If you’ve been driving a Jeep, 4×4, or truck for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard about and maybe even experienced the death wobble. It’s not just the shake or shimmy of your steering wheels when you go over a bump, either. Death wobble is an uncontrollable shaking of your entire vehicle, during which it feels like the driver might lose control at any second.
If you dive deep into Jeep and 4×4 forums and websites, you’ll find that many people believe certain vehicle years, types, and modifications make it more prone to experience this issue, but it can happen to any vehicle at any time, especially if the stock suspension has been altered or modified.
What Is Death Wobble?
Death wobble happens in Jeeps, 4x4s, and trucks when rapidly rotating steering wheel components cause your steering wheel to move rapidly from side to side. This causes your vehicle to feel like it’s about to fall apart and you want to hold onto the steering wheel for dear life. It happens at speeds above 40 miles per hour and is usually caused by hitting a bump or a pothole.
What Causes Death Wobble?
Although it’s most likely suspension or steering issues that can cause death wobble, those are just a few contributing factors. Anything bent or broken on your vehicle can become an issue, and needs to be repaired or replaced ASAP. Even if parts are in new condition, improper installation can also present a problem.
While improper vehicle alignment can exacerbate issues, it can’t alone cause death wobble. It can, however, lead to several other issues with your vehicle, but that’s a different blog post entirely, so it still needs to be done regularly. The same can be said about unbalanced wheels and/or tires.
How to Handle Death Wobble
If you feel your vehicle shaking violently and think it may be going into a death wobble, don’t take your hands off the steering wheel. Grip lightly, pull over, and slow down to stop the death wobble or pull over and stop the car completely and safely. Avoid sudden movements (like jerking into a new lane or slamming on the brakes) as they can cause the vehicle to flip during the wobble.
How to Fix Death Wobble
When it comes to finding and repairing the source of the problem, it may be like putting together a puzzle. Several large and small parts make up the suspension and steering of your vehicle, so several areas need to be checked. Many experts say to start with the front track bar, which is notorious for causing imbalances that lead to death wobble.
From there, there are several other parts and attachment points that need to be thoroughly inspected by a mechanic with plenty of experience with Jeeps, 4x4s, and trucks. Relocation brackets, ball joints, tie-rod ends — the list is long, and these are areas of the vehicle that can only be accessed and repaired using professional tools and expertise.
How to Prevent Death Wobble
Simply put, you need to have an experienced mechanic maintain and repair your vehicle. While there are a handful of things you can DIY on your vehicle, suspension and steering repairs and modifications need to be tackled by a professional. You can ask them to install a steering stabilizer system, but that’s a temporary solution. Aside from being a very careful driver, the key to preventing death wobble is a consistently well-maintained vehicle.
We never sell anything we wouldn’t put on our own vehicle, especially when it comes to parts and repairs that help prevent death wobble in your Jeep, 4×4, or truck. When you come here, you know you’re getting the best parts on the market because we are very particular about what we carry.
You want the best for your beloved vehicle, and we deliver nothing but the best! Axleboy has been in business since 2004 and at our current location since 2016. Instead of having a rotating door of customers, we build long-lasting relationships with our valued clients. You’re much more than just a number to us. We’ll guide you through the customization process to ensure you get the right parts and upgrades for your driving lifestyle — contact us today to schedule appointment.