Most of the time, you can tell if your car is in good shape or not. If it moves smoothly, most of the time things are going well.
But if the seat, steering wheel, or brake pedal are shaking, that’s not a good sign.
Doing a quick search online shows that there seem to be a lot of different reasons why your car might shake at certain speeds.
How can you figure out why YOUR car is shaking?
Most of the time, when cars start to shake when going fast, it’s because the wheels are damaged or the car is out of alignment in some other way. Your axle, power steering, and brakes could also be at fault. Shaking is a serious problem that needs to be fixed right away.
There are many things that could be wrong with your car, but none of them are normal, so you should take it to the shop right away.
Here are 14 things that could be making your car shake when you’re going fast.
1. Wheel Damage
Damage to the wheels is one of the most common reasons why your car shakes when you drive fast.
You can damage your wheels if you drive over a pothole or hit something else on the road. When you drive fast over these things, your wheels can get bent or out of place.
Damaged rims can also make your car shake.
If you think your wheels are damaged, you should get them checked out right away. That’s because driving too long on wheels that don’t work right can do even more damage.
2. Tires Out of Balance
When your tyres aren’t balanced right, it can make the car shake when you drive fast.
Tire imbalance is probably to blame when a car shakes at 55 mph or faster.
This kind of shaking will be most noticeable in the steering wheel.
Look for flat, worn spots on your tyres to see if they are out of balance. Getting your tyres balanced can be all it takes to fix a car that shakes.
But at some point, there will be too much damage and you will have to get new tyres.
3. Uneven Tire Wear
What came first, the uneven wear on the tyres or the fact that they were out of balance? Both problems can bring on the other, and they can both make your car ride more shaky.
Tires that aren’t balanced aren’t the only cause of uneven tyre wear, though.
Tires can wear unevenly if they aren’t aligned right, if the suspension is worn out, or if they are either too full or too empty.
4. Wheel Alignment Off
If your car shakes when going fast or slow, the alignment of your wheels is probably off.
Every year, or twice a year if you often drive on rough roads, you should have your wheel alignment checked.
If your tyres are worn down in different places, your wheel alignment is probably off as well.
5. Worn Out Tires
If your tyres are worn down, it will be very dangerous to drive in the rain or snow.
With bald tyres, it’s also hard to stop or turn corners, and your car might skid and shake as you drive.
When this happens, you should get new tyres right away.
6. Loose Lug Nuts
Even loose lug nuts can make a car shake when it’s going fast. This is because the lug nuts keep the wheels tightly attached to the car.
If your wheels aren’t tight, your car will shake.
You’ll feel this in the steering wheel and all over the car.
Fixing this is easy: just get out your lug nut wrench and tighten them.
If they have been loose for a long time, you should take your car to a shop to make sure that no more damage has been done.
7. Suspension Issues
Check the suspension when trying to figure out why a car shakes while it’s being driven.
before you buy a whole set of new tyres.
That’s because even if you buy new tyres, this problem will still be there.
After the tyres and steering are checked, you should look at the suspension.
Some problems with the suspension that can cause the car to shake while driving are misaligned suspension, loose suspension bearings, or other parts.
This can happen at any time, but it seems to happen more often after hitting a big bump.
8. Steering System Issues
Problems with the steering system of your car can also make it shake when you’re going fast.
Tie rod ends and ball joints make up the steering system of your car.
If any of these parts are loose or worn out, your car will shake while you drive until you replace them.
When a car shakes while driving straight, it’s usually because the ball joints need to be replaced, but when it shakes while turning, it’s usually because the tie rods need to be replaced.
9. Power Steering Problems
When there are problems with the power steering, the shaking can also be caused by the steering system.
This could be a problem if the car shakes when turning, but it shouldn’t be a problem when driving straight.
Check the power steering reservoir for leaks or to make sure it has the right amount of fluid in it.
10. Axle Issues
When all the other parts of the car are fine but the car is still shaking, it’s time to check the axle.
Potholes can damage not only your wheels but also your axle.
If your car shakes more the faster you drive, this could be the cause.
The driveshaft and the CV joints are two other parts of the axle that should be checked.
When the driveshaft is bent, the car shakes too much, and when the CV joints are torn, too much dirt can get in and damage the joints.
To stop the shaking, these parts need to be changed.
11. Engine Part Problems
When trying to figure out why a car is shaking, the engine is one of the last things to look at.
Spark plug problems, loose or disconnected hoses, or a broken engine mount can all make your car shake while you drive.
If nothing else is making the car shake, it’s important to check all of these parts of the engine.
Check the air and fuel filters that lead to the engine as well.
If the timing belt breaks, your engine may also shake. Make sure to check that the timing belt is also in good shape.
If you don’t replace your timing belt in time, it can damage your engine, which is a bigger problem than a shaking car.
12. Broken Radiator Fan
There are fans between the engine and the radiator that can go haywire and make your car shake.
This happens when the radiator breaks and gets out of balance, making the car shake as it moves.
13. Brake Rotor Issue
The vehicle’s braking system is the last place to look for vibrations that you don’t want.
When the brakes aren’t working right, the steering wheel and sometimes the brake pedal will shake.
Over time, brake rotors can get “out of round,” which means that when you hit the brakes at a moderate speed, the car will shake.
This can also happen if your brake rotors are too worn or if they aren’t the right thickness.
14. Brake Caliper Sticking
The brake calliper is another part of the brake system to check if your car shakes at high speeds.
When the brake calliper gets stuck, you will start to feel vibrations at 45 to 50 mph. If you use your brakes too much in this state, you may even start to smell burning.
When you get your brakes serviced, make sure the mechanic checks the brake callipers.
This is important for cars that have more than 75,000 miles on them.
As usual, have your brake pads checked and replaced if they need to be.
Car Shakes At High Speeds
As you can see, there are many things that could cause your car to shake when you drive fast.
Your car can even shake when you drive slowly, turn, or stop.
No matter what is making your car or truck shake, you should get it checked out as soon as you notice it.
There’s nothing normal about a car that shakes. Take your car in as soon as you can, before any more damage is done.
Prevention is better in all of these situations, too.
As long as you get your car serviced and checked regularly (once a year is usually best), all of these problems can be found and fixed before they cause your car to shake.