Great deals on TJ parts on Amazon!

Looking for parts for your Jeep Wrangler TJ? Checkout the selection of TJ parts Amazon has to offer, many with 2-day Prime shipping!

Click the image below to browse TJ parts on Amazon.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Parts on Amazon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Wobble and Vibration

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
Hello all,

I recently had my Jeep at the shop for a harsh vibration when coming to a stop and the steering wheel wobbles when at around 40-45. While it doesn’t happen every time I drive, the wobble has become death wobble where I lose all control and have to come to a stop for it to go away. They did not fix the issue, they replaced the steering dampener for the wobble and the pads/rotors for the vibration. I’m taking it back to them to fix it for free since they didn’t fix the issue, but what could be causing this that I can recommend?
 

Woodrow

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
669
Location
Oregon
More info about your jeep (wheel/tire, suspension and steering mods) as well as any relevant maintenance history and especially pics would help. Also if you search death wobble on this site, there are several informative threads.
 
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
35x12.50R15 tires, zone 4.25 combo lift, no other steering mods. The only history I’ve ever had is a rebuilt transmission, replaced transmission solenoid, and replaced crankshaft sensor.
 

reddvltj

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
6,844
Location
Challis, ID
Hello all,

I recently had my Jeep at the shop for a harsh vibration when coming to a stop and the steering wheel wobbles when at around 40-45. While it doesn’t happen every time I drive, the wobble has become death wobble where I lose all control and have to come to a stop for it to go away. They did not fix the issue, they replaced the steering dampener for the wobble and the pads/rotors for the vibration. I’m taking it back to them to fix it for free since they didn’t fix the issue, but what could be causing this that I can recommend?
Did the symptoms come on gradually or did it just start happening. Has anything been changed prior to the vibration and wobble? Tire rotation, hit a pot hole, etc. If it is something that has been getting worse over time the vibration under braking is likely warped rotors, if it just started happening either tires or rims could cause both vibration and wobble.
 
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
Did the symptoms come on gradually or did it just start happening. Has anything been changed prior to the vibration and wobble? Tire rotation, hit a pot hole, etc. If it is something that has been getting worse over time the vibration under braking is likely warped rotors, if it just started happening either tires or rims could cause both vibration and wobble.
It’s something that’s been happening for a while but it was something that just started all the sudden, there was no build up. Warped rotors was my first guess which is why I had them check and they did replace the front end rotors but said the back end was fine. Didn’t fix the issue though sadly
 
  • Like
Reactions: reddvltj

williambmac

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
3,934
Location
Fucktard state of NJ
A couple things you can try....
Verify the track bar bushing isn't wasted, the bolt hole isn't oblonged and the bolt is tight.

Check the condition of your front tires. are they cupped or worn uneven. try rotating them to the back and road test.

Try and find a different shop that specialises in Jeeps. My brother lives in WV and it took him a while to find a competent shop.
The dealerships in his area are shady AF.

Now if you need some meth, well that seems to be readily availble down there.

If your in the Martinsburg area I can get you the number to a good shop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: reddvltj
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
A couple things you can try....
Verify the track bar bushing isn't wasted, the bolt hole isn't oblonged and the bolt is tight.

Check the condition of your front tires. are they cupped or worn uneven. try rotating them to the back and road test.

Try and find a different shop that specialises in Jeeps. My brother lives in WV and it took him a while to find a competent shop.
The dealerships in his area are shady AF.

Now if you need some meth, well that seems to be readily availble down there.

