Of all the car troubles, shakes, jolts and random vibrations are among the most startling and odd options. When you own a car for a while, you will begin to notice some changes in how it usually functions. Some of these could be direct issues that many people can identify and quickly solve while others seem to be motor mysteries. One of these odd changes is when your car starts to do the shimmies. There are various instances when a car can start shaking, shuddering or vibrating.
My car shakes when idle and driving slow speeds – Causes and fixes
Some people have an issue with their car shaking while shifting gears. This is probably due to problematic transmission. Both manual and automatic transmissions keep the ride smooth even during gear shifts. Any jerks or shakes during any gear shifts may be related to your transmission status. In manual transmissions vehicles, these vibrations and other abnormalities with your gear shifts might mean severe problems. In automatic transmissions, this jerk or shaking indicates either low transmission fluids, or that they need a change.
Instances when your vehicle might vibrate
These vehicle shimmies occur during varied situations. You might experience the jolts while driving fast, braking or even while the vehicle is idle. Take a look at the reasons why you experiencing these vibrations when you do.
Vibrations when your car comes to a stop
If you notice these vibrations occurring when you apply the break, then your breaks are most likely the problem. Worn out or warped brake rotors are responsible for that pulsing feeling you get through the steering wheel or brake pedal. When some of your brake system components are not in order, this shaking may result and in some instances, affect how well you operate your vehicle.
P.S since the braking system is an important safety system in your vehicle, issues involving it should want immediate professional attention.
Vibrations when you accelerate
You may notice your vehicle shaking when you increase speeds to certain degree or drive under certain speeds. There are several reasons for either of these shudders to occur. Let’s start with acceleration. Some of the reason your vehicle shakes when you accelerate include a damaged inner CV joint that create vibrations that start as minor shakes but can turn into violent shudders. Motor mounts that attach the engine to the vehicle when broken lead to constant shaking while the engine is running. Imbalanced tires are also to blame when it comes to issues with shaking and acceleration. Other causes could be loose lug nuts, a bent axle or even a bent drive shaft.
Vibrations while idling
You wouldn’t expect a vehicle to be shaking while its idle but there are many reasons that could trigger this sort of shuddering. Dirty worn out spark plugs for example create engine misfires. These malfunctioning spark plugs cause the engine to shake even when the car is idle. You could have a faulty intake system causing engine shudders thus causing your vehicle to shake. Clogged or improperly adjusted valves do not deliver the required amount of fuel to the engine, this leads to shaking in the engine while it idles. Loose or disconnected hoses are also a culprit when it comes to engine shuddering. Finally, issues with your timing belts or other belts cause noises and vibrations in your vehicle.
Notably, a bad engine mount will cause shakes during all these instances. The engine mount connect the entire vehicle with the engine. It is structures to absorb any shock or vibrations that result from any operations. If it is damaged, worn out or in poor shape, then you will frequently experience shaking during most operations.
Sometimes the tires are to blame
As we have discussed, tires are a common cause for your car shimmies. It could be due to wear or that your tires are out of balance. Take a look at the most common issues with your tires that cause your vehicle to shake.
- When your vehicle is out of balance, your vehicle may start to shake when you go past 45 miles per hour. If you notice these shakes, see a professional to balance out your tires with an automatic balancing machine.
- Tread separation might cause shaking especially when you’re going between 10 to 40 miles per hour. You could check for this issue or have your mechanic check whether the treads are separating from the main carcass.
- Flat spots, a bent rim and other tire related issues are also part of these tire associated shakes. Statistically, tires are most likely to cause shaking in vehicles. It will do you well to have your vehicle checked regularly and your car tire health established.
A shaking steer
A shaking steering is a common complaint among many drivers. There are several reasons why your steering could be shaking including the reasons below.
- Warped brake rotors, the number one cause for a shaking steering wheel. These shakes are also accompanied by shaking on your brake pedal, which gets worse when you drive downhill or slowly.
- Problems with your alignment causes the tires to wear out quicker become imbalanced and trigger shakes. Additionally uneven tires cause the steering to shake. These issues can be remedied by a visit to the mechanic to either replace your tires or even them out.
Clutch problems and shaking
There are several instances when the clutch is involved in causing operation issues with your automobile. One of these clutch associated issues you might notice is some shaking or vibration after using the clutch. You could even experience some clutch pedal vibrations on account of a number of issues.
Can low tire pressure make your car shake?
Many car owners have experiences some shaking or vibration once or twice with their vehicles. There are many reasons why your car is shaking. You could have issues with your steering, brake problems or many other problems. Tires are a main culprit when it comes to shaking. Low tire pressure especially is responsible for causing these common issues. Read on to find out how low tire pressure is causing your car to shake and what you can do about it.
Damaged and Imbalanced Tires
The most obvious reason your car is vibrating might be old worn out tires. Because they are constantly in contact with the road, they get worn quicker than other parts. As they tires age, the vibrations get noticeable and become most prominent when driving at higher speeds. If you notice this issue, it might be time to visit the mechanic for a detailed inspection of your tires.
Likewise, overtime, your tires become less and less balanced. You will notice a change in this balance when driving between 50 and 65 mph. However, unlike damaged tires, speeds above this range do not trigger even more intense shaking. Instead, the vibration is no longer felt. If you suspect your tires are out of balance, a trip to the mechanic should easily solve you issues by balancing out your tires with a machine. Usually, the tire balancing process involves using the machine to add weights to each of your wheels.
Implications of low tire pressure
Not only is low tire pressure responsible for creating shakes and wobbles, but it also a risk factor in safe driving. When your pressure is at incorrect levels, your braking and stability becomes compromised. Apart from your safety, your comfort and fuel economy might be affect by low pressure, or incorrect pressure. Steering wheel shakes and wobbles are as a cause of various tire and non-tire related issues. Low tire pressure is among the tire associated issues that causes these shakes and vibrations. In cold weather, your tire pressure may drop; you are advised to raise the pressure by a few units to keep the tires properly functional.
