If you have ever been driving around town and noticed the sensation of your car shaking, there are some steps you can take before making a pit stop at a repair shop.
Your car requires a lot of parts to run efficiently. A single car has more than 30,000 parts, and it’s normal for some parts to wear down over time. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring your car runs smoothly and gets you from Point A to Point B. Many experts recommend getting your vehicle serviced every six months but use the owner’s manual in your car as a guide, according to the American Automobile Association.
Shaking is often one of the first clues that your car requires attention. However, there are a wide variety of reasons your car could be shaking. The key is to determine when the shaking happens — in order to understand what checks you can run on your own before visiting the professionals.
If your car starts shaking before you’ve left your garage, the fix could be simple. Start by replacing dirty air filters that could prevent your engine from receiving proper airflow. A dirty fuel filter could also be causing the problem and may need to be replaced. If the car still shakes, consider replacing faulty fuel injectors and worn-out spark plugs. Loose engine mounts can cause your car to shake when idle and can be easily fixed by a mechanic.
If your car shakes while you are driving, there could be a problem with your tires. Check your tire pressure. Driving on tires that are over-inflated or under-inflated can cause the car to shake. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you may need to take the car in to get the tires balanced, rotated, or replaced. Improper wheel alignment, or a worn suspension, can cause your tires to wear unevenly and lead to shaking.
After your tire problems that led to your car shaking are solved, make it a habit to check your tires regularly to ensure they are in good shape. Taking good care of your tires can lead to a lower gas bill and improve your car’s performance and traction on the road. Most importantly, proper tire maintenance will keep you safe on the road. In 2017, more than 738 people were killed in tire-related crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Mark your calendar to check the tire tread and pressure on your tires once a month. Testing gauges are readily available for purchase at auto parts stores. Tires need to be replaced when the tread is worn down to 2/32 of an inch, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration advises.
If you notice shaking when your foot is on the gas, there might be a problem with your car’s fluid levels. Low automatic transmission fluid can cause shaking. If the shaking is accompanied by the check engine light, it’s time to visit a mechanic.
Drivers of manual cars might discover their clutch master cylinder is the source of the shaking. The clutch master cylinder is found on the bulkhead next to the brake cylinder. If you notice a leak on inspection, this part needs replacing.
Does your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire car shake when you hit the brakes? It may be time to replace your rotors or brake pads. Over time, heat generated from braking can cause rotors to warp. A professional can resurface your rotors to stop shaking. Brake pads should be changed approximately every 50,000 miles. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can attempt to fix your brake pads on your own, but a mechanic is a great option if you are short on time, or tools. Shaking when you brake may also mean that your guide pins need lubrication.
If you’ve made all the DIY fixes and your car is still shaking, take it to the professionals at Milex Complete Auto Care, where our service technicians can find the source of the problem and get your car running smoothly again.