Why does the car shake? Reasons


Vibrations in a car are common. While driving, slight shaking is unavoidable. It is natural for all working engines. Except racing car F-1. And the older the car, the more it is felt. Attempting to speed up on a dirt road also causes severe shaking in the cab. All these are natural reasons for such an effect to occur.

Another thing is when the vibration occurred suddenly. For example, when idling or accelerating. What could be the reason to shake the car? And what can a motorist do to fix the problem? Consider three common situations:

  • during acceleration the steering wheel twitches;
  • When the engine is idling, it vibrates a lot;
  • When you speed up, the car shakes.

If the vibration increases while driving, you need to pay attention to the elements of transmission, chassis and steering.

Steering wheel vibration


Steering wheel vibrations can not be ignored. Otherwise it is related to an accident. Like a litmus test, the steering wheel is the first to indicate a malfunction of the machine control system. Here are common causes of this problem.

  • Wheel imbalance. Balancing is necessary to ensure that each wheel turns smoothly without shifting the center of gravity. Usually this problem is felt on a flat road and at high speed.
  • Custom wheel size. When a motorist picks up new wheels, it is extremely important to pay attention to the bolt pattern. For example, a value of 4 x 98 indicates 4 holes for screws, and the distance between their centers is 98 mm. Some believe that a few millimeters will not affect ride quality. To put the washer in, you need to tighten the bolts at an incline. As a result, the wheel is installed with an offset. And at high speed, the shaking becomes more severe.
  • Worn shock absorbers or struts. The impaired smoothness of the shock absorber is also transmitted to the steering wheel. Old suspension elements become stiffer. Therefore, any unevenness feels like a big hole.
  • The support bearing is out of order. Due to the poor quality of the road surface, this suspension element quickly fails. If you do not make the replacement in time, it will adversely affect the condition of the entire depreciation system of the car.
  • Faulty ball joints. Most often they become unusable due to the operation of the vehicle on bad roads. Therefore, in the territory of the former Soviet Union, the ball must be changed more often.
  • Tips on the steering cable. If there is even a slight play when turning the steering wheel, the tie rod ends need to be replaced. They ensure parallel rotation of the front wheels. At high speeds, worn tips are heavily loaded due to the uneven arrangement of the wheels.


Here is another reason for steering wheel vibration:

The car shakes at idle

If the engine vibrates when idling, the problem must be sought in the engine’s fastening elements. To eliminate this, the following possible reasons should be considered.

  • Motor mount worn out. During the operation of the unit, vibrations are compensated by the rubber pads of the carrier. The problem will not necessarily be that this part is torn. Over time, the rubber elements become rougher. Therefore, they must be replaced regularly.
  • Engine malfunction. The idling of the piston group should be as smooth as possible. If this is not the case, you must bring the car to the supervisor. Causes of slickness injury include stuck valves or wear on piston rings.
  • The fuel system problem. A clogged fuel system leads to uneven engine operation. If the engine idles, then picks up, then slows down, it is worth checking the entire trunk. By stabilizing the engine, the fuel filter can be replaced or the pump repaired.

To diagnose malfunctions in atmospheric combustion engines, you can use the recommendations of Nail Poroshin:

The car shakes when accelerating

In addition to the listed malfunctions, shaking during acceleration can be explained by a transmission malfunction. Here are three common shaking problems.

  • The oil level in the box. A low level of transmission grease leads to errors in the acceleration of a car. Usually this problem is accompanied by the sound of gears rubbing against each other.
  • Auto Box Filter. A clogged filter element reduces the circulation of grease in the automatic transmission. For this reason, sensations characteristic of a low transmission oil level occur.
  • Malfunction of the universal joint. In the nodes that connect the shafts at an angle, a hinge with unequal angular velocities is installed. Even a slight play of the moving parts of the part causes vibrations at high speed.

Vibration at speed

In addition to discomfort, vibration signals some malfunctions or errors in the installation of some parts as a result of the last repair. The consequences of vibration drive depend on which component causes this effect and whether it is caused by breakage or gradual wear of parts. For example, the universal joint of the propshaft of some car models, when worn, produces vibrations that gradually increase.

To find out why vibrations occur in the car, you can go to the computer diagnostics. However, with this procedure you can not always find out the real cause. We have compiled some general recommendations from experienced motorists that will help you find the source of vibration without expensive diagnostic procedures.

Consider each of the symptoms that occur at a particular vehicle speed.

0 km/h (idling)

The cause of vibrations in this mode of vehicle operation may be:

  • The shifter vibrates, the cause may be a misfire or a triplet combustion engine (read why this happens in another rating);
  • The vibration is accompanied by a steady metallic thump. The reason is the wear of the engine pads;
  • In addition to vibrations, a high-frequency whistling noise can be heard from the engine compartment, especially in wet conditions. The reason for this effect is the slip of the generator drive belt;
  • The machine trembles somewhat evenly – there is an imbalance in the flywheel or clutch basket;
  • If the vibrations are uneven and intermittent, this may be a result of misfiring, fuel system or air supply malfunctions, and engine control unit malfunctions.

