Why is my car shaking?

Question: Do you have the bass in your stereo all the way up?

If the answer is no, keep reading. If the answer is yes, turn your music off. Is it still shaking? If yes to that, keep reading.

No shame disclaimer: There’s nothing to be ashamed about if you don’t understand automotive maintenance. In a world of ever-evolving vehicle technologies—which seem to grow more and more complex each year—it’s hard for many vehicle owners to learn how to maintain vehicles and understand warning signs of an issue. 

Disclaimer aside, it’s reassuring to understand drivability issues that may happen during daily routines. One such issue being: “Why is my car shaking while driving?”

While a question like this seems simple, there are actually various reasons as to why this would occur. Assuming this shaking is while driving and not only during braking, here are two of the most common causes for this complaint. 

1. Tire imbalance

One of the most common causes of vibration while driving is tire balance (or, lack thereof, technically). A tire balance service corrects the imbalance of your tires and steering wheel. Out of balance tires can unevenly wear tire tread as well as cause vibrations at various speeds. You might feel the effects of this in your steering wheel, floorboards, or seats. 

tire imbalance

Properly balanced wheel and tire setups will lead to a smoother ride, longer lasting tires, and an all around better driving experience. Depending on driving habits and the road surfaces a car frequents, tire balances are usually recommended every 10,000–15,000 miles. 

These services can be performed at almost any tire shop or dealership garage for a relatively reasonable price. As a side note, making sure your vehicle is in proper alignment ensures long-term even wear, which always helps maintain the health of your tires.

2. Damaged suspension 

The other common cause of shaking or vibration while driving is worn out or damaged suspension components. 

Diagnosing which part is the culprit might require a more trained technician, but feeling confident about what to tell them when you have an issue is a great start. Often, things like front sway bar links and ball joints are the first things to wear out on a vehicle. 

damaged suspension, alignment

While it may differ on when this occurs from vehicle to vehicle, it’s much like tire balance as it’s often affected by day-to-day driving habits and surfaces. For example, someone who often drives on gravel roads may wear out their suspension quicker due to frequent uneven contact with the road. 

This may seem like a simple or minor repair, but that’s not always the case. You should consider taking your vehicle to your trusted mechanic before any worse problems develop or cause safety issues.

For more helpful insight on maintaining your automobiles or frequently asked questions, stay tuned and stay in contact! Until next time, stay safe and protect your investments!

Jon Hansen, Central Kansas Territory Manager, Kansas BGBy Jon Hansen
Central Kansas Territory Manager, Kansas BG

Jon works with dealerships as well as independent garages of all types and sizes. He has almost 13 years of technician experience before starting his BG career. In addition to BG, Jon does freelance writing and photography for multiple magazines on newsstands including Street Trucks Magazine, C10 Builders Magazine, and Tread Magazine.

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