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Reasons and Causes for Car Vibrations

There are several reasons why a vehicle may be vibrating to communicate that there is an issue with a component in the vehicle. A vehicle is made of many different components, all of which have the potential to fail due to wear and tear or misuse. The vehicle is comprised of elements that are designed to signal when there is an issue within it such as shaking, vibrating, wobbling, and more. Car vibrations are one of the most common signs that there are either issues with the axle, wheels, tires, brakes, or the engine. There could even be complications within the steering wheel. Here is a list of parts that may signal through vibration that there is an issue and how it can impact the vehicle's performance.

Axle

The axle plays a very important role in supplying a vehicle with the support it needs to perform optimally. The axle is made of a rod or shaft that rotates the wheels to supply the weight of a vehicle with proper support. The axle is made up of three very important parts: 

  • Front
  • Rear
  • Stub

If an axle is bent or uneven it will often cause the vehicle to vibrate which communicates to the operator that there is an issue. Oftentimes, a bent axle occurs after a collision happens, when a vehicle is driven into a ditch, or from driving over speed bumps too harshly. 

Misalignment and the Suspension System

The alignment of a vehicle is the system that connects the wheels to the vehicle such as the suspension system. The suspension system is comprised of various components all employed to support the vehicle's ability to roll smoothly. When a vehicle is taken into an auto repair shop for alignment service, technicians will simply adjust the angles within the suspension system to ensure the vehicle's tires meet the road appropriately and proportionately. The suspension systems job is to make sure that all four tires support each other with same speed and direction. 

How does misalignment occur? 

A vehicle becomes misaligned due to various causes such as: 

  • Collisions
  • Hitting potholes
  • Driving a vehicle too harshly 

To make sure a vehicle is always aligned properly, the operator must prioritize proper tire care. Tire rotations, wheel balances, and wheel alignments must be maintained to avoid misalignment. When a vehicle is misaligned, wobbling within the wheel system occurs or the vehicle may drift to opposing sides. There is also the possibility of steering wheel vibrations and shaking that may occur to communicate alignment issues. Having the vehicle aligned properly is not a difficult task but it is recommended that it is performed by an auto repair professional to guarantee servicing is done properly to eliminate issues with other components down the line. 

Tires

The tires are the most common reason that vibrating occurs in a vehicle. As stated before, the tires require regular maintenance and care to ensure they can supply the vehicle with the support it needs to ride smoothly. The following tire issues will cause unwanted vibrations within the vehicle:

  1. Tire Imbalance - Vibrating is often displayed when the vehicle is driven at high speeds to indicate that there is an imbalance somewhere.
  2. Uneven tire wear - Uneven tire wear is normal due to wear and tear but can be kept to a minimum if tire rotations are performed on time. Lack of tire rotation will cause the vehicle to vibrate when driven. 
  3. Improper tire inflation - The tires on a vehicle must be inflated to proper air levels to ensure the vehicle drives smoothly and proportionately. When the tires are inflated at various air pressure levels, the vehicle may vibrate, rattle, or wobble when driven to signal that there is an imbalance somewhere. 

Engine 

The engine is the most important component in a vehicle by providing it with the power it needs to function. There is the possibly of engine failure due to lack of maintenance which in turn causes the vehicle to signal in different ways such as shuddering, jerking, or shaking that there is a complication. If the vehicle's engine is not supplied with the right amount of air, fuel, or spark it will not run smoothly. Faulty spark plugs are one of the most common causes of vibrations from the engine of a vehicle. There is also the possibility that a clogged or dirty air filter is causing problems within the engine and in turn the engine vibrates to communicate it needs attention. 

Brakes

Another cause of vibrating in a vehicle may be because there are problems with the brakes. Typically, the brakes will severely vibrate whenever the operator applies a maximum amount of pressure to the pedal. Warped rotors are one of the most common causes that a vehicle's brakes may vibrate to signal that there is a problem and must be replaced by an auto repair specialist to guarantee that the brakes are able to perform appropriately.