Hello there,In this post on the solsarin site we are mentioning ”car shakes when driving ”.
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If you are like most people and spend a lot of time in your vehicle, when something doesn’t feel right, it can be enough to drive you crazy.
If your car vibrates while idling, braking, or accelerating, it signals something is wrong.
What causes a car to shake when driving?
Some of the most common causes stem from worn or damaged wheels, tires, or brakes. There’s also the chance that something under the hood is the culprit, which suggests bad spark plugs, broken motor mounts, or a clogged filter.
Another possibility is that you have a bent axle.
Your best bet is to resolve any shaking issues before they worsen.
Thankfully, we will cover the 5 most common reasons a car might vibrate in this short guide. This will allow you to take the proper course of action should they show up.
Let’s get started!
Table of ContentsShow
Why Is My Car Shaking? Here Are 5 Common Reasons
Your Tires Are Worn
The average driver racks up between 12,000 to 15,000 miles each year. If you are running with a typical set of all-season tires, then you’ll likely have to replace them every 3-4 years to ensure they don’t become bald.
Thankfully, most tires feature built-in wear bars, which are rubber strips that sit in between the main tread grooves. If your tread wears down to the point that it’s flush with these, then it’s time to replace your tires.
But even if you drive less, you still have to worry about the tires themselves becoming old and drying out. This is known as dry rot, which causes them to become brittle, lose color, and start to crack.
A few things that can lead to dry rot include:
- Sitting for long periods without use
- High/low temperatures
- Excessive exposure to direct sunlight
- Exposure to corrosive or abrasive materials
Worn tires, or those with dry rot, can easily cause your car to shake while driving, in which case you should replace them right away. Otherwise, you are putting yourself and those around in danger by continuing to drive on them.
The Brakes Need Servicing
If you notice a vibration when braking, there’s a good chance there’s an issue in your braking system. Most notably, the rotors, which are circular discs attached to each wheel that spin with them.
Fixed over the rotor, is a brake caliper, which squeezes the brake pads against it, creating friction and slowing the rotation. Over time, the rotor can become bent or warped. When this happens, and the calipers squeeze against them, you may notice a vibration.
Thankfully, rotors last a while, usually between 30,000 to 70,000 miles. Replacing a rotor ranges from about $400 to as much as $600, depending on the make and model of your car. You may also be able to simply repair them, which runs for around $200.
Basically, any issue that involves your brakes should not be ignored. Warped rotors can not only reduce braking performance, but they can also make it hard to control your car in an emergency situation.
Why Your Steering Wheel Shakes At Low Speeds
When your car is healthy, it will drive evenly and smoothly in all cases, especially if road conditions are normal. If the steering wheel vibrates occasionally, there’s no reason to worry, but if a component gets out of whack, it could translate to consistent steering wheel vibrations. Here are other vehicle problems that manifest themselves through your steering wheel:
To diagnose wheel issues, start with wheel bearings. If the steering wheel shakes while driving straight, it’s usually the ball joints, and if it shakes when you turn, the problem is more likely the tie rod ends. Although these parts can last as long as the car, in some cases they wear out early.
In most cases, the source of steering wheel vibration is the tires (since one directly controls the other), and the problem can usually be fixed with a quick tire balance. Under or over-inflation could also cause issues, so ensure all tires are properly inflated. If you check the tread and it’s lower than the recommended mark, replacing them is probably the only way to right steering wheel issues.
Although engine trouble can cause shaking throughout the vehicle, you probably notice it first in the steering wheel. Fuel delivery, air induction or spark related problems can negatively-affect smooth driving, resulting in a vibration that comes from the engine compartment. A broken engine mount can also lead to steering wheel shaking, commonly when you accelerate. To have engine trouble properly diagnosed, take your car into a technician as soon as possible.
Has your vehicle been in a recent accident? If so, your trouble might be a bent axle or broken driveshaft. If you feel jerkiness when you’re not steering, take note. This problem should not be ignored, and a full evaluation by a professional will help uncover and repair the damaged components.
