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Vibrating steering wheel

Dear Car Talk,

I have a 10 year old Corolla with 62,000 miles on the meter and it’s been running fine, but lately I’ve been having problems with the steering wheel: It vibrates (badly!) when I drive around 20-30 miles an hour. This problem goes away when I drive 40-60 mph or at really low speed. Any idea what the problem might be? Is my car falling apart?

It could be several things, some of them could be dangerous.

My guess is you have one or more out of balance (may have lost a wheel weight). However there are a number of other possibilities including bad tyres and suspension parts. There are not many things you can check yourself, so I would suggest taking it into an alignment shop and let them check it out.

You need to take it to a good front end shop (not a corporate chain) and ask them to look everything over.

Is it the speed itself - riding steady at 20-30mph? Or is it more associated with acceleration? If it is acceleration you may be looking at an axle and/or engine/transmission mount problem. If it isn’t so much in the steering wheel you might be having a problem with the engine itself - e.g. plugs, wires, filters, etc. How well do you keep up on the basic “tune-up” maintenance?