The Great Mystery of the Shaking SteeringWheel! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The Great Mystery of the Shaking SteeringWheel!


Active Member
October 26, 2011
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 Explorer XLT 4.0
Ok so my steering wheel still has a very slight shake at highway speeds...

I have tried balancing, re-balancing, moving tires around, new front wheel bearings, all new moog upper ball joints, lower ball joints, tie rod ends, alignment, front diff fluid change (for good measure), new pads and rotors, bled air from power steering.


Do I need a steering dampener!?!?!

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all suspension components are secure.

shaking is only noticeable above 45

did you check for uneven bumps in the tire tread? they will usually develop on the outside and inside edges of the tread if you miss a tire rotation.

i've moved all tires around and around and around and re balanced and road force balanced again and again and then alignments

moving the tires wont stop the shaking if the bumps have already developed. infact, if you develop bumps in your rear treads, then move them to the front it can make the shaking even worse. run the palm of your hand over your tread and feel for uneven bumps. they are caused by a lack of tire rotations and uneven wear. if you feel the bumps, then you need new tires because the bumps dont go away.

The tires are new and this shaking has always been there, even before the new tires

no cupping was observed, just checked

I'm not sure i have the same problem, but just tossing this out there? I got vibs on my commute home, between 70-80mph, 'it' seemed consistent but really wasn't. 90% of the driving was on the same road same speeds. WTF, balanced the tires 3 times, alignment twice. . i had all but given up, thought it was the tires, rims or something. A year and half later i was rotating the tires and noticed one of the front springs had broke, with 95k on the others i thought it was time for Ready strut's. Picked up the set of 4 Monroe Reflex Ready Struts from Rockauto at a good price. After installed, guess what? Vibs where gone . . .smooth to 90+mph

If it wasn't for the spring snapping, the shocks seemed and looked OK and really didn't show any classical symptoms of failed shocks. My guess is that the wheels where picking up very minor road variation, like there where ripples in the pavement.

Mine used to shake pretty bad, but knowing I was sending the vehicle overseas I replaced the whole front suspension. The only original part I have upfront is the knuckles and calipers, everything (bearings, rotors, pads, complete upper/lower control arm assemblies, strutts, wheels, tires, bushings) else attached to it was new. Driving it roughly 90+ MPH everyday, shaking went away and drives like a new car. It just depends on how much and how far you are willing to go.

Have you ever checked the rear suspension ( it has rear tie rods and wheel bearings ball joints etc since its independent rear suspension) ?

When you got an alignment done was it a 4 wheel alignment or just the front ?

When you "rebalance" the tires do they take different weights in different spots ? If they dont then there really is no need to keep rebalancing them.

I will check the shocks. This is a front end issue as it is felt in the steering.

I will check the shocks. This is a front end issue as it is felt in the steering.

Ok , but you just said you replaced nearly all the front end parts, aligned it balanced and rebalanced tires , realignined it . you can continue to do the same things over and over again and expect a different result OR you can check the rear steering/suspension (it will only take 10-15 minutes to check it), if the rear wheels are not aligned with the fronts you can have some of the symptoms you currently have.

When you replaced the front brakes , did you cut the rotors?

Rear is all tight, Rotors are new power slots.

My 2011 started shaking like crazy! Before it started shaking when I would stick at 55/60 mph, then 60/65 then 60-70, then all the time, it wouldn't stop. I put new shocks and had a mechanic look at it and apparently my differentials were cracked. So I changed them out and the shaking has stopped. I still feel it sometimes, but no one else does so it might just be in my heaD.

I don't off road or go crazy on speed bumps so its weird my differentials would crack