When your vehicle starts shaking or vibrating while you’re driving, it can be an alarming event and is a sure sign there’s something amiss. This type of behavior can signal a need for anything from a minor repair to something far more serious.
Common reasons this problem:
- Tire issues: The most frequent causes of a car shaking while driving stems from tire issues. A tire starts to behave differently when worn or out of balance. Tire replacement, realignment, and rebalancing are common solutions.
- Engine firing issues: When one or more of your spark plugs isn’t working correctly, it can cause your vehicle to vibrate. Typically, this issue will also cause your check engine light to come on. If a misfire is the cause, a loss of power or “hesitation” will usually follow the vibration.
- Brake system issues: If the vibration or steering-wheel shake only happens when you apply the brakes, it’s likely time to have your brake pads and rotors checked. As rotors are subjected to heat, puddles, and stress, the metal always deforms. A warped rotor can happen at anytime, but may also indicate the need for your brake pads to be changed.
- Engine mount issues: The motor mount links the engine to your car’s chassis, and is designed to isolate engine noise and vibration from the passenger compartment. As mounts wear over time, the vibration may be more pronounced at idle while in gear, and may change when the car is placed in neutral or park. Broken motor mounts can lead to larger problems in the driveline, and should be promptly addressed.
- Suspension issues: Issues with your front suspension can also cause your vehicle to shake or vibrate. When this is the case, your car will act normally when stopped, but will begin vibrating during changes in speed or when traveling over bumps. Suspension problems may also be accompanied by odd noises like periodic clunks, squeals, and squeaks.
What to check:
The mechanic will inspect the tires, suspension components, brake system, and mounts to identify the issue.
How important is this service?
Although the cause of your vehicle’s shakes and vibrations may be relatively minor, they may have the potential to wreak havoc on other system parts if ignored. Having a skilled technician address the source of the concern early can prevent a minor issue from becoming a major headache.