qualified Land Rover professionals on hand, we can uncover the cause of the shaking of the Land Rover steering wheel and rectify it without second-guessing the cause. Our team are experts on all issues related to Land Rovers and using the latest manufacturer’s diagnostics and authorised parts, we can get your vehicle back to its best. Whether it be wheels and tyres causing your shaking steering wheel or something much more well-concealed, our team will find it and fix it to make sure you remain safe on the road. Contact us today to see how our money-saving Land Rover servicing will help reinvigorate your classic or modern Land Rover.