Why is My Car Shaking While Driving? | 17 Reasons of Car Shaking | Why is My Car Vibrating?

The vehicles are used to travel from one location to another. The smooth running of a car is very important for a comfortable journey. The car contains multiple parts. The efficient performance of these parts is very important for the optimum performance of the car. A damaged or faulty part may lead to shaking the car while driving. If your car is vibrating or shaking while driving or idling, it should be checked as soon as possible.

There are several reasons why a car shakes. When a car shakes, it usually starts with a slight vibration and then gets progressively worse. This article explains the reasons of a vibrating car and how to fix it.

Causes of Car Shaking While Driving

Causes of a Car Shaking While Driving

Everyone wants a smooth running of the vehicle to enjoy a comfortable journey. When you are driving, you also want your car to run smoothly on the road.

When a car shakes, it usually starts with a slight vibration and then gets progressively worse. There are multiple reasons of a vibrating car. Luckily, the maximum issues that cause your car to shake while accelerating can easily be fixed. The following are the major causes of a car shaking while driving:

  • Bad tires
  • Clogged or bad throttle body
  • Wheel issues   
  • Unbalanced tires
  • Broken coil packs
  • Dirty fuel injectors
  • Damaged brakes   
  • Faulty engine parts
  • Bad fuel intake system
  • Insufficient transmission fluid
  • Damaged engine mount
  • Bad oxygen sensor
  • Axle issues
  • Stuck brake caliper
  • Clogged air filters
  • Power steering issues
  • Vacuum leaks

1) Bad Tires

A bad tire is one of the most common reasons for a car shaking while driving. The tires of your car play an important role in ensuring smooth riding. It is recommended to replace the tires every 11,000 to 15,000 miles or every 4 years (if you drive a lot).

The worn or damaged tires can cause the vehicle to vibrate or shake while driving. A vibrating car may spoil your riding experience as well as may lead to an accident.

bad tires that causes of car shaking while driving

In addition, over-inflated or under-inflated tires may also cause vehicle shaking. You should regularly inspect and maintain your vehicle tires to prevent tire-related problems. You should also check the tire pressure regularly.

2) Clogged or Bad Throttle Body

The clogged or damaged throttle body is one of the most common causes of a vibrating car. This part of your vehicle is usually used to regulate the air entering the engine. A damaged throttle body may cause too little or too much air to enter the engine, causing the car shaking while driving.

throttle body cleaning

Read More: How to Clean a Dirty Throttle Body?

3) Wheel Issues   

Defective tie rod ends, ball joints or wheel bearings may also lead to steering vibration while driving. The wheel balancing and alignment problems may also cause your vehicle to shake. If the problem persists, check the alignment and balancing of your wheels.

Wheel issues that lead to a vibrating car

You shouldn’t ignore the wheel-related issues. When you observe an issue with your wheels, you should fix it immediately to prevent yourself from an expensive repair.

4) Unbalanced Tires

If you feel vibrations when driving at high speed after installing new tires on your car, your tires may be out of balance. The unbalanced tires vibrate moderately at moderate speeds.

Imbalance Tires

The faster the wheels spin, the rougher and wobblier the steering wheel becomes. Therefore, when you observe a car shaking while driving, you should immediately check the balancing of your tires.

5) Broken Coil Packs

The main function of the coil pack is to get low voltage from the battery, transform it into high voltage, and transfer this high voltage to the spark plugs to produce a spark.

coil packs

When the coil packs become faulty, they don’t generate enough voltage to generate a spark according to the requirements, which may cause poor combustion of the air-fuel mixture. This poor combustion may lead to engine shake.

6)  Dirty Fuel Injectors

A damaged or dirty fuel injector is one of the major reasons of a car shaking while driving. The fuel injectors are most commonly installed in the latest vehicle models.

bad Fuel Injector that causes car shaking

The fuel injectors are used to inject the ideal amount of fuel into the combustion chamber at just the right time. The main purpose of the installation of these injectors is to achieve maximum fuel efficiency.

The fuel injectors of your vehicle are exposed to high fuel pressure and high temperatures. Therefore, with time, the small nozzles of the fuel injector can be blocked because of residual carbon from the combustion process.

