11 Reasons Your Car Shakes When Accelerating But Not When Coasting

Car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting

If you have had a vehicle for a long time, it is highly common for your car to shake on acceleration. Old vehicles tend to do that as they weather with time.

However, if your car is not that old and you are experiencing car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting, you have to get it inspected.

You need to act fast to ensure this problem does not worsen. There can be several reasons other than being old for car shaking to occur.

Less periodic maintenance can be one of the primary reasons for a car shake and vibration. However, some internal issues can also lead to this problem.

If you want to save your car from any further damage, you should take your car shakes when accelerating the transmission. As a regular traveller, i have faced the same issue with many cars I rented in different countries and when I had my last visit to Mauritius,  thought i might face the same issue when I have rented a car in Mauritius from crystal car rentals but luckily their maintenance and service is too good. 

This maintenance guide will discuss the top 11 reasons that lead to car shaking and some experts’ recommended solutions to overcome this issue.

Why Does A Car Shake When Accelerating?

A car is nothing but a piece of machinery that, not being taken care of, gives out. It is usual for an old car to shake on acceleration, but it is not a good sign if your new vehicle does it.

People usually take good care of their brand-new cars. However, as time passes, most car owners start paying less & less attention to their ride’s maintenance.

Such carelessness ultimately leads to poor vehicle performance, especially of the internal parts. Finally leads to the car shaking and vibrating. If your car shakes on acceleration, it does not always indicate the peak of an issue in your ride. Sometimes it is a warning sign for some more significant problem with your vehicle.

Many drivers ignore sudden shakes and vibrations in their cars, which will only cause harm. If you have experienced such issues with your ride, do not get all hasty and ready to take your car apart.

First, you need to find out its root cause to fix the issue. As we said earlier, there are several reasons why a car vibrates when accelerating at high speeds. Read more here.

Poor maintenance is one of the primary reasons. Still, there are several more, which we will discuss in the upcoming section.

Also Read:

4 Parts Majorly Responsible For Car Shakes On Acceleration

If you have no idea why your vehicle is acting up and causing so much shaking & vibrating, then don’t feel bad. Not everyone is an expert on every matter. Sometimes it takes even experts hours to decode what is wrong with a vehicle to make it all shaky.

There are several reasons for a car’s vibrations. Some reasons, like poor care, are apparent, while others, like internal part issues, are hard to point out. Foremost you need to learn that you do not need to become an expert to deduce the reason for your car’s vibration.

Knowing the different car parts responsible for car shakes when accelerating at low rpm will let you take action before the situation worsens.

Thus, whenever you feel your car is acting up again, you can look for the below-listed parts without wasting any time to get ahead of the situation.

  • Axles
  • Callipers
  • Driveshaft
  • Motor Mounts

These small parts of your vehicle’s internal structure are highly crucial. They might be insignificant to you depending on their size, but they play an essential role in keeping your ride up & running.

So, look at these parts first when your car shakes when idle or accelerating.

11 Most Common Reasons for Car Shakes When Accelerating but Not When Coasting

If your car shakes when accelerating and idling, there could be different causes for it to happen. This is a common occurrence in old vehicles, whereas it should not happen in a new car that is on the road only for a few years.

If your new car shakes on acceleration but not while coasting, it could result from inner parts issues like bad cv joints, worn engine installations, unbalanced tires, & more.

Below we have listed the top eleven parts you need to check and fix before the situation worsens and causes severe damage. To fix your car shaking, first, identify the root cause of the issue in the prominent parts.

1. Broken Motor Mounts

Broken Motor Mounts

You will feel shakes in your car then, it can be due to broken motor mounts. The main function of motor mounts is to help stick a vehicle’s engine to its frame.

Another purpose of the mounts is to decrease engine shaking so the driver doesn’t feel the engine’s vibrations while driving. Most motor mounts are made of hard rubber, allowing them to absorb extreme shaking. So, if you are feeling extreme shaking, especially in the driver’s seat, there is some issue with the motor mounts.

Your engine is not in its particular location leading to the misalignment of other parts. Read More.

2. Unbalanced Tires

Unbalanced Tires

Another reason your car shakes when accelerating can be the unbalanced tires in your ride. Tires could get unbalanced majorly if you have had any driving mishaps. Other than this, it can be if you got your tires changed and did not set them correctly.

If tires are not rightly attached to the vehicle, they can not handle the heavy weight evenly. And this weight imbalance leads to small vibrations. The higher your driving speed, the more shake & vibration you will feel.

