Imagine you’re driving down the highway, hit a bump or pothole, and all of the sudden your car is shaking, seemingly uncontrollably. If you’re a Jeep owner, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced this startling phenomenon. This “death wobble” occurrence is natural in Jeeps, but still a scary one. For Jeep owners everywhere, Am Off-Road explores everything you need to know about the Jeep death wobble.
What Causes the Death Wobble?
The term “death wobble” gained traction via Jeep owners looking to coin a phrase for the terrifying experience. It’s a result of the front axle and steering components swaying back and forth, which causes the whole vehicle to shake. The death wobble has different triggers, mostly occurring when the Jeep being driven at a high speed.
It may come as a surprise to many Jeep owners that the death wobble can be caused by a bump in the road, especially when Jeeps are revered for their off-roading abilities. This catastrophe often indicates a weak or damaged suspension system or steering components.
What Should I Do If I Experience the Death Wobble?
When the death wobble happens, there’s nothing the driver can do in the moment to cut the experience short. If you’re behind the wheel and your Jeep begins to shake, continue to keep a light grip on the steering wheel. Your knee-jerk reaction may be to clamp down, but this may cause your car to veer on the road.
The best thing you can do when experiencing the death wobble is slow down and eventually pull over. Slowing down may reduce the intensity of the wobbling, while pulling over gives you the chance to assess its potential cause.
How Can I Fix or Prevent It?
Since the cause of death wobble typically has to do with your suspension system, you’re going to need to check out your Jeep’s undercarriage. Evaluate whether anything is bent or broken from adverse road conditions or impact. Gauge the following Jeep parts to confirm the cause of the wobble.
- All the bushings
- Front track bar
- Steering stabilizer
- Ball joints
- Drag link
- Steering knuckles
- Upper and lower control arms
You can also defer to your local automotive professional for a full car assessment and extra preventative features. With additional Jeep off-road parts, your vehicle can successfully absorb more shock to make each trip more enjoyable and reduce the chances of the death wobble happening.