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Why Does My Car Shake?

It is normal for our car to slightly shake when you are turning the engine on. Then a smooth riding experience should follow after it. However, if the shaking continues and becomes even more noticeable like you are on a roller coaster ride, then this is a different case. It could be a warning sign that there is something wrong with your vehicle and it is time to investigate what is going on.

Now, what could be the reason for the car to shake? Michigan Auto prepares for the 5 most common reasons why.


The wheel is the most common reason why a car shakes, especially if the steering wheel also wiggles as you drive. Your car will mostly shake if your wheels are unbalanced, bent, or even damaged. Sometimes, we get to pass by unnoticeably on a deep pothole. While it doesn’t directly harm your tires, it can make your wheels unbalanced or bent. Another wheel issue that can make your vehicle shake while driving is damaged or worn out wheel bearings. When you constantly drive on rough roads or have a high mileage, it can wear out your wheel bearings, reducing its lifespan and affecting the way your car runs.


If your wheels and its parts are in good condition, then you might as well check your tires. The tires are another common culprit of a shaking vehicle. If the shaking of your car becomes more noticeable when driving at a faster speed, then your tires must be out of balance. You can check this by looking for flat spots on your tires. In this case, you may need a tire rotation. However, if the damage is too big, then you might need a tire replacement. Underinflated tires and uneven tires can also cause car shaking.

Engine and transmission

Engines can also cause cars to shake, especially when they malfunction. You will know if the shaking is caused by the engine if the vibration is still felt even when the car stopped running but the engine is still on. If you experience this, inspect where the problem may have started. Check the spark plugs and the air filter. Make sure that the air filter is not dirty or clogged up. A broken radiator fan and transmission can also cause vibration.


If the vibration is felt mostly on the steering wheel and when you apply on the brake pedal, then the problem may be likely caused by the car’s brake rotor. If there is thickness variation in the rotors, the brake pedal will shake, causing your whole vehicle to vibrate.


If all of the above are in good condition yet your car shakes, then you might like to check the axle of your vehicle. Axle issues that cause shaking in your car include bent axles, a damaged driveshaft, and worn-out CV joints.

A shaking car will not just make your driving experience tiring and uncomfortable, but it will also cause more damage to your vehicle if not addressed right away. Whether you are planning to drive your car for a long trip or ride on it to your work, make sure to bring your car to Michigan Auto and Tire in Woodbridge VA for routine inspection and maintenance.