12 Reasons Your Car Shakes When Accelerating

If you have owned a car for a long time, you must have taken it for service several times to ensure that it runs smoothly.

An automobile needs to be taken care of and repaired regularly to keep it in perfect working condition since it has several moving parts.

To find out why your car shakes when accelerating you may need to diagnose a lot of components. Here, I short-listed the items you should check to make your job easier.

12 Reasons A Car Can Shake When Accelerating

#1. Worn Out CV Joint

If the outer CV joint is worn out, you will get a loud clicking noise at the time of sharp turning.

On the opposite side, if the inner CV joint is worn out, you will feel the car is shaking at low speed (20-40 kmph).

CV joint

The CV joints of your car are essential parts of the vehicle and are responsible for transmitting power through the drive shafts. It transmits power through a variable angle and maintains a constant rotational speed.

The CV joints are found at the axle of the end of each axle. They are essential as they help maintain a constant speed, and hence, when you do a hard acceleration, these joints are necessary for easy transmission of power across the drive shaft.

However, if these joints malfunction, you will find that your car is vibrating or shaking whenever you accelerate. The CV joints can get damaged due to wear and tear if, by chance, dirt and water have entered inside the boot cover.

The spikes of the CV joint can get contaminated if dirt or water has entered.

As the CV joints play a crucial role when you accelerate, any damage to these joints can cause the vehicle to shake violently.

It is difficult to find whether damaged CV joints are causing the vibrations unless you get the vehicle examined by an expert.

So, if you have observed that whenever you are accelerating your car fast, your vehicle is shaking, you should get the CV joints examined. If these have been damaged, you might need to replace the joints.

#2. Damaged Axle

Car owners sometimes get into minor accidents, and these do not cause any visible damage. However, it can cause damage to the axle of your car.

The axle is the central shaft on which the wheel of your car rotates. Sometimes car owners mention that minor accidents do not cause any visible damage but can cause the car’s axle to be bent or dented.

In such a scenario, the damage will not be visible externally, and only with a close inspection will it become visible. But a bent axle can cause your car to vibrate when you accelerate your vehicle.

During acceleration, a bent axle will not allow the power to be transmitted adequately across the driveshaft. As a result, you might observe tremors and even vibrations across your car when you accelerate the vehicle.

Additionally, it can prove to be dangerous as the bent axle can cause further damage to your car. Sometimes the vibrations can become uncontrollable.

If you think that the vibrations are occurring even when you are accelerating gradually, then the probable cause is axle damage.

The best solution is to take your car for servicing. The technicians and engineers can tell you how you can repair the damage caused to the axle.

But, it would be best if you got the damaged axle of your car replaced to prevent further damage to the vehicle and any unforeseen accident.

#3. Damaged Universal Joint

Skip this point if your car is front-wheel drive (FWD).

The universal joint of a car is an essential part of the vehicle. It works as a shock-absorbent, and it allows the driveshaft to move up and down with the suspension. The car’s U-joint has to be straight to ensure that power transmission is done quickly.

The U-joints are moving parts of the vehicle and hence, prone to more significant wear and tear. Moreover, there are bearings within the joint, which tend to get damaged faster.

If you see brownish dust falling from a car when you go beneath your car, it can be because the bearings of the universal joints in your car have become rusted or are falling off. This will cause your car to shake when you accelerate as the power will not be transmitted smoothly from the drive shafts.

However, changing the universal joints can only be done by professionals. So, if you feel that your car is vibrating sharply and the body of the vehicle is shaking, then you should get in touch with a technician at the earliest.

Universal joints are essential parts of the car, and they need to be replaced when damaged.

#4. Steering System

Car owners often mention that they find that newer models of the same make of the automobile have a better steering system.

In other words, if you have bought a later version of a car and your friend drives an older version of the same car, you will find that your car’s steering is more flexible compared to your friend’s.

The steering wheel is one of your car’s most essential parts, and it is connected to other vital parts of the machine. If your car’s steering wheel is not working smoothly, it will affect the acceleration and the car’s adjoining mechanisms.

Steering system/box can be the cause of shaking when your car is accelerating above 80 kmps. The steering wheel will also shake.

When you change your automobile’s acceleration and increase or decrease your car’s speed, you will find tremors running through the automobile if the steering wheel is not adjusted correctly.

These tremors can often make your car shake uncontrollably. Moreover, you will find it difficult to manage your vehicle at high speeds when it vibrates.