Tip: It is advisable to check your tire pressure at least once a month or more, not just when you experience wobbling or other pressure related issues.
What happens if you drive with bad spark plugs?
Spark plugs are transmitters essential in conveying signals to the combustion chamber. Without a good spark plug, the engine might not start or if it does, the fuel will not burn as it is supposed to be. Many people underestimate the importance of a ‘healthy’ spark plug. Some people even go as far as using their vehicles without considering the state of this important part.
What happens when your spark plug is worn or malfunctions?
- Slowed acceleration
A Problematic ignition system is known to cause issues with your acceleration. Computerized car systems can now analyze your car systems including the ignition system and determine where the issue is. Sensors tell the systems when to send impulses to start the spark plug so a failure with you ignition could be blamed on failed sensors. However more often that naught, a bad spark plug is the issue. When your spark plug is work out, it will not produce sparks hot enough to ignite the air and fuel combination properly. This reduced effectiveness makes the car slower and decreases its acceleration capabilities.
TIP: Don’t jump the gun and immediately replace your spark plug, rule out any other causes that may have the same poor acceleration effect such as failed sensors, bad fuel filters etc.
- Difficulty starting your car
There are many reasons why your vehicle just won’t start. An ignition chamber failure is one of those reasons. As you know, for your engine to start, the fuel and air injected into the ignition chamber must be successfully ignited. A bad spark plug might produce ineffective sparks or no sparks at all, making it difficult to start your car. Because of this malfunction, the engine will not turn over.
- Engine misfires
Misfires can be very frustrating. They are caused with incorrect ignition timing, vacuum leaks etc. Apart from being frustrating, misfires can reduce gas mileage and increase you emission. You might even fail your emissions inspection on account of misfires. They also have a damaging effect on other engine parts. Sometimes, the ignition parts, the spark plug in specific are to blame. As your spark plug begins to wear, it does not perform at maximum capacity and gradually get worse from small intermittent misfires.
- Damage to the engine
A worn spark plug is not the only cause of a misfiring engine. There might be other components causing your engine to misfire. If not looked at immediately, you could wind up with internal damage to other components. While driving with a misfiring engine is not immediately dangerous, however as the misfires continue to wear out your components, your vehicle may begin to lose power, which could be dangerous on a busy road.
- Poor fuel economy
A functional spark plug can help burn fuel efficiently. When this happens, your fuel economy is optimal. However, when a spark plug is not properly fictional, you cannot burn your fuel properly, therefore you cannot achieve good fuel economy. It could be that the gap between the plug electrodes is too large or not enough. You can easily remedy this by having your mechanic look at the spark plug and adjust the gap back to the required distance for optimal performance. One sign of poor fuel economy is an increase in fuel consumption
- Rough idling
With a bad sparkplug, you might notice your engine sounds quite rough when idling. These rough sounds could even cause your vehicle to vibrate. This is indicative of a spark plug issue where the cylinder misfires but only when idles.
Consequences of a bad spark plug
Spark plugs don’t just suddenly stop working, the wear and tear gradually decreases their performance until they no longer function or begin to malfunction. Either way, the more inefficient they become, the more you begin to notice the changes we’ve discussed above. Eventually, you will end up with a reduced gas mileage, sluggish performance, and rough idle if you continue to use your worn spark plug. You are advised to have it checked when necessary for a tune up or a change. Otherwise, continued use of a worn spark plug could end up damaging other components of your vehicle or put you at risk.
Shaking or vibrating from car parts is evidently a common issue among many users. You might experience these pulsations at different points during various operations. There are several reasons why these vibrations are happening, some constants others progress as you use your vehicle. It is important to have your vehicle checked when you sense these shudders as some could pose risk while driving.
Why is my car shaking and am losing power?
A well-maintained car should offer you smooth rides that are absent of shakes and vibrations. However, if you experience this and then it is accompanied by some loss of power then it could signal some serious car issues. For one your braking rotors could be warped from excessive tear and this causes the car to shake when you apply brakes at higher speeds. If this shaking is accompanied by power loss then the issue could be with your spark plugs. Spark plugs provide the necessary ignition for the fuel/air mixture. When they stop firing you get a loss of power. If your car has rpm gauge you will notice this dip in power when you come to a stop sign, here you will notice that the rpm needle has a slight bounce which is followed by a certain muffling of the engine sound.
Is it safe to continue with my journey if my car is shaking or vibrating?
If your started our just well but after sometime starts shaking uncontrollably it could be a signal for further engine trouble. The problem with driving such a car is that it may look like a simple problem but it may lead to further repairs which are more expensive. As stated the problem could be lack of fuel in your tanks. This will often be accompanied by shuddering and jerking whenever you press the gas pedal. The spark plug wiring can also be a culprit and you maybe forced to take your car to a certified mechanic for repairs. You may also want to check your air and fuel filters for signs of contamination. If this is the case, fuel or air is been starved to your combustion chambers. The last possibility for is your car is simply too old to be on the road. In this instance, you will have worn or bent CV joints, issues with your driveshaft or simply worn out tires.
Can low oil levels cause your car to shake?
Oil is the lifeblood of the engine and so any deep in oil levels below the recommended levels is a signal for further engine trouble. To check for oil, wait until the engine temperatures cool down then remove the oil dipstick from the engine block. Wipe it with a clean cloth and submerge it back to the engine block. You should get a correct reading. Lack of oil may cause the metallic parts to grind against each other hence producing a very irritating sound.