“Why is My Car Shaking?” Diagnosing the 5 Most Common Causes

why is my car shaking

Have you ever stepped on the brakes at high speed only to ask yourself “Why is my car shaking?”



In car accidents involving mechanical issues, the most critical failures are tire and wheel problems. Next is the braking system.

It’s crucial for your safety to fix whatever causes the shaking behavior.

If your steering wheel and/or car shake, read on to learn the five most common causes.

Wheel Balance Issue

A shaky steering wheel or car is more than an annoyance. It’s often a sign of a serious issue.



When you have your tires changed, it’s important to balance the wheels. This means checking to ensure the weight is correctly distributed around the wheel. Unbalanced wheels cause the steering wheel, and sometimes the whole car, to shake.

Unbalanced wheels also lead to further issues. These issues include problems with the tire tread, steering, struts, and car suspension.

Misaligned Wheels

If your wheels are misaligned, this can also cause shaking.

If you’ve been driving your car a long time without maintenance, check for misaligned wheels. Driving through deep potholes and bumping into curbs causes misaligned wheels.

It’s hard to miss some potholes, but avoid hitting the curb and driving too fast over speed bumps. Look at your tire tread for clues. If the inside tread is worn down while the outside looks fine, your wheels are misaligned.

Problem Brakes

Issues with your brakes can also cause shaking. If you notice shaking in the steering wheel when slowing down at high speed or stopping, check the brake rotors.

A problem with the rotors creates a pulsating brake pedal as well. Changing the brake rotors should resolve the shaking.

Another cause of shaking in the brake system is a stuck caliper. If this is the case, the car shakes beginning around 45 mph. As you speed up, the car shakes even worse.

Bad Wheel Hub Bearings

Wheel hub bearings allow for proper turning function of the wheel. The bearings must be lubricated properly so the wheels turn without friction. Bearings are connected to the axle which affects the drive shaft.

This means that if your bearings don’t have proper lubrication, you’ll end up with a shaky steering wheel.

Suspension Problems

The suspension system is responsible for the handling of your vehicle. It includes the shocks and springs, as well as pistons and rods. A good suspension system means you’ll feel fewer bumps and noises inside the car.

If your suspension system has worn, loose, or corroded parts, that could cause shaking. It’s sometimes difficult figuring out the culprit when it comes to the suspension. But, it’s usually easy to fix the problem once discovered.

Why Is My Car Shaking?

You’re not the first person who’s asked, “Why is my car shaking?” A shaky car is a common problem indicative of several potential issues. Once you inspect the wheels, brakes, and suspension system, you should have your answer.

Give all your vehicle systems regular maintenance, and you’ll enjoy many years of safe driving.

Looking for more great car repair articles? Take a look here.