This problem also needs to be resolved to prevent any accidents from occurring. Automobile experts and engineers mention that this problem can be resolved quickly by adjusting or replacing the steering wheel box.

If you feel that your car is shaking when accelerating because of a maladjusted steering wheel, then get it adjusted when you take your car for servicing the next time.

#5. Broken Engine Mounts

All cars primarily consist of a frame and the engine needs to be mounted on the frame. Now when you mount a car’s engine on the frame, you will need unique mounts to connect the two separate systems smoothly with one another.

If any of the engine or transmission mount is broken or worn out, you can feel the vibration when your car is idealing or accelerating. A visual inspection is enough to identify which mount is broken.

The mounts are usually made of rubber, and these have to be of excellent quality to ensure that the frame and the motor are attached seamlessly.

The engine mounts have the following functions:

  • The primary function of the mounts is to connect the frame of the car to its motor.
  • The mount also acts as shock absorbents. Being made of extremely durable rubber, these mounts can absorb vibrations. Hence, any vibration originating from the engine of the car is absorbed by the mount. This ensures that the passengers in the car do not feel any vibrations.

If the mounts in your car are broken or are not functioning correctly, you will feel your car vibrating when you accelerate. The mounts will not absorb the excess vibrations, and it will get transferred onto the frame of the car in the form of tremors.

If your car is old and the mounts are broken or damaged, you will feel your car shaking when you accelerate your vehicle. In such a scenario, the best solution would be to get the mounts replaced or repaired.

#6. Unbalanced Tires

Because of age and manufacturing defect, often tires and rims get swollen or becomes curved. Remove the tire to do a visial inspection. You can easily identify it by looking carefully. Negligence can lead to tire blowout.

tire balancing

Another critical part of a car is its tires. It is essential to check if all four of your car tires are well-balanced and in good condition.

Sometimes checking the front wheels’ tire pressure is not sufficient to ensure that the car runs smoothly. It is vital that once the tire is mounted onto the wheel, you must check if the air pressure is the same throughout the tire.

Any pressure difference might cause the car to become unbalanced. This can result in vibrations when you accelerate your car.

The problem will become more prominent when the pressure in the tires in the front of your car is different from that of your car’s rear wheels. Hence, you should check the tire pressure of all four wheels of your car regularly.

Another thing that you should consider doing is to get the tires checked by tire technicians. Sometimes tires need to be repaired or replaced.

To the untrained eye, the tires of your car might appear to be in perfect condition. However, when you get these checked by a technician, you might come to know that the pressure difference is being caused due to wear and tear to your car’s tires.

Hence, unbalanced tires can cause your car to vibrate when you accelerate your vehicle, but you can easily manage this problem by getting the tires replaced.

#7. Tire Treads

As a car owner, you must have observed your car’s tires get damaged with continuous use. However, the tire of the car’s treads bears the maximum friction and, hence, more prone to wear and tear than other parts of the vehicle.

You must have observed that over time the treads of your car’s tires have become less pronounced. But this will prevent your car from getting a better grip when you accelerate.

Moreover, as you accelerate, the friction will be greater, causing more wear and tear. Hence, it is a good idea to check the tire treads regularly.

Technicians and car experts often mention that cars often shake and vibrate if the treads have worn out and the car is unable to grip well with the ground while accelerating.

It is necessary to ensure that the tires are in good condition to prevent the car from shaking and prevent the car from skidding.

#8. Lug Nuts

lug nuts

Lug nuts or wheel fasteners are specifically designed nuts used to attach the car’s wheel to the vehicle. The lug nuts are an essential part of your car as they ensure that the wheels remain securely fastened to your vehicle.

However, like other parts of the vehicle, the lug nuts too can get damaged over time. Sometimes these can also get rusted.

Once I took my car for brake servicing. On the way to home, I found strange noise coming from the wheels. After checking, I found that the assistance of the mechanic has forgot to tighten the lug nuts. That was dangerous!

Very few car owners make it a point to check the lug nuts of the individual wheels of their cars. So, if you have been observing continuous vibrations in your car whenever you are accelerating, it can prove to be a good idea to check the condition of the lug nuts of your car.

If your vehicle is relatively new, then the issue might be that your car’s lug nuts might not be damaged but may have come loose. If the lug nuts are loose, then your car’s wheels will not be securely attached to the vehicle.

As a result, when you accelerate your vehicle, the pressure will not be distributed equally on all four wheels of your car. The loose lug nuts will cause the car to shake, and you will feel vibrations running through the car.

Thus, to overcome the problem, you need to tighten the lug nuts.

