What Is a Jeep Death Wobble and How to Correct It?
Is there something deadly in a jeep death wobble?
In this article, we’ll tell you if it’s really something you should be concerned about and how to make it stop.
- 1 WHAT IS A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
- 2 WHAT CAUSES A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
- 3 IS DEATH WOBBLE DANGEROUS?
- 4 AT WHAT SPEED DOES THE DEATH WOBBLE HAPPEN?
- 5 WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I EXPERIENCE A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
- 6 HOW CAN JEEP DEATH WOBBLE BE FIXED?
- 7 WILL A STEERING STABILIZER FIX DEATH WOBBLE?
- 8 HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO FIX A DEATH WOBBLE?
- 9 HOW OFTEN DOES DEATH WOBBLE OCCUR IN JEEPS?
- 10 HAVE THERE BEEN ANY RECALLS RELATED TO JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
- 11 POSSIBLE FAQs
- 12 CONCLUSION
WHAT IS A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
The Jeep Death Wobble is a shaking and vibrating sensation that occurs in Jeep Wranglers. Since it constantly shakes, it makes your vehicle hard to maneuver or control, especially during high or increased levels of speed.
WHAT CAUSES A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
It can happen to both factory jeeps and jeeps with suspension lifts because it’s normally caused by worn-out suspension components. Other reasons why a jeep death wobble occurs are the following:
- Faulty spark plugs – is obvious when your jeep misfires or stops every now and then and resumes its normal momentum afterwards.
- Clogged air filter – makes your jeep sluggish or slow to react because dirt and carbon deposits get in its way of receiving enough air.
- Uneven tread wear – is when your tires are slightly deformed or irregularly shaped as a result of misalignment and wrong tire pressure.
IS DEATH WOBBLE DANGEROUS?
Yes it is. While there may have been no reports of grim fatalities due to a jeep death wobble, it’s still something to be taken seriously. The fact that there’s an excessive shaking of your entire vehicle and your wheels aren’t uniform in movement can cause you to lose control of your steering ability; hence, the term “death” because they give you a feeling that your jeep is about to be broken into pieces.
Encountering it on highways can be dangerous because vehicles follow a standard speed limit where stopping abruptly is an ingredient for a collision.
AT WHAT SPEED DOES THE DEATH WOBBLE HAPPEN?
Death wobble usually happens when you’re running around 45 miles per hour. Under normal circumstances, it won’t manifest itself unless you hit a bump or a “hump” which is a slightly raised ground surface, or a pothole which is the opposite of the latter.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I EXPERIENCE A JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
The moment death wobble starts, the first and most obvious thing to do is to avoid panicking. Maintaining presence of mind in a surprising scenario can be difficult but doing so helps you clearly think of what you should do next. Don’t forget also to:
- Slow down – because maintaining a high level of speed while your jeep is shaking weakens your traction.
- Hold the steering wheel lightly – because gripping it tightly can hurt your fingers.
- Stay on your lane – because zigzagging increases your chances of hitting other vehicles.
- Park your vehicle properly – because you need to be somewhere safe when you need to do some minor D.I.Y. jeep repairs.
HOW CAN JEEP DEATH WOBBLE BE FIXED?
At a glance, death wobble is indeed very alarming but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Here are a few jeep death wobble fix ideas you can try on your own to get you back on track:
- Inspect your track bar bolt – Loose track bar bolts are the normal cause of a jeep death wobble because it can no longer keep the track bar in place. This means you must tighten them.
- Do the steering wheel wiggle test – Lightly moving the steering wheel back and forth while your jeep engine’s off let’s you properly see if there’s too much or adequate movement among the ball joints and other suspension parts.
- Do the pry bar test – Means putting a pry bar in between your jeep’s control arms or ball joints. If they easily shake at the slightest touch, they should be tightened too.
If tightening certain suspension parts still doesn’t do the trick, then you need to enlist the help of a professional to see if a wheel alignment is necessary. It’s when your wheels are rotated and adjusted according to the manufacturer’s standards.
WILL A STEERING STABILIZER FIX DEATH WOBBLE?
A steering stabilizer can only dampen your jeep’s disturbing movement for quite some time but it can never totally eliminate it or its sources. This is because a steering stabilizer is just one component of your suspension system that’s responsible for maintaining a smooth ride.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO FIX A DEATH WOBBLE?
There are 2 things to look at when you’re going to the path of spending some cash to fix a death wobble – type of jeep and durability level. But generally, the prices depend on the suspension parts involved including the labor.
Estimated Replacement Cost Per Part with Labor
|Part||Track bar||Drag link||Steering Knuckles||Bushings||Upper and lower control arms||Ball joints|
HOW OFTEN DOES DEATH WOBBLE OCCUR IN JEEPS?
It doesn’t happen as often as you might think. In fact, there are only about less than 700 people who have encountered such a hassle, as opposed to millions of others who are just normally traveling the roads.
However, just because you’re a part of the lucky ones, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful and be prepared for it if it strikes.
HAVE THERE BEEN ANY RECALLS RELATED TO JEEP DEATH WOBBLE?
Yes, there have been. In fact, a class action lawsuit was filed against Chrysler in 2010 over the Death Wobble. But it didn’t just end there.
As what the Lemon Law Firm quoted, “the 2018 Jeep Wrangler features over 750 complaints by consumers for suspension issues. However, FCA’s difficulties with the Death Wobble didn’t begin in 2019 and didn’t begin with the Jeep Wrangler. Ram trucks dating back to 2003 suffered similar Death Wobble complaints, repairs, and recalls. In fact, in 2015, FCA agreed to pay NHTSA a $105-million fine (then, the largest fine ever from NHTSA), submit to three years of oversight of recalls, buy back half-a-million vehicles and offer financial incentives for repair of 1 million vehicles.”
1. Does the death wobble only happen to Jeeps?
- Jeeps are not the only vehicles prone to death wobble. In fact, there were also reported cases involving pickup trucks and SUVs.
2. What happens if I encounter a death wobble on the road?
- If you do experience the death wobble, the best thing to do is to slow down and pull over to a safe area until the vibration subsides.
3. Can the condition of my tires affect Jeep death wobble?
- There are a few things that you can do to help prevent the death wobble, such as making sure that your tires are properly inflated and that your suspension components are in good condition.
Witnessing a jeep death wobble whether for the first time or on a regular basis can be stressful. However, by carefully following the steps on how to properly address it with a couple of deep breaths, are a huge help when things go south. What’s your annoying experience on jeep death wobble and how did you solve it? Comment your answers below.