Written by 5:57 pm Knowledge Panel, Maintenance

Why Car Shakes When Accelerating? [15 Reasons + Solutions]

Why Car Shakes When Accelerating

You may have probably felt the sensation of a car shaking during acceleration.

The wear and tear and absence of regular maintenance can result in shakes and vibrations of the vehicle during driving.

However, some components of your car could also cause these signs that you must not overlook.

Even though car shakes while accelerating is usually related to the engine, this particular issue could signal the existence of the most intricate issues.

It is not a good sign if your car begins to shake when accelerating.

It doesn’t matter if the noises start after you accelerate, move, or even if the vehicle is at a standstill.

Different vibrations will be different, and there will be other reasons.

Finding the root of issues at the earliest will help you save money. This is done due to repairs and replacement of damaged components of your engine.

Why Car Shakes When Accelerating?

Vibrations tend to keep sneaking up on you. You feel them, avoid them, and eventually, you begin to wonder why things that seem simple turn into a problem “Car shakes when accelerating“.

If you have been driving for a long, you may be able to identify and fix these frequent problems. Car Shaking when accelerating is the most frequent complaint of many drivers.

Although it’s not thought to be a significant issue, it can cause more complicated and costly problems if it is not addressed.

WHEELSCRIBE always recommends seeking an expert opinion from someone with vast experience in this field. 

The shaking of your car could be due to a variety of causes ranging from tires that aren’t balanced to more serious engine issues.

Sometimes, the issue is straightforward, like wheel rotation. Sometimes they are more bloated, like suspension problems or steering wheel issues.

It is important to discern which vibrations are threatening and which are manageable.

The answer to the car shaking when accelerating problem depends on the time you experience vibrations, whether it’s when you start the vehicle, when it is accelerating or when your vehicle is shaking at a high rate.

Here are 15 distinct reasons why car shakes when accelerating.

Problem with Power Steering

power steering causes car shake

The issue with power steering is simple to spot when it only occurs when you turn.

It is possible to notice shaking when driving at a slower speed.

Problems with power steering can result from a variety of causes, such as an inability to pump fluid, a blockage within the pump, the air inside your system, or even a damaged pump.

The issues must be addressed promptly, as, in addition to being frustrating, they can also be very dangerous.

Solution

The first thing you should check is the hoses in the power steering system for cracks, leaks, or damage.

Another method that works is to fill the fluid. It will take some time to move through the system and then stop moving.

We also recommend examining it regularly to make sure you have eliminated the root cause to avoid any further problems.

If, however, you continue to detect vibrations, you should take your car or truck to the repair shop for your car. It is better to get the repairs done by a certified professional mechanic.

Steering Wheel Problems

The vehicle’s steering wheel is connected to the four wheels. A lot of parts are required to operate effectively at high speed.

When you switch between the old and the new model of a car, you will see a slight change in the steering wheel. The new steering wheel is more responsive and faster than the previous one.

But, it is only applicable to compare similar vehicles

Different cars require different steering capabilities.

The steering wheels get worn out with time. When they get worn out, they can affect the functionality of the steering wheel.

It will be difficult for drivers to notice the steering wheel’s performance change because it diminishes slowly. While you will still be able to drive, damaged joints can create vibrations over time.

Solution

Steering wheel vibrations are generally caused by wheel misalignment. A wheel alignment service can assist in stopping the shaking by ensuring that all wheels are aligned equally.

When your car is not in balance, the tires may wear differently, which can cause the steering wheel shaking and other issues that result in a painful driving experience. 

Troubled Tires

If you have recently fitted new tires and have noticed vibrations as you accelerate the speed, it could be caused by the unbalanced tires. Once a tire has been mounted on a wheel, it will never be the same weight all around.

The vibrations will be stronger when you drive at greater speeds, and as a result, your steering wheel may shake.

If your car is vibrating at a constant rate and gets worse when the vehicle moves faster, you may have an imbalanced tire(s). It is possible that one of the weights on your wheel was ripped off.

The vibrations and shaking caused by unbalanced tires must be taken care of quickly, as wheel alignment issues can lead to more complex problems, making your journey uncomfortable.

Solution

To solve the problem of unbalanced tires, get the wheel-alignment done.

