Why A Car Shakes When Accelerating? – Discover The Causes

Do you know what parts to look into if your car shakes when accelerating? Most people will suspect tires and wheels but several other components could be the possible culprit.

With age and less periodic maintenance, any car will shake and vibrate at the time of riding as time goes by. However, some internal problems can also cause these problems and you should take them seriously. 

Car Shakes When Accelerating: Top 9 Reasons & Possible Solutions 

If you are wondering why your car vibrates when accelerating, you are in the right place. Tire problems could be a reason for the shaking issue. However, the following are also strong reasons for the shaking of a vehicle at the time of speeding up:

#1. The Rear Driveshaft and U-Joints

One or both could be the source of the problem. You have to remove the driveshaft and feel the joint’s movement. Any rough patches there will be magnified when the engine runs with power.

A visual diagnosis will be enough for the U-joints. Look out if there is any rust gathering around the grease seal. Anything that causes the grease to disappear will create a shaking problem.

#2. A Bent Axle

Even the slightest bend can be the reason for serious shaking, especially when the car speeds up. The surprising fact is even a minor fender-bender or a small bump in the road can lead to the twisting of the car axle.

A bent axle, in most situations, cannot be fixed and must be replaced. A faulty axle if left unnoticed will cause more harm to your car. To avoid more costly repairs, you should check the axle more occasionally.

vibrations when accelerating
A bent axle could cause serious shaking. (Photo: Getty Images)

#3. Fail CV Joint 

Sometimes, the problem could be the result of a worn-out CV joint that you will find at the end of the axle.

The CV joints of a vehicle are critical in delivering power to the driving wheels of a front-wheel drive vehicle. If dirt or debris enters the vehicle’s CV joints, their service life will be drastically shortened.

Free play will become evident, and shaking may occur, perhaps worsening over time.

Replacement of a vehicle’s CV joints can be costly due to the high cost of separate parts. Once up-to-date labor expenses include, your repair fees quickly add up. Your car’s CV joints will cost between $250 and $800 to replace.

why does my car shake when i accelerate
The replacement of a vehicle’s CV joints can be costly. (Photo: Mechanic Base)

#4. The Tires

Car tire issues are one of the main reasons why a car shakes when accelerating. The first thing you should check is if they are firmly attached to the wheels. A loose tire not only causes vibration but can also lead to major accidents.

Unbalanced tires could be another source of shaking. Tires that are out of balance or misaligned due to worn-out tread or bad installation won’t let the vehicle run straight on the road. 

If one tire is unstable, it can affect the others with time. So, you should change or balance your tire immediately before it gets worse.

when i accelerate my car shakes
Tires usually the reason making car shake when accelerating (Photo: Pirelli)

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#5. Look Into The Wheel

If the tires are fine, the wheel is the next item that should come on your diagnosis list when your car shakes when accelerating. Loose or damaged wheel bearings could give your vehicle a good shake at higher speeds. 

Although these parts are unlikely to wear out with time, it’s not impossible. So remember that when the car’s front end shakes when accelerating, find damaged bearings in cars that have been driven extensively for many years.

If you feel the rumbling through the steering wheel, the problem could arise from plenty of components – struts, bearings, shock absorbers, tie rods, and ball joints.

car shudders when accelerating
Lots of components could be in question if the vibration comes through the wheel. (Photo: pxhere)

#6. Stuck Brake Caliper

It’s not something that happens frequently but can happen nonetheless. A stuck caliper starts to shake at 40 to 50 mph, and the vibration becomes worse with acceleration. When a car shakes when accelerating at 40 mph, it’s not unusual to get a whiff of a burning odor when the car stops.

You can approach the stuck brake by these recommendations for a more time-saving process:

  • Clean and lubricate the moving parts. You can repair sticky brake calipers by removing them, then cleaning and lubricating.
  • Bleed the braking system. Bleeding your braking system may also aid in the repair of a jammed brake caliper.
  • Replace the failed caliper
  • Bring it to a trusted car center
vehicle shakes when accelerating
Another potential cause causing vibrated car when accelerating (Photo: dvatp @ Youtube)

#7. Broken Radiator Fan

A cracked or damaged fan won’t hamper the engine operation in any way but it may lead to vibration when accelerating.

When you start the vehicle, the fan tries to turn but just teeters instead because of the broken condition. The wobbling will shake the car side-wise, especially when you speed up.

A blown fuse, a defective relay, or a damaged wire are the most typical causes of a radiator fan not working. A defective coolant temp sensor may also possibly be to blame. A faulty radiator fan, in any scenario, can be fatal to your engine and car performance in general.

If you like to fix things yourself, learning how to fix a radiator fan from online sources and videos can help you save your car’s engine from damage and even save a significant repair cost.

On the other hand, if you want to contact an expert to do the job, a radiator fan may normally be repaired for $100 to $400 . This sort of replacement will normally cost between $100 and $400 in labor.

Check out this video below from EasyAutoFix to learn more about a cracked or damaged radiator fan causing your car’s vibration on acceleration.

#8. Inadequate Engine Combustion

Any engine that does not ignite at all cylinders can produce vibrations, which are frequently felt under severe load.

Wearing spark plugs, defective fuel injectors, or even a loss of compression can all contribute to a lack of combustion. The existence of a check engine light may or may not accompany these issues.

The expenses of repairing combustion-related problems might vary greatly depending on the underlying issue. While most spark-related issues can be fixed for less than $200, loss of compression can need a full engine overhaul, which can cost between $1,100 and $2,500.

my car shakes when i accelerate
Any engine that does not ignite at all cylinders can produce vibrations. (Photo: AxleAddict)

#9 Transmission Problems

Although internal transmission problems are kinda rare, they can cause car shaking when acceleratingUnfortunately, problems of this transmission nature are quite complicated to diagnose and repair. Disassembly of the gearbox in issue is often needed.

Such issues are rarely inexpensive to resolve. When a transmission must be torn down and reassembled, the costs add up quickly. Under these conditions, one should expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 to have their transmission thoroughly inspected and rebuilt.


We have scrolled through the top 9 reasons why car shakes when accelerating and the possible solutions of each. Hope you will find this article helpful and see you again with more car maintenance tips from Car From Japan.