What Causes Jeep Death Wobble: Symptoms, Recalls, & Fixes

by Conner Mckay

Death Wobble is one of the most common problems in Jeep vehicles. The symptoms of Jeep Death Wobble are pretty obvious: your steering wheel will start shaking violently from side to side, and you’ll feel like your car is about to fall apart. If you are wondering what causes Jeep Death Wobble, here is your answer.

The most common causes of Jeep Death Wobble include worn or damaged tires, steering components, and loose steering linkage. If you suspect your Jeep may have a Death Wobble, take it to a mechanic for inspection as soon as possible.

As a Jeep owner, you must know about the most common problems like the Jeep Death Wobble, which you will likely face, and of course, the best ways to handle them when they occur. This article outlines well-detailed causes of Jeep Death Wobble and how best to solve it.

Death Wobble

Death Wobble is a term that describes how a vehicle suddenly begins to shake when it hits a bump along the road. When a Death Wobble occurs, it shakes your Jeep and makes it feel like tearing apart.

It is common for your vehicle to shake while still in motion along a road full of potholes or when it hits a bump. But when it suddenly begins to shake violently and make you almost feel like letting go of the steering wheel, you know it’s not normal.

When Death Wobble happens, it involves both your tires and the steering wheel. This problem poses a dangerous threat to safety. In some situations, if your vehicle does not hit a bump or the steering does not need a replacement, It usually occurs when you drive at a speed of 45 – 60 miles/hour.

What Causes Jeep Death Wobble

Jeep Death Wobble

Jeep Death Wobble usually happens when the car bumps against an object while still in motion.  But then again, it is normal for your vehicle to hit a bump while driving. So, when you hit an object along the road, and your Jeep suddenly begins to shake aggressively like the motor will fall apart, just know that it is experiencing what is known as Jeep Death Wobble.

Unfortunately, no Jeep model is free from experiencing Death Wobble. On the one hand, Jeeps have beautiful features that make the road experience wonderful. On the other hand, when the motor begins to experience a Death Wobble that causes it to shake uncontrollably, you will start to doubt the reliability of Jeeps.

But, you need to know that Death Wobble does not just happen because the vehicle bumps against an object while in motion. The bump is only one of the causes. It is only when the automobile begins to shake so much like a child experiencing convulsion that you can comfortably call it Death Wobble.

Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble

Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble usually occurs in the front end part of the vehicle. It is also a common problem that causes the front end of your Jeep to shake uncontrollably.

Regardless, you can fix this issue. Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble occurs due to excessive pressure on the wheel tires, causing Death Wobble. To prevent such an ugly experience, ensure that your tires are not over-inflated or over-deflated.

Jeep Death Wobble Fix

The first step in fixing this Jeep Death Wobble is to inspect your tires for correct balance and alignment. It’s essential to ensure they are balanced before proceeding with any other repairs. However, tires may not be the reason your car wobbles. You’ll make a more thorough diagnosis before fixing the fault.

What Causes Jeep Death Wobble: #1. Check Your Tire Pressure

Excess pressure on the tire is one of the common triggers that cause Death Wobble on Jeeps. This pressure could be due to too much or less air inside the tire compartments. To prevent this, you should always check your tires before mounting the road to ensure that your tires are in good condition.

What Causes Jeep Death Wobble: #2. Check Parts Of The Suspension

Checking the parts that hold your vehicle in suspension is another way to prevent your Jeep from experiencing Death Wobble. When checking the suspension systems, be particular about the front bar and drag link. Once you notice any damaged parts, replace them as soon as possible.

Always ensure that the wheels on your Jeep are well-balanced. To do this, grab the top and down of your steering wheel and shake. If it makes a noise like the steering is loose, it is not balanced, and you need to fix it before driving out. If your vehicle wheels are not well balanced, it will cause a Death Wobble.

Death Wobble Fix

Fixing Death Wobble in your car requires checking the steering components, tires, as well as the suspension.

The first step in fixing a Death Wobble is determining if an alignment issue causes it or if the problem is internal to the vehicle itself. This process is simple if you have a front-wheel drive vehicle: turn on your hazard lights and drive your car forward and backward on a flat surface at low speeds.

