Home Diagnosis and TroubleshootingBraking System Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate: All Facts Laid Bare

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate: All Facts Laid Bare

by Jordan Harris
Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate

Vibration during acceleration is a common thing in cars. This is because of the rotation of the crankshaft, transmission gears, and other moving parts. But it is not a part of a car when the gentle vibration feels more like shaking. It is a simple, common problem that can be solved. Shaking of vehicles during acceleration can also be a sign that a more expensive problem is coming your way, and it is important to get your vehicle checked up if it feels like shaking. “Why does my car shake when I accelerate?” you may have asked yourself this type of question several times. There are several reasons why your car shakes when you accelerate.

A car that hasn’t been maintained adequately may start shaking during acceleration. This is because of a lack of proper maintenance and also some internal issues that can make your car shake when you accelerate. When does your car shake? Does it happen when driving at a high speed or a low speed? Or does it only shake at a constant speed? Depending on when your car shakes when you accelerate, there could be different causes of this problem.

The contents of this article are;

Why The Car Shakes

There are several reasons why your car shakes during acceleration. But observing the condition under which the shaking occurs can help you find the route source of the problem. The most common reasons for your vehicle to vibrate excessively are problems with the;

Parts That Contributes To The Shaking

You may not have all the knowledge to understand what parts contribute to the shaking of your vehicle as to the owner of the vehicle compared to the knowledge that a professional mechanic.

Why does my car shake when I accelerate

Here is the list of the parts that contribute to the shaking of your vehicle during acceleration.


These are the parts of your vehicle’s disc braking system that squeezes the rotors to make the vehicle stop. The brake pads are mounted into the calipers and they provide the friction required for the car to slow down.


Axles are central shafts for a rotating wheel or a gear. They are the parts of your vehicle holding the wheels. They are the essential components of a car and every vehicle requires axles to work efficiently since the axle is responsible for conducting the power that moves the wheels.


Driveshafts are an important part of your vehicles. Through the driveshaft, your car’s transmission and the engine send power to a differential and the wheels. The driveshaft rotates to transmit the power and the torque, so a bent driveshaft can cause your car to shake when accelerating.

Motor Mounts

The motor mounts are the parts of your car that attach the engine to the frame. The motor mount needs to be functioning properly to keep excessive movement and vibrations at bay.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Possible Causes

Here are some of the possible causes that contribute to the shaking of a car during acceleration.

Broken Inner CV Joint

Your car will vibrate during hard acceleration if your car’s inner CV joint that is located at the end of the axle is damaged or is beginning to fail.

The CV joints can get damaged because of a tear in the joint boot and lack of proper lubrication, which leads to metal-on-metal contact. Water and dirt can get inside the boot if this joint gets damaged and can contaminate the grease that protects the spline. To fix this problem, you will need to replace the damaged CV joint immediately because the minor vibrations can turn to violent shaking as it gets worse.

Engine Problems

Most vibration problems begin with the engine. Some parts inside the vehicle’s engine may cause the car to shake if they are damaged. These parts are the air filter and the spark plugs. You should always check these parts of the engines and their connections if you feel the car shaking. Your engine may also shake because of the state of the oil. You should replace your filters.

Low Transmission Fluids

If your car’s level of transmission flow is too low, your car may start shaking when you accelerate. This problem should be tended to promptly even though it is very easy to solve. Your car’s transmission can be permanently damaged if you continue driving with the little transmission or if there is a leak. Driving with a low transmission fluid can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement of your car’s transmission depending on the extent of the damage.

Broken Motor Mounts

Motor mounts are the things attaching the engine to a vehicle’s frame. They are made of hard rubber materials which allows them to absorb the vibration. Your vehicle shaking during acceleration may probably mean that it has worn or broken motor mounts.

When the motor mounts are broken, it allows the engine to move around under the hood. This could occur and puts more stress on the remaining motor mounts if one of the motor mounts is worn out or broken.

One of the ways to stop your car from shaking during acceleration is to replace the broken motor mounts immediately you notice that it is broken.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Loose Lug Nuts

The lug nuts that attach the wheels to the car can occasionally come loose and can cause the vehicle to move unsteadily on the nub and the vehicle to shake when you accelerate. Your vehicle’s wheels could fall off while driving if the loose lug nuts are left untightened.

To be sure that you don’t have loose lug nuts, you should use a torque wrench to check the tightness of each lug nut on each wheel to correct this issue. One easy way to test whether your car’s lug nuts are loose is to lift the vehicle with a floor jack on the sides and inspect the nuts.

