Death Wobble Makes Your Truck Shake Like a Washing Machine

Posted on
Scott McCracken
#suspension #steering
Dismantled suspension component

The term was originally started by Jeep Wrangler owners, but has since been adopted by Ram truck owners who have experienced the same phenomenon.

What Causes the Shaking?

Many attribute the problem to the front coil-spring suspension on trucks with track bars. While a typical suspension would recover after hitting a bump, the coil-spring suspension can sometimes continue to shake until the vehicle is slowed way below highway speeds.

Others point to tie-rod ball studs that are too weak and known to fracture in Chrysler’s suspensions, most notably from 2009 to 2012. The tie-rod [er] ties the steering system together.

Did a Redesign Fix the Problem?

Starting with the 2013 model year, when Ram became its own brand, Chrysler redesigned its trucks to use a reciprocating ball steering gear and more robust linkages.

Generations Where This Problem Has Been Reported

This problem has popped up in the following Ram generations.

Most years within a generation share the same parts and manufacturing process. You can also expect them to share the same problems. So while it may not be a problem in every year yet, it's worth looking out for.

Further Reading

A timeline of stories related to this problem. We try to boil these stories down to the most important bits so you can quickly see where things stand. Interested in getting these stories in an email? Signup for free email alerts for your vehicle over at

What Owners Say About This Problem

Bought this truck with only twenty miles on it. It has had a bad vibration from day one. [The dealership] has looked at this a half dozen times and can not seem to get it fix. They say it is a known issue and don't know how to fix it. This has to be one of the worst trucks I have ever owned.

2014 Ram 1500 Owner

Driving down the road and hit a small bump. The front end started wobbling very bad. The only way I was able to stop it was to slow down below 30 mph (I was in a 55 mph zone). This is very dangerous. I pull a 12000 pound trailer. I can't afford to lose steering with a trailer that size.

2013 Ram 3500 Owner

OK, Now What?

Maybe you've experienced this problem. Maybe you're concerned you will soon. Whatever the reason, here's a handful of things you can do to make sure it gets the attention it deserves.

  1. File Your Complaint is a free site dedicated to uncovering problem trends and informing owners about potential issues with their cars. Major class action law firms use this data when researching cases.

    Add a Complaint
  2. Notify CAS

    The Center for Auto Safety (CAS) is a pro-consumer organization that researches auto safety issues & often compels the US government to do the right thing through lobbying & lawsuits.

    Notify The CAS
  3. Report a Safety Concern

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the US agency with the authority to conduct vehicle defect investigations & force recalls. Their focus is on safety-related issues.

    Report to NHTSA