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Why does my car feel like it's vibrating?

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 1 year ago

3 min read

  • Advice
  • Maintenance

WhoCanFixMyCar explains some of the common reasons why your car might be vibrating, and what you can do to fix it.

Your car could feel like it's vibrating for a number of reasons. Even the car you drive could be the reason why you are feeling that vibration.

Bigger cars, such as SUVs and 4x4's tend to have naturally better suspension than smaller cars, which ultimately will impact how much vibration you feel when driving.

However, if you always drive the same car and begin to notice an increasing vibration appear, it is likely a result of a problem somewhere in your car, and you should get this checked out by a garage near you as soon as possible.

What causes your car to vibrate?

You may notice that your car is vibrating more when you accelerate, or possibly more when you turn. Depending on when you notice the vibrating, this could help determine the root of the problem. Some of the common reasons for vibration in your car include:

1. Engine problems

2. Misaligned wheels

3. Brake problems

4. Power steering problems

5. Worn spark plugs

6. Damaged or snapped timing belt

7. Clogged fuel injectors

8. Uneven axels

It can however be difficult to pinpoint exactly what is causing the problem when there are so many potential culprits. Read on to find out some of the common symptoms you might experience.

Guide Contents:

My car vibrates when I brake

My car vibrates when I turn

My car vibrates when idle

My car vibrates at high speeds

Should I be worried if my car is vibrating?

What should I do if my car is vibrating?

Why is my car vibrating when I brake?

If the vibration is most noticeable when you brake, you may find that your discs have become warped. This means the pads and calipers aren’t able to get enough grip when you hit the brake pedal, usually resulting in a vibration (and longer stopping distances). 

If they haven’t worn down too much, it’s possible to get your discs repaired so they sit properly in place, but usually the best course of action is to simply have them replaced. 

Why is my car vibrating when I turn?

The most likely culprit if your car vibrates when it turns is your power steering system. Fortunately, there are a few checks you can perform yourself before rushing to a garage which will help you identify whether this is the source of the problem.

Firstly, check your power steering fluid reservoir. If there isn’t enough liquid inside, top it up and see if the vibration continues. 

Next, take a look at the power steering hoses - can you spot any leaks? If so, it’s time to take your car to a mechanic. 

If you can’t see any leaks and your fluid is at the right level but the vibration persists, it could be the case that there’s a smaller leak which is more challenging to spot. Having your car checked by a professional will give you peace of mind.

Why is my car vibrating when idle?

There are a few reasons why your car might vibrate more when it’s idling. 

Worn spark plugs are one possible cause. Like any car component, over time, your spark plugs lose their effectiveness, and when this happens it can cause your engine to misfire, resulting in a strong vibration. 

A faulty timing belt could have a similar effect. Timing belts rely on the correct amount of tension to make sure rotations within the engine match the revs of the car. If your timing belt is broken, loose or faulty, this means that some components (like fans) will not operate consistently and could cause your car to vibrate as a result. 

There could also be an issue with your fuel intake system. The valve of this system must be properly sealed to prevent contamination. If the seal becomes loose or broken and your engine is operating on dirty fuel, this will likely make your car vibrate or even shudder. 

Why is my car vibrating at high speeds?

Misaligned or unbalanced wheels often cause excessive vibrations when travelling at high speeds. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you can fix at home, but the good news is that you can compare prices from the best local garages using WhoCanFixMyCar.

Wheel alignment jobs involve the adjustment of a car’s wheels so they’re perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other. This is crucial for maximising the life of your tyres and making sure your car travels safely in a straight line. 

Likewise, wheel balancing is vital for longevity and safety. Before your car’s wheels are put on, weights are added to the rims to make sure that everything is balanced. Wear and tear after years of use can sometimes lead to an imbalance, causing vibration and shaking - particularly at higher speeds.

Should I be worried if my car is vibrating?

Feeling some vibrations in your car is completely normal, due to the movements of the transmission gears, crankshaft, and other parts of your engine.

That being said, too much vibration, or vibration that begins to feel like rattling, could indicate there is something going wrong with your car.

What should I do if my car is vibrating?

If your car is vibrating and you can’t work out why, or you’re worried that the problem could be serious, it’s best to have it checked by a trained professional. The vibration might end up being something quick and easy to fix, but the peace of mind you get from a mechanic’s expertise is invaluable. 

WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find repairs that won’t break the bank at a reliable garage or mobile mechanic in your area.

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