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Steering wheel pulsates


You all have been so helpful in the past. I have replaced fr rotors and pads…thanks to locating a sound in my car from this website…and more recently I replaced front struts and springs…thanks to response frm this website. Now I know my car is old it is a 96 ford contour. Now when I drive it I notice the steering wheel pulsates a little. Not a lot. It actually did this prior to replacing the struts and springs. I was just wondering what this could mean. My front brakes and pads are fine just had all that checked. Any thoughts? Thank you again…Kathie

Kathie, Does It Do This All The Time Or Only When Braking ? Did It Start Immediately Following Maintenance / Repair Work ? How Old Are Your Tires ?


I suggest having the wheel alignment and balance checked. Unevenly worn tires can also cause a slight vibration.

I had new tires (4) in Aug 2008…mileage then was 78,746. Mileage now is 88,127. It was happening before rotors and pads were replaced. It is very slight and is there all the time when driving and braking. I think what I will do is have oil changed next month and take it to the place that replaced rotors and pads and have them check. maybe rotors need to be adjusted. I will also have tires rotated.

If the rotors were the problem you’d only feel the vibration while braking.

When the tires were installed in 2008 did you get an alignment? If not the tires could be the problem.

thank you…I will do that in April

Kathie, When They Remove The Tires To Rotate Them, You Could Ask To Have Them Re-Balanced.

Sometimes a wheel weight, put on when they were balanced when the tires were installed, can come off and get lost. Sometimes even new tires can be slightly defective.

When they put them on the balancer, in addition to balancing them, have them check the wheels and tires for radial and lateral run-out just to make sure that the wheels / tires don’t have too much side-to-side or up-and-down movement when they’re on the car and it’s rolling down the road. Then they can advise you from there.

This all falls in line with the “do the cheapest, easiest things, first” approach and should lead to resolving the pulsation.


THat is great advice and I do thank you so much! I will have them checked in April when I change oil. God bless you and have a wonderful day!

If this problem is not related to an out of round tire, tire balance, or bent wheel then the first thing I would check would be the tie rods althoug a loose tie rod end, lower ball joint, etc. could also cause this kind of problem.