If your in the Martinsburg area I can get you the number to a good shop.
I’ll definitely check the track bar, the tires seem to be in good shape they’re only 2 years old and barely have any wear on them but I’ll still give them a look over just in case. I have it at a dealership in Huntington right now. They keep circling back to my shocks being worn which they say is causing the wobble, not sure if that’s a real thing or not but I don’t have a lot of mechanical experience either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: reddvltj

Artsifrtsi

I just wanna go wheeling...
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
1,354
Location
Huntsville, AL
I’ll definitely check the track bar, the tires seem to be in good shape they’re only 2 years old and barely have any wear on them but I’ll still give them a look over just in case. I have it at a dealership in Huntington right now. They keep circling back to my shocks being worn which they say is causing the wobble, not sure if that’s a real thing or not but I don’t have a lot of mechanical experience either.
That's possible too, that's what caused mine to go into DW. Pull the fronts, and see if you can compress them with just your strength... don't use the ground or other solid object. are there signs of them leaking?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unitize

williambmac

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
3,934
Location
Fucktard state of NJ
Well how old is the lift and were the shocks replaced. I would assume so.
I friend of mine has a zone lift and it’s been fine for him .
It could be a number of things, check your basics, ball joints, tie rod ends, stabiliser links .
Does your lift use the stock control arms ?
If so check the bushings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unitize

reddvltj

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
6,844
Location
Challis, ID
It’s something that’s been happening for a while but it was something that just started all the sudden, there was no build up. Warped rotors was my first guess which is why I had them check and they did replace the front end rotors but said the back end was fine. Didn’t fix the issue though sadly
Warped rotors on the rear aren't going to cause a steering wheel shake so that rules that out for contributing to the wobble.

Going back to your original post, you described 2 separate problems, 1 vibration when braking, are you feeling the vibration in your steering wheel or seat? If you feel it in the steering wheel, bent wheels, warped rotors, or separated tires can contribute to steering wheel shake during braking, death wobble can also be caused by a bent heel or separated tire if there are any loose components in your steering/front suspension, the same way that a severely out of balance tire can cause death wobble. An out of balance tire generally wont cause a vibration when braking though.

One of the biggest issues with going to a shop is wondering if they are indeed selling you a part because it's the problem you went in for, or if they are selling you a part because it appears to be bad, but it's unrelated. I have never heard anyone mention shocks being bad as a cause for death wobble. You mentioned that the steering dampener, as many people have found out the hard way a steering dampener will not fix death wobble.

Pretty much every thing mentioned in prior posts are the things that need to be checked that can contribute to death wobble. But you also need to find out what is causing the shaking while braking.

Good luck with the dealer, maybe they'll have someone working on it that knows their way around Jeep suspension components better than just a parts changer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unitize

Artsifrtsi

I just wanna go wheeling...
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
1,354
Location
Huntsville, AL
I have never heard anyone mention shocks being bad as a cause for death wobble.

Mine did, I was able to grab the front drivers at both ends and push in and pull out with nearly zero resistance, passenger side was almost the same, but had a little give left in it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unitize
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
Warped rotors on the rear aren't going to cause a steering wheel shake so that rules that out for contributing to the wobble.

Going back to your original post, you described 2 separate problems, 1 vibration when braking, are you feeling the vibration in your steering wheel or seat? If you feel it in the steering wheel, bent wheels, warped rotors, or separated tires can contribute to steering wheel shake during braking, death wobble can also be caused by a bent heel or separated tire if there are any loose components in your steering/front suspension, the same way that a severely out of balance tire can cause death wobble. An out of balance tire generally wont cause a vibration when braking though.

One of the biggest issues with going to a shop is wondering if they are indeed selling you a part because it's the problem you went in for, or if they are selling you a part because it appears to be bad, but it's unrelated. I have never heard anyone mention shocks being bad as a cause for death wobble. You mentioned that the steering dampener, as many people have found out the hard way a steering dampener will not fix death wobble.

Pretty much every thing mentioned in prior posts are the things that need to be checked that can contribute to death wobble. But you also need to find out what is causing the shaking while braking.

Good luck with the dealer, maybe they'll have someone working on it that knows their way around Jeep suspension components better than just a parts changer.
Sadly they did not have anyone like that, only a part changer. They gave me a list of things they said needed to be changed but said there was nothing more they could do for the vibration or wobble. After 6 hours of waiting in their lobby They continued to circle back to shocks and said the vibration is caused by my “big off-road mud tires”, when I asked how he didn’t really have an answer. I’ve owned a tj before with around the same size lift and same size tires and never had an issue.

