Car Shakes When Pressing Gas Pedal [10 Possible Causes]

Car Shakes When Pressing Gas Pedal

Have you ever noticed an annoying vibration sound when you press the gas pedal? Sometimes, it’s a shake occurring intermittently, and you cannot figure it out. Of course, it gets irritating, and all you want to do is make it go away. The bottom line is there are several reasons why a car shakes when pressing the gas pedal.

As upsetting as it is to hear a vibration while driving, you can hardly fix the issue yourself. Except, of course, you are a professional. A car shake is not to be ignored because the more you ignore it, the more damage it may likely cause. So again, it potentially threatens your safety on the road.

Even though a car shake when pressing the gas pedal is not an idle issue, the good news is it can be fixed. Our team of researchers did some digging. Now, let’s see what could be wrong with your car.

What Is A Gas Pedal?

Essentially, the gas pedal of a car is an initiator. It delivers air and fuel into the engine, causing the vehicle to come to life – regulating engine speed. In most cars, it is located on your right and is usually easier to use with the right root.

When you press the gas pedal, you’re giving your car the green light to go. Because it is wired into the car system, a gas pedal pulls the throttle wire.

There is a throttle linkage attached to the throttle wire. That linkage manages a valve that controls the engine’s air intake. So the more you press on the gas pedal, the wider the valve opens.

The gas pedal, also known as the accelerator, controls a chain of events. Here’s how it works.

How Does A Gas Pedal Work In A Car?

Multiple components within your car work together to get you going. But, turning the engine’s throttle is the first step. Next is, the gas pedal, hardwired to the engine to regulate airflow through the throttle body, where fuel is injected.

Then, the piston comes down when it comes in contact with a spark, turning the engine’s crankshaft on. A deeper pressure on the throttle pedal allows more air in, increasing the rate at which the crankshaft is turned.  

How To Use A Gas Pedal

When driving a car, the pressure you apply on the accelerator determines how smooth your ride will be. So, the more you pressed the gas pedal or accelerate, the faster the car travels.  

For optimal control of the gas pedal, place your heel on the floor while the ball of your feet presses the pedal. While the pedal is easy to use, you need a bit of practice for the best results.

When in motion, the better way to use the pedal is to anticipate stops. With this, you come off the pedal quickly instead of going in sharp. Although cars are more stable in a straight line, you can control your speed in a corner or elsewhere using the accelerator.

Why Your Car Shakes When Pressing The Gas Pedal

If you experience car shakes, rest assured that it is not a unique problem. Several car owners have similar experiences. However, you should know some of the common reasons before seeking a solution. Here are some causes of car shakes and solutions.  

1. Faulty Inner CV Joint

Constant Velocity joints, CV joints for short, are responsible for a car’s up and down suspension motions. They are a vital part of front-wheel, rear-wheel, and four-wheel cars.

Each wheel hub features a constant-velocity (CV) joint, existing as external and internal joints. Therefore, when you experience vibrations with your gas pedal, it is a telltale sign of inner CV joint deterioration or failure.

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Minor vibrations progress to severe shaking episodes and then a complete failure. Usually, the grease in the CV joint leaks out in a small crack. But larger damage causes the grease to splash on or around the rim.

A common cause of CV joint failure is a torn joint boot. The lubricant covering the splines within the boot becomes tainted with water and dirt when this occurs. Metal-on-metal contact will eventually lead to failure. The sole solution is a replacement of the CV joint or the complete CV axle.

2. Braking System Defect

A clear indication that you need to have your brakes checked is if car shakes occur when you press the gas pedal. Normal wear and tear on the road can distort brake rotors, a common problem.

So, the brake pads constantly press on the rotor, located inside the wheel, to slow or stop your car. Unfortunately, when you press the brakes, the ride becomes increasingly unsteady since the surface is no longer level.

3. Motor Mounts

Motor mounts secure the engine to the car’s inner frame. In addition, it functions to absorb vibrations and cushion the effect of engine operations when running.

A strong rubber material typically absorbs the engine’s vibrations. If a mount is damaged or cracked, the engine and other parts misalign and eventually fail, leading to increased vibration throughout the vehicle.

You will likely feel a poor motor mount with the slightest press on the gas pedal. The vibrations can be fixed by replacing the defective motor mount. Remember that if one motor mount fails, others take on extra weight, increasing the risk of their failure.

4. You Changed The Tires

The condition of your tires directly impacts your car’s ride quality and handling. Therefore, tire issues can significantly impact how a vehicle works.

Your tires may be unbalanced. In that instance, they won’t be running flat on the road, which can cause your vehicle to vibrate. The shaking will get worse if left unchecked, eventually affecting other tires and vehicle alignment.

The lugs on your tires could also be loose, so consider a good tightening. Again, there may be a problem with the wheel bearings, which must be addressed promptly if the lugs are tight but the tire is still loose.

