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What does it mean when your car shakes when accelerating?

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foot pressing accelerator of a car

Do you experience vibrations and a shaky drive when you accelerate? It’s time to investigate the issue. Out of all the tiresome issues that your car is facing, vibrations and car shaking when accelerating are the most annoying things.

There are quite a few reasons as to why your car shakes when accelerating. The struggle is to get to know the major issue - to know what exactly could this shaking mean.

Vibration isn’t something to take lightly or take no notice of. It can cause impairment to the other parts of your vehicle and on top of that it can cause accidents too. Loose engine mounts can be one common cause of shaking. A misaligned steering and a faulty suspension can also cause your car to shake when accelerating. Let us leap to figure out the reasons as to what does it mean when your car shakes when accelerating-

Also read:   Warning signs of suspension system problems

Why does your car shake when accelerating?

Car shaking when accelerating could be a consequence of several factors including the ones discussed above. There are some important parts that are associated with the function of acceleration and issues with them can cause you car acceleration problems. Depending upon the acceleration speed - high, low or a constant speed, here are some potential reasons which can explain that what does it mean by a car shake when accelerating-

1. CV Joint could be damaged

The CV Joint comprises the inner and outer joints that are located on the end of the axle. They allow the drive shaft to transmit power through a variable angle. Constant Velocity joints also provide flexibility to the car wheels’ range of motion.

They are typically intended to last longer but the joint starts breaking down or gets damaged when it is under stress. This can turn your ride bumpy and can turn vibrations into violent shaking when you accelerate and press the gas pedal.

It needs a complete replacement when you find out that the CV joint is damaged, which is the only way to fix the problem.

So, if you experience car shaking, it means the CV joint could be damaged.

2. Spark Plugs could get dirty or worn out

Spark plugs ignite the combustion needed to start your vehicle. It emits electricity across a tiny gap igniting the fuel and the sir mixture. If you observe black deposits on the tip of the spark plugs, that could mean that the spark plugs are dirty and worn out.

So when you see your car is shaking, it could be because of the dirty and clogged spark plugs that can eventually lead to a misfire.

To correct this problem, it would be a great idea to remove the spark plugs and give them a nice cleaning or simply replace them with the new ones to keep yourself away from the car shaking.

Not replacing the spark plugs can cause severe damage to the car engine.

3. Vacuum Hose might perhaps be disconnected or torn

Vacuum Hose in your car does a very important job of maintaining the proper pressure with the engine. Things can fall apart due to pressure loss, and it means that vacuum hoses have become faulty.

If your car is shaking when accelerating, it could also mean that the vacuum hose is detached, or an air leak has developed due to the tearing of the hose.

This simply means that you are likely to experience engine shake during acceleration as the lack of air pressure can in turn cause the sensors to get disordered, which can cause misfires and backfires, apart from the shaking you are already experiencing.

Replacing and re-attaching the hoses with the stronger ones to overcome the issue of disconnected or torn vacuum hose is necessary to fix the issue.

4. Brake Caliper may potentially be stuck

As you reach a speed of about 40-50 miles per hour and above, and notice in this specific situation that the steering wheel has started to vibrate and is further causing car shaking with continuous acceleration, it is plausible that the brake caliper is faulty.

With the stuck brake caliper, the vibrations continue to get worse as you accelerate higher. The burning odour from the stuck brake caliper can help you analyse which wheel is causing the shaking.

Inspecting all the parts of the brake system, cleaning or lubricating, or completely replacing the components in case of failed breaks are some of the solutions to overcome the vibrations being felt.

Always keep the brake calipers in good condition. Seek expert advice and take their assistance as driving with a stuck caliper can be difficult and dangerous too.

5. Driveshaft / Axle could be bent

It is equally worth noticing that the car shaking problems could be because of the driveshaft and the axle.

If you are to encounter a vibration, it could also mean that the driveshaft is bent or damaged. It basically connects the engine to the rear axle and the wheel, and the transmission sends power to the wheel. It has to rotate to transmit that power, and so a bend in the driveshaft can give rise to major vibrations.

Similarly, the shaking of a car while accelerating could also mean a bent in the axle. A minor accident or a collision could cause the axle bend.

Both, a bent driveshaft and axle needs a replacement as quickly as possible to avoid further problems as they both are contributing to the car shakes when accelerating.

6. Lug Nuts could be loosened

Lug nuts are kind of a fastener. Nuts are used to secure a wheel on a vehicle. It is important to make sure that your car has the correct lug size nuts. There are maximum chances that you experience car shaking if the lug nuts are loosened.

This uncomplicated issue can prove to be destructive. You are sure to encounter wobbling of the wheel if the lug nuts are untightened. A regular lug nut wrench, tire iron or a torque wrench can be used to tighten the lug nuts.

It is only best to tighten the lug nuts to avoid car acceleration problems or it can most probably also lead the wheel to fall off while driving, which you sure don’t want that to happen.

7. Tires might be unbalanced

You are most likely to encounter car shaking if you have recently replaced the car tires and there is an imbalance due to improper arrangement of the tires. There will be unequal weight distribution, if the tires are unbalanced.

So, if your car is shaking, it means the tires of your vehicle might be unbalanced. The shake will be more noticeable at a constant speed while acceleration and will be much worse at higher speeds.

You must simply consider rebalancing the tires as the car shaking during acceleration could be one of the reasons.

8. Motor Mounts could be broken

Motor Mounts attach the engine to the frame of your vehicle. It also dampens the constant shaking of the engine when it is running. Broken motor mounts will make the shaking more noticeable. Besides, other parts of the engine can also get misaligned.

Also, when a motor mount is broken, it will cause other mounts to put up with more stress. To stop the vibrations, make sure to replace the bad motor mount.

9. Fuel Intake might not be appropriate

Car shaking is driving you crazy now. It could also mean something different from the reasons discussed above. The fuel intake system of your vehicle can get clogged up, after driving many times. As a result, it will commence to pass on the uneven amounts of fuel to the engine. So, if you are experiencing car shaking while driving, it can also mean that the motor of the car doesn’t get a uniform and uninterrupted gas supply.


Now, after going through the whole thing, you surely know what it could mean when your car shakes when accelerating. In a nutshell, it could simply mean complications with the vital components of your car as discussed above. It’s only the best to get the repairs done on a timely basis. To avoid the expensive fix of the problem and go for the replacements of individual parts, you should choose to go for used parts.


Do not think about letting go of the vibrations and move on with your bumpy journey. If you continue to ignore the issues, you might experience serious problems with the engine. It can be very hectic and expensive.

To save some dollars, Used Engines Inc. can find the best possible replacement and fulfil your requests with the assistance of their friendly and knowledgeable team.


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