If bad brakes are to blame, the shaking will primarily happen as you engage the brakes. In some instances, however, a stuck caliper will make the steering wheel vibrate at high speeds.
Whatever the source, your steering wheel shouldn’t shake when you drive. If you notice this common symptom, your best hope for avoiding further damage is taking your car in immediately.
For all your vehicle’s maintenance and service needs, call the experts at Heath’s Auto Service in Flagstaff and schedule an appointment today!
Additional Causes of Shaking
If you have recently had your tires rotated and balanced, purchased new tires, or are otherwise sure that tires are not the cause of the shaking, it is essential to be aware of the other potential factors that may cause this problem.
Engine problems can be a potential explanation. While this is a pretty broad explanation, engine problems include low transmission fluid, spark plug problems, or filter issues.
Low Transmission Fluid
Low transmission fluid can cause a vibration when you accelerate. The proper way to check transmission fluid is to allow the car to run for a little while to let the engine warm-up, place the vehicle in neutral, and then have someone check the level. This is the most accurate way to assess your transmission fluid level. You can add fluid yourself, but be sure to keep your eye on the level afterward to rule out a leak.
Old Spark Plugs
Old spark plugs could cause your shaking. If your car has more than 80,000 miles and has the original plugs, the odds are good that they are no longer supplying sufficient spark, causing your engine to shudder.
Clogged or Dirty Filters
Similarly, a clogged fuel filter or dirty air filter can limit your engine’s effectiveness. A certified mechanic is best equipped to troubleshoot these types of issues.
Most cars have two axles: front and rear. Two wheels are at each end of these axles. If you have been in an accident, run over something, or had damage of some kind affect these axles, your car may vibrate at high speeds. Bent axles are a significant problem and safety issue. They require expert care, and most often, need replacing.
Damaged Or Worn Parts
Similar to bent or broken axles, damaged or worn parts can cause vibration. If your driveshaft is damaged, it will not be able to deliver the proper torque and can lead to shaking. CV joints, which aid the driveshaft in transferring power, can wear out over time and negatively impact the performance of your car. Worn out or damaged CV joints can cause shaking. A mechanic is the best person to investigate and solve these types of issues.
Problems with your wheels can cause vibration, too. If one of your wheels is not spinning correctly, it may result in vibration. A loose wheel can also lead to shaking. Loose wheels can occur due to broken, loose, or missing tie rods. If you notice shaking when driving, it could be related to a problem with your wheels. Schedule an appointment with your mechanic to have it more carefully analyzed.
Though it might seem counter-intuitive, shaking at high speeds may be caused by your brakes. Brake calipers squeeze the brake pads against your car’s rotors and cause them to slow down. From time to time, calipers can become locked in the closed position. If this happens to you, it can cause shaking at high speeds. Because one or more of the calipers stick in the closed position, they create friction, which can lead to shaking at high rates. A brake specialist can figure out what is causing the calipers to lock and resolve the problem.
Is It Safe To Drive When Your Car Is Shaking?
Now that we have addressed some of the potential causes of shaking at high speeds, it should be clear that driving when your car is shaking is not safe. Ignoring the shaking or deciding you’re going to press through it is not a wise decision. At best, it can cost you hundreds, if not thousands, in repairs. At worst, it can lead to an accident that can jeopardize your life, the life of someone in your family, or someone else’s life.
If your car is shaking when driving fast, you must take it to a certified mechanic as soon as possible. He or she will have the tools and experience required to investigate, determine, and address the issue. The faster you have the problem examined, the more money you will save yourself and the greater peace of mind you will have.
As you can see, several factors can cause shaking at high speeds. A mechanic is the best resource in determining and resolving your issue(s). If you have other questions about issues related to your vehicle, please take a look at some of our other blogs to find out more about them and how you should handle them: