Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting: Why?

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting: Why?

Due to the natural process of wear and tear and depreciation, your car will start to shake when you accelerate in its later years. However, if you notice that your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting, yet your car is still young and has plenty of miles left in it, then this is a clear sign of a problem.

To help ensure that your car doesn’t continue to develop even more serious problems, it is paramount that you take it in for diagnosis and repair. In fact, not taking your car in for service as regularly may be the main reason for the car shaking and steering wheel shaking when accelerating. 

The old adage “prevention is better than cure” certainly applies in this instance. In this post, we aim to explain why your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting.  For easier navigation, use our table of contents below

What Is Coasting

You may also find that the car shakes at high speed even when coasting. Coasting is the pressing of the clutch to disengage the transmission. Many drivers do this intending to save fuel. 

Through coasting, the car is basically just rolling down a declining road. This could also explain why your car vibrates in drive but not in neutral. 

While some people will actively use coasting in an attempt to save on fuel, other drivers prefer not to use it as they fear it will damage a vehicle’s internal components and ultimately its performance. 

The truth is that coasting doesn’t really have an effect on the components of your car as all it does is disengage the transmission from the engine. This means oftentimes that the car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting due to an engaged transmission.

It can also result in the steering wheel shaking when accelerating.

That said, coasting will cause overuse of the clutch in manual cars (a common mistake when learning how to drive a manual car) and it, therefore, leads to the wearing out of one main component – the throw-out bearing

The throw-out bearing is the component responsible for disengaging the transmission from the engine whenever you press on the clutch pedal. While this is just a very small component, fixing it takes a lot of time since you’ll need to take out the entire transmission. 

This then explains why even while your vehicle may have certain mechanical issues that cause it to vibrate when on the road, the vibrations tend to go down whenever you are coasting. This is because most issues are caused by drive shaft and axle issues

However, if you have issues with wheel alignment, tire balancing, CV joint, or spark plugs to mention a few, then coasting will do little to reduce the shaking and the vibrations. 

Car Shaking While Driving

car shaking while driving

If you notice that your car is shaking when driving even without any significant acceleration, there are several factors that could cause this. 

First off, you could have a bent axle, you may also have damaged brakes or even damaged wheels including the tires. 

Furthermore, you could also be dealing with a problem that is under the hood. For instance, a broken motor mount, clogged filter, or damaged or faulty spark plugs.

It is important that you find out what the issue is causing the car shaking while driving and fix this before it results in even more serious problems in the near future. 

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting

As we’ve already noted, there are many reasons that could cause your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting. Let’s look at some of the major reasons why. 

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #1 – Faulty Inner CV Joint

The end of the axle is connected to a CV joint. There are two of these CV joints – the outer CV joint as well as the inner CV joint. If the inner one is faulty then your car will shake and vibrate during the acceleration. 

If you are carrying a load such as several passengers, then the vibrations become even worse. The main reason why the CV joints incur damage is due to a tear in the CV joint boot. This allows the dirt and gunk to accumulate and the grease to leak. The result is friction in the metal parts that eventually cause damage. 


  • Vibrations during acceleration, often worsen when carrying heavy loads.
  • Loud clicking noise during turns or acceleration.
  • Excessive play or movement in the axle when the vehicle is off.

Reason for the Issue:

  • CV Joint Boot Tear – It protects the CV joint by keeping out dirt while retaining the grease. A tear can lead to dirt ingress and grease leakage, causing friction and wear.
  • Prolonged usage without maintenance.
  • Exposure to harsh road conditions frequently.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Inspect the CV joint boot for any visible damage.
  • Check for any grease splatters around the area; this indicates a possible leak.
  • Pay attention to the noises during sharp turns or acceleration.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • CV Boot Kit – If the joint is still in good condition, you can opt for a boot replacement kit.
  • Grease Replacement – Clean and repack the CV joint with the proper grease.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • CV Boot Kit – Between $15 to $30.
  • Complete CV Joint Replacement – Ranges from $150 to $400, including labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #2 – Damaged Motor Mounts

The motor mounts are where the engine of the car connects to the frame of the car. They also act to absorb the vibrations from the engine as it runs. 

