The terms ‘shake’ and ‘rattle’ should be associated with food and baby toys, not with your vehicle. There are a number of reasons why your car could be shaking and rattling—and none of them are good for your car in the short- or long-term. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to get your car to a mechanic to find out which of these problems are causing that annoying car vibration.
Your car needs an alignment.
You can tell if the shake is from an alignment issue if the shake starts at around 40 mph and gets worse as your speed increases. Another sign is a steering wheel that is not straight as you drive down the road. Your car may also pull to the right or left when you drive. If you keep driving a car in dire need of an alignment, you may need to replace tires and suspension parts more often (costing you more in parts over the life of your car). If you do suspect your needs an alignment, schedule an appointment with a local mechanic who has the equipment and expertise to align it properly. A car should be aligned every 6,000 miles.
Your tires are wearing unevenly.
Your tires wear as you drive; how the tires wear can give you key insight into any problems (or lack thereof). Tires with uneven tread wear can cause your car to shake. There are many reasons tires wear unevenly, such as overinflated or underinflated tires, improper tire alignment, and a failing suspension part. Schedule an appointment with a mechanic to find out the reason for the uneven tire wear.
Your brakes need to be replaced.
A warped brake rotor is a common reason for car’s shake; it’s also a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Usually, brake rotors wear because there is very little (or no) brake pad left. The metal-on-metal contact causes the shaking. The shaking is not going to stop until the brake pads and rotors are replaced. Schedule an appointment as soon as possible so your brakes don’t fail when you need them on the road.
You need new spark plugs.
One of the ways to tell if you need new spark plugs is a random shaking or vibration under the hood (look for these other signs of worn spark plugs). The shaking can be felt throughout the car, and can get worse over time. Driving with worn spark plugs can damage other parts of the car as well. Get your car into your mechanic as soon as possible to get new spark plugs and to eliminate the shaking.
You have front end issues.
There are other causes of shaking, such as damaged motor mounts or suspension parts. Only an experienced mechanic can diagnose the problem, prevent more damage to other parts, and stop the shaking before it gets worse.