Most car owners assume that every time a car shakes or vibrates during acceleration all they need is wheel alignment. Contrary to popular opinion, wheel alignment will only ‘re-align’ the tires to be in the correct direction. The biggest cause of these vibrations is tire balance, which can be fixed at your regular mechanic. But when the shaking seems to go on after tire balancing then you need to read on...

When the wheels of your car and the steering wheel are at an equilibrium, the overall weight of the car will be equally distributed when you are at cruising speeds. The overall effects of this shaking or vibrations will lead wear and tear, increase in fuel consumption, strain and breakages of some parts, and eventually, your vehicle may occasionally go in the wrong direction when driving.

The aim of this article is to highlight what would cause your car to shake during acceleration and what possible remedies are available to either help you correct this anomaly or avoid it altogether.

Some of the possible causes for your car’s vibration while cruising are:


1. Wheel Balancing

When the car tires are out of balance it will cause the steering wheel to shake and make it difficult to control the vehicle. To avoid this, your mechanic can use the computerized when balancing and alignment to give the wheels a perfect balance before re-installing them back to the car. If you don't correct this problem in time you may incur unnecessary costs of replacing tires due to wearing out frequently. Any slight difference in wheel alignment can cause vibrations at speeds as low as 55-60 miles per hour.

Wheels may also be wobbly because of some loose bearings or broken hub which can be corrected by tightening the wheel or replacing the entire bearing.

Wheel Balancing

2. Bent Rim

​This is a common problem that affects those who drive on rough roads or those who cannot park their vehicles without hitting the curb. A bent rim will force your car to have a balancing problem when driving. The problem with bent rim vibrations is that the vehicle cannot stabilize even when driven at lower speeds. This causes uneven tire wear. To solve this problem you need to take your car for rim straightening or replacement depending on how bad the situation is.

Bent Rim

3. Tire Separation

​Driving on bad roads can lead to uneven tire wear where some layers are peeled off and air in the tire gets between the layers causing the tire to lose its cylindrical shape leading to uneven driving experience at high speeds. The best way to deal with this problem is to replace the affected tire. You may consider replacing the whole set of tires if you want the same tread wear.

​4. Axle Problems

​If the axle goes beyond its measure of tolerance your car will not perform as expected. A bent axle which may be as a result of a previous collision will eventually create a rough ride when picking up on speed. Check if the rubber shields around the axles are torn and confirm if the lubricant is still in place before replacing the entire axle.

Axle Problems

5. The Brakes

If the brake rotors are not in good shape, your car will vibrate every time you attempt to slow it down. A deformed rotor as a result of the changing temperature and overheating may have raised and lowered areas which will make it harder for brake calipers and pads to get a good grip when trying to bring the car to a stop. You can take your car to a mechanic have the braking system checked.

The Brakes

6. Engine Problems

​When your engine is not getting enough air or fuel you may experience sudden vibrations especially if you are driving from low to high speeds. You may need to check if the spark plugs need replacement if you need to replace the air filters to increase the amount of fuel and air getting into your engine.

Engine Problems

7. Stuck Brake Caliper

​Your brake calipers may be stuck due to the uneven nature of the braking cylinder surface. This can cause a lot of problems when trying to drive faster because the car will start shaking before the caliper disengage.

Stuck Brake Caliper


​Driving a wobbly car can be a frightening experience which can be avoided by not missing your scheduled car service and maintenance routine. In a much as we have highlighted some of the problems that will cause shaking and vibrations during acceleration, it is recommended that you consult your mechanic who should help you correct these problems. I do not recommend DIY because as you can see these issues border on your safety.

​If you have ever experienced sudden vibrations during acceleration and had your problem sorted out, kindly share with us on the experiences and what you think is the best solution to the question Why does my car shake during acceleration?

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Chief editor at Paul's Gigantic Garage. I came up with this blog to help you to sort out some basic problems your car may be facing and in turn, save lots of cash by some of my DIY tips that I hope will get your car out of its current situation. I also had in mind motor enthusiasts who for the love of cars who are constantly looking for information about cars on the latest trends, questions, fixes, driving, tricks, and accessories.


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