Why Is My Steering Shaking When I Accelerate?

If your steering wheel shakes as you accelerate, it may be a sign of a variety of problems. Sometimes, the cause of the vibrations is a relatively minor issue that, if not addressed quickly enough, may lead to a much larger and more costly problem.

When a car shakes while driving, it may mean something different than when it shakes when stopped, so pay attention to when the shakes occur. Is it just when you’re at a standstill? Is it either at low speeds, high speeds, or at a steady pace that the car vibrates? If your car just shakes when you brake, the trigger may be something else entirely.

Bad CV Joints

Each axle has a CV joint at the end of it. There are two joints: one on the outside and one on the inside. You’ll find your car vibrating under hard acceleration if the inner CV joint is weakened or failing. When under load, mild movements become violent shaking as they worsen. A tear in the joint boot is the most common cause of CV joint damage. Water and dirt get inside the boot as this happens, contaminating the grease that protects the splines inside.

CV Joint

Bad Motor Mount

The primary function of motor mounts is to secure a car’s engine to the vehicle’s frame. A secondary aim is to dampen or minimize engine vibration so that the car’s occupants are not affected by the engine’s excessive shaking or vibrating when it is working.

The vibrations are absorbed by the engine mounts, which are made of a hard rubber material. When a motor mount is damaged or destroyed, it not only causes excessive vibration in the vehicle, but it also causes other parts of the engine to become misaligned and eventually break because the engine is no longer in its proper position.

Bad Motor Mount

When the engine is idling, you will be able to feel a poor motor mount, but the shaking will become more noticeable as the engine works harder. The vibrations should be reduced if a bad motor mount is replaced.

Unbalanced Tyres

Unbalanced tyres have recently been blamed for causing new tyres to shake when driving. When a tyre is balanced on a wheel, the weight of the tyre will never be the same all the way around. To correct this, the tyre is placed on a balancing system, and small wheel weights are attached to the rim at particular positions to achieve perfect balance. Any minor weight imbalance can cause a small vibration as the tyre rotates.

Balancing A Tyre

Loose Nut Lugs

The wheel would have a slight wobble if the lug nuts on the hub are not correctly torqued down and some loosen over time. This gives the impression that the car is shaking when driving. If left untightened, all the lugs could eventually loosen all the way out and your wheel could actually fall off while driving. To make sure this doesn’t happen, tighten the lugs properly.

Tightening Lug Nuts

Bent Driveshaft

If the driveshaft is bent or broken, which is common in an accident, the car can rock while accelerating at low speeds and will get worse when you accelerate faster. Since the driveshaft cannot be fixed, the only alternative is to replace it.


Bent Axle

Vibrations from the car are also caused by a bent axle, which get worse when you accelerate the vehicle. A bent axle, like the driveshaft, must be replaced as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

Bent Axle

Stuck Brake Caliper

Car vibrations can be caused by a defective brake caliper on a wheel that causes it to stick. The steering wheel can vibrate in this situation as you increase speed. When you come to a complete stop, you can almost certainly smell a burning odor coming from the engine.

If you suspect a stuck brake caliper, you should be able to determine which wheel it is by smelling it. Examine the entire brake system, paying special attention to the caliper bolts, slides, and piston. Cleaning and re-lubricating the parts is all that is needed once the wheel has been located, but failed brake components will need to be replaced.

Diagnosing these problems can be tricky sometimes that’s why we have specialists available to help you. Schedule an an appointment HERE and we will reach you within 24 hours.

About Nonso Okafor

I've worked as a technical support representative in major auto centers in Nigeria for more than twenty years. I have dealt with a variety of problems in my capacity as a customer service representative and auto diagnostics expert. I'm committed to assisting people in properly maintaining their automobiles and in appreciating this magnificent innovation known as an automobile.

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