Why Is My Car Shaking While Driving?

If you notice that your car is shaking, vibrating, or moving unusually while driving, it is in your best interest to diagnose the source of the problem early. Preventive maintenance can often save you from larger and more expensive repairs. Even if the shaking is mild or only occasional, you should not ignore the problem but have your vehicle checked by a specialist. You can start by trying to find the answers to the following questions when you feel a shudder or vibration in your vehicle. Your answers will guide you and the professionals as to what the problem is.

  • Does the car vibrate when accelerating? Does the vibration get worse as the speed increases?
  • Does the car vibrate only at certain speeds? If so, at what speeds does the car vibrate?
  • Does your car vibrate only when braking?
  • Does your car also vibrate when it stops (idles)?
  • Does your car run as usual but the shaking starts while driving?
  • Where does the shaking come from? From the steering wheel, the brake pedal, the car seat, or from everywhere?
  • Do you hear strange noises when the car shakes?
  • Have you recently been in an accident? Did you hit a pothole, a curb, or other impact on your car?

Common Causes of Vehicle Shaking While Driving


Problems with tires and wheels are among the most common reasons why vehicles shake while driving. Does your car start to shake at higher speeds? Is the shaking coming from the upholstery or seats? If so, your car probably needs a balance adjustment. Vibrations that intensify as you accelerate are caused by slight imbalances in the wheels. Over time or due to missing counterweights, the wheels may have lost their balance. Wheel-related causes of your car shaking can also include bad tire treads or loose lug nuts.


What is the condition of your tires? Is the tread separated or showing signs of uneven wear? Sometimes a preliminary alignment can be enough to correct the wear on your tires. However, if things have gone too far and the tire is damaged, you may also need to have new tires fitted.


If the vehicle vibrates while driving or idling, there may be a problem with the engine. There may not be enough air, fuel, or spark for the engine to run properly. It may be time to replace the spark plugs The problem could also be caused by a dirty and clogged air filter. Dirt can prevent the engine from getting the oxygen or fuel it needs to run, causing jerky idling and vibrations. Another possible engine-related cause of engine shuddering is loose or broken engine mounts.

Engine mounts are the parts that connect your engine to the vehicle frame and help to reduce and reset the vibrations your engine creates. If your car is shaking and the check engine light is on, we advise you not to waste time getting your car checked. You should contact the service center as soon as possible to diagnose the problem.

Steering and Suspension

Does the shaking in your car intensify as you accelerate? If the answer to this question is yes, your car’s steering and suspension systems may be damaged or in need of maintenance. Steering and suspension problems could be caused by the drive shaft, a bent axle, or a worn/damaged CV joint. These systems may have been damaged after an accident or sudden impact.


Does your brake pedal or steering wheel shake when braking? If you feel this shaking in your car, you may have warped brake discs. Does your steering wheel shake at high speeds? Do you smell a burning odor when you stop? In this case, you probably have a stuck brake caliper.

Juan Gibson

Juan is an automotive engineer and an avid car enthusiast. He has over 15 years of experience in the car industry. In my free time, I write blog posts about cars, models and etc.

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