Why Is My Car Vibrating? The 5 Most Common Reasons

Car Maintenance, Service, Tips, Wheel Alignment, Wheels & Tires

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vibrating car while driving

Car vibration is a pretty common issue. Whether you’re driving a new car or a used vehicle, there may come a time when you start to experience strange vibrations, sounds, bumps, and drifting while driving.

But don’t panic! Most of these issues are quite common, and simple to fix with professional auto servicing from Ride Time. If you’re experiencing issues with car vibration, your car could be suffering from one of the below problems.

1. Engine Issues

While it’s somewhat uncommon, engine issues can cause cars to vibrate while driving. Often, this shaking or shuddering will be emitted from the engine department. The most common reasons for this include:

  • A dirty or clogged fuel filter
  • Spark plugs that are not running smoothly
  • Poor air/fuel mixture in the piston
  • The engine is not getting enough air

If the vibration occurs more during acceleration, or only occurs after you’ve been driving for a specific length of time, these are indicators that your vibration issues could be caused by your engine. Get your car looked at right away. Left untreated, these issues can cause serious damage to your engine compartment.

2. Uneven Or Bent Axles, Driveshaft

Uneven or bent axles are another common cause of car vibration. The axles of your car are the long, rotating shafts that attach to your wheels, and drive power from your transmission into them.

Though they’re quite durable, axles can be bent by collisions, driving into a ditch, or driving over a speed bump or an object on the road. If this happens, you’ll feel your car start to “jostle” as you drive – and this vibration will usually increase in intensity as you drive faster.

It’s also possible that your driveshaft is damaged. This is a rapidly spinning part responsible for transferring engine power to the axles and wheels – and if it’s bent or damaged, it can vibrate and shake.

3. Warped Or Damaged Brake Rotors

If your car tends to shake more when you apply the brakes, it’s likely that you have some kind of problem with your brake rotors.

The brake rotor is the disc-shaped component of modern disc brake systems. It’s responsible for applying pressure to the brake pads – which contact your wheels, and slow down your car.

If the rotor is used heavily, or you don’t change your brake pads regularly, it can become bent and warped. Essentially, one specific area of the rotor overheats and is deformed.

When this happens, your brake calipers and pads can’t get the proper grip on the brake rotor. In turn, this causes vibration – usually only felt when stopping or applying the brakes.

If you think this is your problem, see a brake specialist right away to prevent further damage to your brake rotors.

4. Misaligned Or Wobbly Wheels

If your wheels are misaligned, your car will usually “drift” when you take your hands off the wheel, and the steering wheel itself may vibrate or shake. This is a pretty easy fix – just take your car in for an alignment, and the problem will be resolved.

But sometimes, the wheel itself is responsible for vibration. The hub of the wheel may be wobbly, due to improperly torqued lug nuts. The wheel bearings may also be worn out – though this usually only occurs if you drive off-road or for extremely high mileage.

Wheels may also suffer from excessive “runout”, due to wear. Runout describes how much a wheel will deviate from a perfect rotation when spun – and if runout exceeds about a centimeter, the wheel will usually need to be replaced.

5. Tire Troubles

Tires are the #1 most common cause of vibration issues – which is why we saved them for last! Here are just a few of the ways that tires can cause vibration issues.

  • Tire imbalance – If your car vibrates only at certain speeds, your tires may be imbalanced. A technician can add small weights to your tires to even them out, and eliminate imbalance.
  • Uneven tire wear If you don’t regularly rotate your tires, your front tires and rear tires will wear down at different rates. This can cause vehicle vibration.
  • “Out-of-round” tires A defective tire may become “out-of-round”, meaning that it is no longer perfectly circular. In turn, this causes bumping and vibration. Often, this is covered by manufacturer’s warranties.
  • Improperly inflated tires If you over (or under) inflate your tires, your car will have a tendency to drift and rattle, because your tires are not making equal contact with the road. This can be corrected by closely monitoring your tire inflation state with a home tire gauge, and pumping your tires to the PSI recommended by your owner’s manual.\

Got A Vibrating Car? Come To Ride Time Right Away!

Often, vibration is fairly harmless. But some issues, like vibration caused by engine problems, should not be ignored. Not sure why your car is vibrating? Bring it to the Ride Time service centre in Winnipeg!

Our professional mechanics can diagnose your issue and get you back on the road ASAP. Schedule your appointment now!

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