#9. Brake Caliper

brake caliper

The brake caliper is a part of the disc brake system found in most of the latest cars. It consists of the brake pistons and the brake pads of your car.

The brake caliper’s objective is to reduce the overall friction and make the entire movement of the vehicle smooth. It also reduces the friction between brake rotors.

However, technicians sometimes mention that car owners forget to check the brake caliper, and a broken caliper can cause a car to shake when accelerating.

If you have been observing vibrations or tremors that are running from the engine through the body of your car, then chances are there that the brake caliper of your automobile is either broken or damaged.

If the caliper is broken, you will feel your car’s steering wheel shake even when you accelerate from a mere fifty miles per hour to sixty miles per hour.

Moreover, a broken caliper will also result in a burning smell emanating from your car when you accelerate the vehicle. If you feel that the brake caliper is broken or damaged, you should take your car for service at the earliest and get it repaired or replaced.

#10. Spark Plugs

Change the spark plugs on time, otherwise, you may end up with a spark plug that is stuck inside the engine.

broken spark plug

The car is a combustion engine, and hence there must be a source of energy that ignites the air-fuel mixture in the car.

The spark plugs in cars create the electricity to ignite the fuel mixture to start the car’s combustion engine. The spark plugs start the car and set the pistons in motion.

However, the spark plugs often get damaged due to prolonged usage and might need to be replaced. If you have observed a vibration that is moving from your car’s engine and is moving upward towards the body of your car, then probably it is because of damaged spark plugs.

If the spark plugs do not function properly, then the fuel-air mixture will not be appropriately ignited, and there will be a loss of power.

Additionally, without a proper spark, the car will not be able to move forward smoothly. As a result, the engine will vibrate abnormally because there is not sufficient spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture.

If you think that there is a loss of energy when you accelerate the car and vibrate continuously, then probably the spark plugs in the vehicle need to be removed. In such a scenario, you will need to consult an expert to check the spark plugs and identify any energy loss.

Moreover, the damaged spark plugs should be removed. Otherwise, it can even cause the car to stop functioning.

If you have observed vibrations that move from the engine to the vehicle’s body, you need to take the vehicle for the spark plugs to be inspected.

#11. Vacuum Tube

vaccum tube leaks

The vacuum tube connects various parts of the car, and it is used to power everything from the windshield wiper to the brake system. However, the vacuum pipes tend to get damaged easily, especially if your car has been in an accident.

If your car has been in a minor accident, it might not cross your mind to get a thorough check-up of your vehicle.

However, if you have been observing your car’s shaking and stuttering whenever you are accelerating your vehicle, then probably the vacuum tubes in your car have been damaged.

Experts mention that vacuum tubes often sustain minor damages, allowing air to enter these tubes, causing further damage to these tubes.

These might be difficult for the car owner to notice or detect. These can be detected only when you send your car for complete servicing.

Nevertheless, if you notice that your car is vibrating and producing peculiar sounds, your vehicle is probably because the vacuum tubes are damaged whenever you accelerate.

Usually, the damaged vacuum tubes need to be replaced, and the best method would be to hire an expert to replace the damaged tubes.

#12. Radiator Fan

A radiator fan motor has bearing inside it which worn-out over time. This makes the fan rotate violently and that could be a reasons of car shaking. You should also supposed to feel this when idealing.

The radiator fan helps in cooling the engine of your car. When the car is moving at high speed, the engine tends to get heated, and the radiator fan plays a vital role in keeping the engine cool and ensuring that the engine runs smoothly.

If the radiator fan is damaged, it will not prevent the engine from functioning correctly, but it will cause the car to vibrate when it accelerates. The problem becomes more pronounced when you do a hard acceleration, and you are accelerating at a high-speed rate.

In such a scenario, the radiator fan has to keep the engine cool and prevent the engine from getting overheated. A broken or a damaged radiator fan will cause the vehicle to shake and become wobbly.

You will observe that the vibrations are mostly on the car’s side and make your car wobble. In such a scenario, you need to take your can to the repair shop at the earliest.

Experts mention that broken or damaged radiator fans need to be replaced at the earliest to prevent further damage to the vehicle and to prevent it from shaking.


A car shakes when accelerating for numerous reasons, but none of these should be overlooked as it can cause damage to the vehicle. You should find out and solve the problem immediately to avoid further damage to your beloved car.

Check the avoid the mentioned reasons and you should be able to solve the problem. If you are still having issues, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below with your vehicle model and problem.