It does not matter if you own the fastest or slowest car in the world; you need well-installed tires. So, if you find your car shaking at a constant speed & it escalates as your speed increases, your culprit might be an unbalanced tire.

Also Read:

3. Bad CV Joint

CV Joints

CV Joints, or Constant Velocity Joints, are located at the end of the axle points in your ride. They are present in both inner & outer parts.

If you ever wonder why my car shakes when I accelerate from a stop, bad CV joints are the reason. You can identify CV joint damage by checking your vehicle’s high acceleration function.

If your ride begins to shake when you are accelerating, there are high chance of CV joints being the culprit. The shaking & vibrating worsens under heavy load, causing more wear & tear and causing more damage to the parts.

Damaged joints allow easy passage for water & dirt and contaminate the greasing protecting the internal parts. As the grease degrades, there is no proper lubrication, leading to excessive friction and permanent damage to your ride.

4. Loose Lug Nuts

Loose Lug Nuts

Lug nuts are small circular-shaped metal parts that work on attaching the tires to your car. Whether you own the best European car brands or any other, it is common to have loose lug nuts.

So, if you find your ride shaking after changing its tires, there is a high chance of one of the nuts remaining loose.

Having tight lug nuts is essential. Loosely placed nuts make your wheels become shaky and can vibrate the entire ride at high speeds.

Also, if you keep driving with loose lug nuts, you will likely get into an accident. Thus, inspect your ride for properly placed nuts after every tire work. Also, ensure they are of the correct size. Anything big or small will only cause trouble.

5. Bent Axle

Bent Axle

Don’t feel happy if you ever hit your car somewhere, had a minor accident, and walked away without visible damage. Damage during any hit is not always external. Sometimes it is the internal parts that take the effect of the force.

The part that gets affected chiefly during an accident or massive force is your ride’s axle. In an accident, your ride’s exterior might walk away without any scratch, but there is a high chance your ride to end up with a bent axle.

A bent axle mainly leads to vibrations & shaking in the vehicle, which only worsens with time. So, if your car is shaking after a minor incident with your ride, you better have that axle inspected.

If left unattended, it can do severe damage that even the best SUV for women in 2023 can not handle.

6. Loose Wheel Bearings

Loose Wheel Bearings

Another reason for your car to do that shake dance is loose wheel bearings. They work on lubricating your vehicle’s tires to protect them from getting heated up.

If these bearings begin to loosen up, you will experience your ride shaking, especially in the wheels’ region. It is a matter of concern as it makes your car less stable on the road.

7. Disconnected Vacuum Hose

Disconnected Vacuum Hose

A vacuum hose that is disconnected causes more damage than severe shaking and noise during driving.

If the disconnected vacuum hose of your ride develops an air leak, it can lead to a lack of air pressure, further leading to sensor failure, ultimately causing power loss, permanent parts damage, fire, and more.

So, if your car is shaking and is accompanied by noise, check that vacuum hose ASAP.

8. Worn Spark Plugs

Worn Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are the ones that wake up your engine from its slumber and get it all charged up for running. If spark plugs are damaged, they can lead to frequent engine backfires with constant vehicle shaking. So, if these symptoms arise, it is time to open that hood and inspect your engine.

9. Poor Propeller Shafts

Poor Propeller Shafts

The work of propeller shafts is to deliver power to the tire from the engine. They ensure the tires work as per your working on your acceleration & brake pads.

However, if your car shakes when accelerating and braking, there is an issue with the propeller shaft.

10. Stuck Brake Calliper

Stuck Brake Calliper

Another reason why your car is shaking when you accelerate is the stuck brake caliper. The function of the brake caliper is to handle your wheels via your steering wheel.

But if you cannot control your vehicle from rolling, it causes the wheels’ erratic movements and finally causes your ride to shake.

Fault brake calipers lead to a car shaking when accelerating but not coasting. The easy way to access this issue is that it will lead your steering wheel to shake as your ride passes its base speed.

The vibration gets worse when you accelerate to a higher speed. Not only this, you will even sense a burning odor when your car comes to a stop.

Suggestion: Best Automotive Paint For Plastic Bumpers.

11. Bad Struts or Shocks

Bad Struts or Shocks

If the shocks or struts of your car have any form of breakage or even a crack, it leads to vehicle shaking. A crack in struts is a common occurrence in vehicles. But if your car is shaking on acceleration but not while coasting and the damage is present on struts, you must replace them.

How To Fix Car Shakes When Accelerating?

Now that you know the reasons for car shakes when accelerating, it is time to learn about the fixes for those causes. The first thing that every car owner must learn is that when it comes to automobiles, every problem is severe. There is no such thing as a minor issue.

