Top 7 Causes of Shaking Cars and How to Fix It
Getting stuck on the road is very unpleasant, especially when no auto repair shop is nearby. Regular vehicle maintenance can help prevent these types of issues from happening in the first place. However, fixing a more significant problem can also cost a lot more.
When your car shakes, it often starts subtly and then worsens. However, it might not seem like a big deal initially but ignoring it could lead to more severe damage.
Therefore, it's essential to learn what's causing the issue to prevent it from happening in the future.
But why is my car shaking? That is precisely what this article will answer, we will also look at how to get your car to stop shaking.
Table of Contents
- What Does It Mean When My Car Shakes?
- Why Is My Car Shaking?
- Why Is My Car Shaking When Idle?
- What To Do When Your Car Is Shaking
- Is It Safe To Drive My Car While It’s Shaking?
- How To Fix Shaky Cars
- Best Car Deals by Category
What Does It Mean When My Car Shakes?
Your car has many complex components and systems that keep it running. If one of these components or parts isn't working correctly, you might feel or hear it.
Not only are there parts and pieces that can cause your car to shake, but other factors can also affect its operation.
Understanding the various factors that affect your vehicle's movement can help diagnose the issue.
Why Is My Car Shaking?
There are many reasons why your car might be experiencing this issue. Let’s talk about seven common reasons why your car is shaking.
1. Bad Tires
The quality of your tires plays a massive role in how well your car handles and rides.
If you have a problem with your tires, it could affect the entire ride. In addition, other factors could be causing your car to shake.
One of the most common reasons why your car might be experiencing this issue is if your tires are not correctly balanced.
If this issue is ignored, it could cause your car to shake even more and affect other vehicle components.
Another issue causing your car to shake is if your tires are loose. If the tires are still loose, it could be a sign that the wheel bearings are not working correctly.
You should also ensure that the rubber on your tires is appropriately adjusted. If you've hit a pothole or a curb, it could cause a bent rim or tire issue.
If you suspect that your tires are causing the issue, you must get them checked and replaced. Doing so could prevent further problems and accidents.
If you suspect your car only shakes when you hit the brakes, this could be a sign that you must have your brake pads checked.
If you have a warped brake rotor, it could be caused by the wear and tear you're experiencing.
The rotor is inside the wheel, and the pads are designed to press against it whenever you must slow down or stop the vehicle.
As a result, the ride is unpredictable as the brake rotor's surface gets worn down.
Another issue causing your car to shake is if the calipers are stuck. If they're not working correctly, it could cause the vehicle to vibrate when it accelerates.
Although this isn't as common, it can still happen and affect your car's speed.
If you're experiencing this issue, it could be a sign that you need to have your brake pads checked.
If you see smoke or smell burning in the air, it could be a sign that the brake pads are damaged. You should immediately stop the car to prevent this issue.
3. Bad Spark Plugs
If your car is shaking, it could be a sign that you need to have your spark plugs checked. Having faulty ones could cause your car to sputter or even cause it to shake.
Having insufficient spark will affect how quickly your vehicle will operate.
In addition, having a faulty spark plug could cause your vehicle to experience rough idle, affecting your car's handling.
Even if the spark plug isn't the cause of the issue, you should also have the wires checked to ensure they're working correctly.
4. Bad Suspension
If you're experiencing severe shaking in the steering wheel, you must look closer at the suspension system.
This could indicate something is wrong with the vehicle's structure. Some possible causes of this issue include shock absorbers, ball joints, tie rods, and shocks.
5. Low Transmission Fluids
If your car's transmission fluid level is low, it could cause it to start to shake as you accelerate. A leak could cause this issue, leading to costly repairs if it gets worse.
Having insufficient transmission fluid can also cause your vehicle to experience issues such as damaged transmission components.
Loud noises when the vehicle shakes could signal something wrong with the drive train or the transmission.
6. Worn Motor Mounts
If your car is experiencing severe shaking when you're idle, it could indicate something is wrong with the motor mounts.
Wearing broken struts could allow your engine to move around underneath the hood.
Some of the reasons your vehicle might start to shake are minor, but other factors can also cause these.
Although it might seem insignificant, ignoring it could lead to costly repairs later.
If you're experiencing severe shaking in your vehicle, you must take it to a car shop as soon as possible.
7. Bent Axle
Aside from the brake rotor, other components of your vehicle can also cause it to shake.
For example, if you've been involved in an accident, your car might have a bent axle, which can cause it to vibrate.
If your car's driveshaft is bent, it could indicate something is wrong with its joints. Also, worn-out components could cause the vehicle to shake.
Why Is My Car Shaking When Idle?
Every time you stop, your car shakes; it could signify that something is wrong. A sluggish idle can also be a symptom of an issue with the engine.
If you notice that your engine is loud at a stop sign or stoplight, it could be a sign that something is wrong with the spark plug.
Poorly functioning spark plugs can cause uneven fuel burning in the engine, resulting in fluctuating engine performance.
Loose engine mounts are one of the most common causes of vehicle shake while idle.
These are the connections between your car and the engine, and they can prevent vibrations from being produced by the engine.
However, having worn-out or broken links could lead to more vibrations.
If your vehicle is experiencing severe shaking while idle, it could indicate something is wrong with the fuel system or the timing belt.
Some of these can be fixed by performing a standard engine service, while others require more complex repairs.
What To Do When Your Car Is Shaking
The only logical thing to do when you notice your car is shaking is to visit an auto repair shop.
It is better to nip it in the bud than wait until it gets worse, making you spend more than required.
Is It Safe To Drive My Car While It’s Shaking?
If you're feeling a car shake excessively, it can be very uncomfortable and frightening while driving.
You might also notice that it only happens at certain speeds or that it starts happening all the time.
If you're experiencing this condition, it's essential to take the necessary steps to address it and ensure that your vehicle is in good condition.
Although it's hard to determine if your car is safe to drive, it's essential to have it inspected at the first sign of trouble.
Doing so can help identify the cause of the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.
How To Fix Shaky Cars
1. Replace the Broken Engine Mount
Most engine mounts are not repairable. However, you can still fix some of them by replacing the part that's on the side.
After finding a broken mount, take the car to a mechanic shop to have it replaced. In addition to the broken mounts, you should inspect all the engine mounts on the floor.
2. Service Brake Calipers
If the car is still shaking while you're driving, it's essential that you clean and smoothens the brake pads. After that, you must purchase a new set of pads and pins.
3. Replace Bent Axle and Driveshaft
If you suspect that your car's car axle is bent, you must take it to a mechanic shop to have it fixed. Although drive shafts rarely bend, they can be damaged in a car crash.
4. Do a Wheel Balance
Take the tires to an alignment shop or mechanic. They can use a balancing machine to realign the wheels.
5. Get Loose Lug Nuts Tightened
This simple fix can be done without visiting a mechanic. To do this, park your car on a hard surface and block off the wheels.
Double-check the nuts and cables of the car's wheels using a torque wrench.