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Is Your Car Shaking? 3 Common Problems That Cause Cars to Vibrate


shaking carHave you ever been driving your car and it shook so much you felt like you were on an amusement park ride? Well, here are three common problems that can cause a car to shake.

  1. The most common reason for a car to shake is related to tires.  If the tires are out of balance then the steering wheel can shake. This shaking starts at around 50-55 miles per hour (mph).  It gets worse around 60 mph but starts to get better at high speeds.
  2. Sometimes brake rotors can be the cause of shaking.  If your steering wheel shakes while you are braking then the problem could be caused by "out of round" brake rotors.  This vibration can also be felt through your brake pedal.
  3. Another common problem that can cause shaking is when a brake caliper sticks on.  When this happens you will experience a vibration through the steering wheel starting at 45 to 50 miles per hour.  It will get very bad the faster you go, and you will also smell a burning odor when you stop.

The good news is that these problems are easily avoided or corrected.  

The tire problem can be avoided by purchasing good quality tires and by having all of the tires carefully inspected when your car goes in for preventative maintenance service.

The brake problem can be avoided by including brake caliper service when your brakes are due for maintenance.  This is particularly important for vehicles that have over 75,000 miles on them.  And, like your tires, have all of your brake pads inspected as part of a regularly scheduled preventive maintenance program.  

In fact, by sticking to your manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance program, you can avoid or predict these problems.  Normally, the brake and tire inspections are performed when you have an oil change.  In the case of customers who put very little mileage on their cars, this will be performed at the six month vehicle check-up. 

Tires wearing in a strange way or having a wheel that's out of round can both be signs of what's causing a vibration issue.  If one of the front or rear brake pads (out of four) is seen wearing more than the other, this is a sign that the brake caliper is sticking.

There are many other things that can cause your car to shake. Please use the Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) diagnostic form on our website. This will help get to the root of the problem quickly and efficiently.

Need to stop your car from shaking?  Make an appointment and we'll check it out.

  Make an appointment for your shaky car today Save on Your Next Auto Service with Our Yelp Deal


