2020 Cadillac CT5 Rear Exterior

If you notice that your car is shaking when you drive, don't ignore the problem. Shaking and vibration in your vehicle can be a sign of a significant issue that can cause more damage or even be a safety hazard if left unchecked. Shaking can originate in a variety of locations within your car, including these common spots.


Most brakes last about 50,000 miles, but some last longer, and some need to be replaced more frequently. Each car owner's manual has a timeline of when the brakes should be replaced. However, your driving habits can also affect the frequency with which the brakes wear out. If the shaking is more pronounced when you hit the brakes, they're the likely source of your vehicle's vibrations. Worn brakes may also create a grinding or grating sound when you press the brake pedal. The front brakes are especially susceptible to wear, but a mechanic should evaluate both front and back brakes for safety and signs of excess wear.


Your car's engine contains multiple parts that may explain the vehicle's shaking and vibrations. Two likely sources are the engine's air filter and its spark plugs. The air filter works similarly to the one in the cabin. It filters air to remove impurities and ultimately provides the engine with sufficient volumes of oxygenated air. The air filter can get contaminated or clogged, which means it doesn't let enough oxygenated air pass through to the engine. The spark plugs, which have an average lifespan of 80,000 – 100,000 miles, may create shaking sensations when they're worn out.


Shaking in your car might also be explained by a problem with the wheels. A wheel that doesn't rotate correctly may lead to vibrations because it spins slower or more quickly than the others. Parts on the wheels can also become damaged or wear out. When that happens, shaking can occur. Common parts that wear out are the tie rod ends, ball joints, and bearings. A loose suspension system can also be a sign that there's an underlying problem with the wheels.


Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your car's tires' health. However, problems can crop up even in between service appointments. The tires may develop uneven wear, which can lead to shaking. Tires that are not sufficiently inflated, or tires filled beyond their recommended capacity, can cause the car to shake. The tire treads may also wear too thin and warrant a set of new tires.


Vibration can also be due to an issue with the axles, such as if the axle becomes dented or bent from an accident or encountering another problem on the road. If the problem lies in the axle, the vibration usually increases with acceleration.

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