The motor mounts are able to do this because they are constructed out of dense and hard rubber. If they wear out or are damaged and are not doing their job correctly, they will cause shaking in other parts and even cause damage to these parts. 

While you can tell that a motor mount is faulty during idling, it is even more obvious during acceleration. It causes the entire vehicle to shake. 


  • Intense vibrations during idling and more so during acceleration.
  • Distinctive clunking or banging noises when shifting gears.
  • The engine moving noticeably in the engine bay.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Natural Wear and Tear – Over time, the rubber in motor mounts can degrade.
  • Oil or coolant leaks can expedite rubber degradation.
  • Rough driving habits can exert excessive stress on the mounts.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visually inspect the motor mounts for cracks, breaks, or any signs of damage.
  • Notice the engine’s movement by lightly revving the engine with the car stationary.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Replacement of Motor Mounts – Most DIY enthusiasts can replace motor mounts with basic tools.
  • Ensure to buy the correct motor mount for your car’s make and model.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Motor Mounts Parts – Between $50 to $150 per mount.
  • Labor Costs – Depending on complexity, from $100 to $400.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #3 – Tires That Are Not Balanced

You may have noticed after a recent tire change or upgrade that your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting. The main reason why is likely due to unbalanced tires

A tire will not have the same weight around when it is fixed onto a wheel. This is why after installing the tire, the wheel should be placed on a balancing machine. The mechanic will then place weights on the rim at certain locations and ensure that the tire is perfectly balanced. 


  • Vibrations start at certain speeds, often between 50 and 70 mph.
  • Uneven tire wear patterns.
  • The steering wheel shakes during acceleration.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Improper Installation – If the tires were not balanced correctly during installation.
  • Natural Wear – Over time, tires wear unevenly, leading to imbalances.
  • Losing a wheel weight can disrupt the balance.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visually inspect tires for any signs of uneven wear.
  • Look for missing wheel weights on the rims.
  • A tire balancing machine can definitively identify imbalance.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Wheel Weights – If you have the necessary equipment, you can balance your tires at home.
  • Rotate Tires – Regularly rotating your tires can help ensure even wear.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Wheel Balancing Service – Typically between $15 to $75 for all four tires.
  • Tire Rotation – Often costs between $35 to $50, sometimes bundled with balancing.

Just a slight variation in weight could cause a small vibration. This vibration is enhanced when the car is moving at higher speeds. 

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #4 – Lug Nuts That Are Not Properly Fastened

Loose lug nuts will cause the wheel to wobble when driving and when accelerating. This could also result in the steering wheel shaking when accelerating.

What’s more, is that the wheel could come off, and that would turn into a disastrous incident. It is critical therefore to ensure that whenever you change the wheel you torque down the lug nuts to the hug tightly.

Always ensure that you check the tightness of the lug nuts using a torque wrench. 


Reason for the Issue:

  • Improper Wheel Installation – Not torquing down the lug nuts adequately after a tire change.
  • Natural Vibration – Continuous driving can sometimes cause lug nuts to become loose.
  • Misplacing a lug nut during installation.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Physical inspection of the wheels to check for any visible looseness.
  • Use a torque wrench to verify if the lug nuts are tightened to the recommended specification.
  • Listening to unusual sounds from the wheel area during driving.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Lug Nut Tightening – Using a torque wrench, ensure each lug nut is tightened to the manufacturer’s recommended setting.
  • Regularly inspect and retighten lug nuts, especially after tire services.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Torque Wrench – Ranging from $30 to $200 based on quality and features.
  • Lug Nuts – If replacements are needed, they can cost between $3 to $10 each.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #5 – Bent Drive Shaft

car shaking when accelerating

The drive shaft sends the power from the transmission to the rear wheels through the axle. If there is even the slightest bend to the drive shaft, it will be a reason why the car vibrates in drive but not in neutral

The car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting. You may also notice the steering wheel shaking when accelerating. The shaking will get worse as you accelerate even more. 

You will not be able to repair a bent drive shaft and the only option is to replace it. 


