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Why Is My Car Shaking? 9 Potential Reasons

Why Is My Car Shaking? 9 Potential Reasons

Have you ever wondered, “why is my car shaking?” Look at these 9 potential reasons:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  • Problems with wheels or tires
  • Issues with the suspension system
  • Troubles with the engine or the transmission mount
  • Issues with the brake rotor
  • Troubles with the fuel injectors
  • Malfunctioning in the spark plugs
  • Troubles with the air filter
  • Issues with the vacuum leak
  • Malfunctioning in the oxygen sensor

The more we drive our vehicles, the more it becomes easier to detect weird behaviors. For instance, you might deal with scenarios where your car starts shaking or vibrating. When this happens, many drivers freak out, thinking that the problem is linked to a significant issue. Although this might be the scenario, it's not always the case.

Learning about what causes car vibrating or shaking is one of the first critical skillsets you need to familiarize yourself with as a driver. This article provides you with 9 potential reasons to help answer your question, “why is my car shaking?”

Once you understand these reasons, it becomes much easier for you to resolve the issue by repairing the faulty component or replacing it. At least you'll have an idea about the expected repair costs rather than getting extremely nervous about what's coming next.

Should I be worried if my car is vibrating?

Before we dive into the details about answering the question, “why is my car shaking?” It is clinical to step back and understand the importance of vehicle vibration. In general, there are a variety of causes for vehicle shaking or vibrating.


While some of these causes might be linked to a minor issue, others can be related to a significant problem that might cost you the entire vehicle. Therefore, it is a worrying situation to deal with vehicle shaking or vibrating. Therefore, you must consult your mechanic before dealing with major complications that could cost you a lot of money whenever you deal with this issue.

Why is my car shaking? 9 potential reasons

You should take the issue seriously whenever your vehicle behaves differently because it can easily be linked to a significant problem internally. In general, automotive experts always say that whenever you detect the problem early, there is a very high chance that you can save it without needing to install major components, which means with the lowest repair costs.

Your vehicle consists of tons of interacting components, and it can be a bit overwhelming to familiarize yourself with all these components that could cause shaking problems. The good news is that automotive experts put together a list of six potential reasons to help you answer the question, “why is my car shaking?”

When your car shakes, there are typically 9 potential reasons that might cause the issue:

1-    Problems with a wheel or tires

In general, most vehicles shake or vibrate because of an issue with the wheels or tires. However, the problem might vary significantly depending on what's going on with the tires and wheels. For instance, if the tires are worn out unevenly or if your wheels are not properly aligned, you'll easily deal with vehicle shaking.

How to resolve the issue?

If you would like to get rid of car shaking because of wheels or tire problems, you'll go back to the root problem and resolve it. For instance, if you confirm that the issue must do with the tire, you'll need to consider replacing the tires. Keep in mind that you can't replace only one tire, and you must either replace two tires at the same axle or replace the four tires depending on your automaker specifications.

Also, if you confirm that the issue must do with the wheel alignment, you'll need to adjust it, especially if you did not perform wheel alignment for a long time.

It's important to note that you can completely avoid car shaking because of tire and wheel problems by performing regular maintenance. Your vehicles owner’s manual should have enough recommendations to help you prevent dealing with such situations. If you've been regularly inspecting alignment and rotating the tires, you shouldn't get to this point add deal with severe weird vibration.

2-    Issues with the suspension system

If you confirm that you don't have any problem with the wheels or the tires, you can go ahead and check the suspension system. Typically, a bad ball joint will cause severe shaking in the steering wheel. In some instances, you might deal with significant problems that prevent you from controlling your vehicle or steering it.

How to resolve the issue?

If you confirm that the problem must do with the ball joints, you'll need to get it replaced immediately. Then, your mechanic can perform a thorough inspection to confirm the real culprit. Note that if you've been performing regular maintenance to the suspension system, you might not necessarily get to this point because, at some point in time, you will need to replace the rod itself and probably the ball joints without getting to a point where they're completely worn out.

3-    Troubles with the engine or the transmission mount

After inspecting both wheels and tires and the suspension system came out, the next step is to look at the engine or the transmission. To make things easier, notice how the vibration happens and what other symptoms accompany it. For example, if you realize that some loud noises accompany the vibration, the issue can be related to the engine or the transmission.

More specifically, if you notice that your vibration happens whenever you drive the car and continue as you stop the vehicle and have the engine running, the issue might be related to the engine itself.

