Why Does My Car Shake When I Accelerate?

Unless you are off-roading or live on a fault line, a shaking sensation when you accelerate can be a sign that it's time to take your vehicle to a repair shop for maintenance.  So, what can you expect the automotive repair technician to cite as the cause?

  • 1) Bad CV Joint:  CV joints connect the transmission to the CV axle and the CV axle to the wheel and move with the suspension system to ensure a smooth ride even when you run over potholes or bumps in the road.  CV joints are covered by a CV boot that helps maintain proper lubrication in the CV joint.  If the CV joint loses lubrication, it will result in metal-on-metal contact which can lead to a vibrating sensation when driving.  It is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a mechanic as soon as you begin experiencing symptoms of a failing CV joint as it could lead to more damage and a very costly repair.
  • 2) Broken Motor Mount:  As the name suggests, the motor mount is what attaches the engine to the frame of your vehicle.  Motor mounts are made of a rubber material designed to absorb any movement or vibrations from the engine to prevent the frame from shaking.  If a motor mount becomes damaged or broken it can cause a shaking sensation when you accelerate, but more importantly it can lead to the engine to shifting or moving which could result in serious damage to the engine.  If you suspect that you have a broken motor mount, have your car inspected by a repair technician as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
  • 3) Unbalanced Tires:  In a perfect world, all four wheels would be perfectly round and all four tires would have air evenly distributed within them.  Unfortunately, there is always marginal error in manufacturing that can lead to a weight variance between each tire and wheel assembly.  Additionally, regular usage will gradually lead to imbalance amongst your tires as well.  For comfort and to avoid excessive wear and tear on your tires, it is recommended to have your tires balanced by an automotive technician.
  • 4) Loose Lug Nuts:  If your lug nuts are not sufficiently tightened, your wheel will be loose and begin to wobble as you accelerate, creating a shaking sensation.  Driving on wheels with improperly tightened lug nuts can cause the lug nuts to become even more loose and potentially lead to your wheel falling off while you drive.  In such a situation, it is imperative that you have a mechanic properly tighten your lug nuts to prevent any future problems.

All four of these concerns can be easily resolved if addressed immediately.  At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we recommend having your vehicle inspected by an automotive repair technician as soon as you begin to experience a shaking sensation when you accelerate.  However, by having your car regularly serviced, you can avoid finding yourself in such a situation because your automotive technician will be able to recognize potential problems before they occur.

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center