  • Pronounced vibrations when in drive but significantly lesser in neutral.
  • Increasing shaking intensity with acceleration.
  • The steering wheel experiences shudders while speeding up.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Physical Impact – Hitting obstacles or going over rough terrains can cause the shaft to bend.
  • Worn U-Joints – These can lead to an unbalanced drive shaft, causing it to bend over time.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Inspect the drive shaft visually for any signs of bending or deformities.
  • Notice unusual vibrations and where they seem to be originating from.
  • A mechanic can use specialized equipment to determine shaft balance.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Unfortunately, bent drive shafts cannot be repaired at home. Replacement is the ideal solution.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Drive Shaft Replacement – Depending on the vehicle make and model, costs vary from $400 to $900, including labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #6 – The Axle Is Bent

After hitting the curb or a large rock, the first thing drivers do is to quickly check for any visible damage. If the car is still running they assume that everything is okay. If you get into any type of minor accident, never assume that everything is okay. 

You may get a bent axle without you even realizing it. This can cause vibrations and steering wheel shaking when accelerating. You cannot fix a bent axle. Instead, you will need to replace it otherwise it may cause a cascading effect damaging other parts of your car. 


  • Consistent vibrations during acceleration.
  • The steering wheel shakes when pressing the gas pedal.
  • Atypical tire wear patterns may appear.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Physical Trauma – Hitting obstacles like curbs or large rocks.
  • Accidents – Minor accidents might seem harmless but can result in a bent axle.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visual inspection of the axle for any obvious signs of bending.
  • Monitoring the vehicle’s behavior, especially any vibrations or wobbles during acceleration.
  • A mechanic can verify the axle’s straightness using specific tools.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Bent axles cannot be repaired manually and should be replaced to ensure safety and vehicle performance.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Axle Replacement – Depending on the car’s make and model, the costs can range from $500 to $1,500, inclusive of labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #7 – Brake Caliper Is Stuck

If you notice that your steering wheel shaking when accelerating then the likely cause is faulty brake calipers that tighten while driving. 

You will also notice that the vibrations become far worse the more you accelerate. 

Another symptom of damaged brake calipers is after the car shakes when braking at high speeds you notice smoke or a burning smell. This is a result of the friction from the brake calipers. 


  • The steering wheel shakes noticeably during acceleration.
  • Experiencing amplified vibrations with increased speed.
  • Smoke emission or a burning odor after high-speed braking.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Wear and Tear – Continuous usage can lead brake calipers to tighten.
  • Lack of Lubrication – The absence of regular maintenance might cause parts to become dry and sticky.
  • Corrosion – Prolonged exposure to moisture or road salts can cause rusting and sticking.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Observe if the braking action is consistent and even.
  • Inspect the calipers for visible signs of sticking or uneven wear.
  • Check for heat from the brake rotors after a drive.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Lubrication – Properly lubricate the braking components for smooth motion.
  • If damage is observed, consider replacing the affected components.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Brake Caliper Lubrication – This can be achieved with a $10-$20 lubricant.
  • Brake Caliper Replacement – Costs vary between $130 and $680, including parts and labor.

Often all you need is to lubricate the various braking components to get everything moving smoothly. This will help solve the car shaking when braking at high speeds. However, if the various components are damaged, they will need to be replaced and fixed. 

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #8 – Torn Vacuum Hose

This is one of the more common issues that result in the car shaking while driving. A break or disconnecting of the vacuum hose will cause a reduction or loss of pressure in the cylinders. This will then result in a host of backfires, loss of power, and overall confusion in the car sensors. The result is the car shakes when accelerating. 

You will need to check the vacuum hoses and ensure they all connect properly and that there are no breakages causing loss of pressure. If you drive a turbo-charged car, then the vacuum hoses are even more prone to breakage or disconnecting. 


