Why does my car vibrate?

Written by william zane
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Why does my car vibrate?
Look out for potholes; they're trouble for wheels and suspensions. (luxury car - model toy car image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

As a car ages, so do components like the suspension, wheels and tyres. If the car has problems with any components that are directly affected by the road, the car can shake and vibrate uncomfortably as you drive.

Poor alignment

One of the most common cause of vibrations is a poor alignment, which occurs when the suspension settings are not correct. This can cause the wheels to shake. Some causes of a bad alignment are bent wheels, worn tyres, rough roads and accidents in which the suspension gets whacked hard or bent.

The solution

Have the car aligned. A good garage can tell you if your car is out of alignment and can eliminate the problem by aligning it. This can cost anywhere from £32 for a simple front-end alignment to more than £130 for a four-wheel alignment, depending on the make and model of vehicle.

Bent wheels

Bent wheels are another common cause of car vibrations. If you drive the car over potholes, on really rough roads or into curbs, the wheels can easily become bent. This also frequently occurs on cars that have low-profile or ultra low-profile tyres, because the stiff sidewall of such a tyre does not isolate and protect the wheel.

The solution

Have the wheels fixed by a wheel repair shop or buy new wheels. A wheel repair shop can try to fix the bent areas of the wheels, but it is often cheaper or easier to simply replace the wheels. Have the car aligned after repaired wheels or new wheels are installed.

Bad or imbalanced tyres

If your tyres are imbalanced or unevenly worn, the result is often shaking and vibrating from the wheels and tyres and the suspension. Unevenly worn tyres can be caused by a misaligned suspension and by failure to rotate the tyres on a regular basis.

The solution

Take your car to a tyre shop and have the tyres looked at. The shop can determine whether it can rotate and balance the tyres or if you need a new set of tyres to fix the problem.

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