Dodge Death Wobble

Cause and Cures for the Infamous Death Wobble



What is the Dodge Death Wobble?

The Dodge Death Wobble is a condition in which the front tires begin to move violently from side to side and the entire truck to shake uncontrollably. The issue is more than a little "play" in the trucks steering. The Dodge Death Wobble can cause the driver to lose control, potentially causing an accident. In extreme cases, the truck will literally sway side-to-side uncontrollably. The condition is most prominent in 1994 - 2009, 4 wheel drive Dodge trucks. 2 wheel drive trucks may also experience the problem, but are much less prone to it. The chances of your Dodge Ram experiencing the Death Wobble are greatly increased if your truck is lifted, leveled, or has larger than stock tires. Hitting bumps in the road at moderate to high speeds can also cause the steering to act up and the truck to experience death wobble. Once the Death Wobble starts, your only option is to bring the vehicle to a stop as quickly and safely as possible.


What Causes The Dodge Death Wobble?

The main causes are track bar wear, steering box deflection, and worn tie rod ends. The cause is always in the steering system. Steering box deflection where the steering box mounts to the frame stops driver input from accurately controlling the vehicle. The track bar controls side-to-side movement of the front end. When it wears out there will be slack/play in the steering. The front tires can begin to shake, vibrate, and steering becomes erratic. Worn out tie rod ends cause the Death Wobble for the same reasons.


Why is it called "Death Wobble"?

Unfortunately, Dodge's steering problems have been the cause of many auto accidents. Chrysler is well aware of the problem, as they released the H46 recall to address the issue on 2003 - 2009 trucks. The recall requires an inspection (and free replacement as necessary) of the truck's steering components, including the steering damper bracket, inner drag link joint, and tie rods. Another recall was announced July 2011 that calls for a replacement of the tie rod ends on select 2003 - 2011 models.


How do I fix the Dodge Death Wobble?

Visual inspection of the truck's steering is a good start, but not always enough. More often than not, a truck experiences death wobble and even skilled mechanics are unable to find the source of the problem. The best way to fix the Dodge Death Wobble is to prevent it. Many companies, including BD Power, make steering upgrades for the Dodge Ram that will prevent the problem from occuring. At the very least, examine the condition of your tie rod ends, track bar, and steering box on a regular basis and replace any worn components immediately.













































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