Troubleshooting Unexpected Car Vibrations

Shakes, rumbles and vibrations of all kinds could be caused by a few problems in your car. It could be a simple tire problem or a loose part of the auto body, or you may have an issue under the hood that needs dire attention. Don't just ignore the problem and assume it'll go away; take a look at a few car failure points to understand the issue and work towards a fix.

Tire Wobble And Vibrations

If the road isn't rocky or bumpy enough to explain the shaking, check your tires as soon as possible.

The most likely problem is damage to the tire or low tire inflation. A low tire is more likely to cause your car to slightly drift to the side than cause shaking in the car, but there are times where bumps and swelling can occur.

If you've been driving on a poorly inflated tire for too long or driving across rough terrain without off-roading tires, the rubber can begin to split, which can change the shape of the tire. Manufacturer defects can begin to manifest when a tire's treads wear away and the tire splits, leading to lumps on the surface of the tire.

Manufacturer error can also lead to bubbles in the tire, which can cause vibrations. Take such tires back to the seller or manufacturer immediately, as they have a risk of exploding due to the bubble area being a weak point in the tire. 

Loose Auto Body Problem

If you've been involved in a wreck, you may have parts of the car's body that aren't completely attached to the rest of the vehicle. They may seem like simple dents or crushes, but a loosened auto body panel or part can lead to a lot of vibration.

Such loose parts can be a hazard on the road if they fall off by endangering other drivers and creating traffic issues. Although somewhat minor in effect, parts that are wobbling and loose can create a wind resistance problem by dragging through the air instead of allowing wind to pass by efficiently. Spoilers are especially problematic when damaged, as vehicles built with spoilers may drive differently with a damaged or missing spoiler.

This can reduce your gas mileage, since the engine has to work harder to maintain the same speed.

Engine Shaking Can Become A Major Problem

If your car engine is shaking, you have bigger problems than just a wobbling car. If the mass airflow (MAF) sensor is constantly sucking air and leading to vibration or if there's an imbalance in other moving parts in the car, your engine could be slowly shaking itself apart.

Engines are held together with a precision set of bolts, but the force of the engine at high speeds along with its heavy weight can create a traumatic force that can slowly shake the bolts loose. Other components that aren't properly secured (or become loosened because of the shaking) can be damaged as you drive. 

It can be difficult to troubleshoot engines, especially if you're working with an efficient import vehicle. For more information, contact Wolfe's Foreign Auto or a similar location.