Have you been worried about why your vehicle is shaking at high speed?
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The most common problem is an unbalanced wheel.
However, there can definitely be other causative factors. This article gives an in-depth explanation of why cars shake generally.
Check also our article specifically about why cars shake around 60-80 mph.
Here’s the short answer to whether all cars shake at high speed:
Not all cars shake at high speed, except they have some underlying problems. Most high-speed shaking issues result from faulty suspension components, but the problem can also be due to vibrations from the engine and even the transmission.
What Causes the Car to Shake?
There are several reasons cars shake, including:
An unbalanced tire is most likely the reason your car is shaking, especially at a high speed.
In some cases, the solution may be to perform a tire rotation or simply to get a new tire.
The spark plugs or engine air filters of the car engine could be another reason.
A spark plug sends sparks of electricity that begin combustion (fuel and air mixture). On the other hand, the engine air filter traps small particles that could clog the engine.
Hence, if you observe any vibration in your car, the first step is to check your plugs, then proceed to your air filter.
Shaking can be associated with bad brakes, especially the front ones. This part contains your pads and rotors.
If any of these parts wear out over usage, they could cause shaking in your car. It is advisable to contact your mechanic to help you sort it out and inform you when the next replacement is needed.
If your steering is wobbly and not firm while driving, it means one of your wheels is bad or misaligned. This will cause your car to shake while driving.
Can You Eliminate Shaking Completely In A Car?
The only way to eliminate shaking in a car is to observe and check regularly the aforementioned causes.
Further, resolving any problems with your suspension and engine mounts can help prevent the issue.
Do More Expensive Cars Also Shake At High Speed?
All cars, regardless of their prices, shake at high speed if there’s a major problem with them.
Unbalanced wheels, bad tires, bad wheels, and bad axles are common causes of shaking at high speed. It could even be as little as the wrong tire pressure.
Hence, notwithstanding the price, no car is immune to shaking if the earlier factors are present.
Do Diesel Cars Shake As Much As Petrol Cars?
Diesel cars are at a higher risk of shaking than traditional cars because of the build-up of the engine.
Diesel cars have higher pressure inside their combustion compartment. Even when idle, the high compression still makes the car vibrate. This process is known as knocking.
Do Electric Cars Shake Less?
Electric cars are produced differently from the internal combustion engine cars around. In an electric vehicle, the battery is at the base of the vehicle.
This makes the weight of the car to be distributed evenly, making it less likely to shake at high speed.
Do Cars Shake More When the AC Is On?
It is very likely for your car to vibrate when the air conditioner is on. The AC draws down the idle of the car. This process makes a car vibrate.
However, regardless of this, there are some other factors that can make this happen.
A Damaged Air Compressor
An AC compressor is used to remove or cool down heat coming from the refrigerant. Hence, if your AC compressor is bad, it puts heavy pressure on your car engine and this can cause shaking.
Load on Engine
Excessive load on the car engine by the AC is another major factor. How does this happen? If the AC is on, engine components such as idle speed and the air control motor come on as well.
Because of this high-induced insulation, it could sometimes make it an extra burden for the engine, which can lead to shaking. If not sorted out quickly, other parts could get damaged.
Damaged Spark Plugs
As said earlier, a spark plug circulates electricity with the mixture of air and fuel. Hence, if a spark plug is damaged, it will not supply enough combustion to the car engine.
If you notice that your spark plugs are bad, it is best to check them out immediately because it can make your car shake.
A vehicle hose is a coolant built to hinder extreme pressure, heat, and debris. If the hose is disconnected, it prevents the smooth running of the car conditioning.
The vehicle has to go through extra work to supply the AC. This rigorous process can lead to shaking.
A throttle is a part responsible for the air circulation in the car engine. A clogged throttle will restrict the proper flow of air needed for the car to work properly.
If there’s no adequate airflow, the car will most likely vibrate.
Why Does My Car Shake At a Certain Speed?
As said earlier, the most common reason this is happening is that the tires are out of balance. This causes the wheels to move unevenly.
However, moving at a much higher speed makes the shaking more noticeable. For instance, at 60mph, the shaking becomes very clear.
Another reason for shaking at a higher speed could be bad joints or axles. If you have worn out cv joints, as you increase your speed, the shaking becomes very obvious.
Why Is My Car Shaking When I Brake?
The first place a mechanic will check if your car is shaking while you brake is the brake itself. Vehicles with disc brakes use rotors.
Over time, if you apply the brake pad on these rotors, wear and tear could happen. A warped rotor will definitely make your car shake when you apply the brakes.
Consequently, it could also be that the car has been abandoned for a long time. Major components might have rusted, including the rotor.
Do Cars Shake More When It’s Cold?
Generally, car engines do not exactly enjoy the cold weather. It takes longer time and more work for the vehicle to heat up.
They need more fuel and air mixture (combustion) to get running, and it could lead to shaking.
Do Cars Shake When They Need Gas?
The mixture of air and fuel is responsible for the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
If a car is not getting the adequate gas needed to run the engine, it will likely vibrate because the combustion can’t keep up due to the absence of the necessary ingredients.
Do Cars Shake When They Need Oil?
Low oil level causes the engine to have more friction. This friction leads to vibration.
Hence, if you notice your car shakes, especially when idling, amongst other things to check, your engine oil shouldn’t be left out.
Why Does My Car Shake When Accelerating?
Again, there are several factors why your car shakes when accelerating. These factors include:
Bad CV Joints
Constant velocity joints are basically built to transmit the power of the engine to your wheels, especially your front wheels. If these joints become worn or damaged, the car begins to shake noticeably under acceleration.
This impairment happens because of wear and tear in the joint boot, as this pollutes the oil that guards the splines. The only solution to a bad cv joint is simply to replace it.
Damaged Motor Mounts
Motor mounts serve the purpose of keeping and stabilizing the car’s engine. It also reduces vibrations that occur from the daily combustion of the vehicle.
This already gives us a clue on why your car shakes when accelerating. If your motor mounts are bad, you will definitely get heavy vibrations because firstly, the car’s engine is not sitting well and the shelter against general vibrations is gone as well.
The easy way to fix this is simply to replace the damaged part.
This is a general reason why cars shake. Unbalanced tires going at high speed will assuredly shake the car because the weight they bear becomes uneven.
The easy way to solve this is to rebalance your tires.
Another simple but big deal why your car will shake is that a nut on your wheel is not locked in properly. It could be that they loosened over usage or they were not installed correctly.
Whichever the case, this would cause heavy vibrations when you accelerate. It is advisable to check them regularly.
Do Manual Or Automatic Cars Shake More?
Manual cars shake more than automatic cars because they use manual mechanisms when changing the gears.
If the transmission has an issue, changing the gear becomes difficult and this could lead to heavy shaking.
On the other hand, automatic transmissions are more subtle, so they don’t cause the car to shake as much, except at high speed.