A clogged fuel injector will not deliver a sufficient amount of fuel to the engine cylinder, or the injection pattern will not work well, resulting in a rough idle and poor performance.

7) Damaged Brakes   

Damaged or faulty brakes are the most common reason for car vibration while driving. If the steering wheel of your vehicle starts vibrating when you apply brakes, there is most likely a problem with the brake rotor.

faulty Brakes that causes car vibration

The brake rotors are round metal discs that wear out with the passage of time and may cause the car to wobble. Damaged brake calipers and pads can also cause the brake pedal and steering wheel to shake.

8) Faulty Engine Parts

If a certain engine component of your vehicle goes bad, the vehicle may start vibrating. Faulty air filters and spark plugs are the most common engine parts that can cause car vibration while driving.

If you have car shaking issues, inspect the spark plug terminals and replace them if they have not been changed for a long time. You should also check the air filter because a clogged or faulty air filter may cause the car to shake.

9) Bad Fuel Intake System

If your car vibrates or shakes a lot while driving, you may have an issue with the fuel intake system. Driving the car for a long time affects the performance of the fuel intake system. Over time, your fuel intake system can clog with dirt.

fuel intake system, reasons of the car shaking while driving

If your fuel intake valves are clogged, the fuel pump of your vehicle will not be able to supply the fuel to the engine properly. As a result, the fuel supply becomes uneven, and the vehicle starts shaking while driving.

10) Insufficient Transmission Fluid

Insufficient or low level of transmission fluid is one of the most common reasons of vehicle shaking while driving. This issue is easy to observe, but most vehicle owners ignore it until it becomes serious.

Transmission Fluid

When the transmission oil level becomes lower than a specific level, the car starts to shake. Therefore, you should check the transmission fluid of your vehicle regularly and fill it out if necessary. Continuous driving with insufficient transmission fluid may lead to expensive damage to your transmission system.

11) Damaged Engine Mount

A damaged or bad engine mount is one of the most common causes of car shaking while driving. The main function of the engine mount is to tightly hold the engine in its original position and reduce vibration.

Engine Mount

A damaged or faulty engine mount will be unable to hold the engine in its original position, which may lead to extreme vibration in the engine compartment while driving.

If your car doesn’t shake in the stationary condition, there are high chances that something is wrong with the engine mount. You should fix the engine mount-related issues as soon as possible to prevent the engine from severe damage. A quick look under the hood can help identify and fix this problem.

12) Bad Oxygen Sensor

A damaged or faulty oxygen sensor is one of the major reasons of a car shaking while driving. An O2 sensor is a most important part of the exhaust system. It measures the oxygen content in the exhaust. The powertrain control module (PCM) of the vehicle uses the data of the O2 sensor to find the ideal air-fuel ratio for the cleanest, most efficient combustion process.

bad Oxygen Sensor that causes of car shaking while driving

With time, prolonged exposure to carbon deposits, high temperatures, or aging may lead to the failure of the oxygen sensor. A faulty oxygen sensor can cause the PCM to receive wrong data, causing the engine to run too lean or too rich, which leads to vehicle vibration while driving.

13) Axle Issues

The vehicles contain multiple rotating and reciprocating components that must function within certain tolerances or dimensions to work efficiently.

cv axle

The axle is one of the most vital parts of your vehicle. Bent axles are actually very easy to happen in a crash or other accident but can result in the car shaking. When you run your vehicle faster with a bent axle, the stronger the overall vibration will be.

When you inspect the axle, you should also check the driveshaft. The driveshaft is a rotating component that transmits power from the engine to the rear axle and wheels of rear-wheel drive vehicles. A bent driveshaft may also lead to a car shaking while driving.

14) Stuck Brake Caliper 

Stuck brake clippers may also lead the vehicle to vibrate. You won’t feel any vibrations, but if you drive the car at a speed from 40 mph to 50 mph, you will feel the vibrations in the steering wheel. If you supply your car with extra gas, the steering wheel will start to vibrate. Your vehicle wheels will emit a burning smell.

Bad Brake Pads and Calipers

If you notice a stuck brake, check and sniff all of your wheels to determine which one smells like burnt gasoline.

