Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Periodically vibrating steering wheel at interstate speeds

asked by on

When I drove my car on the interstate for the first time in a few months, I noticed a change in the steering. Once I get up to about 65-75 mph, the steering wheel starts vibrating, about one second of vibrating, then about a second break, then repeat over and over. There is also a bit more play in the steering wheel than usual. I don't really hear anything new to go along with the vibrating wheel. I'm wondering, what could be some possible causes, and will it likely be in the ballpark of hundreds of dollars to fix, or thousands? Then, is it probably safe to keep driving around town for a couple months while I save up some money to fix it?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Vibration at that speed is often related to the tires. It could be that one or more of the tires are out-of-balance, or that they have worn unevenly and now have a bad pattern worn into them. Vibration can also be related to bad shocks, and your description of the periodic nature of the vibration makes me think that is where you’ll find your trouble. But the thing you describe that is the most concerning is the incidence of freeplay in the steering wheel. This could mean that one of the tie rods is wearing out and it could be dangerous. You’d better not put this one off. You need to have the front suspension inspected by a professional. YourMechanic can send a technician to your home to inspect the steering and suspension and advise you on what needs to be done.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car not turning over

If the starter isn't engaging, there are typically two things I'm going to verify. First, that the battery is fully charged. Second, that the voltage is getting all the way to the starter. Have a certified mechanic, such as one...

Q: What does the traction control system/StabiliTrack light mean in a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze?

The traction control system (TCS)/StabiliTrack Warning Light is located on the instrument cluster. The TCS/StabiliTrack Warning Light is illuminated when the TCS and/or StabiliTrack systems are not functioning properly, or have been disabled. If the TCS/StabiliTrack Warning Light is flashing,...

Q: Does guaranteed 2 pass mess up motors ?

Hello, thank you for writing in. While this product may not directly effect a perfectly good engine, if there are other issues with it, the problems may be exaggerated by the product. Also keep in mind that the product is...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.