A tire tech will put the tire and wheel assembly on a balancer and place small weights for the wheel on the rim in specific locations to make sure the balance is perfect.

Any slight imbalance in weight could cause a slight vibration when a wheel rotates.

Broken Engine Mounts

An essential function of the engine mount is to fix the engine to the car’s frame.

Another function is to reduce the engine’s vibration to ensure that drivers do not feel the constant vibration of the car.

Mounts are constructed from an extremely hard rubber material that allows them to withstand the force of vibration. When the engine mount gets damaged or broken, it causes excessive vibration.

However, other motor parts may be misaligned or fail because the engine is not in its correct position.

The worn-out engine mounts cause vibrations and noises, manifest as an apprehension when you start the car or turn the ignition off.

There will be a shaky feeling from the motor mount during idle, but the shaking may be more evident during acceleration, as the motor must work harder.

Remember that when the engine mount fails and the other mounts are damaged, they take on more weight and are much more likely to break. They are expected to last for between 5 and 7 years. 

Solution

The best way to minimize vibrations caused by damage to the engine mounts is by replacing these mounts. We recommend testing them frequently each time you have engine maintenance.

Spark Plug Issues

spark plugs

In the event that your car is shaking while accelerating, but not when you are driving, it may be because of spark plug issues. So, your vehicle does not have sufficient sparks, gas, or air to operate smoothly. Your car’s likely shaking increases as you accelerate or hit the pedal. The engine might vibrate excessively and cause an increase in power and an inability to set the proper timing to ignite the fuel.

Solution

A faulty spark plug stops the fuel-air mixture from being adequately burned in the engine, which results in a misfire. Because cylinders may misfire when they are running or idle, your engine may begin to vibrate.

It is essential to replace spark plugs to avoid more problems when you discover the issues.

Problematic Vacuum Hose

A problem with a vacuum liner can cause severe shaking or shuttering of a vehicle while driving.

If a vacuum line breaks or has an air leak due to a minor tear, the absence of air pressure could confuse the sensors.

This can lead to backfires, misfires, loss of power, and other problems that cause the motor to not run without a hitch.

Solution

Make sure all hoses are checked to make sure they are connected and free of tears and holes. Utilize a small clamp to connect the hoses that are loose around the fitting.

Be aware that turbocharged hoses are particularly susceptible to disconnect.

Aside from using small clamps to reconnect the disengaged vacuum hose, we recommend replacing it with sturdy silicone vacuum hoses. They are known to last longer as they decrease the chances of repetition of the problem.

Damaged CV Joint

Continuous velocity joints (CV joints) are found on the opposite end of every axle.

There’s both an outer and inner joint. If the CV joint inside is damaged or begins to fail, you will be able to feel vibrations.

As the damage worsens, the small vibrations can turn into intense shaking when the vehicle is under stress.

The most common reason for damaged constant velocity joints is that they result from an injury to the joint’s boot.

If this occurs, water and dirt get into the joint and affect the grease protecting the splines. If there isn’t enough lubrication, the metal-on-metal contact eventually leads to failure.

Solution

The only solution to this issue is to replace the CV joint entirely.

Stiff Brake Caliper

If the brake caliper on the wheel is damaged, which causes it to stick and cause significant vibrations when you accelerate.

In this scenario, the steering wheel is the first to vibrate. In addition, the quakes are likely to increase with the vehicle speed. If you stop, there’s a burning scent emanating from your car.

Solution

If you suspect you have a stuck brake caliper, we recommend inspecting all components in the brake system with special attention to the piston and the slides and bolts.

Sometimes, re-lubrication and cleaning the parts are necessary; however, brake components that fail must be replaced. 

If you notice vibrations while you brake or move around, it could be due to an error in your brake caliper. Numerous factors can cause the caliper to move.

By fixing them, you will be able to ensure that the brake caliper is functioning at its best performance, with reduced vibrations.

Moreover, the best way to avoid shaking your car when moving, braking, or driving is to maintain your car’s brakes regularly.

Damaged U-Joint

U-joints with faulty joints are typically found on trucks, SUVs, and rear-wheel-drive vehicles. U-joints that aren’t properly fitted can impact your vehicle, causing noise, jerkiness, and vibrations, especially at certain speeds. 

