why is my car shaking

Car Shaking  – Symptoms, Causes & Solutions

Suppose you owned a vehicle for more than a couple of years. In that case, it becomes increasingly likely that it’s going to develop an issue or two. One of the most frustrating, and also the most common problems is excess vibration. The main point with the wave is that it tends to creep up subtly during the time, and before you know it, your automobile is vibrating like a cell phone. If your car shakes when driving, braking, accelerating, or even when it’s idling, it’s time to investigate it.

This article will explain why your auto experiences shaking, engine and steering wheel vibration.

Why is My Car Shaking While Driving?

Vibration is typically originated by a defective or out of balance tire, a worn driveline U-joint or a bent wheel. You may find that the auto shakes in an up and down motion. You may feel the vibration through the steering wheel, seat, or in the brake pedal.

There are numerous reasons why your vehicle is shaking, and we’re naming the top 10.

car shaking when accelerating

1. Engine

Several parts within a car’s engine could cause a vehicle to shake if they malfunction. These include the engine air filter and spark plugs. Check the spark plugs and their connections. Generally, spark plugs last for about 80k to 100k miles, depending on the make and model. If the spark plugs are well and their connections are good, then inspect the air filter. A clogged or dirty air filter can starve the engine of oxygen and/or fuel required to run correctly.

2. Brakes

If vibration is happening when you’re pushing the brakes, the issue is likely related to your vehicle’s front brake mechanism as the front brakes receive the most stress when the brakes are used.

There are two parts on front disc brakes that have to be replaced every often – rotors and pads. The rotor is the round metal disc that attaches to the wheel. During the time, it can become warped from heavy wear and tear. Some pads press versus the rotor to slow down the car, and these pads need to be a certain thickness to work adequately. If the pads become too worn, it can cause vibration. The caliper grips the pads against the rotor to slow down and stop the auto.

car shaking when braking

All cars vary on timelines for when brakes need to be replaced. On average, they should be replaced every 50k miles, but many makes and models can last longer. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual for a more accurate timeline for replacement. Plus, whenever you get an oil change, have your mechanics visually check your rotors and pads’ condition. They’ll inform you precisely when replacement is required.

3. Axles

Most models have two axles – one that connects the front wheels, and another that connects the rear wheels. Vibrations can crop up if the axles are dented or bent – which can occur in an accident or other mishap – and vibration will increase in intensity as you accelerate. Also, check the driveshaft and CV (constant velocity) joints for potential culprits. If these joints are worn, that can let in dust and other debris, which can damage the constant velocity joints.

4. Steering Wheel

If your steering wheel wobbles during driving, this can produce vibration issues too, and it may mean that one of the wheels isn’t spinning correctly, or it may be associated with the wheel bearings, ball joints, or tie rod ends.

5. Tires

According to the specific type of vibration you’re feeling, the issue can be related to the tires and addressed in many ways. If vibration is felt at certain speeds, the tires have to be balanced. If they’re wearing unevenly and cause the car vibrates when driving, you need a tire rotation. In some cases, you may need new tires to solve the problem of vibration.

6. Hoses

Many times, engine shake can be traced to loose, disconnected, or broken hoses. Bad air/vacuum hoses can cause serious sake. Replace or reattach hoses as required.

car shaking when idle

7. Timing Belt

The timing belt synchronizes the actions of several components and accessories. A worn-out, torn, or stretched belt will result in inconsistent timing, which produces shaking. This most often happens in high-mileage cars. If you notice looseness, ribbing, or cracks in your cambelts, have them replaced as soon as possible.

8. Bent Rim

Tiny driving mistakes like hitting a pothole or driving up a curb can damage the rim and cause it to bend. A bent rim makes vibration while driving, and it increases if you drive faster. A bent rim should be corrected right away as it can induce loss of tire pressure, too.

9. Driveshaft

A driveshaft quickly spins as it distributes engine power to the rear axles and wheels in rear-wheel-drive models or the front axles and wheels in front-wheel-drive cars. If this is bent, it can produce dramatic shaking.

10. Fuel Intake

After driving for many times, your vehicle’s fuel intake system can get clogged up. It’ll start to transfer uneven amounts of fuel to the engine. If your motor doesn’t get an even continuous gas supply, then it’ll begin to shake.

Why is My Car Shaking When Accelerating?

Damaged or loose engine mounts may also be the reasons why your car vibrates when accelerating. As we said, loose or damaged mounts can’t efficiently absorb the motor’s vibrations, so you’ll feel them when you push the gas. A misaligned suspension system and steering could make your steering wheel shake when you speed up in some cases.

Why is My Car Shaking When Braking?

You expect reliable performance when taking your vehicle from 0 to 60 mph. You should have identical performance when going from vice versa! But if your brake pedal, steering wheel, or entire vehicle shakes when you apply the brakes (particularly at higher speeds), neglecting the problem could be fatal. Shaking when you hit the brakes could pinpoint worn-out brake pads or warped brake rotors, — all of which are crucial parts of safe braking when driving.

Why My Car Shaking When Idle

Your automobile shakes every time you stop! You may have a problem with the motor. The most common reason for shaking while idling can be loose engine mounts. Mounts are the links between the motor and vehicle — they keep the motor safely attached while dampening vibrations produced by your motor. When those connections wear out, you’ll feel the vibrations.

On the other hand, a car that shakes when idle may have a bad timing belt, worn-out spark plugs, or faulty fuel injectors. Some of these issues can be fixed with a regular service or fuel system cleaning, but others may need more extensive engine repair.

car vibrates

Is it Safe to Drive When Your Car is Shaking?

No, and the longer you leave it, the more risk of further damage to the vehicle or an accident being caused if you lose control of it. In case this occurs while the vehicle is stationary, it could be a damaged transmission or motor mount, which is obviously not as serious as some fault with the steering wheel or brake pedal. Brake pedal shaking is particularly dangerous since you have to stop quickly and reliably at high speeds.

How to Diagnose Car Vibration

The issue with vibrating cars is that, while the repair might be cheap and straightforward, it could be considerably more expensive. Therefore, you need to diagnose the problem as soon as possible. Yes, it’s a hassle to pay attention to the specific symptoms and signs that might indicate the reason for excess vibrating. Still, a self-inspection will save you money and time.

Pay special attention to the following symptoms.

  • Constant vibrations at high speeds – Take the vehicle for a tire balance and rim/wheel inspection to view any damages;
  • Steering wheel shaking while braking – Front rotor discs damaged or old and must be replaced;
  • Vibrations while braking – Rear front discs damaged or bad.
  • Vibrations during hard acceleration – Poor CV axles or any drivetrain unbalanced part.

Note – You should always carry out an adequate diagnosis or allow a certified mechanic does it before replacing parts for high repair costs.

Magic Auto Center – Doctor for Car Shaking in Santa Clarita, CA

Given the range of potential signs and causes of your car’s vibration, from broken motor mounts to bad spark plugs, it’s crucial to have a mechanic do a thorough inspection right away. When problems arise, and you need diagnostics, engine repairs – including belts, hoses, radiators, and air conditioning repairs, our ASE-certified mechanics got you covered.

Call (661) 291-1232 and make an appointment in the leading Valencia car repair service before it’s too late.

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