New Orleans Auto Repair

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Why does my car shake when I accelerate?

We see many vehicles that are having drivability problems. It is inevitable that most vehicles will have a failure sometime in their life that will cause them to run poorly. A very common symptom that vehicles give is a shake on acceleration. When your car shakes on acceleration you will often feel a bucking / rough driving sensation while accelerating in your vehicle. A shake on acceleration may be more than an annoyance, it may be an indication of a larger problem developing. Shakes on acceleration could be caused by an engine management, engine, transmission or driveline failure. 

Why does my car shake when I accelerate? - Tim's Quality Car Care   Why does my car shake when I accelerate? - Tim's Quality Car Care image 2

A good way to start with determining the source of your shake is to see if you have any indicator lights on your dash. A check engine light, or service engine soon light if on would be the best place to start looking for the failure. A light would be an indication that your problem lies in either the engine management system or an electrical / mechanical failure in the engine or transmission. One of our experienced technicians will use the information from our scan equipment and diagnostic tools and pinpoint the cause of the failure and include the findings in your digital vehicle inspection. Components monitored by your vehicles on board engine management system that could cause a shake include, but are not limited to, a failed ignition coil, spark plug, camshaft or crankshaft position sensor, mass airflow circuit, shift pressure sensor, EGR valve failure, variable valve timing solenoid or pressure sensor.

If you do not have a check engine light or service engine soon light illuminated but are still experiencing a shake on acceleration it is probable that you are having an engine, transmission, or driveline problem that is not monitored by your on board engine management system. One of our experienced technicians will drive your vehicle in order to recreate the symptom, from there we can pinpoint the area of your vehicle that is causing the shake and make recommendations. Many times we can also re-create the vehicle symptom with the car running on a lift. Some engine and transmission problems that could cause a shake on acceleration would be internal engine wear or internal transmission wear that would cause a shake, shudder or surge while accelerating. More common than engine or transmission problems that cause a shake on acceleration with no warning lamps is a failure in the drive line. A worn propeller shaft, differential, axle or constant velocity (CV) axle could also cause a shake on acceleration. 

The most important thing we do when repairing a shake on acceleration is start with an accurate diagnosis. As with all repairs if you do not start with a professional technician’s accurate diagnosis you are going to waste a lot of time and money replacing things that were not the cause of the problem. Let the mechanics at Tim’s help you get your vehicle shake free again and help keep you in safe and reliable transportation!


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