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Why A Car Shakes When Accelerating? – Discover The Causes

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

Car Shakes When Accelerating: What are the Reasons?

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 ones are also strong reasons for the shaking of a vehicle at the time of speeding up:

#1. The Rear Driveshaft and U-Joints

 car vibrates when accelerating
Always the first place to look at

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 the shaking problem.

#2. A Bent Axle

Car shakes when accelerating
A bent axle could cause serious shaking.

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

#3. The Tires

tire car vibrates when accelerating
Tire usually the reason making car vibrates when accelerating

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These are one of the main reasons for 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 to run straight on the road. If one tire is unstable, it can affect the others with time. So, you should fix the problem immediately before it gets worse.

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#4. Look Into The Wheel

car shaking
Lots of components could be in question if the vibration comes through the wheel.

If the tires are fine, the wheel is the next item that should come on your diagnosis list. 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 these when your car vibrates when accelerating. You may 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.

#5. Stuck Brake Caliper

 car vibrates when accelerating
Another potential cause causing car vibrates when accelerating

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 car vibrates when accelerating, it’s not unusual to get a whiff of burning odor when the car stops.

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#6. Broken Radiator Fan

car fan shake
A cracked or damaged fan can be the problem

A cracked or damaged fan won’t hamper the engine operation in any way but it will lead to car shakes 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.

24 Comments
  1. Chris says

    I have a 02 chevy venture. I replaced wheel bearins but it still is shaking bad upon acceleration. I can sometimes hear a little pop under front end when i take off. I mean a bad shake happens when accelerating like vibrates the wheel and dash board and whole van just bout it. Any ideas.

    1. Arturo Camacho says

      Did you ever find the problem???

  2. Elli mumba says

    I have a Toyota Chaser GX 100 which is currently making a crank sound on the front right tire. It was taken to some mechanic of which some said it is the suspension. They changed all the suspension parts but the crank sound is still been heard. The crank sound is heard wen the car passes on a rough road.
    What really could cause this? Kindly help

  3. Lee says

    I have an old 1989 BMW e30 car which has been OK for a while until recently when it started vibrating when I accelerate especially uphill when am climbing a steep hill plus it doesn’t have power, my local mechanic suggests I should replace spark plugs yet they’re less than 6months old. What’s your advise?

  4. Mikah says

    Mine a Honda Stream used to vibrate between 40 and 80km/h I discovered it was the drive shafts bearing that had been damaged due to the mechanic having returned it badly while changing the shocks.

  5. Tonya Braxton says

    I have a 2006 Toyota Scion Xa and my car starts to like halt when I’m accelerating or even when the car is parked it’s never happened before.

    1. Maddy Price says

      I have the same problem did you find out what is was

  6. Othman says

    I have nissan xtrail t31. I feel vibrating when the beginning of accelarating and after that it will go off.anyone was having this issue?

  7. John says

    Noticed a shaking when I accelerate. It’s a 2002 quattro audi all wheel drive I changed the ball joints and the whole arm i.t had made a big difference when acceleration it’s applied but still still shake a little.. was wondering if a bad alignment could mark make this happen, there shaking was both sides but after replacing control arms it’s way better bit right side still shakes. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Ahmed says

      Same issue with mk4 R32 I wonder if any one can advice

  8. Josiah says

    I have a 2010 Subaru forester. When I step on the gas it take some time. Find the gear why?

  9. Paul says

    I have a 2011 Toyota Camry, car vibrates or shakes through steering wheel from 40-50 mph and runs smoothly after 50. Shaking usually takes place when accelerating with foot on gas; stops when taking foot off gas.

    1. Sheila says

      Paul.My Toyota Sienna does exactly the same thing. Did you ever get it fixed?

    2. Kevin Ziegler says

      Did you ever find out the issue. My 2014 Camry does something very similar from 30-50 when I’m slowly accelerating. If I get on it a bit harder the vibration goes away.

  10. Paul says

    I have a 2011 Toyota Camry, car vibrates or shakes through steering wheel from 40-50 mph and runs smoothly after 50.

    Shaking usually takes place when accelerating with foot on gas; stops when taking foot off gas.

    1. Joel De La Cruz says

      Did you ever find the issue Paul? I have the same problem with my 07′ Toyota Avalon.

    2. Jason D says

      Paul did you ever find out your issue? My Camry is doing the same thing and it’s driving me crazy!

  11. Ronny Coe says

    I also have the same problem with my 1999 subaru legacy outback awd!

  12. Peter says

    I have a Honda CR-V 2010 and it started to shake a few weeks ago we did the tire balance
    But still shakes from time to time when driving
    Anyone knows what could that be

  13. Carmen says

    My 2014.Toyota Camry shakes intermittently when I accelerate and stops when I take foot off gas or if I speed up. I had my tires balanced twice and a alignment. My tires are Michelin and are a little over a year old. Balance nor alignment fixed the problem.

  14. Claudette says

    I have a 2003 buick century that is doing the same thing. My dad is a mechanic and after speaking with him it could be the motor mounts, CV shaft, or the transmission. I’m hoping its the motor mounts since that is the cheapest solution. I put new tires and had the car aligned 3 days ago and no change.

  15. Gonzalo G says

    I have a nissan altima 2015, the steering wheel vibrates a little when I have the car in park. And when I put the car on D start driving afte 5mph when I hit the gas pedal it starts to vibrate everytime i accelerate what could that be?

  16. Jason D says

    Same problem with my 2010 Camry!! Anyone find an answer? I don’t see replies to anymore the issues in the comment section.. am I missing something? My car shakes/wobbles when I reach about 40mph and stops around 60mph unless I give it a lot of gas then it does the same shake/wobble. Now the strange part is when it’s shaking/wobbling as soon as I let my foot off the gas pedal it’s perfectly smooth. Idle is smooth 0-30mph is perfectly smooth I have asked so many people and have gotten so many different diagnoses I can’t afford to go to a local shop. Would y’all have any clue? It’s a 2010 Toyota Camry V6 Automatic FWD. Thank you in andvance!

  17. Jonathan says

    It’s a transmission problem, its too old.

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