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Reason your Car Shakes when Accelerating and How to Fix

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A car may shake during acceleration for various reasons. While the major reasons can range from simple issues to severe ones, car shakes during acceleration might be a clear signal of an impending issue.

Technically, identifying the problem’s source as early as possible will help you a great deal in saving money, both for repairs and replacements. This article explores the various reasons that might cause your car to shake during acceleration, including how to fix it.

Without any further ado, let us get straight into it!

Top 8 Reasons Your Car Shakes When Accelerating

1. Unbalanced Tires

A primary reason your car might be shaky during acceleration is unbalanced tires, especially when you just purchase them and, unfortunately, aren’t correctly balanced or fixed.

Typically, tires can’t have exact mass all around when newly mounted on a wheel; the rotation of such tires might result in tiny vibrations, causing your car to shake. The more you step on your accelerator, the more the rotation, causing more noticeable vibrations.

2. Bad Alternator

Car alternator provides power that causes a spark, and if the spark plug misfires, it automatically leads to engine shutter or shakes, which invariably cause the car to shake.

Suppose the alternator fails and there is no sufficient electricity from the alternator to power the car’s spark plug. In that case, the vehicle will start vibrating and might even turn off while driving or affect the car from starting. There are many signs of a bad alternator, and car shaking could be one of them. Read more to check out the solution to this problem below.

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3. Damaged CV Joints

Damaged CV joints might also cause your car to shake when driving. Located typically at the axle points end, the inner and outer CV joints may make your car vibrate, especially during hard acceleration.

The more the load on the car, the more the vibration may also become noticeable and undoubtedly worse. CV Joints sometimes get damaged due to inadequate or lack of lubrication and excessive friction.

4. Bad Brakes

Brake rotors typically suffer severe wear and tear. Undoubtedly, brakes contribute heavily to the functionality of vehicles. When they break or become relatively defective, your car might start to shake, with the effects increasing as you increase your acceleration.

Your vehicle’s brake rotors may become defective due to overheating, which happens whenever you bring such a vehicle to a stop. The heating effect produced during such a situation warps the discs, resulting in an eventual break.

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The discs are typically uniformly flat. Whenever it is not, the caliper and brake pads squeeze, causing a deformation. The unevenness caused is the major reason your car vibrates whenever you step on the brakes. Do not hesitate to visit your auto repairer whenever you notice such scenarios.

5. Axle Issues

Another reason your car shakes when accelerating is axle problems. Cars are inarguably composed of various rotating parts, with each part performing optimally within specific tolerances and parameters. Any problems in any of such parts might contribute to the vibration your car experiences when you accelerate.

Somewhat unfortunately, axles are extremely vulnerable to bending, especially during collisions, whether major or minor. The bending of axles will make your car shake when you use the accelerator; the more you accelerate, the higher the vibration intensity your vehicle experiences.

6. Steering Wheel Issues

This is particular to old vehicles. While newer vehicles typically have more responsive and quicker steering wheels, older versions of the same model are slightly different, with the former being better than the latter. It is normal for automobiles. However, this comparison is valid only for vehicles of the same model.

In essence, car steering wheels are also vulnerable to wear and tear, thereby reducing their functionalities. A less functional steering wheel (i.e., less responsive and quick) might cause your car to shake when driving.

However, it might be somewhat tricky to identify a faulty steering wheel because of its gradual degradation. Hence, drivers must be essentially intentional when trying to know if their steering wheel is the reason their car shakes during acceleration.

7. Cracked Radiator Fan

Your car may also shake when driving if your radiator fan is either cracked or damaged. But this is typically noticeable whenever you are driving at high speeds.

However, whenever you turn on your vehicle’s ignition, you’ll notice the fan attempts to start but it doesn’t due to its broken or damaged condition.

Instead, as you increase your acceleration, the wobbling effect generated by the radiator causes the car to shake sideways.

8. Torn Vacuum Hose

Car vacuum hoses can either get torn or disconnected, causing your car to shutter or shake, depending on the severity.

Leaked or disconnected vacuum hoses result in a lack of or inadequate air pressure, causing backfires, misfires, power loss, and even car vibration. Disconnected vacuum tubes also sometimes cause car engines to malfunction.

Other Causes of Car Vibration During Acceleration

There are arguably several reasons your vehicle vibrates whenever you accelerate. Apart from the significant causes outlined above, below are a few other causes of car vibration when driving:

  • Worn or dirty spark plugs
  • Loose Lug Nut
  • Broken Motor Mounts
  • Stuck Brake Caliper
  • Bent Driveshaft

Solutions to Car Shaking When Accelerating

Having identified why your car shakes when accelerating, the next best step is taking pragmatic approaches to solve such issues. Below are a few solutions to car shaking when accelerating:

For Unbalanced Tires

Use a flat end screwdriver, a jack, and a wrench to balance your wheels. You might need to visit an expert technician to ensure professionalism. Firstly, remove the wheel weight, then the wheels, before cleaning them.

Proceed to balanced the wheels using the marked spots before replacing the weights, too. Recheck to confirm adjustments.

For Bad Alternator

If there is no sufficient electricity from the alternator to power the car’s spark plug, replace the alternator with a new one.

Regardless of any issue identified to cause your car to shake when driving, ensure you allow professionals to help you handle the repair process to ensure the effectiveness of such repairs. Nonetheless, you can use any of the tips in this article to solve your shaky car when driving.

For Damaged CV Joints

Whenever you notice your CV joints are damaged, firstly remove the driveshaft, conducting a visual diagnosis to know the grease levels of the joints. Ultimately, you will need to replace both inner and outer CV joints to guarantee effective CV Joints functionality.

For Bad Brakes

Whenever you notice that your car brake rotors are defective, ensure you replace the brake rotors with a new one and check if the disc is uniformly flat

For Axle Issues

Always be sure that your axle is not bent either through major or minor collision. If you noticed that the axle is bent, make sure it gets straightened as soon as possible for their vehicles.

For Steering Wheel Issues

As soon as you noticed that your steering wheel is the cause of car shaking, you need to visit your mechanic and fix the steering wheel so that it will start functioning normally.

For Cracked Radiator Fan

It very important that you change your cracked radiator fan as soon as you noticed it. It might further affect the car’s top gasket and damage the car engine if you did not replace it immediately.

For Torn Vacuum Hose

If your car’s vacuum hose leaks, you need to change it, and if it gets disconnected, all you need to do is visit your mechanic and get it connected back.


Use the tips explored in this article to identify why your car shakes when accelerating and solve such identified issues. We recommend that you stay intentional about your car maintenance to ensure the effectiveness of your car engine.

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NaijaTechGuide Team
NaijaTechGuide Team
NaijaTechGuide Team is made up of Experienced Tech Enthusiasts and Professionals led my Paschal Okafor, a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering with over 17 years of Experience writing about Technology. Some of us were writing about Mobile Phones before the first Android Phones and iPhones were launched.

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