Got a shaky car on your hands? There are a number of common car problems that can cause your vehicle to shake, vibrate or make strange noises.
If your car is shaking, it’s important to get your vehicle inspected and repaired, but you don’t have to panic.
To help you get your smooth ride back, Matthews Tire Green Bay Manager Tom Winninghoff is breaking down the most common causes of a shaky car, as well as how you can resolve these issues.
Why is Your Car Shaking?
While it’s never fun to experience a shaky drive, the good news is that most of these issues are rarely complex. According to Tom, “most vehicle issues that cause your car to shake are related to your tires, wheels or suspension.”
A simple repair or tire replacement at your local Matthews Tire will likely be all you need to resolve the shaking and get back on the road without any issues.
Tom added that, for Wisconsin drivers, shaking might be caused by a buildup of snow and ice in your car’s undercarriage.
If your car is shaking in the winter, try the car wash first.
“When there’s a lot of ice and snow on the road,” Tom explained, “the slush can freeze right to the rim of your car and cause it to shake.”
In this case, there’s nothing wrong with your engine, tires or suspension—you just need to melt the gunk off your vehicle’s rims to stop the shaking.
If your car begins to shake during the winter, Tom advises that the best thing to do is take your car through a car wash. This will melt and remove the debris and should stop the shaking immediately.
If your vehicle is still shaking after the car wash, then it’s time to bring it in and get the issue diagnosed.
6 of the Most Common Reasons Your Car is Shaking
1. Old tires
Most high-quality tires last between three to five years. If your tires are at the end of their life, this could be the cause of your shaky car.
“When tires get shot and worn,” Tom explains, “they tend to have a slight vibration.” If this is the case, it’s time for new tires.
Not sure which tires are right for your car? Use our tire finder tool!
2. Out of balance tires
When you don’t rotate your tires often enough, the tread wears unevenly and causes unalignment. Sometimes, you may not even notice your tires are wearing unevenly until you do get a rotation.
“When your rear tires are wearing unevenly, it’s very difficult to feel while driving,” Tom explained. “It’s much easier to feel when your front tires are out of alignment.”
So, if you start to feel your car shake shortly after getting your tires rotated, your tires are likely out of balance. This can usually be solved with a Matthews Tire alignment service, and can be avoided with regular rotations (recommended every 5,000 - 7,500 miles).
3. Out of round tires
“When tires wear down, they wear irregularly around the edge while the middle remains solid,” Tom said. “This causes the tire to bounce slightly on the road, causing your car to shake.”
If any of your tires are out of round, don’t ignore the issue. While it may not affect your ride that much, it can greatly affect your car’s shocks and suspension.
A Matthews Tire alignment and rotation may be enough to fix this issue, or you may have to replace one or more of your tires.
4. Damaged wheels
A damaged rim on one of your wheels means your car won’t be able to make proper contact with the road, which can cause a lot of vibration and shakiness up through the steering wheel.
Getting a damaged wheel or rim replaced is essential as soon as possible to preserve the condition of your entire vehicle.
5. Loose lug nuts
According to Tom, “loose lug nuts vibrate against the thread on the bolt and gradually become loose over time.”
Loose lug nuts can become extremely dangerous and cause your wheel to come off while driving. If you suspect your tires were installed improperly, bring your car in for an inspection immediately to ensure your safety.
6. Out-of-alignment suspension
Potholes, curbs and accidents wreak havoc on your vehicle’s suspension. If your car suddenly starts to shake, especially if you’ve recently hit something, your suspension may be out of alignment.
Even normal wear and tear can put stress on your suspension. The good news is, an unaligned suspension can be repaired with a Matthews Tire alignment service.
Repair Your Shaky Car
You don’t have to live with a shaky car. Get your smooth ride back and ensure your vehicle stays in top condition with the expert service at Matthews Tire!
We’ll help get you back on the road and keep your ride smooth with regular tire rotations, alignments and more.
Schedule your service today!