Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate?

Does your car vibrate while driving? Do you ask, “why does my car shake when I accelerate?”  Is it advisable to keep driving? 

If this is you, relax because you are in the right place. We’ve got solutions to your numerous questions.

Overall, it could be a very unpleasant situation to be in. It may be as tricky as a damaged CV Joint or as easy as a loose lug nut.

This article will teach you about the common causes of car shakes and their solutions.  Some frequently asked questions are answered at the end, too, which can be helpful to you.

Let’s get started!

Have you witnessed the sensation of your car vibrating or shaking when you accelerate from an intersection?

If that’s the case, you know that it is undoubtedly not enjoyable.

When you first experience the shaking, your mind begins to run with the question, “What could it be?” Is it safe enough to drive? Or “What will it cost me?”

For you, the best part is if your car only shakes as you accelerate, this usually points to a minor issue that needs to be fixed. If you can rectify this quickly after discovering the problem for the first time, you may avoid paying a large sum of money in the future.

Most often, uneven tires or a damaged CV joint are to blame for a car vibrating or shaking while it accelerates. Driveshaft damage is possible, but engine problems like sputtering engines are another possibility.

The following is a more thorough list of the most frequent causes of car vibrations when speeding up.

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Common Causes of Car Shaking When Accelerating

1. Damaged Inner CV Joint

Each axle’s end is where the CV joints are positioned. There is an interior as well as an outside joint. When the inner CV joint is compromised or starts to fail, your automobile will start to vibrate when accelerating quickly. When under strain, the light vibrations worsen and start to shake violently.

A tear in the joint boot is typically the cause of damaged CV joints. This causes the grease protecting the inside splines to get contaminated when water and dirt enter the boot.

Metal-on-metal contact eventually leads to failure if it is not properly lubricated. The CV joint or the complete CV axle must be replaced.

2. Broken Motor Mounts

Motor mounts are primarily used to secure an automobile’s engine to its frame. A secondary goal is to attenuate or lessen engine shakes so that the car’s occupants don’t notice the engine’s constant vibrations while running.

Hard rubber is used in the construction of engine mounts, allowing them to cushion these vibrations. In addition to experiencing excessive vibration in the vehicle when a motor mount is damaged or destroyed, other engine components may go out of alignment and eventually fail because the engine isn’t in its proper position.

When the engine is idling, you would be able to detect a damaged motor mount, but acceleration can make the shaking more noticeable because the engine is working harder. The vibrations should stop asking soon as the defective motor mount is replaced.

Remember that if one motor mount fails, some other mount now bears a greater portion of the weight and is more prone to malfunction.

3. Unbalanced Tires

Unbalanced tires may be to blame if you just fixed new tires and your car still shakes while you drive. It is impossible for a tire to be installed on a wheel and have an exact weight all the way around.

A tire installer can correct this by mounting the wheel/tire arrangement on a balancing device and attaching tiny wheel weights to the rim at certain spots to achieve the ideal balance. Any tiny imbalance in weight will cause a vibration while the tire is rotating.

This vibration will become more pronounced, and the steering wheel will shake at greater speeds, when the tire rotates much faster.

You might have an imbalanced tire if your automobile rattles at a steady speed and worsens at higher speeds (s).

Another possibility is that a wheel weight just dropped off. Take your automobile back to a mechanic’s shop and have the tires rebalanced to repair the issue.

4. Loose Lug Nuts

This is a common problem that occurs more often than you might think and it has the potential to be disastrous. The wheel would have a tiny wobble if the lug nuts were not tightly torqued firmly on the wheel hub, and some gradually loosened. This would give the impression that the vehicle was shaking while driving. 

The lugs may eventually become completely loose if not tightened, and your wheels could come off while driving, and you don’t want this to happen. Remember to check that the lug nut size is also correct.

A torque wrench should be used to check that none of the lug nuts are loose and tighten each one to the appropriate manufacturer specifications. If you don’t have the tool, you can tighten your tires with a standard lug nut wrench or tire iron.

5. Bent Driveshaft

If the car employs rear-wheel drive (RWD), the driveshaft transfers engine power to the rear axle and associated wheels (or propeller shaft).

Therefore, the car will vibrate when accelerating at a low speed then gets worse as you move faster if the driveshaft is slightly bent or damaged (typically due to an accident).

A driveshaft can rarely be repaired; therefore, the only choice is to replace it.

6. Bent Axle

Don’t assume things are fine when you unintentionally drive into a curb, big rock, or maybe have some other form of the less serious accident just because there isn’t any obvious wreckage. The incident may have resulted in an axle getting bent, which is hazardous.

As you drive on high speed, you’ll start to feel shakes. These vibrations will get worse over time. Like the driveshaft, a bent axle must be replaced immediately to avoid more harm.

7. Stuck Brake Caliper

Vibrations in the car may result from a defective brake caliper of a wheel that sticks. In this case, the steering will start to shake as you approach 40 to 50 miles in an hour.

