eep death wobble is a relatively common occurrence when the driver experiences a moment of loss of control. The term “death wobble” was coined in the 90s and is a result of an overload induced by the sudden extension or lateral movement of one side’s suspension.
It takes place most often during aggressive driving and high speeds, such as when overtaking another vehicle or when exiting off-road terrain. The death wobble is very common on Jeeps especially wranglers and in this article, we’ll try to explain the causes of death wobble and how to prevent it from happening.
What is Death Wobble on a Jeep?
Death Wobble usually occurs when the vehicle passes over such a bump at high speed or aggressive driving and results in a loss of vehicle control. This sudden movement causes the front tires to move laterally, which causes the steering wheel of your vehicle to shake rapidly.
What Causes Death Wobble in Jeeps?
Failing Steering Stabilizer:
This problem can manifest itself in any vehicle that is only equipped with a steering stabilizer such as the front end of a jeep wrangler. A properly functioning stabilizer is extremely important for the operation of your vehicle because it helps to eliminate any errors in positioning the wheel and reduce oversteer as well as understeer.
Most modern vehicles are equipped with integrated stability controls that combine ease of control through a computerized electro-hydraulic system with impressive levels of cornering force control. If the steering stabilizer becomes bad it can cause the jeep to wobble.
Bad Track Bar:
The track bar is a vital component of your vehicle because it links the two sides of the suspension system. It helps to keep the wheels aligned and provides traction between the front and rear tires. if it starts to be faulty it may cause the vehicle to shake and wobble
Worn Steering Rack:
The steering rack is another crucial part of your driving experience. It is responsible for turning your wheels and maintaining alignment with the road. If this part of your steering system gets worn out then it may cause a loss of control and death wobble on a jeep
Loose Tie Rod Links:
The tie rod links on your jeep are connected to the steering stabilizer and keep it aligned under all conditions. If the tie rod links are not properly installed and/or tightened, your vehicle may shake due to a lack of control.
Like the tires, shocks can be uneven so that one shock or one side of the vehicle is worn much faster than the other. This may cause different suspension settings which will affect how your jeep drives and can result in death wobble.
Tires carry a large amount of weight of the vehicle which is not always balanced to achieve the ideal weight distribution. One bad tire can cause all four tires to have different pressures and that may affect the way your jeep drives and creates understeer or oversteer. The difference in pressure between one tire and another can be a contributing factor to death wobble on jeeps especially wranglers.
Other Suspension Problems:
Other parts of a jeep’s suspension can wear out and cause death wobble. The most common of these components is the shock absorbers which control the compression and rebound movement of the springs in your vehicle. Shock absorbers are vital to maintaining proper alignment and level suspension so they will cause your vehicle to shake and wobble.
Jeep Death Wobble Symptoms:
Steering wheel shaking: This is the most common symptom of death wobble because it occurs very rapidly and with little warning, so you will not be able to avoid it. The shaking is so fast that it can be hard to see but if you do notice it, there is no time to react and counter steer because the steering wheel will have already been jerked out of alignment.
This abnormality can be caused by some or all of the above causes.
Vibration on Jeep Chasis: If your jeep is equipped with rust proofing, it may make a sound when the death wobble occurs that resembles a “clunk” or “clunk clunk” as the suspension moves. The problem is more likely to be caused by worn shocks and losing tie rod links at high speeds.
If you have a problem with death wobble in your jeep, then it is best to seek professional help. For example, if you have one of the issues mentioned above, then you should make an appointment with a mechanic and have him inspect your vehicle. The mechanic can determine which part may be causing your problem and replace it with something that will fix the whole thing.