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my steering wheel is unstable and has tendency to deviate and shakes. It's hard to drive and very accident risky.

Mechanic inspected and asked me to replace two wheel Rims. He has asked for $275 to get OEM wheel for each.

I have replaced one of the problem wheels with a spare wheel(wheel+tire). After that it's not as much unstable (40-50% less unstable), but the steering is still shaking. I did not notice any physical deformity on the problem wheel.

I was wondering if the mechanic is approaching the problem right way. He assured me that 80% of my steering unstability will go away with new wheel.

I did not have time and agreed to have one wheel replaced.(it's not been replaced at the time of this post).

My question, how do I know if the wheel is causing the problem? Should I take the bad wheel to tire balancing machine and get it inspected or what other other options ?

EDIT

After replacing front wheel with a new tire and performing alignment the steering unstability was resolved but still shaking even at low speeds. At this point the front left tire is dead. After putting on new tire on left front shaking has gone. The vehicle came with runflat tires the new ones are not left flat, i have noticed difference in steering handling. Previously the steering would resist the change in direction, that means u have to put enough effort to turn the steering but now with relatively less effort i can turn the steering a very wide angle. That makes it difficult to drive any small unintended force can steer the vehicle in wrong direction. Wondering what is causing . i doubt it because runflat vs non runflat. Still thinking.

  • Can you explain the "shaking" more? Does it shake at all speeds, all the time? – JPhi1618 Feb 4 '16 at 18:43
  • yes, the shaking is oscillation of wheel with /12 inch amplitude. I can easily notice it when don't touch steering and give gas . (although the vehicle sways towards right or left). The mechanic wanted me to replace front-passenger and rear-driverside wheels. – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 18:59
  • correction it's half inch. and yes all speeds all times. – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 19:13
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Front wheels that are out of balance will cause shaking in the steering wheel at certain speeds. Tires that are bad can do this at all speeds.

If the shaking was partially resolved by putting on a spare, try rotating the tires.

Make sure the wheel nuts are torqued to spec.

  • Unstability in the steering was partially resolved with a spare. (wide swings in the steering, i.e. steering wheel is super loose , if the hand control is not perfect, it can sway in different directions. ). the minor shaking is still there () . At this point I'm wondering if the wheel replacement is right thing to do or a wheel balance will help. I trusted the mechanic and it doesn't look like wheel replacement was necessitated . – cyborgt8 Feb 4 '16 at 22:07
  • Wheel balancing is relatively cheap so that would probably be the best thing to do. You may want to ask to watch when they balance the wheels. Some wheels don't appear deformed, but when spinning on a balance machine they wobble visibly. – Ben Feb 5 '16 at 22:29
  • In reality the wheel was not straight. It was having a flatspot. I took it to a tire store who happen to check the wheel balance for free. and the wheel was wobbling on wheel balancer. However I ended up coughing $500 to get the wheel replaced as the mechanic who I first committed to will neither use aftermarket part or consider a repair. – cyborgt8 Feb 5 '16 at 22:42

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