Why Is My Car Shaking? 5 Possible Causes and How to Fix Them

Why Is My Car Shaking

If you've ever been driving and your car starts to shake, you know how disconcerting and scary this moment can be. The last thing you want to happen is to be broken down on the side of the road. Finding the answer to why is my car shaking becomes all you can think about.

Why Is My Car Shaking?

reasons why your car might be shaking

There are many reasons why your car might be shaking, including issues with the engine, the brakes, the wheels, or even the tires.

Knowing which one is the cause of your problems will require you taking your vehicle to a mechanic to have it inspected and repaired.

Possible Causes of Car Shake

Having a car that shakes and vibrates as you down the road is more than scary, it can also be incredibly dangerous. It may be possible for the car to lose control and cause an accident. 

Plus, trying to hold on to a steering wheel that is shaking can be exhausting and cause sore muscles. If you experience this issue with your car, the best course of action is to get it taken care of right away.

There are many possible causes as to why your car is shaking. Five of them are listed below.

Suspension Issues

If you find that you are asking why is my car shaking, it may have to do with your suspension. This is the system that is connected to your front wheels and tires and allows your car to run smoothly down the road.

If your suspension is out of alignment, this can cause your car to shake. You may notice that when you are stopped, your car acts the way it should. However, when you start moving, that's when it starts to shake.

In addition to the shake, you might also hear other noises, including squeaks, clunks, or squeals.

This is another indicator that you are having issues with your suspension. If you were recently in an accident, hit your car on a curb, or hit a speed bump or pothole too hard, this could have damaged your suspension and is the reason why your car is shaking.

Tire Problems

Tire Problems

Probably the most common answer to the question why is my car shaking has to do with your tires.

When these are unbalanced or begin to wear, they can cause your vehicle to shake and shimmy as you drive down the road.

This one is probably the easiest fix, as it requires getting new tires or having them rebalanced. Once either of those occur, you should be back to driving smoothly.

Another issue that might cause your car to shake has to do with your wheels. If these are bent or there is a loose or bad wheel bearing, it will vibrate throughout your entire car.

These issues can be caused by numerous things, including a car accident, hitting curbs or potholes, or constantly driving on uneven surfaces.

Over time, wheels get worn down. If you have a loose bearing, in addition to your car shaking you might also hear a high-pitched sound. This may become evident when driving at higher speeds.

Other tire system issues include problems with the axle. If they are bent, this can cause your vehicle to vibrate and shake.

There could also be problems with the CV joints or the driveshaft. Damage to these items could also make you ask why is my car shaking?

Brake Problems

If you notice that your car only shakes when you apply the brakes, this could be an indicator that something is wrong with your brake system.

Over time and exposure to the elements and things such as puddles, stress, and heat, the rotors on your brakes will deform. If this happens, even pressure won't be applied to the wheel as you stop your car.

Thus, getting this fixed as soon as possible will ensure that you remain safe on the road and can stop when you need to.

Problems With the Engine

Problems With the Engine

There are several different engine issues that could lead to your car shaking as it heads down the road. One of these is the fact that the engine mounts have failed.

These components connect your vehicle's engine to the chassis, and their job is to reduce engine noise and vibration.

Over time, these will wear down or break, and this could cause the vibration from the engine to shake your entire car.

Other issues with the engine that might lead to car shake include bad spark plugs. These seem like a small component in your car, but they play a big role.

If one of the spark plugs has gone bad or is faulty, this can cause the engine to misfire and vibrate, which would cause the rest of your car to shake.

Having a clogged transmission filter can also lead to engine issues and your car shaking. If you notice that your car shakes when you are on the highway or traveling at higher speeds, this might be the culprit. Replacing this should take care of the problem.

In addition to having a clogged transmission filter, another reason why you might have to ask why is my car shaking is because you might have low transmission fluid.

This will cause your car to shake as you accelerate. It can be a violent motion that makes it hard to keep control of your vehicle.

Thus, checking the transmission filter and fluid levels may be all that you need to do to get your car running smoothly.

Power Steering Issues

If you notice that the car shakes only when you are turning, this could be an indication that something is wrong with your power steering.

There are a couple of items that would cause the car to vibrate, including being low on power steering fluid.

You'll want to check the level to see if it's where it needs to be, and then you'll need to check the hose for any leaks.

If there are cracks or holes, getting this replaced and then filling up the power steering fluid will keep the car running smoothly.

In addition to being low on power steering fluid, the older your car gets, the more parts will wear out.

You could have issues with other components of your steering system that require new parts.

Again, you will notice this as you turn. If you have an older car, this might be the cause of why your car is shaking.

Getting the Issues Fixed

Getting the Issues Fixed

It can be challenging to know why your car is shaking, as there can be many different reasons.

However, there might be some indicators that you should check one part over the other. As mentioned, if you were recently in an accident or you drive on uneven surfaces or hit potholes or curbs, your shaking issue might stem from tire or wheel issues.

However, it's also possible that an accident could have damaged or broke your engine mounts. If that's the case, you'll need to get those fixed so that the engine vibration doesn't impact your entire car.

Even if the accident seemed minor and the body of your car has little damage, it's a good idea for you to take your car to a professional to have it looked over. There could be major problems that you don't see but can feel.

What You Can Fix on Your Own vs Going to a Mechanic

Some of the items you can fix on your own including checking the fluid levels of your transmission and power steering system.

You can also change your own transmission filter. If you know where your spark plugs are located and you can tell if they are damaged or bad, you can also replace these on your own.

These are easy fixes and may take the shake right out of your car. However, if you aren't comfortable doing these things on your own, then taking them to a mechanic is acceptable.

For the other issues that might be causing your car to shake, unless you have mechanic skills, it's probably a good idea to take your vehicle to a professional.

You want to make sure that you and your passengers are safe while on the road, and they will be able to diagnose and fix the problem quickly.

Don't Ignore the Shake

You know your car better than anyone. You drive it on a daily basis, so if something doesn't feel right, you can tell.

The shake might start out as a small wobble and if left unfixed, it can turn into something major.

Getting your car checked out to figure out why is my car shaking will keep you and others safe while driving.

Even if it seems like the shake in your car is minor, it can still have a huge impact on the performance of your vehicle. Don't risk losing control or getting into an accident.

Have the shakes and shimmies of your car checked out. It will give you peace of mind and get your car back to running smoothly.


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