13 Strong Reasons Your Car Shakes When Accelerating & How to Fix
With age and less regular maintenance, any vehicle will vibrate and shake at while driving. However, some car components can also cause these problems, and you should take them seriously. A car shaking when accelerating can often mean something different from a vehicle that vibrates when stopped, so you’ll need to pay attention to when the shaking occurs. Most people will suspect engine mounts, but several other parts could be the culprit.
Keep reading to find out why you feel vibration when accelerating, different components that cause your car to shake, and signs that you need to get your auto checked.
Car Vibrates When Accelerating: What are the Causes?
If you’re asking yourself why your car vibrates when accelerating, this is the right place. The following 13 components are the leading causes for the shaking of a vehicle when speeds up.
1. Steering Wheel Issues
When you drive an old vehicle and then drive a new car (same model), you will notice a slight difference in the steering wheels. The new steering wheel will be quicker and responsive than the old one.
It only applies when you’re comparing the same vehicles. It’ll not be the same when you compare a new limousine with an old sports vehicle. Different cars need different steering capabilities. Some are more superior than others. This proves that steering wheels wear out over time. It’ll be difficult for any driver to realize the changes in their steering wheel’s response since it degrades gradually.
Your steering wheel connects to the 4 wheels of your car. So many joints and moving components are required to perform efficiently at high speeds. If they wear out, they reduce the steering wheels’ function. Even though you’ll still steer, but the damaged joints will cause vibrations.
The steering wheel issues are quite complicated. You should leave steering wheel repair to professionals. However, be sure you sort out any steering complication once you notice.
2. Engine Mounts
The primary purpose of engine mounts is to attach a motor to the frame of the car. A second goal is to reduce or dampen engine vibration, so the occupants of the vehicle don’t feel the constant vibrating or shaking of the motor while running.
Mounts are made from a hard rubber material, which enables them to absorb these vibrations. When the mount is broken or damaged, you will feel excess vibration, but other parts in the motor can also get misaligned and break since the engine isn’t in its precise location.
You’ll feel a lousy motor mount when idling, but the shaking can be more noticeable under acceleration as the motor has to work hard. Keep in mind that when an engine mount is broken, the other mounts now bear more of the load and are more likely to fail. Typically, they should last between 5-7 years. However, it’s a good thing to have them checked regularly during every engine service.
If you recently installed new tires and notice your car vibrating while accelerating, it may be the result of unbalanced tires. Once a tire is mounted on a wheel, it’ll never have the exact same weight all the way around.
To correct this, a tire technician will mount the tire/wheel assembly on a balancer and put small wheel weights on the rim at specific areas to make the balance ideal. As a tire rotates, any small weight imbalance will cause a little vibration.
At higher speeds, the vibration will be more intensive, and your steering wheel will shake. If your car quakes at a constant speed and is worse at higher rates, you likely have an unbalanced tire(s). It’s also possible that one of the adhesive wheel weights fell off. To repair, take your vehicle back to the tire shop to rebalance the tires.
4. Vacuum Hose
This common issue can produce severe shuttering or shaking of a car while driving. If a vacuum hose disconnects or develops an air leak thanks to a small tear, the lack of air pressure can induce various sensors to get confused, leading to backfires, misfires, losing power, and other troubles where the motor doesn’t run smoothly.
Check all hoses to ensure they’re connected to somewhere, and they haven’t cracks or tears in them. Use a small clamp to reconnect hoses that are too loose on the fitting. Hoses on turbocharged vehicles are even more prone to disconnecting. Replacing with more durable silicone hoses is usually done as a persistent solution.
5. Brake Caliper
When the brake caliper on a wheel is faulty and causing it to stick, it can vibrate. In this case, the steering wheel will be what vibrates as you reach about 40-50 mph. The quakes will get worse as you speed up. When you stop, you’ll notice a burning-like odor coming from the car.
If you suspect a stuck brake caliper, you’ll figure out which wheel has a problem due to the smell. You’ll need to check all parts of the brake system there, paying particular attention to the caliper piston, slides, and bolts. Sometimes re-lubricating and cleaning the parts is required, but failed brake components will have to be replaced.
You need to do some close-up inspection when a car shakes when accelerating only. One of the fastest methods to determine a U-joint (universal joint) problem is to examine the bottom of the vehicle. Search for brownish dust at the end of the driveshaft. This means the bearings or something inside is beginning to rust and break apart.
It’s possible to remove and replace universal joint yourself, but this demands more than a little patience and skill. Letting professionals remove and replace broken U-joint is the best way to avoid making matters worse.
7. CV Joint
Constant velocity joints are located at the end of each axle. There is both an inner and outer joint. When the inner CV joint is damaged or starts to fail, you will notice your vehicle vibrating under hard acceleration. As it gets worse, the slight vibrations turn to severe shaking when under load.
Damaged constant velocity joints usually occur due to a tear in the joint boot. When this happens, dirt and water get inside the boot and contaminate the grease that protects the splines. Without adequate lubrication, the metal on metal contact eventually produces failure. The only solution is to completely replace the CV joint.
If you unintentionally drive over a large rock, curb, or have some minor accident, don’t assume everything is all right since you don’t see any noticeable damage. The incident could cause an axle to get bent, which is dangerous. You’ll notice vibrations from the vehicle, which begins to get worse as you go faster. Like the driveshaft, you’ll have to replace a bent axle straight away or risk causing further damage.
If your vehicle has RWD (rear-wheel drive), power from the motor to the rear axle and connected wheels is transferred via the driveshaft (propeller shaft). So, if the propeller shaft is slightly bent or damaged (frequently due to an accident), it’ll cause the vehicle shakes when accelerating at low speed and worsen as you speed up.
10. Spark Plugs
If your automobile feels like it is vibrating from the motor area, it could be due to your vehicle not getting enough spark, fuel, or air to smoothly run. Therefore, your car’s shaking will increase when you try to accelerate or press down on the gas pedal. The engine may vibrate abnormally, which leads to a loss of power, and a loss of proper timing for ignition and fuel.
This might mean it’s time to change your spark plugs – if your mechanic performs an inspection and they don’t need replacing, then you might need to get them checked and inspected for possible repair.
11. Power Steering
The power steering issue is easy to identify if it happens only when you’re turning. You’ll even notice the shaking when you’re driving slower. The first thing you should do is inspect the power steering system’s hoses for any leaks, cracks, or damage.
The next successful method is to top off the fluid. It’ll take a bit for fluid to circulate through the system and stop vibrating. You should also check it periodically to ensure you eliminated the cause to avoid further problems. Still, if you still feel it vibrates, run it down to the car repair shop. You should leave these repairs to the certified mechanics.
12. Radiator Fan
A damaged or cracked fan won’t hamper the motor operation in any way, but it will lead to car shakes when accelerating at high speeds. When you start the vehicle, the fan attempts to turn but only teeters instead due to the broken condition. The wobbling will shake the vehicle sideways, especially when you accelerate.
13. Lug Nuts
Loose lug nuts (wheel nuts) seem like a little complication, but it can lead to far worse problems. If wheel nuts loosened or torqued up during the time, the wheels will become shaky, and while accelerating, it’ll seem like the car is shaking. If the nuts are left untightened, they could loosen all the way out, and your wheel could fall off during riding. You don’t want that scenario. Therefore, don’t stop making sure that you’re using the proper nut size.