15) Clogged Air Filter

The air filter is used to remove the solid contaminants from the air entering the engine. When your car is running, your air filter traps various contaminants that may harm the engine.

bad Air Filter that causes a vibrating car

With the passage of time, the air filters can clog due to dirt, dust, and other particles that may stop the entry of adequate air into the engine combustion chamber. An insufficient supply of air can cause the car to run “rich,” idle rough, and have poor fuel economy.

16) Power Steering Issues

If your car shakes or vibrates on its own when you are steering, there are high chances that something is wrong with the power steering system. In such a situation, inspect the hoses of the power steering system for a visible leak and also inspect the reservoir to check the power steering fluid level.

You may also replicate the power steering system’s sound when the vehicle is stationary. If something is wrong with the power steering, the vibration should be the same as you turn the steering wheel, even when the vehicle is parked.

17) Vacuum Leaks

The hoses under the hood of the vehicle play a big role in producing a vacuum for fuel and air by getting help from the throttle body. The throttle controls the vacuum in the intake manifold, airflow, and engine speed.

Vacuum Leaks

The hoses are most commonly made of rubber. Over time, the rubber hose wears out and can leak. If too much air is entered the fuel mixture, the engine will start misfiring, resulting in a rough idle and increased speed.

How to fix a car shaking while driving

To fix the car shaking while driving, you need to replace or repair one or more of the following parts:

  • Replacing the bad tires
  • Cleaning the clogged throttle body
  • Replacing the faulty throttle body
  • Fixing the wheels-related issues
  • Properly align the wheels
  • Balancing the tires
  • Replacing the broken coil packs
  • Replacing the dirty fuel injectors
  • Replacing the bad brakes
  • Replacing the faulty engine parts
  • Replacing the bad fuel intake system
  • Changing or replacing the transmission fluid if needed
  • Repairing or replacing the damaged engine mounts
  • Replacing the bad O2 sensor
  • Fixing the axle-related issues
  • Adding more fuel if needed
  • Cleaning the clogged air filters
  • Fixing the power steering system issues
  • Fixing the vacuum leaks
  • Replacing the faulty spark plugs

FAQ Section

Why is my car shaking when I turn it on?

Your car may shake due to one or more of the below-given reasons:

  • Insufficient air supply
  • Insufficient fuel
  • Inadequate spark
  • Faulty fuel injectors
  • Dirty air filters
  • Faulty crankshaft damper
  • An issue with the fuel system
  • Vacuum leak
  • Fault oxygen sensor
  • Damaged fuel pump

Why does your car shake while stationary?

The car most commonly shakes while stationary due to a damaged transmission mount or motor.

Why is my car shaking while making loud noises?

The damaged, unbalanced or bent tires may lead to the car shaking vertically. You may also feel the vibrations inside the vehicle through the steering wheel, brake pedal, and seats.

What causes my car to shake while braking?

A damaged rotor is one of the most common causes of a car shaking while driving.

Why is my car shaking when I accelerate?

A damaged fuel pump, bad O2 sensor, faulty fuel injector, and insufficient fuel supply are the most common causes of the car shaking while accelerating. However, a bad spark plug, damaged engine mounts, or vacuum leaks may also cause the vehicle to shake during accelerating.

Why is my car vibrating while driving?

The car vibrates due to one or more of the following causes:

  • Vacuum leaks
  • Bad tires
  • Clogged or bad throttle body
  • Power steering issues
  • Wheel issues   
  • Unbalanced tires
  • Bad oxygen sensor
  • Broken coil packs
  • Dirty fuel injectors
  • Damaged brakes   
  • Faulty engine parts
  • Clogged air filters
  • Bad fuel intake system
  • Insufficient transmission fluid
  • Damaged engine mount
  • Stuck brake caliper
  • Axle issues
  • Damaged chain belt

Is it safe to drive a shaking car?

It depends on the severity level of the issue. If you feel constant shaking in your vehicle while driving, it’s a good idea to address the issue as soon as possible. Driving a shaking car may damage the engine parts, tire damage, and many other expensive issues. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a professional mechanic as your car starts shaking.

Leave a Comment