Why your car shakes when accelerating and how to fix it

Your car can shake when accelerating at any point of its working life. The causes are often diverse and are always an indicator of an underlying defect. When the shaking begins, the driver needs to identify the cause and resolve it before culminating into a bigger problem.  In this article, we describe everything around shaking cars when driving. It is different from a car that vibrates when stopped.

The causes of shaking are different and it can occur when accelerating at a low speed. Shaking can be evident when driving at a constant speed or accelerating at a high speed.

Here is how to diagnose the shaking of the car when accelerating.

Damaged CV joint

Cars have inner and outer CV joints. The car shakes when the inner CV joint is faulty. The vibrations are violent when driving at hard acceleration. The CV joint gets damaged when the boot is worn out and causes lubricant contamination. Driving with a damaged CV joint will cause more violent shaking and eventual damage. Consider replacing the CV joint.

Damaged engine mountings

Engine (or motor) mountings hold the engine to the vehicle’s chassis. They also dampen vibrations from the operation of the engine. A damaged engine mounting cannot dampen the vibrations.

This causes excess vibration within the engine compartment. The vibrations cause serious problems like engine misalignment.

The shaking becomes vigorous at high acceleration. Replace the damaged engine mountings to enjoy a comfortable ride.

Unbalanced tires

At some point, you may be required to change some tires. The new tires will have a bigger thread than the old ones. When accelerating, the driver experiences moderate shaking. The shaking is profound at high speed and can transfer some vibrations to the steering wheel. Performing wheel balancing reduces shaking when accelerating.

Loose lug nuts

The wheels begin wobbling if the lug nuts are not well-tightened. The wobbling causes the car to shake. When the vibrations become violent, the wheel may fall off the car. Use a torque wrench to tighten the lugs per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Bent driveshaft

Rear-wheel-drive cars use a driveshaft to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. A slightly bent driveshaft causes the car to vibrate. The shaft is irreparable.

Bent axles

Hitting obstacles or getting in an accident can deform the axle. When this happens, the car begins vibrating. The shaking increases when there is an increased acceleration.

Driving with a stuck brake caliper

The car shakes when you drive around with a stuck brake caliper. The vibration is notable when you attain a higher speed. When the vehicle stops, the driver notices a burning smell.

Dirty or worn out spark plugs

Faulty spark plugs cause engine misfiring, causing the car to vibrate. The vibrations increase when accelerating. Replacing the spark plugs eliminates misfiring, which causes shaking.

Faulty or disconnected vacuum hose

A broken vacuum hose causes a rattling sound when accelerating. The pressure drops and causes backfire and misfiring. The result is vibrations that increase with enhanced acceleration.


When the car shakes when accelerating, you need to troubleshoot it and identify the main cause of the issue. If you cannot diagnose this, consult a mechanic who conducts a comprehensive diagnosis and advice on the appropriate mitigation measures. Do not overlook the vibrations as they may result in serious consequences and safety concerns.