CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car Shakes

My car, when it gets to 40 mph, shakes in the front some of the time. It goes away if I take my foot off the gas and can repeat if I try to accelerate again but most of the time it doesn’t. I think it has something to do with my transmission but I’m not 100% sure. I just had the rotars replaced, new brake pads, and the calipers checked. They are all good. I also had a transmission flush a couple of months ago and it started after that. The mechanics who did the flush assured me the used the correct Honda fluid. What’s my problem?

I am definetly not a mechanic, BUT have experienced the same situation at 60 mph. I had my rotors turned and pads replaced and still had the “shakes”. Somebody told me to go and have my tires rotated and properly balanced. IT WORKED! I don’t know if this will help your situation, but it did fix mine.

It sounds like it happens when you aren’t touching the brakes. That means that it isn’t the rotors or calipers or brake pads. Could be the transmission maybe. Or maybe a tire, wheel bearing, tie rod end, ball joint or just maybe a broken strut or motor mount or loose/missing lug nuts on one wheel. The one cheap thing you can do is swap the tires from the front to the rear.

If you do that, check the recommended pressures which will be on a sticker on one of the door posts. Some cars have substantially different recommended pressures for front and rear tires. If the shaking moves to the rear, you know the problem is a tire or perhaps a wheel.

You really should address finding out what is wrong. A broken transmission will probably just strand you, but a wheel coming off or a steering failure at speed can mean real trouble.

Both of the above answers are good. If you are up to it you can switch the front tyres to the back and the backs to the front. Observe the caution about air pressure. (BTW Air pressure could be the problem).

If it changes, then you know it involves one or more wheel/tyre. If it does not change it rules out wheel/tyre issues.

After than I would opt for a local (non-chain) alignment shop and see if they can find the problem.

Good Luck

Oh heck. Jo Meehan is correct. It could well be a wheel alignment problem also. I think that I ignored that because the shaking apparently doesn’t happen sometimes. But that doesn’t completely rule out an alignment problem. An good alignment shop will probably do a basic check of the front suspension – which is something you likely need. And it probably won’t be outrageously expensive.