Why Is My Car Shaking?
July 26, 2018
There’s no such thing as good vibrations when it comes to your car.
Sometimes it’s a temporary shake thanks to the grade of the road - think newly scraped highway or rough dirt road.
Other times your car is shaking because of something more serious. Here are some of the possible reasons.
1. Your Tires Are Out of Balance
Tires are the most common cause of shaking in your car.
Is your car only shaking at certain speeds? This is common with unbalanced tires.
Wheels and tires are never exactly the same. The tiny differences in weight will become apparent at high speeds. You’ll feel the shaking through your steering wheel.
This is something we can fix for you with a service appointment.
2. The Rubber in Your Tires is Separating
Your tires are made of several layers of rubber bonded together. Like peanut butter and jam, these layers belong together.
But sometimes these layers can separate. If your tire gets squeezed or pinched (like in a pothole or on a curb), air can work its way between the rubber layers.
This creates a bump in your tire. Depending on the size, you may even be able to see it.
Whether you can see it or not, you’ll feel it when you drive. At slow speeds, it almost feel like your car has a limp. At higher speeds, your car will start to shake.
3. Your Tires Aren’t Properly Inflated
We recommend checking your tire pressure regularly, and topping up as needed to keep your wheels in the best shape possible.
Each car has a manufacturer-recommended tire pressure label on the inside of your driver side door. But most of the time, drivers don’t think about their tire pressure until they get a flat.
Your tire pressure could be the reason your car is shaking whenever you drive. It could also result in poor fuel mileage, uneven wear, and many other problems.
This video provides a great tutorial of how to adjust your tire pressure:
4. Your Brake Rotors Are Damaged
Brake rotors - also called brake discs - are what help your brake pads and brake calipers bring your car to a stop.
If they experience a lot of wear and tear, they can become damaged. This makes it almost impossible for your brake pads and calipers to latch on, and causes your car to shake every time you come to a stop.
Your brake are incredibly important to your safety and the safety of other drivers. If your car is shaking or grinding when you brake, bring it straight to us for repairs.
5. Your Air or Fuel Filters Are Clogged
Did you know that your engine’s filters could be the reason your car is shaking?
Most people don’t think of their engine filters as being all that critical, but it’s true.
A clogged air filter will restrict oxygen. Without oxygen, your engine can’t complete the combustion process that puts the go in your gas pedal. This can cause your car to shake, even when you’re not moving.
The same is true of your fuel filter. If it gets clogged, fuel won’t be able to flow as freely.
6. Your Engine is Missing a Certain Spark
Your engine also needs spark plugs to complete the combustion process. But they can become loose or worn over time.
When that happens, sparks fail to fly - and your engine can misfire, causing you to start shaking in your seat.
Spark plugs are an easy thing to replace, but it should be done by a professional.
A tell-tale sign that something is amiss in your engine is your check engine light. If that light on your dashboard is illuminated, it could be connected to the cause of the shaking.
7. Your Axles Are Bent
Axles are what connect your left wheels to your right wheels. These long rods are very durable, but can be bent or damaged by a collision, potholes or other road hazards.
When you have a bent axle, you’ll notice is right away. Your car will start feeling like a roller coaster, and it will get worse the faster you drive.
This is another repair that will have to be completed by a professional.
8. Your Steering Wheel Mechanism is a Little Loose
The longer you drive your car, the more worn in it becomes - similar to your favourite jeans, but with a music player and more seats.
You may not even notice your steering wheel getting steadily looser. This happens, especially with rotating parts: they just won’t be as tight as when you first got the car.
But when your steering wheel components get too loose, it can cause vibrations. If you feel your steering wheel start to vibrate, but your tires and the road conditions are fine, this could be the cause. In that case, you should bring it to us for a more thorough inspection.
Watch Out for Potholes and Have Regular Service Checks
Many of these problems are caused by two things: road hazards (like potholes) and worn parts.
When you’re driving, always be mindful of road obstacles that could damage your car. It’s easy to accidentally hit a pothole, wince a little, then move on with your day. But that pothole could have done lasting damage that makes driving dangerous.
To prevent yourself from unknowingly using worn out car parts, bring your vehicle to us for regular inspections and service.
Our team of experienced service technicians will find out what’s making your car shimmy and shake, and get you back on the road as quickly and safely as possible.
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