  • Noticeable vehicle judders while driving.
  • Experiencing backfires, power loss, and confused car sensors.
  • Unusual hissing sounds from the engine bay.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Aging & Wear – Over time, rubber hoses can degrade and crack.
  • Heat Exposure – Engines, especially turbo-charged ones, emit a lot of heat, which can damage hoses.
  • Physical Damage – Engine work or accidents can lead to disconnections or breaks.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visually inspect the vacuum hoses for breaks or disconnects.
  • Listen for hissing sounds that indicate air leaks.
  • Check engine light might illuminate due to sensor confusion.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Hose Inspection – Regularly inspect and replace damaged or aging hoses.
  • Use quality hoses designed to withstand engine heat.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Vacuum Hose Replacement – Depending on hose length and quality, prices range from $50 to $250, including labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #9 – Faulty Or Dirty Spark Plugs

car shakes at high speed

If one or more of the spark plugs incur damage or are dirty they will not function at their optimum. This will cause the engine to misfire. When you are accelerating you can easily notice this. 

When was the last time you made a replacement of your spark plugs? If you don’t remember then perhaps it’s time to get new spark plugs

The condition of just one of the spark plugs can reflect the condition of the rest of the spark plugs. So if one is black and dirty then chances are the rest are as well and need replacement.


  • Engine misfiring, especially noticeable during acceleration.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency and a rough idle.
  • Possible check engine light activation.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Natural Deterioration – Spark plugs degrade over time, affecting their performance.
  • Build-up of Deposits – Carbon deposits from combustion can accumulate on spark plugs.
  • Incorrect Gap – The spark plug gap can widen or narrow over time, leading to inefficient sparking.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Examine the spark plugs for physical damage or dirt accumulation.
  • Use an onboard diagnostic tool to check for engine misfire codes.
  • Observe if the engine struggles during acceleration or idling.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Spark Plug Cleaning – Use a spark plug cleaner or a wire brush to remove deposits.
  • Spark Plug Replacement – If plugs are worn or damaged, replace them.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Spark Plug Cleaning Tools – Range from $10 to $50.
  • Spark Plug Replacement – Depending on the vehicle make and model, costs vary from $40 to $150 for parts and labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #10 – Worn Out Transmission Mounts

Transmission mounts play a crucial role in securing the transmission system to the frame of the vehicle. They are typically made of rubber and metal to dampen vibrations. Over time, these mounts can wear out, leading to increased vibrations, especially when accelerating.

If the vibrations cease during coasting, worn-out transmission mounts might be the culprit. To confirm this, you can get under your car to check for excessive play or visible cracks in the mounts. Replacing them on time ensures smoother rides and protects the transmission system.


  • Pronounced vibrations during acceleration.
  • Clunking or banging noises when shifting gears.
  • The transmission may appear visibly sagging or lower.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Age and Wear – Over time, the rubber in the transmission mounts can degrade and weaken.
  • Exposure to Elements – Transmission mounts can crack or degrade faster when exposed to oil leaks or extreme weather conditions.
  • Physical Stress – Harsh driving conditions can hasten the wear of these mounts.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Inspect the mounts for visible cracks, breaks, or sagging.
  • Feel for excessive play or movement in the transmission.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Mount Replacement – If mounts are severely worn out, it’s advisable to replace them to prevent further transmission damage.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Transmission Mount Replacement – Depending on the vehicle make and model, costs range from $150 to $400 for parts and labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #11 – Misaligned Wheels

Wheel alignment ensures that your car’s wheels are set to the car maker’s specifications. Misaligned wheels not only result in uneven tire wear but can also make your car shake when accelerating. If your car tends to drift to one side or if you’ve recently hit a deep pothole, it’s a good idea to check for misalignment.

A professional wheel alignment service can easily rectify the problem and enhance the driving experience.


  • Vibrations are felt in the steering wheel during acceleration.
  • Uneven or rapid tire wear.
  • The car drifts or pulls to one side when driving straight.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Road Conditions – Hitting potholes, curbs, or speed bumps can knock wheels out of alignment.
  • Suspension Wear – Worn-out suspension components can also affect wheel alignment.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visually inspect tires for uneven wear.
  • A professional wheel alignment check will provide exact alignment readings.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Wheel Alignment Service – Always get a professional service for wheel alignment to ensure accuracy.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Wheel Alignment – Costs can vary between $50 and $120 depending on location and vehicle type.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #12 – Clogged Fuel Injectors

Your car’s fuel injectors deliver fuel to the engine. When these injectors get clogged, they can cause a shaky acceleration. Dirt, debris, or low-quality fuel can lead to injector blockage. Consequently, the uneven flow of fuel to the engine might cause it to misfire.

