After owning a car for a while, it’s likely that it’ll start to develop some problems and a common is that your car starts to vibrate. If your car starts to shake whilst you’re driving, this can be worrying, and it can cause panic, and this isn’t good whilst you’re driving. If you first experience this on the motorway, this isn’t a pleasant experience for a new driver or for any in that matter. It’s normal for the car to start shaking and as you continue to drive the shaking starts to become more aggressive.
You may have asked yourself, what does it mean if my car is vibrating? Whilst there isn’t a definite answer as to why this occurs, there are a few things that you can check out which will give you clues as to why your vehicle is shaking whilst driving.
This problem could be fixed relatively cheaply, and it could be something simple like a tire imbalance, or it could be something more serious and expensive like suspension replacement. Diagnosing these problems when you first experience them is important and it can save you from paying a huge bill down the line.
OBD2 Diagnosis Tool
Before you know the reason why your car is vibrating whilst you’re driving, you can diagnose the problem easily by using a professional OBD2 diagnostics tool (View on Amazon). A professional mechanics OBD2 scanner tool will allow you to look up the error code on the scanner, whilst a standard OBD2 scanner tool will force you to look up the error codes meaning in your car’s manual. Sometimes these tools can come with your vehicle, but if not, you’ll have to purchase an OBD2 tool that can help you diagnose problems that are going on in your car.
When you notice that your car starts to vibrate, you can pull over and use the diagnostic tool to check it out. To do this, you’ll need to connect the 0BD2 scanner to the connector that’s located under the steering wheel. After you’ve made sure it’s connected properly, you can turn on your car’s ignition and make sure the battery is on, and not the car itself. Once the ignition is on, you should press the red button on the OBD2 tool and waiting for it to scan the problems that are going on in your tire.
When the scan is done, you can check what the error codes mean on the OBD2 tool and this will let you know why your car is shaking. If you haven’t got a professional OBD2 tool, then you’ll need to write down the error codes and look them up in your car repair manual, or you can go to your car manufacturers website and check what the error code means there. After checking what the error code means, you can press the Erase/Clear button on the scanner and restart your car. From here, you’ll know whether you’ll need to get the car repaired or not.
1. Damaged Tires
The most common reason why your car will start to vibrate is due to bad tired. Your tires are the only thing that has traction with the ground and allows you to experience a smooth drive so if there’s something wrong with the tires, then this could be why you’re having problems. If you’ve had your vehicle for a while and you’ve never received a tire replacement, then chances are your tires are damaged.
- Damaged tired could mean that your tires have
- separated threads, which will require a tire replacement.
- Uneven tire wear which will require a tire rotation.
- The tires are out of share and they roll unevenly. This will require your tire to be replaced.
- Tire pressure is too low. This will require that you inflate your tire.
If your tires have the incorrect tire pressure, this can cause your car to start shaking. Usually, when tires are deflated, they can start to sway to the car in different directions. If your tires sensors are working properly, then your TPMS control unit will receive information from the sensors which will cause you to receive a Tire Pressure Sensor Fault message on your dashboard. If you notice your car shaking and you do receive this message, then you’ll need to inflate your tired. You can use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure of your tires, then you can use a pump to make sure they’re information.
Note: You’ll need to read the recommended kpa or psi that your tires should be at. This can be found on the tires themselves, your cars repair manual or a sticker on the back of the driver’s door located near the steering wheel.
If your car is shaking and your car is new, and you’ve never had any tire-related issues, then this could be something else. Usually, if there’s a problem with your tires, you should be able to see a warning illuminate on your dashboard. This warning can either be the TPMS sensor failure or the ABS light could come on. Your tires have a few sensors that provide information to your car’s control units and if there’s a problem with your tires that effecting your driving, then a warning light could start to illuminate.
2. Brake Issues
If your car starts shaking whenever you put pressure on the brake and you can feel this in the steering wheel, then chances are that there’s a problem with the brake system. If your cars brake disks are worn out and you’re feeling the shaking from the steering wheel and not the car, then you’ll need to get them replaced because this is likely a problem with your brakes.
If you’ve had your car for some time and your brake pads and rotors on the front disk breaks are damaged, then you’ll need to get them replaced. It’s recommended that brake callipers are replaced for every 50,000 miles that the car drives. Usually, if there’s a problem with your breaks, your ABS light should come on – this can be a good indicator that the problem is with your brakes.