Unbalanced Tires

The problem of unbalanced tires is most common if your car tires have been replaced recently. If you notice that your car’s shaking while driving is minimal at low speed and intensifies as you increase the speed then it might be because your car tire is out of balance. Your steering wheel can also shake if the tires are out of balance.

To fix this, simply get your tires rebalanced but if the damage is too much, you will need to get your tire replaced.

Bent Axle

Even the slightest axle bent can be a cause for a serious shaking of a car during acceleration when driving at a high speed. The bent axle can be caused even by a small bump in the road. The bent axle can also be a result of a worn-out CV joint found at the end of the axle.

Bent Driveshaft

Through the driveshaft, power from the motor is transferred to the rear axle connected to the wheels. The propeller shaft will cause the car to shake when accelerating at low speed even if it has the slightest bent and the shaking will tend to increase and worsen as the vehicle speeds up.

To fix this problem that causes your vehicle to shake, the driveshaft tubing should be replaced in case of any damage or bent.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Brake Callipers

When the brake calipers are faulty and cause it to keep sticking on, they can cause the shaking of the vehicle. If this happens, you will feel the vibration through the steering wheel at about 40-50 miles per hour, and you will also smell a burning smell when you stop the vehicle.

Why does my car shake when I accelerate

If you notice a stuck brake caliper, you should check all the brake system parts paying much attention to the caliper piston, slides, and bolts.

Damaged Or Worn Brake Rotors

Vibration in the steering wheel or the brake pedals, then it might be a sign that your brake rotors have problems. If the brake rotors have extreme run-out, the brake calipers may vibrate when you step on the brake. You may also feel the brake pedals shake. If this happens, take the car to a mechanic and have your brake rotors inspected to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Disconnected/Torn Vacuum Hose

Any problem with a vacuum hose can produce severe shaking of your car when accelerating. If a vacuum hose disconnects or develops a leak because of a small tear, the confusion of many sensors can be induced by a lack of air pressure.


This may lead to backfires, misfires, losing power, and other problems that can cause the motor not to run smoothly. To fix this problem, you can use a small clamp and reconnect the loose hoses. You can also replace the loose hoses with strong silicone vacuum hoses.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Faulty/Worn Spark Plugs

A spark plug is the part of your vehicle that is composed of materials that work jointly to generate a spark hot adequate to explode the air-fuel combination.

A car might shake when accelerating because of a faulty spark plug. The shaking of the vehicle may occur if it does not get enough spark, fuel, or even air that enables the car to turn smoothly. Worn-out spark plugs should be replaced to fix the problem.

The shaking of the car will increase when accelerating or when you press down on the gas pedal. It is good to install a new spark plug immediately after you notice that your vehicle has worn spark plugs. To find out more, check out our guide here on changing spark plugs.

Power Steering Problems

Power steering issues are very easy to identify if it only happens when you turn the vehicle. The power steering problems may result from different causes which include loss of fluids, clog in the system, air in the system, and worn pump. Power steering problems should be solved immediately since they are extremely dangerous.

Broken U-Joint

When your car shakes when accelerating then you need to inspect your car. A bad or broken U-Joint can cause your car to shake when accelerating and can also affect your ride. Once you notice that your car has a broken U-Joint then you should fix it on time because if the U-Joint is completely damaged then it can cause the driveshaft to disconnect from the transmission.

Damaged Radiator Fan

A damaged radiator fan can lead to your car’s shaking when accelerating at high speed. Because of the broken condition of the radiator fan, the car will try to turn when you start it but it will move unsteadily making the car shake when accelerating.

Dirty/Clogged Fuel Intake System

Dirty fuel filters can cause the idling and shaking of a car during acceleration. The fuel injector can create a cylinder misfire once it becomes fully clogged.

Wheels Problems

If your car’s steering wheel feels wiggly and moves unsteadily when you are driving, it can cause your car to shake and it may also mean that either one of the wheels is not spinning properly and it can also relate to the problem with the wheel bearings or the tie rod ends.

Loose Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings are designed to reduce the friction on your wheels and tires and also to make the wheels greasy and stop the car from generating heat.

When the wheel bearing becomes loose or imbalanced, your car will start to shake and your car will become unstable.

Faulty Timing Belts

The timing belt is important for the proper function of the car’s engine. They act as a link between the important parts of your vehicle. If the timing belt is worn out, it can cause a misfire, it should be replaced immediately.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; How Serious Is The Problem

Your safety as a car owner and other drivers on the road is very important. By deciding to keep on driving ignoring the problems that are listed in the article then you have a high chance of causing accidents which can leave you or other persons in the road hurt.