Regular cleaning or using fuel additives can prevent such issues. In persistent cases, consider replacing the fuel injectors.


  • Rough idling or hesitant acceleration.
  • Decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Engine misfiring or stalling.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Poor Fuel Quality – Low-quality fuel can lead to deposits in the fuel injectors.
  • Infrequent Maintenance – Not cleaning the fuel system periodically can lead to injector blockages.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Engine diagnostic tools can detect misfires or fuel system issues.
  • Inspect fuel injectors for visible signs of clogging.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Fuel Additives – Using injector cleaner additives can help in mild cases.
  • Fuel Injector Cleaning Service – For severe clogs, a professional cleaning service is recommended.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Fuel Injector Cleaning – Prices range between $50 and $150.
  • Fuel Injector Replacement – Depending on make and model, costs can vary from $150 to $600 for parts and labor.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #13 – Damaged Wheel Bearings

Wheel bearings let the wheels spin smoothly. However, if they get damaged or wear out, you may feel your car shake, especially when speeding up. To diagnose this issue, listen for a grinding or humming noise coming from the wheels. While these bearings have a long lifespan, driving conditions, and occasional impacts can reduce their functionality.

It’s crucial to replace damaged bearings to ensure safety and optimal vehicle performance.


  • Vibrations or shaking, especially during acceleration.
  • Audible grinding or humming sounds from the wheel area.
  • Loose steering or wandering wheels.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Wear and Tear – Bearings naturally degrade over time.
  • Driving Conditions – Rough terrains and impacts from potholes can speed up bearing wear.
  • Lack of Lubrication – Inadequate lubrication can cause premature failure.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Rotate tires and listen for noises or feel for roughness.
  • On a lifted car, check for play in the wheel by moving it side to side.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Bearing Replacement – It is recommended to replace wheel bearings in pairs (both front and both rear) for consistent performance.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Wheel Bearing Replacement – Costs range between $150 to $400 per wheel, depending on make, model, and location.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #14 – Worn-Out Suspension Components

The suspension system of your car provides a smooth ride, even on bumpy roads. Worn-out or damaged suspension parts like struts, shock absorbers, or bushings can lead to shaky rides. Accelerating can accentuate these vibrations.

Regularly inspecting and replacing old suspension components can make a world of difference in your driving experience.


  • Uneven or bumpy ride.
  • The car leans or dips during turns or braking.
  • Knocking or clunking noises over bumps.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Age and Wear – Suspension components degrade over time.
  • Driving Conditions – Harsh or rough roads can hasten wear.
  • Accidents/Impacts – Collisions can damage suspension parts.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Visual inspection for signs of wear or damage.
  • Bounce test: pressing down on each corner of the car and observing the rebound.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Component Replacement – Replace worn struts, shock absorbers, or bushings.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Suspension Repair – Depending on the component and vehicle type, costs can range from $150 to $1,500+.

Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting, Reasons #15 – Air Intake System Issues

The air intake system ensures the right air-fuel mixture for combustion. Any problems in this system, like leaks or blockages, can cause shaky accelerations. Periodic checks, cleaning, and replacing damaged parts of the air intake system can remedy such issues.


  • Hesitation during acceleration.
  • Reduced fuel efficiency.
  • The engine may stall or produce irregular idle.

Reason for the Issue:

  • Leaks – Any leaks in the intake system can disrupt the air-fuel balance.
  • Blockages – Clogged air filters or intake paths can reduce airflow to the engine.
  • Sensor Malfunction – Faulty sensors can misinform the engine’s computer, causing imbalances.

Diagnosis and Troubleshooting:

  • Check for visible signs of wear or blockages in the intake system.
  • Utilize diagnostic tools to check for sensor issues.

DIY Repairs/Fixes:

  • Regular Maintenance – Replace air filters and clean intake paths periodically.
  • Sensor Replacement – If diagnostics show a faulty sensor, consider replacing it.