You’ll experience worsening vibrations if you keep increasing your pace. You’ll probably detect a burning-like smell coming from your car when you stop.

You should be able to identify the wheel it is using, just by smelling it. If you suspect you might have a jammed brake caliper, you should inspect the slides, caliper bolts, and piston in particular, along with all other brake system components.

However, damaged brake parts will require replacement unless they can be repaired by re-lubricating and cleaning the parts.

8. Torn or Disconnected Vacuum Hose

This typical issue can cause a car to shake or shutter severely when driving. The absence of air pressure could cause different sensors to become confused, which can, in turn, cause misfires, losing power, backfires, and other issues where your engine doesn’t operate smoothly. This can happen if a vacuum line disconnects or develops an air leak due to a small tear.

Verify that all hoses are attached to something and are free of cracks and tears by checking them. You might need to use a small clamp to rejoin hoses that might be too slack for the fitting.

Turbocharged cars’ vacuum hoses are more likely to come undone. Replacement with sturdier silicone hoses should be frequently carried out as a long-term fix.

9. Dirty or Worn Spark Plugs

The engine may misfire if the spark plugs are filthy or fouled. When the issue is typically first detected when the car is stopped, it can also cause the automobile to feel as though it is vibrating while it is moving.

It might be time to change your spark plugs if you can’t recall the last time you did so. The remainder of the spark plugs may also be damaged if you detach one and find a lot of black accumulation on its tip.

Solutions to Car Shaking When Accelerating

1. For your Joints

To check the motion of the CV joints, you must remove the drive shaft. Before checking the greasy residue between the joints, you have to perform a visual diagnosis.

Your CV joints will, of course, be checked by the mechanic, but in this instance, you must completely replace both joints because they must be changed whenever they stop working properly.

2. Tires Unbalanced

As earlier mentioned, it can result in problems as well. With the help of a balancer, you can fix them with a flat-head screwdriver, a jack, and a lug wrench. Before removing the wheels and cleaning them, you must first remove the weights on the wheel.

Return the weight while balancing the tires in the designated locations. Re-evaluate and correct the wheels. Put the tires back in their original place.

3. For Spark Plugs

First, you must find the old plug. The plug would then need to be removed, and the spacing between them would need to be measured. Then, install fresh plugs. To avoid any other issues, you should always check if the spark plugs are installed properly.

4. Tie Rod Ends

You must first identify the ends of the tie rod to remove them gently before you can examine the problem. The ends will then be replaced and should be the same thickness and length.

5. For Clogged Transmission Filter

By jacking up the car, you hold it in a secure position while you work underneath it. The fluid will then be drained into a pail and placed beneath the automobile.

Always use a socket wrench for this task. Remove the bolts and the old gaskets to clean the pan. You may also use a scraper to remove debris and dirt from the filter. The replacement pan gasket will then be installed. Lastly, change the transmission filter.

For Low Transmission Fluid

You must first maintain the engine at idle. It is unhealthy to often add fluid while the vehicle is running. Check all of the directions before adding the appropriate transmission fluid.

You must find the best fluid for your car because each engine requires a different type of fluid. Afterward, pour the liquid into the transmission using a funnel to prevent overfilling. The transmission can then be removed by applying the brake.

To ensure that you get the proper reading, return the dipstick to the transmission hole after that. You would need a latch to lock it into a secure position.

Is It Safe To Drive When Your Car Is Shaking?

Depending on what is causing the vehicle to shake, it is generally unsafe to drive because it reduces the balance of your automobile and exposes you to the risk of accidents.

It is preferable to avoid pushing your luck and ascertain the root of the problem before you continue driving. But a short journey will not be a problem.

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Frequently Asked Questions – Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate?

What would cause a car to shake when accelerating?

If your automobile shakes while accelerating, the problem can be damaged or loose engine mounts. As was said before, if your engine mounts are damaged or loose, you may experience vibrations when you press the gas pedal. This is because they cannot effectively absorb the vibration caused by your turning engine.

Why does my car shake when I press the gas?

You can have a broken or damaged motor mount. The part known as motor mounts, are used to fasten the engine onto the frame of your car. That’s because it is important, and if the mounts are damaged, the engine may slide and shake when you push the accelerator pedal.

Can transmission cause the car to shake?

The signals from automatic transmissions are more nuanced but still obvious. At first, shifting into and out of gear will create minor vibration, but as the issue persists, shifting into and out of gear will become more abrupt and result in shaking.

How do you fix car shaking?

If there is a vibration at a particular speed, the tires might need adjusting. The driver might need to rotate the tires if they are degrading unevenly and making the automobile rattle. The driver may occasionally require new tire wheels to address the vibration issue.

How much does it cost to fix a shaking car?

Your car may shake if there is a tiny weight difference between the two wheels. The majority of shops, thankfully, only charge about $15 to $45 to balance wheels.

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