You should not ignore even a simple problem like the tire which is out of balance because it can cause problems with your car making it harder to control when driving at highway speed.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Possible Solutions

Each of the problems that have been mentioned above has many possible solutions. If you were wondering if you can repair this problem by yourself then here are some of the DIY steps and possible solutions to these problems.

Solutions For Joint Complications

You should remove the driveshaft first to reach the CV joint, make an assessment of the driveshaft and see if it is bent, replace it if it is bent. Then you should check if the CV joint is well greased. If you notice any complications, then you should replace both the driveshaft and the CV joint with the help of a mechanic.

Solutions For Low Transmission Fluids

When changing the vehicle’s transmission oil, you should turn off the engine, in simple terms, do not add the liquid when the vehicle is running. Always add the right fluid because every engine has its specific fluid. You should regularly use a funnel when you are replacing the fluids to avoid oversupply. Return the dipstick when you are done and with a latch, lock it in its place.

Spark Plugs

When your spark plugs become worn, your car’s engine develops many problems, mostly during ignition. If you think that the vibrations are from your spark plugs, open your hood and check under it. Measure the gaps and adjust them as required.

Clogged Oil Filters

Here are the steps you should follow when replacing the engine oil.

  • First, jack up your vehicle and secure it before crawling underneath.
  • Open the oil filter with the socket wrench.
  • Drain the oil in the pan.
  • Take out old bolts and gasket seals to clean it.
  • Install a new oil filter and then fill it up with some new oil.

Unbalanced Tires

Replacing or balancing an unbalanced tire is very complex if you are not an auto repair expert, so you will need a mechanic to help you balance the unbalanced tire. When doing this you will need tools like a jack, screwdrivers, lug nut wrench, and a balancer. Here are the steps to follow when doing this.

  • First, remove the weight of the wheels and then take out the wheels and clean them.
  • Balance the wheels in their place and place back the weight.
  • Review and adjust the wheels until they are in their optimal setting.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Cost Of Fixing

The cost of fixing these problems will rise as your car gets old. Waiting for these problems to get severe before you replace them is very expensive, so the complications that may lead to the shaking of your car should be fixed as soon as they start, and if you neglect them the cost of repair will probably increase.

One can be lucky if the shaking of the vehicle turns out to be something simple. An example is a tire that is out of balance and only needs balancing will not need a lot of money to repair.

Here are some of the estimated costs of repair that have been derived from the average cost of repair. You should always remember that your car’s shaking may be different and therefore, your experience could be very different from another person’s experience. So this should only be used as a starting point.

Replacing A CV Joints

No matter the type of car you have, replacing the CV joint problems is very expensive. You should count on spending around $500 to $1,000 to replace the CV joints since purchasing the parts alone costs around $400 to around $500 and the cost of labor can drive it high.

Motor Mounts

Repairing a motor mount is not that expensive. It can cost around $200 to $600 to replace a motor mount. Even though the repair cost of the motor mounts is not that bad, the issue should not be ignored since it can cause severe damage to your car.


Replacing a damaged driveshaft is very expensive and if you are not lucky, you can spend around $500 to around $1,000.


Because of the different parts that could be responsible for malfunctioning brakes, the cost of replacing them may be very costly, one will need to use an approximate amount of $800 or you may have to replace the brake pads.


In some cases, balancing a tire can be free since many tire shops are offering free balancing and rotations for the tires that have been purchased there. Balancing tires should cost less than $20 if you even have to pay for the service.

To avoid spending a lot of money in replacing the damaged parts that of your vehicle that causes it to shake when accelerating, you should properly maintain your vehicle and do regular check-ups as part of maintenance.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate; Final Thoughts

There are several reasons why your car shakes when accelerating and despite what is causing your car to shake, you should never ignore it but you should have it taken care of immediately.

We have talked about the reasons as to why your car shakes, instances that make your car shake, signs that need to get checked up immediately, the parts that contribute to the shaking of the car, the causes of the shaking, and even the possible solutions to the problem.

Proper car maintenance will always put you a step ahead of the problems of your vehicle. Some of these problems require a professional to solve but there are those problems that you can fix by yourself. It is also good to know the differences before you fix the problems since you may cause more damage to your car if you don’t know how to fix the problem.

If your car shakes when you are driving, you should identify the problem and take the required action since it may lead to accidents or expensive repair of the part if action is not taken immediately. It is also good to take your car for service regularly and have the worn-out components of your car replaced.

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