A car is a highly complex machine with lots of moving parts and plenty of systems that all have to work together for the car to run efficiently. It’s no surprise, then, when something starts shaking or vibrating with so many parts to come loose or cause a noise. Luckily, there are a few common culprits for shaking and vibrating, and while it is not always pleasant to think about repairing your car, doing so will potentially save you lots of money down the road and keep your car in top shape.
How to figure out why your car is vibrating or shaking
Step 1: Gather information on the noise. Before you start guessing at the severity of the problem, try to determine where the noise is coming from and when it starts.
Do you notice it only when you start and accelerate the car? Does it happen when travelling at higher rates of speeds or increase in intensity depending on speed? Do you only notice it when turning or braking?
These are important questions to ask yourself so that you can get a better sense for what the cause of the issue is, which means you’ll be able to narrow down the probable solutions as well.
Step 2: Check your tires. A possible reason why your car is shaking could be as simple as your tires.
Check the air pressure in them, as serious imbalances in tire pressure might be noticeable while you are driving in the vehicle. Also, do a general inspection of the tires to determine if there are any noticeable flaws. It may be that a minor issue which only manifests itself in the form of shaking now could cause a blowout on the highway with dire consequences.
Another likely issue associated with your tires could be that they simply need a tire rotation. Because tires wear at different rates, a tire rotation helps ensure that the tires all acquire wear evenly thereby preventing any shaking.
Step 3: Check around the wheels. The wheels can be the source of the noise in a variety of ways, two of which are the axles and the brake rotors.
If you have recently had any damage to your car, then you may have a bent axle, which results in uneven tire contact and shaking.
The brake rotors could also be the source of the vibration. If they are somehow warped, then it can cause noise when interacting with the other brake parts.
Step 4: Check under the hood. It is entirely possible that you have an issue with one of your spark plugs or other engine components.
This is especially possible if the car’s vibrating or shaking is tied to acceleration. If the car engages in vibration while you are accelerating or drives fine and then shakes at random intervals while driving, you could have a problem with your spark plugs
It is possible that you have an issue with some other engine component, such as the fuel or air filters, which are vital to providing clean fuel and air to the car’s engine. When these get dirty or clogged, then the engine is unable to function at an optimal level, translating into shaking or vibration.
Vibrations and shaking can range from mild annoyance to outright frustration depending on how severe they become and how much they disturb your ride. The good news is that if you are proactive and take your car to the mechanic or even do the work yourself, then the shaking never has to impact your wallet in a drastic way, and you’ll end up extending the life of your car at the same time.