I have a 1992 Lincoln town car and when I drive my car shakes so bad it sounds like its going to fall apart. when I get up to 55 mph the shaking will stop! Can someone please help me out because I don't want to put money into different things and it not be it.
Posted @ Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:17 AM by tasha
I suggest you have your car checked by a technician to see what is causing the problem, if you go to select the NVH form, fill it out and give this to the technician.
Posted @ Thursday, July 11, 2013 8:28 AM by Brian England
The issues related with car shaking are very common, and content in the blog is totally appreciable. Thanks for providing the informative blog.
Posted @ Tuesday, October 08, 2013 4:19 AM by Jacky @ Auto Air Conditioner Service Fort Myers
I have changed driveshafts, all bearings all rotors, lower arm link, engine mountings, brake pads and serviced callipers, suspension bushes and mountings,straightened my rims, on wheel balance and alignment. I thin I am only left with the tyres and shocks. Before I set my car on fire. The vibration is not in the steering wheel but in the seat and it comes more pronounced only AFTER a brake at highway speeds.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 09, 2013 12:44 AM by MAURICE WILLIAMS
Hi Maurice, The way we start with this sort of problem is to encourage our customer to download the Noise Vibration and Harshness (NVH) form from our website, see diagnostic forms. This form helps you pin down the problem so a technician can diagnose the the problem. I hope this helps. Brian 
Posted @ Wednesday, October 09, 2013 3:46 PM by Brian England
My car runs smooth for awhile and then suddenly bad shaking creeps out as I accelerate or even have it on cruise control when driving on the highway. As I brake the shaking stops but as I accelerate again it starts shaking (Highway 65+mph). When I drive in the city the car runs smooth though.
Posted @ Friday, October 18, 2013 5:34 PM by Chris
My car vabrates at the rear heel not in front
Posted @ Wednesday, December 18, 2013 2:33 PM by abel
Expertly covered the problems in your article and I get the great solutions which truly helpful to solve the car vibration problems perfectly. When moving the tire in and out, the bearing-in the case of a rear wheel drive or the hub bearing in the case of a front wheel drive which is bad and needs to be replaced. Thanks for sharing this informational post.
Posted @ Friday, February 21, 2014 11:35 PM by Sierra
my 03 Sedona is shaking when I put in drive or reverse.i change the coil and the park plus and the wires and still doing the same thing. any idea.
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 7:20 PM by cristopher
Christopher the first step is to carefully document your problem, download the drivability diagnostic form and answer the questions then send it to me and I will see if I can help or steer you in the right direction.
Posted @ Friday, March 07, 2014 9:58 PM by Brian England
My 07 hhr shakes at any speed. But when I apply the brakes it stops. I've gotten an alignment, new front rotors. New brake pads and new caliper. Please help.
Posted @ Sunday, March 16, 2014 12:53 PM by ricardo
Hi Ricardo, What part of the car vibrates, steering wheel, floor, front or rear of car, is it worse or better on turns? If the vibration is from the front of the car I would start with a very carefully examination of the tires, wheels and for play in the wheel bearings and other front end components This should of been done before doing an alignment but I want to make sure none of the basics have been missed. 
Posted @ Sunday, March 16, 2014 5:51 PM by Brian England
I have a 2002 Taurus and it shakes when I'm driving the steering wheel shakes as well especially when I'm going 50mph and I begin to apply the brakes
Posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:16 AM by Rose
Hi Rose most times these sort of shakes are related to wrapped brake rotors and or worn steering components. A complete brake and steering check would be the first place to start. Fill out one of the diagnostic forms this will help the technician get to the bottom of your issue. 
Posted @ Thursday, May 22, 2014 4:31 PM by Brian England
I have a AE110 SE Saloon Corolla 1997 model car and it has steering wheel vibration after the car is started and before driving......Please clarify me the reason for this and nature of repairs are required....
Posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 2:39 AM by Nishad Sameera Kaluarachchi
I would have the garage you use check things like engine mounts. Is the engine idling smoothly? A rough running engine can cause the interior of the car to shake. 
Show the garage the issue and they should describe to you how they will go about getting to the bottom of the problem.
Posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 6:24 AM by Brian England
Hi! I have a 2000 Toyota camry. I shakes when I'm driving & gets a little worse when driving over 50 miles so it leaves me to drive at a speed of 40miles. It seems like the shaking is coming from the back of my vehicle but I'm not sure. Can anyone help me? Thus is also my first vehicle as well so I'm not mechanic savy at all.
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 11:59 AM by key
Hi Key, There are a number of steps to take, start by carefully documenting the problem, you can use the NVH form under Diaognostic Forms on our home page. Next take this to the service center you use. I suggest an ASA shop that performs all mechanical services and repairs. They will start by checking the basics (tires and rims). The vibration you describe could also be caused by a brake that is locked on. Drive your car for 2-3 miles then feel all the wheels, if one feels hotter than the rest that could signal the problem brake.
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:59 PM by Brian England
Here is the link to how to find a ASA automotive service and repair shop.
Posted @ Thursday, July 31, 2014 7:03 PM by Brian England
Ihave a 2008 Chrysler 300 i change my brakes front and back had wheel alighnment tires rotated and high speed still feel shake when i brake what could be the problem going south would it be ok.
Posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 1:52 PM by jerome
Hi Jerome, If all the steering and suspension components are in good shape (they should be because part of an alignment is to make sure they are 100% before aligning) then I suspect an out of round rotor. Do you feel the shake through your foot, steering wheel, seat or the whole car?
Posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 2:17 PM by Brian England
Hi im gonna give this a try, I have a shaking in the front end of my car it starts at 40-45 and 60-75 i have looked at tires ball joints everything you listed also vacuum lines and map sensor and a few others. (changed my vacuum lines and it helped for a little bit) It stops when I take my foot of the gas or push more on gas, in cruise it still does it but really only when it has to accelerate, I cant really explain it all threw text but maybe this might help ?
Posted @ Wednesday, August 13, 2014 9:38 PM by Shantera
I have a 2000 Buick Century that shakes in the front end, primarily the right front. It shakes when I reached speeds of 30-35 mph and then eases up when I reach higher speeds. It only shakes when I an pressing down the gas pedal and stops when I let off the gas. I have bought tires, had front end aligned, new right front axle, new rack and pinion steering. I am confused now on what to do. Help?
Posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 1:14 PM by Bob Dixon
I would check the brake caliper, drive the car for at least 5 miles braking as little as possible, check temperature of each wheel if one hotter than the other then that is the side that is hanging up. Get back to me if this does not work. Brian
Posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:41 PM by Brian England
I took my 66 mustang out for a good run..only driven it two times this year, i took it out on the was a bumpy shaky ride..when i hit 60, thought i was inside a vibrator..are the tires causing this..should take it out more often..
Posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 12:41 PM by David
Hi David, I am sure it is the tires, if you are not going to use te car for a long time it's good to put the car on stands. To see if its the tires you could ask the shop you use to put the wheels on a wheel balancer and check them. Brian
Posted @ Friday, September 19, 2014 2:00 PM by Brian England
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