0 km/h (increased speed)

If the vibration frequency also increases with increasing engine speed, this may indicate a malfunction of the ignition system (the air-fuel mixture does not always ignite). You should also check the operation of the fuel system and the operation of the control unit (this requires computer diagnosis). Sometimes a similar effect occurs when the air filter is clogged or the air supply system is defective.

Up to 40 km / h

In front-wheel drive vehicles, the crunching sound when turning the steering wheels indicates the failure of the “grenade” or of the CV joint towards. In addition, unnatural sounds coming from the steering wheels during maneuvering can be a signal of failure of the steering mechanism, especially if this is accompanied by difficult turning of the steering wheel.

If vibrations occur during movement after engaging a certain gear, this indicates a problem in the transmission. If vibrations occur when shifting into gear (applies to cars with mechanical or robotic transmission) and is also accompanied by a short grinding, then you should check for the release bearing or .

40-60 km / h

Typically, a propeller shaft malfunction occurs at this speed in rear-wheel drive vehicles (for information on repairing or replacing this unit in a car, see in another article), its cross member or its outer bearing.

Why does the car shake? Reasons

The second thing you need to pay attention to is the unreliable mounting of the exhaust system. In addition, a failed strut bearing can cause vibrations at low speeds (for more information on the support bearing, please see here).

60-80 km / h

At these speeds, the braking system may malfunction. This malfunction is accompanied by a characteristic noise. Also, pay attention to the tread wear (in another review read what problems this or that type of tire wear indicates).

Another reason for the appearance of vibrations at such a speed of the car is the imbalance of one of the rotating parts of the engine. A similar effect is also observed when the oil level in the crankcase of the automatic transmission is low or the transmission oil filter is clogged.

80-100 km / h

In addition to the above causes, vibration in a vehicle accelerated to this speed can cause minor wear on suspension parts such as ball joints.

100-120 km / h

If the engine has a turbocharger, the hammering at this speed may be due to the fact that the turbine is not working properly. The unit does not receive the required amount of air and therefore “chokes” on excess fuel. Vibrations in the vehicle interior may be due to the fact that some plastic panels have shifted and rattled.

Above 120 km/h

Even slight deviations of the aerodynamic properties from the norm are sufficient for vibrations to develop at such speeds. To eliminate this effect, simply install a spoiler. This will give the vehicle additional downforce. Read more about aerodynamics in another article.

In addition, vibrations at limiting speeds can be caused by the maximum torsional load on bearings that are not adequately lubricated.

Can you drive with body vibration?

For some drivers, stable vibrations in a car are so natural that they get used to them and eventually do not notice them anymore. However, if a similar effect occurs abruptly in a car, you must immediately look for the cause. Otherwise, the driver runs the risk of an accident due to a failure of the suspension, chassis or transmission.

Even the slightest vibration will not allow you to continue driving at high speeds. In addition to discomfort, this effect can cause other failures of neighboring units and mechanisms of the car. Minor problems can be ignored and cause more expensive repairs.

In most cases, vibration elimination can be done in any garage and is not an expensive procedure. It will be much more expensive to repair the damage caused by high frequency shocks.

Methods of dealing with this phenomenon

To avoid wobbling regardless of the speed of the vehicle, make sure that all body and interior parts and the power unit are securely fastened.

If as a result of visual diagnosis malfunctions of the damper elements of the transmission, suspension or power unit were found, it is necessary to perform computer diagnostics and fix the malfunctions.

To avoid wobbles and similar unpleasant effects, every driver must follow a routine car maintenance schedule. If vibrations are a natural companion of a particular car model, this effect can be minimized by using soundproofing materials.

An example of a transmission and suspension malfunction diagnosis:

As you can see, various malfunctions can cause vibrations in the car. Therefore, it is extremely important to perform the necessary maintenance of the machine in time. Replacing worn parts not only eliminates discomfort while driving, but also prevents an emergency.

Frequently asked questions and answers:

Shaking the car when driving at low speed. If the car is moving straight and vibrations occur when turning on a certain speed, this is a sign of a transmission output. When the clutch is depressed, a twitch indicates wear on the friction elements of the release bearing or clutch basket. Vibrations during cornering indicate a steering problem. If the wheels are turned over (the car is going into a turn), vibrations and crunching indicate the failure of the SHRUS. If the car is equipped with a propshaft, shaking when increasing the speed can also be a symptom of a problem with this part of the transmission.

The car wobbles from side to side. When the suspension struts wear out, the car wobbles from side to side with every bump. On the way you should check the serviceability of the support bearing. If the wheels of the car have been balanced for a long time, this may also be the reason for the lateral wobbling of the car. If this continues for a long time, sooner or later there will be uneven wear of the tires and the chassis and suspension will begin to crumble.

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