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Why Does My Car Shake or Vibrate While Driving?

Posted at Fri, Dec 10, 2021 9:00 AM

One of the most common problems motorists can encounter is a shaking or vibrating vehicle when driving. Encountering this is certainly cause for concern and there are a few different causes that can account for such a problem. Ranging from simple to complex, it is good to be aware of the potential causes for vehicle shaking or vibration so that you will have a better idea of what has gone wrong, and in addition be able to take steps to prevent such an issue in the future. To assist you in understanding the potential causes, our Westbury Toyota staff have written up a quick explanation of what could be behind this issue.

Trouble With the Tires

An issue with your Toyota’s tires could be what is causing the shaking/vibrating. Here are a few of the most common tire issues:

  • Tires that have lost the perfect circular shape will result in the vehicle bumping or vibrating while driving. This is known as “wheel runout” or “out of the round."
  • Tires that are not balanced can lead to a vibration when you are driving at specific speeds.
  • Tires with improper inflation (either over or under) can cause your Toyota to rattle when driving and can even lead it to drifting due to the fact that the tires are not always making proper contact with the road.
  • Tires with uneven tread wear will wear out differently, resulting in a shaky driving experience.

If your tires are on the verge of wearing out completely and you suspect they are the problem, it may be time to purchase a replacement set. Otherwise, bring your vehicle into one of our trusted mechanics so that they can rectify the issue.

Wheels That Are Misaligned

A wheel misalignment usually culminates in your vehicle drifting to one side or the other when you take your hand off the wheel, as well as a shaking or vibrating steering wheel. This could be a simple matter of needing the alignment fixed, but it could also be the wheel itself that is being problematic. The wheel hub could be wobbling because of lug nuts that have not been properly torqued or the wheel bearings could be in need of replacing. Because there are so many possible causes with the wheel, it is recommended that you book your vehicle in as soon as you can to get the wheels looked at.

Issues with the Engine

While engine troubles are a rarer cause of vehicle vibration or shaking, it is still a possibility that should be considered. If it is a problem with the engine, the source of the shaking/vibrating will be the engine compartment itself. The most common engine issues that result in this situation are malfunctioning spark plugs, dirty or clogged fuel filters, a lack of air getting to the engine, and an improper air/fuel mixture in the piston.

If you find that your Toyota only shakes when you are accelerating or if you have been driving for a certain amount of time, it is definitely a sign that your engine is the cause. If this is the case, book your vehicle in right away as letting this issue go unaddressed could lead to severe damage to your engine.

Damaged or Warped Brake Rotors

If you are experiencing a shuddering sensation when you hit the brakes, the likely culprits are the brake rotors. The brake rotor applies pressure to the brake pads, which is what slows your car down. If the brake pads are not changed regularly, the rotor can become warped or bent. Once that happens it affects the entire brake system and results in shaking when you are slowing down or stopping. If you suspect this is an issue, you need to get your car looked at right away.

Don’t Ignore Shaking or Vibrating

As you can see, there are a few reasons why your Toyota might shake or vibrate when driving. It is important not to ignore this problem, as doing so can result in further damage (and costlier repair bills). If your car is rattling around when you are driving it, it is time to bring it for servicing here at Westbury Toyota. We will work hard to rectify the problem and get you back out driving as quickly as we can.

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