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 Steering wheel shaking back and forth at low speeds
NotDeaf  [Team Member]
4/25/2011 11:41:38 AM
My Tahoe's (2WD, 145,000 miiles) steering wheel recently started to shake (or swing) back and forth when I drive over roads that are not perfectly smooth. It moves back and forth about ½” to a 1” and then smooth out at high speeds about 40-65 mph. But on slower speeds, like 5-15, it feels like the whole truck is moving back and forth, almost like it feels like I have a flat tire.

Not that long ago I had the tires spin balance and aligned and it seems to have helped it, but the problem is still 100% there.

In January I had the passage wheel bearing replaced (thinking maybe the other side or something went wrong with the new bearing?)

So, maybe the tie rods?
Foxxz  [Team Member]
4/25/2011 11:46:57 AM
Maybe they did a poor balance job?


-Foxxz
_DR  [Team Member]
4/25/2011 12:10:03 PM


Tie rod ends, idler arm worn etc.

Have your steering linkage checked.
CPD363  [Member]
4/25/2011 1:12:51 PM
I had the same problem with my Tahoe when I bought it used. It went away when I rotated the tires. It turned out that the front tire had a broken belt that caused the shaking. Once that tire was on the rear axle, the shaking stopped so I just bought a new tire.
urbanredneck  [Member]
4/25/2011 1:21:21 PM
Bad tire maybe. Try rotating the tires or have someone drive behind you and see if they see one of the front tires wobbling as it rotates. I've had several tires over the years break a corde and begin to separate.
whiskerz  [Team Member]
4/26/2011 7:09:40 PM
I had that problem and got Mr. fox to stop driving the car. All the answers are above GM idler arms are crap and I would look there first , include checking the tires for a separation in your inspection.
tarheel_shooter  [Member]
4/26/2011 8:46:27 PM
Originally Posted By CPD363:
I had the same problem with my Tahoe when I bought it used. It went away when I rotated the tires. It turned out that the front tire had a broken belt that caused the shaking. Once that tire was on the rear axle, the shaking stopped so I just bought a new tire.


There is your answer
Hard_Rock  [Team Member]
4/26/2011 9:24:55 PM
Originally Posted By NotDeaf:
My Tahoe's (2WD, 145,000 miiles) steering wheel recently started to shake (or swing) back and forth when I drive over roads that are not perfectly smooth. It moves back and forth about ½” to a 1” and then smooth out at high speeds about 40-65 mph. But on slower speeds, like 5-15, it feels like the whole truck is moving back and forth, almost like it feels like I have a flat tire.

Not that long ago I had the tires spin balance and aligned and it seems to have helped it, but the problem is still 100% there.

In January I had the passage wheel bearing replaced (thinking maybe the other side or something went wrong with the new bearing?)

So, maybe the tie rods?


This happened to the wifes truck a few years back. Turns out it was something in the steering linkage. Get it to a mechanic before it starts wheel hopping on you. Trust me, it'll freak you the hell out when it does it.
NotDeaf  [Team Member]
4/27/2011 1:20:38 PM
I'm pretty good at driving beater trucks

I had a F350 with bad king pins, the truck would hit a bump and jump 2 feet in either left or right direction.

Thanks all for the input.. I'll have look at the tires again (because we have a warranty with them) and see what happens again. I do recall, that even with the tires rotated that it was still there. So maybe it is a idler arm.
Buliwyf  [Team Member]
4/27/2011 5:47:20 PM
Tires are the most likely problem.

Then rotors, shocks. Assuming the obvious stuff like joints, rods, and wheel bearings are tight.

My 1 ton Chevy van is doing the same thing. I was under it with the front jacked up a couple days ago. Used a prybar on every joint. Everythings nice and tight.
Superdatsun  [Team Member]
4/28/2011 5:18:23 PM
Foks are missing the 2WD part of the OP's post. It's your steering rack. Either linkage or the rack itself. If it gets worn, it will develop enough play to shake like that at low speeds and semi-stabilize at higher speeds. Unblanaced wheels or bad tires will be bad at low speeds and GET WORSE at higher speeds.

I had the same thing happen to a civic I bought... steering rack was shot and did EXACTLY what you described. It got to the point where if I drove it at ~15mph it felt like someone hitting the steering wheel with a slide hammer over and over. I swapped out the rack and it went away completely.