3. Bent Wheels
If your wheels are bent, or the tired and unbalanced, then this can cause the car to start shaking. This can happen if you’ve been driving through potholes, or if your car has collided into another car and the wheel were contacted. Bad road repairs can also cause bent or unbalanced wheels. When you’re driving at high speeds, it’s easy to notice an imbalance in your tires. If your tire is bent, this can also lead to your tires losing air and this can affect the performance of the tire on the road – defaulted tires tent to cause the vehicle to saw in different directions, therefore, causing your car to shake.
You should also look for runout in your wheels. This is a term to describe a wheel assembly that isn’t perfectly round. If your wheel has lateral runout, this means that the wheel has a sideways motion or there’s a slight wobble in the wheel as it rotates. Mechanics will use precise tools to determine if the runout on your wheels exceeds half an inch and if it does, you’ll need to get your wheels replaced.
4. Low Profile Tires
Low resistance tires or low-profile tires can cause your car to start shaking when going at high speeds. Low profile tires are common in hybrid cars and these tires reduce the drag in the wheels which will boost the car’s EPA fuel economy rating – this is why these cars are commonly sought after because they tend to do well in emissions tests. Low profile tires that reduce drag are hard to drive and they don’t struggle to absorb some of the road bumps and imperfections. This can make it feel like your car is rumbling and shaking. If your car is equipped with low resistance tired, then this means that the tired are less able to absorb bumps in the road. You’ll have to replace the tires with ones that aren’t low resistance – these tires will be able to absorb imperfections in the road, therefore, making your ride smoother.
5. Steering Problems
If your car starts to shake whenever you’re taking a turn, this can be a good indicator that your steering is what’s causing the vibration. If you want to diagnose the power steering system, you can check it for leaks, and check the reservoir to see if the steering fluid needs to be topped off or replaces. To narrow this down, you should be able to feel your car vibrate when you turn the steering whilst your car is parked.
Another reason why your car can start shaking is if the steering components are damaged. If you’ve had your car for a while, chances are that your steering components have been worn out and this can cause problems with the car. If your car is relatively new, then it’s unlikely that the steering components have been damaged. If you think that the problem is linked to your steering, you can take your car to the dealership and get it looked over.
6. Axle Problems
The axle in your car is a central shaft for the wheels or the gear. The wheels are fixed onto the axle and it allows them to rotate around the axle. If there’s a problem with your car’s axle, then you can experience shaking whilst driving. A bent or damaged axle can cause an imbalance in the rotation of the car’s wheels, therefore causing it to vibrate whilst the car is moving – the shaking can increase as you accelerate the car. If you find that there is a problem with your axle, then you’ll need to go to the mechanic to get it replaced.
7. Poor Maintenance
Failure to maintain your vehicle can cause all sorts of problems. Now, if your car is shaking, it could be caused by several problems mainly relating to the tire and possibly the engine. If you have failed to maintain your tires or engine coming up to this point, it should be no surprise that you’re experiencing problems.
If you want to avoid engine/tire problems or other issues and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.
A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.
8. Bad Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearing in your car is a set of steel balls that are held together by a metal ring. In your car, the wheel bearing rides on the metal axle shaft and it fits tightly inside the hub – this is a hollow piece of metal located in the center of the wheel. If you have damaged or lose steering components, then chances are that you have loose wheel bearings. The wheel bearing on your axle allows your wheels to rotate freely. If the wheel bearing is loose, the wheels will behave abnormally and this can cause your car to start shaking. To narrow this down, you may be able to hear a high-pitched sound whilst driving at hight speed. If you hear this in combination with your car shaking, chances are you have bad wheel bearings. In this case, you’ll need to get your wheel bearings replaced.
9. Engine Problems
The most common reason why you’ll feel your car shaking is the tires, steering and sometimes the brakes. If the problem isn’t related to any of these, then it can be a problem with your engine. The feeling of your car shaking can be caused by the engine rather than anything else. If your engine misfires, this can lead to it shaking. When your engine misfires, this means that one or more cylinders inside the engine failed to fire correctly and this is caused by the incorrect air-to-fuel ratio in the combustion chambers. If you notice that your car is shaking due to the engine, you’ll need to get this checked out by a mechanic.
Before you get anything replaced, it’s best to diagnose your tires. The first thing to do is to add pressure to your brake and if you notice the car shake, this can be related to your brake disks. If you turn the steering wheel and you notice the car vibrate, this can be caused by damaged steering components. If it’s not of these, then there’s an issue with your tires.
After experience shaking symptoms within your car, chances are that you’ll need to get something replaced. The problem is likely going to be caused by your tires. In this case, you’re either going to need to get all of your tired replaced or only a few of the. Depending on your vehicle, a car tire can cost up to $450 and this can include mounting and balancing costs.