Watch for any movement in the steering wheel that does not correspond with the direction of travel. If your car moves left and right when driving forward but not when driving backward, you likely have alignment issues (or bad tires).

If your car moves left and right when driving forward and backward, you have either a steering stabilizer problem or an alignment issue. Another way to fix Death Wobble is by replacing worn parts such as ball joints or track rods.

Dodge Death Wobble

Dodge Ram Death Wobble usually occurs when the vehicle’s tie rods are weak. The Dodge Ram functions well within a speed of 50 – 80 miles per hour. So, when it goes above 80 miles per hour, you will likely experience Dodge Death Wobble.

What Causes Death Wobble: Dodge Ram Death Wobble

Most Dodge Ram Death Wobble occurs when the track bar has issues. These issues could result from a loose end or a weak drag link.

Ford Death Wobble

Ford Death Wobble is a condition where the steering wheel starts to shake violently.  It usually happens when the track bar, control arms, or ball joints of your Ford is weak or broken. The wobble also occurs while driving at high speeds, usually between 50 and 65 miles per hour. The steering wheel can shake so much that it feels like you will lose control of your vehicle.

What Causes Death Wobble #1: Ford Death Wobble Fix

As of December 2020, Ford published a letter stating that Death Wobble is capable of causing a vehicle to lose control while in motion. They also added that if your automobile develops Death Wobble, you should send it to the dealer for a free repair or replacement.

However, that idea picked the interest of many media houses and individuals, each questioning Ford on the reason for such a decision, but are yet to give another response as regards another better way to fix Ford’s Death Wobble.

What Causes Death Wobble #2: Ford Death Wobble Fix Kit

Sadly, Ford has no Death Wobble fix kit for Ford users. In the last two years, they told owners of affected cars to send any Ford vehicle that experiences Death Wobble back to the dealer for a repair because they prefer to fix the issue by themselves.

What Causes Death Wobble #3: Ford Death Wobble Recall

Unfortunately, there has been no Ford Death Wobble Recall for F-250 and F-350. These two models are the only ones affected out of the many models of Fords with the problem of violent shaking while in motion.

The last letter issued by Ford about the Death Wobble experience stated that “an expansion usually occurs when the steering wheel oscillates after hitting a big bump along the road at a speed of 45 miles per hour.”

While we await a recall from Ford about how best to handle Death Wobble, I hope that the scary condition of the Death Wobble experience pushes them to reconsider and come up with a plan that will be suitable for every Ford owner.

Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble Recall

As a Jeep owner, you know what it means to experience Death Wobble. It is usually so scary. For fear of safety, a group of the Automobile Safety Board filed a lawsuit against Jeep. This lawsuit stated that the 2020 Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator models are prone to Death Wobble attacks, and the company should work on it.

Over time, Jeep has maintained that Death Wobble is not only a problem for Jeeps. They further claimed that it could also happen to any other vehicle that has an axle with a solid front. And to date, there is yet to be an official recall to address the issues that concern the Jeep Wrangler Death Wobble.

Jeep Death Wobble Recall

In the letter issued by Jeep, when users experience Death Wobble attacks, they should return the vehicle to the dealers so they can fix or replace the steering wheel. But this offer only covers the vehicles that are still under warranty.

Dodge Ram Death Wobble Recall

The first Dodge Death Wobble recall was in December 2010. The safety board discovers that some Dodge Ram trucks have tie rods that can easily break. In November 2013, another recall affected 700 thousand Ram trucks.

Ford Death Wobble Buy Back

Ford trucks are known to be good vehicles that aren’t usually impacted by serious issues, but unfortunately, they are not strong enough to escape the wild Death Wobble. For this reason, you need to know about your Ford vehicle and what to do when you witness such problems.

The good news is that, even with Death Wobble problems being a dangerous situation, there is yet to be any record of death.

