Nothing is more irritating than feeling an odd shake in your vehicle. The first response is usually dismissive. Ignore it, wait it out, there's nothing wrong. It becomes a mantra spoken in the hopes that the car gods will appreciate such great faith and fix it. But it continues, and panic sets in. Worst case scenarios and guilt finally become overwhelming and the problem gets attention. Alignment is often the first thing that comes to mind when a vehicle starts shaking, but there are other things to consider before making that assumption.
Timing Is Everything
When is the vehicle shaking? In order to determine the seriousness of the situation, pay attention to when the vibrating starts. Different problems show up at different times. Here are some possibilities to consider from Repair Pal (but for a proper diagnosis, have a professional take a look):
If the shaking is only happening when idling, the cause is usually with the engine. One of the following might be the culprit:
- Spark plugs
- Air filter
- Fuel filter
- Vacuum hose and hose connections
- Timing belt
- Motor mounts
- Engine-related problems
Look at the tires first if the shaking happens as you're driving, but don't dismiss the possibility of an engine issue.
- Low tire pressure
- Unevenly worn or bald tires
- Out-of-balance tires
- Tire defects
- Bad wheels
- Snow and ice buildup
If the shaking happens only during acceleration, check the drive shafts, U-joints, and axles.
A vibration while braking can be a sign of a serious problem and should be checked out right away. The following issues are common causes:
- Worn brake rotors
- Worn brake drums
- Bad wheel bearings
- Other brake problems
Overlooking or ignoring an issue can mean expensive repairs down the road (no pun intended). Have a mechanic check over the vehicle to avoid a dangerous and costly situation.
When tires are found to be the reason for the shaking, visit us for professional service and our huge selection. We carry industrial, commercial, passenger, trailer, lawn, golf, and ATV/UTV tires, all covered by our limited warranty.