When we talk about a Jeep shaking, we’re not referring to crossing rough terrain during an off-roading expedition. We’re talking about while the vehicle is shaking uncontrollably while driving casually on standard roads.
So what causes this violent trembling sensation?
Your jeep could be Shaking for several reasons, and it can happen at any given moment, but more often than not, the shaking feeling increases at higher speeds. It can also be worsened again by uneven terrain, hitting potholes, or frequently braking.
This freakish feeling comes with an even more sinister name, the Death Wobble.
Don’t worry, though, it’s not quite as scary as it sounds, and usually, if your Jeep is shaking, it’s something that can be fixed, which is what we’re going to look at in the guide.
So, why is your Jeep shaking, and how can you stop it?
Causes of The Jeep Death Wobble
As we’ve already touched upon, most of the time, the shaking sensation occurs when the vehicle travels at higher speeds, usually over 45 miles per hour, or when you hit a bump in the road.
There are a few factors that can contribute to it, such as:
- Improper modifications, such as wrongly fitted lift kits
- Loose bolts
- Faulty steering system
- Suspension failure
- Compromised suspension
- Loosened drive shaft
- Damaged front axle
One of the Jeeps that this problem has been encountered with quite a lot is the Jeep Wrangler, and people have described the sensation as fierce and uncontrollable shuddering that even makes holding onto the steering wheel a challenge.
Occasionally, the problem can also be related to loose nuts or tires that haven’t been adequately inflated. Damaged wheel trims can also instigate shaking.
How To Stop Jeep Shaking
You might be surprised to hear that despite the death wobble being a pretty familiar problem among Jeep owners, there have never been many recalls for the issue.
So, while it might cause a bit of a bone-rattling road trip, the good news is, it can be fixed.
Let’s take a look at troubleshooting methods.
- Wheel Maintenence – Although wheels might not be a direct cause of the death wobble, misaligned tires can certainly be a contributor to the problem. It’s important to keep up with regular services to ensure proper alignment and to keep a check on wheel components.
- Steering and Suspension – Some components within the steering and suspension controls may cause the dreaded Jeep shake. Be sure to keep an eye on parts such as the track bar, ball joints, and bearing, which should all be replaced when showing any sign of corrosion. This is one of the most likely causes of the wobble.
- Connections and Fastenings – In some cases, loose nuts and bolts can pose a problem. Regular mechanical checks and ensuring everything is connected properly and tightened is the only way to keep everything intact and fit for purpose.
- The Track Bar – You might not have considered this one, but it’s worth looking into if you’re experiencing the death wobble. The track bar absorbs a tremendous amount of force and is what balances the vehicle’s lateral balance, so it makes sense that it bears value to any shaking problems.
What to do When Your Jeep Starts Shaking
While there might be many straightforward explanations as to why your Jeep has begun shaking, that doesn’t make it any less of a frightening experience, and if it happens to you for the first time, what should you do?
Firstly, it’s vital that you keep a good grip on the steering wheel at all times; this way, you keep control of the vehicle. However, try not to grasp too hard; the movements of the steering wheel can be pretty jarring during the death wobble, and holding on too tight could cause injury to your hands.
This might sound easier said than done, but you also need to try and stay in lane as you slow down. I understand it can be tempting to veer off to the side as quickly as possible, but this is dangerous to yourself and other road users. If you stay in the lane and slow the vehicle down at a relaxed pace, the shaking should stop.
Once you’ve reduced your speed and managed to slowly and safely get the Jeep to a safe place, now you can take a look at the issue.
If you know what you’re looking at, and have your tools handy, then tightening any nuts and bolts, as well as the suspension, could hold things long enough for you to get home or to the nearest garage to get things looked at professionally.
Can You Fix Your Jeep at Home
If you want to fix your Jeep at home, then yes, there are a few things you can do to keep it in good condition. However, this depends on your knowledge of the area. If you’re slightly unsure what you’re looking at, then a garage is your best option.
Firstly, you can replace the factory bolts with higher-grade alternatives, which will allow you to tighten the components with more force. This is an inexpensive and easy solution to keep your Jeep in good check. You can also invest in complete fix kits if you know to fit them correctly.
You should also inspect the underneath of your Jeep regularly to check for damage to any of the steering or suspension components. Most of these would be pretty clear and easy to spot, even if you’re expertise is more up to scratch.
If it’s the track bar that’s causing the problem, which is often the case with the death wobble, then you’ll need to examine the mounting points and use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to around 125 lbs/ft.
Side Effects of The Death Wobble
If you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience the dreaded death wobble, then it shouldn’t be ignored, even if it goes away or you think you’ve found a simple fix.
Unless your expertise in this area is pretty high, it’s imperative you have the vehicle properly examined to rule out any suspension or steering damage that might have occurred, which could pose a danger during your next drive.
Death wobbles have been reported to cause severe damage to the front track bar, which could possibly need replacing after a case of the shakes.
Don’t underestimate the severity of minor misdemeanors such as loose bolts, which is why getting straight to a garage is vital if you’re not entirely qualified to handle the job.
If you’ve ever experienced a death wobble, then you’ll already be aware of that feeling of panic as your Jeep violently shakes beneath your feet. It can be quite a startling and jarring feel, to say the least.
The good news is that once you’re over the shock, the death wobble isn’t actually the end of your Jeep, and it’s usually down to a problem that can be easily fixed, either by yourself if you have the expertise and tools, or by a professional at a garage.
Hopefully, after reading this guide, you’ll be a bit more prepared if you’re ever faced with the death wobble and can now understand what causes it and how it can be fixed.