Repair/Replacement Costs:

  • Air Intake System Repair – Depending on the specific issue, costs can vary between $50 to $300+.

A smooth drive is a testament to a well-maintained vehicle. Addressing issues promptly not only ensures a great driving experience but also extends the life of your car. If your car shakes when accelerating but is smooth when coasting, the reasons highlighted above are potential culprits. Consider getting a comprehensive inspection from a trusted mechanic to pinpoint the issue and get it fixed.

Car Shaking When Braking At High Speeds

Perhaps you have experienced a situation where you are driving on the motorway at high speeds only to find cause to slow down and break. Suddenly the car shakes at high speed through the steering wheel or the brake pedal (for more insight, check out our explainer on which one is the brake).  This is a clear sign of a problem within the disc brake system. 

There are several factors that could cause steering wheel shakes when driving and car shaking when braking at high speeds. 

First off are brake rotors that are uneven. Over time heat caused by the friction could cause the brake rotors to warp. This is because the exterior of the rotors will wear out unevenly due to the heat. This results in the brake pads coming into contact with the rotors only in certain areas. 

Secondly, the brake pads themselves could be in poor condition. They could wear down unevenly or warp. When you press on the brakes, the brake pads will come into contact with the rotors in certain areas. This results in the car shaking when braking at high speeds. 

Thirdly you could be dealing with alignment issues. If your car is out of alignment you will also experience car shaking when braking at high speeds. This issue could also result in major damage to other suspension components so it’s important to fix the problems fast. If you begin to experience shaking when making a turn then this is a sign that the problem has also expanded to the vehicle’s suspension system. 

Car Shakes At High Speed

We’ve looked at common causes of car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting. We’ve looked at reasons why the steering wheel shakes when accelerating. These are also reasons why your car shakes at high speeds. 

A few more factors that could cause car shakes at high speeds are:

1. A Broken U Joint

You can figure out if your car’s u joint (universal joint) is broken by visually inspecting the bottom of your vehicle. Check the drive shaft and look out for dust that looks brownish. If you see this then it means that there are components that are rusting. 

In this case, your car shaking while driving will likely manifest in the vehicle jerking or becoming clunky. You are also going to notice a lot of vibrations at speed.  At this point, you need to replace the u-joint. 

2. Issues With The Steering Wheel

If you have ever switched from an old car to a newer car of the same model, then you likely noticed that the new model has a far more responsive and comfortable steering wheel that is free of steering wheel shakes when driving.

This is because steering wheels experience wear and tear just like any other part. The steering wheel connects to multiple parts in the car. Once these wear out you may experience steering wheel shakes when driving at high speeds. 

Since the steering wheel comprises multiple parts, it is best to let a professional service the vehicle

Steering Wheel Shakes When Driving

If you are not just dealing with the car shaking while driving but also notice that the steering wheel is shaking or vibrating, then this is a sign of more serious underlying issues. It is important to understand the possible causes so you can fix the problem. 

1. The Brake Rotors Are Warped


The brake rotors are the smooth and flat surfaces on which the brake pads press to stop the vehicle. The heat caused by friction over time could cause the brake rotors to wear down unevenly and warp.

During braking, the brake pad will press unevenly on the rotors causing shaking in the steering wheel. This results in the car shaking when braking at high speeds.

2. Tire Misalignment

The suspension system moves to help to keep the vehicle’s wheels on the road even on uneven surfaces. Due to the turbulence and rough driving the alignment can go off. This can cause the wheels to remain at an uneven angle. This can in turn causes steering wheel shakes when driving. 

3. Tire Balancing

If the weight around your tire isn’t even, then this can result in a less-than-perfect wheel rotation. Consequently, this will cause vibrations not just in the car but also in the steering wheel shakes when driving. To fix the issue, the mechanic will place special weights on different parts of the wheel to ensure that it is completely and perfectly balanced.

Car Vibrates In Drive But Not In Neutral


There is a reason that your car vibrates in drive but not in neutral. This is mainly because the transmission is not yet engaged i.e. it is free. Once you engage the transmission by putting the gear to drive, then you will notice the vibrations of there are components of the transmission that are faulty. This could also be the reason your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting.

