There’s a growing concern among car owners about an increasingly common problem: car shakes when accelerating. This issue can be frustrating and potentially dangerous, especially when driving at highway speeds. In this article, we will delve into the possible causes of this problem, as well as some solutions to keep you and your family safe on the road.
Reasons for Car Shakes When Accelerating
There are several reasons why a car shakes when accelerating, some of which are more serious than others. To help you better understand this issue, we have outlined some common causes for engine and transmission related shakes.
Tire Imbalance: One of the most common reasons for a car to shake is tire imbalance. Tires need to be balanced correctly for optimal performance, and any imbalance of as little as five grams can cause increased vibrations as you accelerate. Irregular tire wear often leads to this issue, and it can be fixed by rebalancing your tires periodically.
Hitting a Pothole: Hitting a pothole, particularly at high speeds, can not only unsettle your vehicle but also cause damage to the tires, wheels, or even the suspension system. This damage can lead to a car shaking at specific speeds or during acceleration, which can cause some drivers to think that their car has a mechanical issue.
Worn Out Universal Joints: Universal joints, also known as U-joints, are found in the driveshaft of rear-wheel-drive (RWD), some four-wheel-drive (4WD), and all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles. These joints can wear out over time, leading to increased shakes and vibrations when you accelerate. Replacing worn-out U-joints is a simple and effective solution to this problem.
Loose or Worn-Out Suspension Components: The suspension system plays a significant role in managing a vehicle’s stability, and any looseness or wear and tear in its components can cause the car to shake. Ball joints, control arms, and other suspension components must be checked regularly to ensure they’re functioning correctly.
Engine Issues: If you’ve ruled out the other causes above and are still experiencing your car shaking during acceleration, there’s a chance that there might be an issue with the engine. Misfires, fuel delivery issues, and faulty spark plugs are all potential culprits.
How to Fix a Car That Shakes When Accelerating
While some of the causes behind a shaking vehicle might be manageable on your own, it is always best to consult a skilled mechanic before attempting any repairs. Here are some tips to improve the overall state of your car and help minimize vibrations.
Regular Maintenance: Maintaining your vehicle and performing regular check-ups is essential for ensuring a smooth driving experience. Inspecting suspension components, tires, brakes, and engine parts, as well as replacing worn or damaged parts as necessary, will go a long way in resolving issues that cause vibrations during acceleration.
Tire Health: Regularly checking the condition of your tires can help to prevent more serious issues. Rotating your tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations helps to promote even wear. Rebalancing your wheels (usually necessary after 5,000 – 6,000 miles) will help ensure a smoother ride.
Address Suspension Issues: Consulting a professional mechanic to inspect your suspension system, particularly if you’ve recently hit a significant pothole or another obstacle at high speeds, is crucial. It’s important to identify potential damage to the suspension system and remedy it before it escalates.
Ultimately, the key to solving and preventing a car that shakes when accelerating lies in regular maintenance and inspections. A combination of vigilance and care will help to ensure that your vehicle stays safe, reliable, and comfortable for years to come.