Jeep Death Wobble: Facts

  • Jeep and 4×4 drivers may experience a severe shaking called death wobble, which feels like the entire vehicle is about to fall apart and can happen at speeds over 40 mph when hitting a bump or pothole.
  • Certain vehicle years, types, and modifications can make it more prone to experience this issue, but it can happen to any vehicle, especially if the stock suspension has been altered or modified.
  • Death wobble is usually caused by suspension or steering issues, but any bent or broken part can contribute to the problem.
  • If experiencing death wobble, it is important to grip the steering wheel lightly, pull over, and slow down to stop the death wobble, avoiding sudden movements.
  • To fix the death wobble problem, mechanics should inspect several parts and attachment points, such as the front track bar, ball joints, and tie-rod ends.
  • Relocation brackets are also areas of the vehicle that can only be accessed and repaired using professional tools and expertise.
  • To prevent death wobble, it is essential to have an experienced mechanic maintain and repair the vehicle and tackle suspension and steering repairs and modifications.
  • Improper vehicle alignment and unbalanced wheels and tires can exacerbate issues but cannot alone cause death wobble.
  • Improper installation of even new parts can also present problems, so it is crucial to have a consistently well-maintained vehicle.
  • A steering stabilizer system can be installed by a professional as a temporary solution.

Frequently Asked Questions On What Causes Jeep Death Wobble

Here are some popular FAQs:

What Causes Death Wobble

The most common cause of Death wobble occurs when you drive at a speed of 45 miles per hour or if you hit an object along the road while still in motion. Asides from driving at speed or hitting a bump, several other factors cause Death Wobble. These factors include; unbalanced tires, broken or bent vehicle wheels, and a bent or broken tie rod.

Car Wobbles When Driving

If your car wheel wobbles while driving, it is not a good sign for your car. The pressure of the wobbling could either be on the steering wheel or the tires. So, when too much pressure on your car tire or the wheels is not well-balanced, your car will wobble while driving. The good news is that you can fix this issue. If the problem occurs due to too much pressure on the tire, you need to deflate the tire, and if the issue is related to a broken or bent steering wheel, it will require a replacement.

What Is Death Wobble

It is natural for you to mistake Death Wobble for an unbalanced wheel because if one side of your vehicle’s wheel is not well-balanced, the motor will likely shake. But even though Death Wobble causes it to shake, it is not the same as one side of your vehicle being unbalanced. Death Wobble is a terrifying experience. One minute you are enjoying a ride in your Jeep, and the next minute, you either hit a bump along the road, or your vehicle suddenly begins to shake uncontrollably like a person suffering from severe malaria and cold. When that happens, it is known as Death Wobble. You can refer to Death Wobble as speed wobble because you can also experience it when you drive at a speed above 45 miles per hour which is the highest your Jeep can go.

How To Fix Death Wobble

To fix Death Wobble, inspect the Jeep’s suspension parts (ball joints, tie-rods) for wear or damage and replace where necessary. If you are driving and your Jeep wobbles, grab your steering firmly and use your foot to press down the brake so that the vehicle will stop moving. Looking for a safe place to park may not be ideal when you experience Death Wobble, and it is also not good to continue driving. So, what you should do at that point is to make the car stop moving by pressing down the brake with your foot. Once you have stopped the motor, you can then go on to check for what caused the Death Wobble.

What Causes Ball Joints to Go Bad

A vehicle’s ball joint goes bad when there is dirt or excess grease between the joints. It could also get spoiled if the joint is rusted. Ball joints can get faulty if they are old or if the knots tightening them are weak. The ball joint holds your vehicle in suspension and makes your ride smooth. If they are faulty, you must fix them immediately.

Car Wobbles When Driving Slow

If you are driving at a slow speed of 20 – 25 miles per hour, but your car still wobbles, your wheel is likely bent, or the tires are separated. When you experience this, you do not need to keep driving to avoid other damages. Simply find a safe place to park the car, then check if you need to change the tires or replace the bent wheel.

