When driving your car should go straight and smoothly. This means that in theory on a straight road you should be able to let go of the wheel and your car will stay straight.
This doesn’t always work in practice because the road is not smooth and has bumps that will cause the vehicle to turn off, but the vehicle should not shack while driving.
A lot of different things can be the case with your vehicle shaking while driving. Keep reading to learn some of the things that could cause your car to shake at low speeds and some solutions for the issues.
Before going into in-depth detail about each thing we will provide a list of the possible issues, so if you have an idea of what might be wrong, you can jump to that section first.
Some of the main things that can cause your car to shake at low speeds are:
- Tire Issues
- Brake Issues
- Engine Mount Issues
- Bearing Issues
- Axel Problems
- Steering Component Issues
Depending on what the problem is it can be an easy thing to fix, or it can be more in-depth. Now we will look deeper into each potential problem and explain how to diagnose it and provide a solution for it.
The tires are the first thing to consider when trying to figure out why your car is shaking at low speeds. There are a few different things that could be wrong with the tires, but each is a pretty simple solution.
The first thing when trying to figure out if the tires are the cause of the shake is to examine the tires. You want first to make sure they have a good amount of treed on them.
If the tires are wearing out and loosing treed, then they may not be gripping the road good which can cause shake.
The next thing when looking at the treed is to make sure the wear is even. If the wear is not even, then this can be an indication of the tires needing balanced or aligned.
The treed not being wore even can also be a sign of some other issues, but it is best to start with having the tires balanced and aligned to see if that fixes the problem.
To know if the treed is not wearing evenly you can look for flat spots on one part of the tire and not the others. Also, cupping can occur where one part of the treed is lower then the other making it appear like a bowl.
To have the tire balanced, you will need to take it to a shop so they can put it on a machine and make sure the weight is distributed right. Balancing the tires keeps them from wobbling.
The wobble can cause the car to shake. When having the tires balanced, you should also have them aligned. Making sure the tires are correctly aligned will help keep the car in the straight path that was mentioned early.
Since the car won’t pull, it will not shake, and the tires will wear evenly. If the tires are too unevenly wore compared to the others, then you might have to get a new set to fix the shaking problem entirely or with time after rotating, balancing, and aligning the tires might wear themselves back to an even pattern.
The next thing to consider when you have a car that shakes at lower speeds is the brake system. This is especially true if the wobbling or shaking happens while braking.
A few different things can go wrong with the brakes that can cause the car to shake. The main thing that can lead to shaking is a brake rotor that is out of round.
If the brake rotor wears unevenly from the car not being balanced or aligns right, then it can lead to high points on the rotor. These high points can rub against the calipers and cause the car to shake.
If the tires seem to find or you have had them balanced and aligned, but still have shaking, then the next thing you should have looked at is the brakes.
At a shop, they can remove the rotors and make sure that they are round and even. If they are not, then they might be able to resurface them, if there is enough metal left.
Rotors can only be resurfaced so much thought before they need to be replaced because they have to stay a certain thickness to work right.
Another part of the brake system that can cause shaking is a sticking brake caliper. The caliper is what closes the brake pads onto the rotor.
If the caliper stays shut, then the pads will be rubbing the rotor as you try to accelerate. This will cause shaking, and it will get worse as you pick up speed.
If you think the caliper is sticking, then you need to get it checked out because it is dangerous and can damage the rotor.
Engine Mount Issues
The next thing that can cause a car to shake at low speeds doesn’t have to do with the wheels or driving system at all. It instead has to do with how the engine is held into the vehicle.
The engine is held in with metal mounts, and there is also rubber parts under the hood too to help hold the motor in. If these mounts come loose or the rubber breaks down, then the engine can shake as you drive.
A lot of power is inside the engine and the force being created the engine can cause the car to shake if the mounts are bad.
If the brakes and tires seem okay, then the next thing you should check is the mounts. If the engine appears loose, then the mounts will need to be replaced or retightened.
Moving on we are going back to the wheel area for the next issues, and that is bearing issues. The bearings are what helps the wheels spin freely and lubricate them.
Sometimes the bearings go and though and this leads to friction and rub around the wheels. The issues will be noticeable at lower speeds and may get better as you speed up. Also, the problem may be felt more when turning if it is the bearings.
Another thing that can cause the problem to be worse in one position over another is axel issues. The axel issues could be CV joints or different joints breaking down.
The joints are what connects the axel to the wheels, and if they break down, then there might be rubbing happening in one wheel position and not another.
This can cause shaking and most likely can be noticeable at low speeds and turning, mainly depending on which joint is bad. One way to see if it is a bad join is to jack the car off the ground a little and see if the wheel has play.
If the wheel moves when pushed on from the side, then you have a bad joint that needs to be fixed. Pushing on the wheel should not be able to move it with good joints.
Another thing that could be wrong with the axel that could cause shaking is a bent axle. If the axle is bent, then it will not spin round as the car rolls. Instead, it will have a point where it causes a bump in the rotation.
At slow speeds, this bump may seem like the road, but as you get faster, the bump will cause shaking. If the car has been wrecked, especially recently, then you will want to make sure there is no damage to the frame or axel. A bent axel is significant damage and could lead the car to be considered totaled.
The last thing that could lead the car to shake at slow speeds is the steering components going bad. Maybe the car isn’t shaking at all, and just the steering wheel is loose, and it seems like the car is shaking.
Also, the steering column might be worn out, and this would make it seem like the car was shaking. If you have checked everything else that we have mentioned up to this point, then it is time to check the steering system itself and see if the problem lies in it.
A lot of different things can lead to a car shaking at slow speeds, and it is essential to have them checked out as soon as possible. The steering wheel is your connection to the car and the road, and it is the first sign of problems.
If you have shaking, then you need to get it fixed before other things go bad. The first place is to start with the tires and see if they need balanced or aligned.
The next thing to check is the breaks, and this could even be the first thing if the issues are mainly noticeable when breaking.
After you have tested those things, if you still have shaking, then is time to go deeper and check the engine mounts, wheel bearings, and different joints.
If none of these are the problem or the car has been wrecked recently, then check the axel.
Lastly, if all else fails to check the steering system itself because the problem may be a loose wheel that is causing you to think the car is shaking but it might not be. Now you have a checklist of things to check when your vehicle is shaking though and a good idea what to do about them.