Q: What's causing steering wheel vibration?

asked by on

I notice my vehicle is very sensitive with front brakes, may be just the left front brake. My way of replace brakes is swapping the current set with another set of (already turned rotors or brand new rotors and premium ceramic brake pads) to get a perfect braking every time. When every parts is freshly installed, very very minimum vibration on steering wheel. After a couple of months, may be 6 months, steering wheels starts vibrate at 65 mph when slightly applied brakes. I put the car in the shop for wheels balance and wheels alignment done. Issue is still there. I asked several mechanics, everyone of them said my vehicle has bad rotor, which I don't think that's all because I can't just get every single bad ones? The last set of rotors I put on is (http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/sku/Powerstop/Brake_Disc/P15JBR1129XPR.html?loc=Front), which was great at first, but the same issue after being used for a few months. What can be wrong?

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. If you suspect a rotor is warped or has thickness variation, you can quickly determine this by using a dial indicator to measure the runout of the rotor as installed on the car. The run out should only be a couple or several thousandths of an inch.

If the suspension is not "tight", you can get vibrations of all sorts when you apply the brakes. So you have to check the tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel bearings, strut mounts, and so forth for play that is beyond specification.

If the issue is a defect in the rotors, one way to avoid defects is do not buy rotors made in China (see Federal Mogul press release in last 5 years warning consumers about this). The best rotors will be those supplied by Nissan. Otherwise, buy name brand rotors from a reputable parts store.

Also, if you do not carefully torque the wheel lug nuts with a torque wrench in SEQUENCE, and to the exact value specified in the shop manual, you will distort the rotor mount area of your new rotors thus setting the conditions for the symptom you are describing.

If you would like to have this all looked at for you, have a qualified professional, like one from YourMechanic, inspect the steering vibration to ensure the correct repairs are made.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What's causing steering wheel vibration?

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: The remote or the inside unlock button will not lock or unlock doors

The door lock actuators that lock and unlock your doors can become weak and won't have quite enough power to fully move the lock mechanism inside your door. This can happen for a couple of reasons. The individual actuator is...

Q: I have a illuminated Service AdvanceTrac Light and my back passenger rotor is destroyed within minutes of me driving after installation

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. The AdvanceTrac will need to be adjusted for the height difference. As for the rotor being destroyed after putting on the lift, check the caliper to see if the line to it is long...

Q: Front tire sitting at angle - 1966 Ford Mustang

Hey there. You may have bent the spindle and control arms. The ball joints are in the control arms and will be part of any new ones that are installed. If looking at the tire you notice the top is...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.