There are several components that you may want to check if your car vibrates in the drive but not in neutral. 

1. Motor Mounts

If you have faulty motor mounts, this is one of the main reasons why your car vibrates in drive but not in neutral. Motor mounts help hold the engine and transmission to the frame of the car.

They comprise of thick rubber that absorbs the vibrations when the engine is running. If faulty they can no longer absorb the vibrations and therefore causing the whole car to vibrate. 

2. Damaged Fuel Intake

The fuel intake can be a major reason your car vibrates in drive but not in neutral. It delivers the fuel to the engine where it then mixes with oxygen and combustion takes place.

If the fuel intake is faulty then it will not be able to deliver a consistent supply of fuel to the engine. This will create intervals where the cylinders at not receiving the fuel and therefore not combusting. As a result, it creates vibrations shudders, and shakes when you engage the transmission and the drive train by moving the gear to drive. 

3. Fuel Injectors Are Clogged

When the fuel injectors are clogged by dirt or other stuff like gunk, they can be why your car vibrates in drive but not in neutral. This is because the engine cylinders aren’t getting a constant supply of fuel.

Just as we saw above this would cause vibrations, car shakes at high speed, and shudders in the engine. When you put the gear to drive, the transmission engages the engine and receives these vibrations causing the entire car to vibrate. 

4. Issues With The Spark Plugs

Even if the cylinders are getting a sufficient and constant supply of fuel, the spark plugs still need to ensure effective combustion by providing the spark at the required intervals.

If you have faulty spark plugs, then this translates to car shakes at high speed, shudders, and vibrations whenever the drive chain is engaged through the transmission.

Car Shakes When Accelerating: Need-to-Know Facts

  1. If your car shakes when accelerating and stops when you let off the gas, it could be due to worn-out motor or engine mounts.
  2. Motor mounts are responsible for securing the engine of a vehicle to the chassis and dampening engine vibration.
  3. During acceleration, the engine vibrates naturally as RPMs increase, and worn-out engine mounts can exacerbate this vibration.
  4. A vacuum leak could also be the cause of the vibration, so it’s best to have a professional mechanic inspect your vehicle.
  5. The shaking may occur at all speeds above 25 MPH and is not related to the tires.
  6. If you have a high mileage vehicle (such as 185,000 miles), worn-out engine mounts are more likely to be the culprit.
  7. The shaking may be felt in the steering wheel or throughout the vehicle.
  8. The engine mounts come in various shapes and sizes to fit a wide variety of needs.
  9. Professional mechanics can isolate the source of the problem during a steering wheel vibration inspection and recommend the appropriate repairs.
  10. Auto repair services for steering wheel vibration or any other auto repairs can be obtained by requesting a quote from a professional mechanic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some popular FAQs:

Why Is My Car Shaking

There are several reasons why you may experience car shaking while driving. These could be a faulty inner CV joint, faulty motor mounts, lugs nuts that are loose, drive shaft that is bent, bent axle, faulty brake calipers, torn vacuum hoses, or faulty spark plugs. It could also be a result of damaged fuel intake, and faulty fuel injectors. 

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake

Your steering wheel shakes when driving due to reasons such as warping in the brake rotors and the brake pad, misalignment, and unbalanced tires. 

Why Does My Car Shake When Accelerating

If you have noticed that your car is shaking when you accelerate, there are multiple factors that could be at play. These could be anywhere from a bent axle, bent drive shaft lack of tire balancing, warped brake calipers, and brake rotors, faulty spark plugs, damaged motor mounts, and damage to the CV joint. The shaking increases with acceleration. 

Why Is My Car Shaking When I Drive

Car shaking while driving is a sign of serious underlying issues. This could be faulty spark plugs, broken vacuum hoses, damaged CV joint, warped brake rotors, damaged motor mounts, or bent drive shaft. 

Why Is My Car Shaking When I Stop

When you are driving and then you hit the brakes, you may notice that your vehicle shakes. Reasons, why this could be happening, include warped or bent brake rotors, warped or bent brake pads, or alignment issues.  

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