Vibration is probably one of the most common and annoying issues in cars. Moreover, it usually creeps up on the owners subtly and gradually until they wonder how they ever put up with such an irritation.
In fact, the fixing might be simple and cheap, like a tire balance or rotation. Or it would signal more serious issues in your car, which are more costly such as suspension or steering problems. Therefore, you should understand how to find out the exact reason why your car is vibrating as it would save you a lot of money. In this article, we will show you 5 common reasons for a vibrating car.
1. Engine Issues
Sometimes a shudder or shake will result from the engine compartment when the system is not getting enough amount of spark, fuel, or air to work smoothly. Common signs that would indicate these engine-related vibrations include the following:
- Jerking or shudder happens while accelerating.
- Staccato shaking in a particular range of speed.
- Car starts properly for a while but begins to shake later.
These signs would indicate that it is time to replace the spark plugs with a new set. If the plugs are still running correctly, then it might be that the spark plug wires need to be examined or changed.
Last but not least, a dirty fuel filter or clogged air filter could lead the deficit of oxygen or fuel in the system. So make sure to follow the recommended intervals of the manufacturer for replacement.
2. Axle Issues
Our cars are full of rotating and reciprocating elements that need to fall within several tolerances or measurements to run properly.
If an axle is bent, which often happens in a mishap or collision, it would lead to a jostle of the ride afterward. In these cases, the vibrating usually picks up in intensity when you drive faster.
Another part that also needs to be checked is the driveshaft, which might result in shaking if bent. This rapidly-spinning part helps to transfer the power of your engine to the wheels and rear axles.
3. Brake Problems
Does the vibration occur or intensify when you are braking? If so, there is a strong possibility that your vehicle is facing a warped brake rotor.
In general, the rotor is a silver disc-shaped part on models with a disc brake system. Under heavy wear and tear or overheating, it can be bent out of shape easily. And instead of being flat, a deformed rotor would be lowered or raised on its surface. This makes the brake pads and calipers cannot get a smooth grip on the warped rotor, thereby resulting in vibration.
If you are not used to a wrench, it is a good idea to call for a brake specialist to understand the condition of your car's brake drums or rotors.
4. Wobbly Wheels
In many situations, you would notice the direct vibration from your car via the steering wheel. And one of the potential causes would be a problem with the alignment.
One or many wheels might suffer from wobbliness or excessive "play," at the hub. The signs and cures for this issue are quite complicated because it would point to many other problems. First, we can only assume that each wheel is attached steadily to the hub with correctly torqued lug nuts.
In these situations, the solution might be the replacement the wheel bearings. In most modern cars, these parts are built to last for the whole life of the truck or car. But as you know, when you subject your car to some unusual conditions, such as high mileage, extremely hard driving, off-roading, the wheel bearings will wear out soon.
Another cause to look for is the run-out, which is described as the deviation of a wheel from a properly circular rotation while spinning. In general, wheel technicians often apply accuracy tools to know if the run-out on any specific wheels exceed 0.5 inches. Most of the time, the final solution would be a new wheel.
Other causes of wobbly or wiggling wheels include the ball joints or tie-rod ends. If these components are worn out, they will allow too much space in the car’s wheel, which leads to annoying vibration while driving on the road.
5. Tire Problems
This is the last, but also the most common cause of vibration in a moving car. Problems in your tire would lead to many issues such as vehicular roll, rattle, or shake. The followings are some specific signs:
- Car vibration at certain speeds – requiring tire balance.
- Tire has separated tread - requiring tire replacement.
- Uneven tire wear - requiring tire rotation.
- Tire is rolling unevenly and out of round - requiring tire replacement.
Sometimes it is not necessarily the tires, but rather the wheels that they are wrapped around that make your truck or car vibrate while driving on the road. Remember to watch out for sloppy road repairs or potholes that could both equally damage the wheels of your vehicle.
Also, bear in your mind that those 5 common reasons why your vehicle is vibrating are not the only potential culprits. Therefore, it is always a good idea to bring your car to an experienced mechanic for examining.
For more useful information on diagnosing common problems in cars and other related topics, follow our auto blog. If you have any questions, leave a comment on the section below. Thank you for reading!