Typically, when there is a problem with the loose connection between the transmission or the engine and its mount, you might have some vibration. Another very common cause for vehicle vibration when you're driving is an issue with the radiator fan. Keep in mind that this issue only applies to vehicles equipped with a mechanical radiator fan, although not most cars are equipped with this fan anymore because they rely on electric fans.

Finally, if the vibration only happens whenever you warm up the engine, the problem is likely related to a bad radiator fan. Remember that this scenario is extremely rare, and you should have already identified the culprit by now before getting to this point.

How to resolve the issue?

Of course, if the issue must do with a loose connection between the engine, transmission, and the amount, you must tighten it out. Your mechanic should have certain tools that allow him to ensure that they're both connected properly to the compartment.

On the other hand, if they tried to do with a bad radiator fan, you will most likely need to replace it.

4-    Issues with the brake rotor

Once the tires, wheels, suspension system, engine, and transmission, are confirmed that to be the culprits, then you will need to look at the braking system.

About braking rotor will cause some car vibration in most scenarios. This happens when the rotor doesn't have enough thickness, and it has to deal with excessive wear-outs.

How to resolve the issue?

Your mechanic needs to take a closer look at the rotor and inspect whether it can be repaired or not. In most scenarios, you'll end up installing a new rotor to resolve the problem if it's confirmed to be related to the braking system.

5-    Troubles with the fuel injectors

Many times, minor components might cause your vehicle to vibrate or shake, specially When idling. For instance, if the fuel injectors are not clean, it becomes harder to inject the required amount of fuel at the required time, and that's when your vehicle will act more like coughing and shaking.

How to resolve the issue?

Depending on how severe the fuel injector clogging is, you can't easily clean them up or probably install new ones. That's why most automotive experts recommend switching to better higher-quality fuel injectors that last longer without causing problems.

6-    Malfunctioning spark plugs

The spark plugs are also very critical components in your combustion system. They are required to provide the initial spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture at the right time. When they have problems and do not provide the required spark timing, you might deal with vehicle vibration, especially idling.

How to resolve the issue?

Typically, the spark plugs are expected to be replaced once every 30,000 miles or sometimes 50,000 miles, depending on their quality and new vehicles type. However, if you had to deal with some early problems with the spark plugs, you'll need to replace them immediately.

7-    Troubles with the air filter

The air filter is responsible for allowing clean air to get to the engine and prevent major damages. Unfortunately, over time of use, this filter is expected to get partially or completely clogged. In some instances, a clogged air filter might cause car shaking in the form of rough idling.

How to resolve the issue?

Depending on how old your air filters are, you can either clean them up or replace them if needed. Luckily, changing the air filter is not a complicated job, and it's something that you can do by yourself without needing a professional. In addition, the air filter itself is very cheap, which means that the issue should not cost you a lot of effort or money.

8-     Issues with the vacuum leak

Sometimes if there is a vacuum leak inside your engine, you might deal with vehicle vibration or probably rough idling. When this happens, you'll need to get the problem resolved before dealing with other complications that will cost you thousands of dollars on your appearance.

How to resolve the issue?

Unfortunately, a vacuum leak is one of the very critical and tricky things to detect, which means that your mechanic needs to resolve the issue and something that you cannot do by yourself. Therefore, your mechanic should have certain tools that allow him to accurately detect the location of the vacuum leak and solve it without trouble.

9-    Malfunctioning in the oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor is responsible for communicating with your vehicle's computer and confirming how much oxygen is coming out of the exhaust. This amount of oxygen is an indication that your catalytic converter and the exhaust system are working properly without emitting any harmful gases into the atmosphere.

A bad oxygen sensor might impact your vehicle's functionality, and you'll see it in the form of rough filing and probably some slight vehicle shaking.

How to resolve the problem?

In most instances, when the oxygen sensor fails, you'll need to replace it immediately before dealing with other complications. However, keep in mind that a failing oxygen sensor might prevent you from passing the emission test.

Conclusion

It can be a little bit scary to feel that your vehicle is shaking suddenly without any previous warning sign. The good news is that your vehicle shakes because of very common reasons that might be the potential culprits all the time.

When you deal with car shaking, it is very critical to ask yourself, “why is my car shaking?” Once you detect the faulty components, you can expect potential repair costs and repair options. If you realize that the faulty component is very expensive and getting close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, it might make the most sense for you to sell your car instead and buy a better one.

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