Car Wobbles When Hitting Bumps

You have been driving your car for a while, and suddenly, you will notice that your motor wobbles when it hits a bump. You will likely become worried. One of the common reasons your car wobbles is that the wheel bearings are not balanced. You should look out for other factors if your car wobbles when it hits a bump: unbalanced tires, weak shock absorbers, and broken drag coil. Once you can identify these issues, you must fix them as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Why Does My Car Wobble When I Drive

Your car wobbles when you drive because the wheels are not balanced or spinning correctly. Worn tires will also cause car wobble. If your car only wobbles while driving at high speeds or on bumpy roads, the problem is likely in the steering system. In these cases, having an alignment done isn’t help much because it will only realign your wheels for highway driving. The root cause of the problem is in the steering system itself, and an experienced mechanic has to diagnose and repair it. If your tires are okay and your alignment is fine, then there’s probably something wrong with your brakes. It could also have bad bearings in the hubs or leaky brake hoses that need replacing.

Do Jeep Wranglers Have a Lot of Problems

Just like every other brand of vehicle, Jeep Wranglers also have problems. One of the most common problems with Jeep Wranglers is that they are expensive to handle. However, this is not the case with all other brands of Jeep. Asides from the fact that it is expensive, it does not have enough power to transmit well.

Why Does My Jeep Shake

If your Jeep shakes while driving, a likely cause is a misaligned crankshaft. The driveshaft is one of the components of a vehicle that helps keep it stable. Check if the driveshaft is in a proper position.  Other causes of Jeep shaking include loose bolts or fasteners on the suspension system (such as ball joints), worn shocks or struts, bent tie rods, and even broken engine mounts (which connect the engine to the frame). If one of these parts is loose or damaged, it could cause your Jeep to bounce around when driving over bumps in the road.

Do Jeeps Flip Easily

Jeeps can flip over because their wheels are short-based. That is why it is always advisable you use a seat belt while driving and drive carefully. Jeeps have high centers of gravity and narrow wheelbase compared to other cars and trucks. This makes them more likely to roll over when traveling at high speeds or taking sharp turns on roads with steep inclines or declines in elevation.

Can A Bad CV Joint Cause A Wobble

When the CV joint of your vehicle is faulty, it can cause your car to wobble. The reason is that the performance of your motor depends on the state of your CV joints and front axles. The CV joints in your car help link power from the engine to the brake and steering wheels.

Why Is My Tire Wobbling

When a tire wobbles, it means you have not balanced it correctly. Several different things can cause this, but the first thing to do is check your wheel alignment. If your car is aligned correctly, you should diagnose the cause of the wobble. Tire pressure can also be the culprit. Your car will wobble if one tire has significantly less pressure than the others.

Can Tires Cause Death Wobble

If you don’t balance your car tire well, it can cause your vehicle to experience a Death Wobble. However, you should note that asides from an unbalanced tire, several other problems can cause Death Wobble. Other issues that can cause Death Wobble are broken or bent wheels, bad CV joints, misaligned driveshaft, etc.

Are Jeeps Expensive To Fix

Despite their expensive look, Jeeps do not cost a fortune to fix. A high-brand Jeep will likely cost you between $600 – $700 for yearly maintenance. Before going out and buying any parts, research your vehicle. This will help you determine what issues you can expect to have in the future and how much they’ll cost to fix.

Do Jeeps Have A Lot Of Problems

Jeeps are one of the most unreliable car brands. They are so-called because the manufacturers of Jeep are yet to come up with a good plan that can solve the Jeep Death Wobble problem. Other problems include; excessive leakage from the exhaust pipes, blocked fuel injector, and wheel misalignment.

Car Wobbles When Driving Fast

If your car shakes while driving at a speed of 40 – 60 miles per hour, the most common issue is that you have unbalanced tires. A related issue can arise if the alignment on your car is off. This can cause similar symptoms as worn tires — especially if you neglect the alignment for some time.

Conclusion On What Causes Jeep Death Wobble

When Jeep Death Wobble occurs, it will shake your motor violently and make you feel like it will tear apart. Although I agree that Death Wobble is a scary experience, it is not a death sentence. So, if it happens while you are driving, you do not have to panic because it is a problem you can fix.

What causes Jeep Death Wobble? Loose components in the steering and suspension will make the Jeep wobble while driving. If you own a Jeep, ensure it is in good condition. Also, know the common causes of it and how to fix them. If you face difficulties, please refer to this article for proper guidance.

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