Consider yourself lucky if you’re a Jeep owner who hasn’t experienced the death wobble. It’s one nightmare we wouldn’t wish upon any driver.
Unfortunately, this issue can sneak up on you without warning. And it can be dangerous if you don’t know how to respond.
Today, we’re looking at the Jeep death wobble so you can be ready if you encounter it.
Let’s hit the road!
About the Jeep Death Wobble
You’ll know if you feel the death wobble in your Jeep. When it occurs, your steering wheel will slowly start to shake. The intensity grows, and the entire vehicle begins to shudder. Maintaining control and keeping your hands on the wheel can be challenging, especially at high speeds.
This scary event can take place at any time. It often happens when the front suspension hits a bump in the road. It doesn’t have to be a significant obstacle, either. Something as little as the transition from a street to a bridge is all it takes. While it may only be a slight jolt, it can quickly become serious.
Once a Jeep goes through the death wobble, there’s a good chance it will again. You’re not doing yourself any favors if you ignore it.
What To Do If You Experience Jeep Death Wobble
How you respond to the death wobble in your Jeep is crucial. The first thing you need to do is to avoid tightening your grip. Many drivers think they’re strong enough to stop the vibrations. We hate to disappoint you, but you’re not. It’s best to maintain a loose grip on the steering wheel. Keep your vehicle in your lane and on the road.
Next, let off the accelerator. You’re more likely to encounter this phenomenon at higher speeds. Sometimes, you only need to slow down, and the shaking will stop. However, this isn’t always enough.
If all else fails, the last thing you can do is find a safe place to pull over. Coming to a complete stop will stop the vibrations and allow you to catch your breath. Whether you expect it or not, it can be overwhelming and exhausting. Relax for a second and gather yourself before getting back on the road.
Which Vehicles Are Prone to Death Wobble?
You won’t find many Jeeps that don’t eventually experience the dreaded death wobble. The brand uses solid front axles on many of its models. They’re incredibly sturdy and reliable, especially on uneven or unstable terrains.
That being said, loose or worn suspension parts can become a headache. It only requires a slight bump to send vibrations throughout your ride.
While we’re throwing a lot of shade at Jeep, this is a common problem on many four-wheel-drive vehicles. Solid front axles are notorious for the death wobble. So, Ford, RAM, and Chevrolet truck owners, don’t think you’re immune from this potential danger. Spring into action immediately if you see signs of it.
Check out these 5 RV Trailers That Can Be Towed With A Jeep.
Common Causes of Jeep Death Wobble
If your Jeep has the death wobble, it may not be an easy fix. Identifying the cause can be frustrating.
The most common reasons are worn, bent, and broken components. Some drivers drive 20,000 to 30,000 miles without this happening. They may encounter it for the first time around 40,000 miles.
It could also occur due to improperly installed steering or suspension systems. Some drivers make upgrades or modifications. When done incorrectly, the phenomenon is more likely. Know what you are doing or hire a professional when modifying your vehicle.
Finally, you may notice similar symptoms if you need an alignment or new tires. While it may not be the sole cause, it can exacerbate other issues as they develop. Need motivation to keep up with your maintenance? Now you have it!
How Do You Fix a Jeep With Death Wobble?
A Jeep experiencing the death wobble isn’t going to fix itself. The dangers will only worsen with time. Identify the source of the trouble as soon as possible. Unfortunately, that’ll be beyond your abilities unless you’re a trained mechanic.
Typically, you’ll need to replace whatever worn or broken instruments are to blame. The cost of these repairs will vary significantly depending on the part, your vehicle, and the shop doing the work. However, some manufacturers have recalls that address faulty systems known for failing.
Lastly, using a stabilizer can eliminate the shaking. But this is often just a temporary bandage, not a permanent solution. You’re simply fixing a symptom and not the actual problem.
While these devices can help, it’s best to get to the bottom of the dilemma to avoid future complications.
Watch out for this, too: 5 Symptoms of Noisy Wheel Bearings.
Is There a Settlement Related to the Phenomenon?
Thankfully, some Jeep owners dealing with the death wobble might see a light at the end of the tunnel. In 2019, a small group of folks filed a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer. The suit claims the brand was aware of the issue and failed to make the necessary corrections.
Congress requested the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigate the matter as far back as 2012. Additionally, you can find owners complaining online well before 2012. Sadly, not all of the impacted units fall under the settlement. Only 2018 to 2020 Wranglers and 2020 Gladiators are included.
The settlement will require the company to reimburse owners who paid for repairs. The manufacturer is extending warranties up to eight years or 90,000 miles on these specific components.
Can the Jeep Death Wobble Be Prevented?
Stay up on your maintenance to avoid the death wobble in any vehicle, including your Jeep. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended upkeep schedule as closely as possible. Get your ride to a reputable and trustworthy shop when having work done.
Additionally, take action to address situations as they arise. Procrastination can lead to a minor issue becoming a serious and costly repair. Doing so can help you avoid causing further damage or wear and tear on components.
You’re gambling anytime you get behind the wheel if your vehicle isn’t in optimal condition. For us, it’s not a risk worth taking.
Still dreaming of owning a Jeep? Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Diecast Vehicle.
Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
While the Jeep death wobble isn’t uncommon, it’s not something you have to live with. Maintain safety for you and others on the road by addressing it immediately. While it can be tempting to ignore the situation, we don’t recommend it.
After all, we want you to be as safe as possible, whether adventuring, running errands, or taking your kids to practice. If you’ve felt this phenomenon, get your Jeep to the shop pronto!
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