As for the vibration, it’s coming from the entire front end, if that makes sense. It’s not just the steering wheel, I can feel in in my seat and my passenger can feel it. It’s almost like a grinding feeling throughout the whole Jeep when coming to a stop no matter my speed and you can feel it with every turn if the tire. Maybe it could be the tires but I’ve had this same feeling almost since the day I got them on.

I’ll continue to look at other posts as well as just check my shocks as mentioned here by others to see if there’s any issues I can see.
 
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
I will say the wobble now only occurred when I hit 45-50mph but almost directly on 45mph and will continue to have a slight wobble at the speed but goes away at higher speeds. Not sure if that info is helpful or not. I haven’t had pure death wobble in a few weeks because I haven’t been driving it much lately. It’s always random or I hit a bump going around 40-45 when it happens. The vibration is every time I brake.
 

reddvltj

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
6,844
Location
Challis, ID
Sadly they did not have anyone like that, only a part changer. They gave me a list of things they said needed to be changed but said there was nothing more they could do for the vibration or wobble. After 6 hours of waiting in their lobby They continued to circle back to shocks and said the vibration is caused by my “big off-road mud tires”, when I asked how he didn’t really have an answer. I’ve owned a tj before with around the same size lift and same size tires and never had an issue.

As for the vibration, it’s coming from the entire front end, if that makes sense. It’s not just the steering wheel, I can feel in in my seat and my passenger can feel it. It’s almost like a grinding feeling throughout the whole Jeep when coming to a stop no matter my speed and you can feel it with every turn if the tire. Maybe it could be the tires but I’ve had this same feeling almost since the day I got them on.

I’ll continue to look at other posts as well as just check my shocks as mentioned here by others to see if there’s any issues I can see.
"Maybe it could be the tires but I’ve had this same feeling almost since the day I got them on."

The vibration started about the same time you got the tires put on? Did you get wheels at the same time?
Is it a vibration like you're driving on rumble strips or is it more like a pulsation?
 

reddvltj

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
6,844
Location
Challis, ID
I will say the wobble now only occurred when I hit 45-50mph but almost directly on 45mph and will continue to have a slight wobble at the speed but goes away at higher speeds. Not sure if that info is helpful or not. I haven’t had pure death wobble in a few weeks because I haven’t been driving it much lately. It’s always random or I hit a bump going around 40-45 when it happens. The vibration is every time I brake.
This sounds like a tire balance issue. Do you have a tire store some where local that deals with used tires and wheels? If so here's a suggestion, talk to them and see if they have a set of tires and wheels that will fit your Jeep that you can use to help rule out an issue with your current tires and wheels. They don't have to be the same size you're currently running, just close or smaller.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Unitize
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
"Maybe it could be the tires but I’ve had this same feeling almost since the day I got them on."

The vibration started about the same time you got the tires put on? Did you get wheels at the same time?
Is it a vibration like you're driving on rumble strips or is it more like a pulsation?
They’re the same wheels I had with my old tires but they were also brand new, I had just gotten them about 2 months before getting the bigger tires. And it’s a vibration as if you’re driving down a gravel road, you can feel the whole vehicle shaking with every turn of the tire until it stops but it only starts once you hit about 10mph and lasts until you come to a complete stop.
 
OP
Unitize

Unitize

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
36
Location
West Virginia
This sounds like a tire balance issue. Do you have a tire store some where local that deals with used tires and wheels? If so here's a suggestion, talk to them and see if they have a set of tires and wheels that will fit your Jeep that you can use to help rule out an issue with your current tires and wheels.
I’m actually going to have a buddy who works at a mom and pop mechanic shop rebalance my tires for me tomorrow since that was a popular suggestion. I could see if he has a set of smaller tires though too just in case.
 
  • Like
Reactions: reddvltj