You must conduct a close-up examination when a car shakes while accelerating. A most efficient way to identify a u-joint (universal joint) issue is to look at the car’s underside.

If you see brownish dust on the bottom of the driveshaft, that means the bearings or something else inside is breaking down.

Solution

Fortunately, U-joint replacement is a straightforward and affordable repair. This is why it’s vital to repair it in the time since once the u-joint is broken completely, and the driveshaft is removed from your vehicle and damage the transmission, rendering your vehicle unusable until repaired.

It’s possible to remove and replace universal joints by yourself.

However, this requires more than a bit of patience and expertise. We recommend taking the help of professionals to remove and replace broken u-joints to prevent making the situation worse.

Blocked Fuel Intake Systems

A dirty, clogged fuel injector or a dirty fuel filter can cause a rough idle and even car shaking. A blocked fuel injector is not always apparent at first. It is possible to notice a slow idle, but the car is likely to be able to run, even at high speeds.

However, when the injector gets completely blocked, and the car runs, it will start causing an engine to misfire constantly.

Solution

One of the symptoms of a blocked fuel injector will be that you see the Check Engine light on your car dashboard. You can try replacing the fuel filter and injector on your own. Take your vehicle to a repair shop if it doesn’t solve the shaking.

Bent Axle

If you accidentally run over a large stone or curb or suffer one of the minor accidents, don’t think it is fine since you don’t notice any damage. The accident could cause an axle to become bent, which could be hazardous. Some vibrations could come from the vehicle that gets more severe as you speed up.

Solution

Like the driveshaft, you will need to replace bent axles. If you fail to do so, you are at risk of causing more costly damages.

Bent Driveshaft

If your car has RWD (rear-wheel drive), the power of an engine to the rear axle as well as the connected wheels is transferred through the drive shaft (propeller shaft).

If the propeller shaft is bent or is damaged (frequently caused by accident), this can cause the vehicle to shake when you accelerate at a low speed. The shaking and vibrations tend to get worse when you accelerate.

Solution

In case of a bent or damaged driveshaft, the tubing of the drive shaft should be replaced. We also suggest inspecting any other component for damage in order to stop further disruptions.

Faulty Radiator Fan

A damaged or cracked fan will not affect the motor’s operation in any way. However, it can cause shaking when you accelerate at the highest speed.

When you begin the car, the fan tries to rotate but cannot do so because of the damaged condition. The wobbling could significantly cause the car to be lateral as you speed up.

Solution

A broken radiator fan is typically in balance, which can cause massive vibrations during rotation. We recommend getting it checked by certified technicians to minimize the possibility of developing further issues.

Worn Timing Belt

If your timing belt has not been adjusted correctly or is worn out, it could cause engine vibrations.

Other belts that are prone to problems, such as those on the serpentine belt, could impact your car engine and its most critical components, which can cause strange sounds and shake.

The primary function of the belt’s timing is to ensure that all moving parts of the engine are functioning correctly and without the danger of collisions that could damage the engine.

The belts are constructed of rubber, which is the reason they may become fragile and stretch out as time passes.

When the timing belt is stretched, your engine’s parts are off-balance, which results in the feeling of vibrations all over the vehicle.

Solution

The best way to resolve this issue is to replace your old timing belt with a new one. It will ensure that all the moving parts in the motor will operate together.

Loose Lug Nuts

The loose lug nuts (wheel nuts) may appear a minor issue. However, they can result in much more significant issues.

If the nuts of your wheel loosen or tighten up during the period, the wheels shake, and when moving, it will appear as if it’s shaken. If the nuts remain in a loose state, they may slip completely, and the wheel could slide off in driving. It is not something you want to happen. 

Solution

You can choose to fix the wheel nuts yourself or hire qualified technicians. Make sure that you are using the correct size of the nut.

Conclusion

Routine maintenance will keep your car one step more efficient. It will prevent all types of car issues.

Ensure that your car is maintained correctly to replace worn components. Make sure to replace these parts before they damage the car’s engine.

You can resolve the majority of them yourself.

However, specific issues require professional help to resolve. It is possible to create further damage to the vehicle if you do not know how to replace damaged parts.

If your car shakes when accelerating, it is crucial to identify the issue and take the necessary steps.

If you do not, it could result in an accident or the need for a costly replacement of the component or even the whole engine.

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