The reason is simple, the more you ignore a minor issue, the bigger it gets, causing more unimaginable damage to your sedan, coupe, pickup truck, convertible, SUV, EV, or any other ride you may own.

While you may be able to fix some issues on your own, for others, you will require professional assistance whether you like it or not. So try to keep an open mind and learn from your mistakes to be fully prepared for the future.

– Tires

For unbalanced tires that might be causing your car to shake, you need a jack, a screwdriver, and a lug wrench.

  • First, you need to remove the tire weights.
  • Follow the step by removing the tires.
  • Now clean the tires perfectly.
  • After all the cleaning, it is time to put the tires back in their marked spots and the weight back on.
  • Check multiple times to properly adjust the wheels.
  • The final step is to return the tires to their exact position.

– Joints

To fix the car shaking issue caused by the CV joints of your ride, you need to remove the driveshaft and examine the movements of the joints.

Check out the lubrication between the joints as well. If you find a rustic touch or not enough greasiness, you need to have them replaced as soon as possible.

– Spark Plugs

  • If you are sure that your car shakes when accelerating but not when coasting due to its spark plugs, then the first thing you need to do is locate it.
  • After discovering them, you need to remove them and replace them with new ones.
  • Make sure you are using the correct plugs.

– Greasiness

As you read above, being low on lubrication can lead to different parts acting out and causing friction. Thus, you need to check your transmission fluid level and change it. But there are things that you need to take care of:

  • Always turn your car off when changing the oil or fluid.
  • Use the fluid that is suitable for your engine. You can look for it in your vehicle’s owner’s manual to be sure.
  • Do not go overboard with the fluid.
  • After pouring, start the engine for a minute or two to have fluid move around the parts.

To make yourself pro on the vehicle’s lubrication, you should also learn how much oil a car needs to keep your engine healthy.

– Other

For the remaining issues, like the broken axle, brake caliper, etc., you may need professional help. These are the issues that require extreme mechanical knowledge and expertise. Not only this, but the work is time-consuming as well.

So if you don’t have time to spare and are not much of an expert on the mechanical front, taking your car to a garage for a fix is the best solution.

Top FAQs About Car Shakes When Accelerating Transmission

Is it safe to continue driving if it’s shaking?

You can drive a shaking vehicle, but your chances of getting into an accident rise considerably. A vibrating vehicle has no proper control of the driver. You may or may not be able to control it from rolling.

It is well-known that a poor car is hard to control compared to one that operates optimally.

So, as experts on cars at some level, we recommend you not drive your shaking car and have it checked by a professional.

Can dirty engine oil cause car shaking?

If you have not changed the engine oil in your car for a long time or are filling up the new engine oil over the old one without checking if it’s clean, it can significantly lead to the car shaking when accelerating.

Changing engine oil at least once a month is necessary for a healthy ride. So, if this task is overdue and you did not find any of the other 11 signs of shaking, get rid of the old oil & replace it with a new one.

Why does my steering wheel shake while accelerating?

If your car’s steering wheel is shaking when you accelerate, there is a high chance there is some issue with your brake caliper. But remember, a bad brake caliper will cause shaking only when you cross the optimal driving speed of 40 to 50 miles per hour.

It will keep increasing as you increase the speed. So, if the shaking happens at low speeds, you must take your ride to a mechanic.

Can a low battery cause car shakes?

Suppose your car battery is low on power. In that case, the alternator can often perform its function to keep your engine up & running. However, this generosity leads to excessive pressure on your engine, making it shake.

So, try to avoid such a situation where you overwork your engine. Check your battery status every month, especially before taking long driving trips.

How much does it cost to repair a shaking car?

The cost of repair depends on the part that is causing the problem. Besides this, your ride’s make, model, and year also play a crucial role.

On average, it can cost you from $20 (for engine oil change) to $1200 (for system replacement) to fix your car’s issues. The more severe the damage, the more you will have to pay. So, inspect your vehicle as soon as you feel the minor tremble.

Do not wait for them to get strong to get help.


Car shakes on acceleration is one of the most common & most ignored issues of motor vehicles. Being a piece of machinery, people don’t pay much attention to it.

However, this negligence is what leads to fatal outcomes later on. In this article, we tried to answer why a car shakes when accelerating.

We hope these bits of advice from our experts help you out. If you have any questions, ask in the comments below.


Ritambra is an absolute car fanatic who loves to drive and write about cars. Explore new car launches, automobile technologies, best car deals and more with entertaining, informative and delightful reading that will surely quench your thirst for automobiles.

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