Steering Wheel Wobble

The steering Wheel in our '05 Honda Odyssey wobbles when we are going straight and slow. When I am above say 40 the wobble is almost gone, when we are turning (either direction) the wobble is not there. It seems as though the alignment is off a bit too, but with the wobble it is hard to tell.

The wobble does not increase with the use of the breaks (had warped rotors in my other car, so I was looking for that). My friend said that this was a problem with the tires.

The front tires have less tread then the rear, but it feels like there is enough there.

- Could this be a strictly needs a tire problem, and that new tires would fix?

Do I tell the garage to fix the alignment also, I was told last time that they can not “check” the alignment, only adjust it.

What should I be telling the shop to do here?


I would move the front tires to the back and see if the wobble changes.

If it changes, focus on tires. If it doesn’t help, maybe a CV joint?

I had the same problem with my wife’s 98 Windstar. It was a “slipped/shifted” belt in the right front tire. My trusted mechanic spotted the problem tire right away, it wasn’t obvious to me though. The bad tire had plenty of tread and was only a few years (2-3) old.

If the shop is half-way competent they should be able to confirm this. Replacing the tire fixed the problem.

First, belts in tires do not shift or slip. That is an old wife’s tale. What is really going on is irregular wear - which is caused by mis-alignment and aggravated by insufficient rotation practices and insufficient inflation pressure.

So rotating the tires to see if the wobble changes is a good diagnostic. If the wobble changes, then the alignment is causing irregular wear. The question is: After the alignment, will the new position of the irregularly worn tires develop a new wear pattern - erasing the old pattern? Good question - and it depends on how bad the tires are.

I beg to differ. The tire in question had an internal defect that caused the wobble. There were no issues with alignment, rotation, and wear pattern with the tires on the vehicle. I kept the Windstar for a few years after the tire replacement and the problem never reoccurred.

Ed B.