Who has this happened, knows that it can be quite frightening: the car vibrates when the engine is started or “hops” while driving or accelerating. Many fear a serious and costly car defect such as engine failure.
In fact, there are many different reasons why a car behaves so erratically. Loose cables or worn components are particularly common causes of annoying vibrations.
If your car experiences any such thing, you may need a nearby towing service, you can call for help.
When stationary, the car moves in jerks
If the car engine is already in trouble when the car is stationary after starting, there are several possible causes. Most likely this is minor damage to the ignition system. If an ignition cable is defective, the car can snap and vibrate even after starting from a standstill.
Ignition wire defects can be caused by many things, sometimes they can even be animals gnawing on the wires. In the workshop, broken ignition cables can be replaced quickly. Another trigger for vehicle jerking when stationary can be a defect in the ignition coil.
The ignition coil converts the low voltage into high voltage. Only in this way can an ignition spark travel through the spark plug. This makes the ignition coil a particularly important and indispensable part of the ignition system.
Over time, the wearing part can be stressed and damaged by contact defects, short circuits or external influences. The defect then manifests itself in jerks and sudden jerks of the engine and ignition.
In this case, the car should be taken to a repair shop as soon as possible, as operating the car with a faulty ignition coil can cause costly consequential damage.
If the candles wear out, the distance between the center and the electrode changes. As a result, the air-fuel mixture can no longer be ignited at the right time, which can lead to jerks from a standstill. In the workshop, the spark plugs are removed and checked (with a feeler gauge).
If the jerk occurs immediately after replacing the car’s spark plugs or after working on the engine, it is possible that an ignition cable is connected incorrectly. Incorrect wiring can cause the car to tear after starting. This fault can be easily identified and eliminated even in a garage.
If the fuel pump is worn, the injection system is no longer able to supply enough fuel to the individual cylinders. Furthermore, the fuel-air mixture can no longer be ignited at the right time, which can cause the car to “jolt”. By the way, problems with the fuel-air mixture also occur in carbureted engines.
A rarer cause of jolts is a faulty dual mass flywheel, the job of which is to keep engine vibrations away from the drivetrain and transmission. The jolt is especially noticeable at the wheel.
The car vibrates while driving and the engine gives no power
It may happen that the car vibrates and jerks while driving. It can also be observed that the car does not pull when accelerating. In this case, a defect in the spark plugs can be assumed. As wearing parts, spark plugs must be replaced regularly.
If they are already worn, the engine may start with a delay and the ignition may fail during acceleration. This then manifests itself in the gasp of the car while driving. If a defect in the spark plugs is possible, they must be replaced immediately, otherwise, there is a risk of further consequential damage to the vehicle. That’s where you need a repair for your car.
Even if the spark plugs are wet, the car may still snap. It is necessary to check if the problems occur mainly in case of rain. This could indicate that the spark plugs are not adequately protected from moisture. In this case, it is also necessary to visit a workshop and seal the spark plugs to protect them from moisture.
In addition, a faulty mass airflow sensor can also be the cause of the vibration and shaking of the car when starting or while driving. This small sensor is very important for engine operation, as it determines the ideal amount of fuel to add to the engine air.
If the mass airflow sensor is defective, it must be replaced immediately. If the sensor is just dirty, professional cleaning may be enough to prevent the car from vibrating. There are several other reasons why the car does not pull properly when accelerating.
In this case, a visit to the workshop is unavoidable. A car mechanic will look for the problem area, so the car should pull as usual when the repair is done.
If the throttle valve is faulty or very dirty, or if the lambda probe is faulty (and transmits incorrect values to the control unit), it can happen that the fuel-air mixture becomes too rich (too much fuel) or too lean (too much air). This means that the engine cannot start at the right time. Result: the car vibrates.
The car vibrates under braking
Vibrations or jolts can also occur during braking. The car then suddenly jumps under braking, which causes great uncertainty for the driver. One possible cause is overheating of the brake discs. This can be caused, for example, by long trips on sloping roads or by a piston stuck in the brake caliper.
If the brake disc has become very hot in some places, the car will vibrate when braking. With inexpensive brake discs, the jolt can also be caused by inferior material. If the brake discs are poorly constructed, the braking force cannot act uniformly on the circumference of the disc.
As a result, the driver notices an uncontrolled vibration of his car when braking. If the shaking is due to the brake discs, In addition to brake discs, vibration can also be caused by faulty tie rod ends. An indication of this is that the vehicle pulls left or right when braking.
If the tie rod is bent, the steering of the car usually suffers as well. This defect must therefore be checked and repaired immediately. An imbalance of the wheels can also cause the problem of the car when braking and when driving at high speed. A mechanic can balance the wheels, which should fix the problem quickly.
As with acceleration, jolts can also occur during braking because the rubber of the engine mount has cracked and the engine mount is no longer able to perform its damping function. In this case, the engine mount would be replaced in the workshop with a new one.
Last but not least, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) can also cause jerks when braking – but in this case, the jolt is intentional and predictable. In addition to the causes listed, other defects can be responsible for shaking and vibrations.
The best solution, in any case, is to go to a workshop and have the car checked. By specifying the exact situation in which the car is jolting, the faulty component can be found and replaced quickly. You may also visit Vehicles Lab for more information.
Once the culprit has been found and the gasp has been remedied, the journey can be enjoyed again safely and without hassle. Visit The Tech Diary again to read more awesome content.