Alternately, you may have run into something- a curb or a pothole, bending the rim. Whatever the cause, if you suspect your tires are the source of the problem, you should get them inspected and ultimately replaced.

5. Your Brake Caliper Is Torn

If your brake caliper sticks out of place, it will make a nagging sound. However, it may indicate a more severe problem. When you’re in motion, between 40 and 50 mph, you will likely feel vibrations in the steering wheel.

The vibrations increase as you accelerate and with speed, followed by a burning smell. Unfortunately, while the smell indicates the problem, you cannot fix it yourself. Caliper bolts, slides, and pistons are significantly affected, but the entire system needs to be examined.

Sometimes good cleaning and re-lubricating are all that’s required. But if a brake part fails, it should be replaced.

6. Check The Spark Plugs

It may be time to inspect the spark plugs if your car jerks or vibrates when you press the gas pedal. The quality of your car’s operation is greatly affected by the condition of the spark plugs. And if the engine isn’t getting enough spark, you’ll notice it.

Rough idle, caused partly by faulty spark plugs, can make your car shake when you press the gas pedal. Inspect spark plug wires to ensure proper connection. Or replace them from time to time.

7. Faulty Vacuum Hose

Torn and faulty vacuum are common causes of car shakes. Misfires backfire, power loss and other engine issues are likely events if a vacuum hose becomes detached or develops an air leak.

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An excellent way to avoid this is to consistently check for damages, rips, or breaks. If you find any, a tiny clamp will fix the dislodged vacuum hose.

More frequently, the vacuum hoses on turbocharged vehicles will become disconnected. Replacement with more robust silicone hoses is a long-term fix.

8. Reduced Transmission Fluid Levels

Dropping transmission fluid levels can cause car shakes when you press the gas pedal. This is easily fixed, but it must be dealt with quickly to avoid further complications.

Damage to your transmission can become irreparable if you ignore a leak and continue driving. Depending on the extent of the damage, this may necessitate pricey repairs, rebuilds, or even replacements. The car’s transmission or drive train may fail if it consistently makes a jarring noise.

9. Fuel Injectors

Clogged fuel injectors are a relatively prevalent problem that can lead to auto issues. A clogged fuel injector prevents your automobile from getting the fuel it needs to accelerate, which can make it jerk.

In addition, the injectors may not supply enough gasoline if you hear your car’s engine stuttering. Regular injector cleaning will help to resolve this, using cleaning fluid. However, if the clog persists, a mechanic may need to remove and clean or replace the injectors.

10. Steering Components

If you have ever driven a brand-new and older vehicle, you may notice a difference in the steering system. Modern car models have firmer and more responsive steerings.

Again, the proportion of the wheel turn feels more precise. However, like other components of your car, the steering components are prone to wear and tear. But this may happen gradually.

Your steering wheel is a combination of little moving parts that physically connect with the four wheels on the ground. When these parts begin to wear, you may experience car shakes when you press the gas pedal.

Nevertheless, you should be able to steer your automobile – unless all the parts are entirely shot. But the extra wiggle room in that intricate network may result in some unpleasant vibrations.

How To Avoid Car Shakes When Pressing The Gas Pedal

General solutions to car shakes

  1. Inspect the ignition coil if your car vibrates upon acceleration. Carefully check the wires and reconnect them if you find any breaks or nicks. Or allow a professional to handle it.  
  2. Make sure your car has enough gas before heading out. If the gas tank is empty, pressing the gas pedal may cause the car to shake. Or become unresponsive. Consider checking or topping the fuel level before it gets low. However, if there’s a leak in your fuel system, fix it.
  3. Car shakes when you press the gas pedal may result from several reasons, as we’ve discussed previously. But, overall, checking the driveshaft, CV joint, lung nut, tire, vacuum horse, and other car parts should be routine.
  4. When there’s a problem, it is best to attempt a solution as soon as possible. Consider a thorough inspection. There are likely additional problems if fixing just one doesn’t stop the car from shaking.
  5. Other general maintenance measures should include oil, coolant, and water check.

Conclusion

Although there are many potential causes of car shakes when you press your gas pedal, we have discussed some typical problems. Regardless of the cause, it’s critical to not ignore it but examine it as soon as you can. Even though it might only be a small problem, ignoring it births serious issues and expensive repairs in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Happens If You Press The Gas Pedal While The Car Is Off?

For modern electric cars or hybrid systems, nothing happens when you press the gas pedal when your car is off. Until the engine is running, the fuel systems are inactive.

However, the fuel reserve is stored within the carburetor for older engines and models. That’s because these gasoline vehicles rely on mechanical fuel delivery.

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When you press the accelerator pedal, some fuel goes into the motor. If you do this often enough, gasoline floods the engine, making it hard to start the vehicle.

What To Do When Your Car Shakes?

Car shakes when you press the gas pedal may result from several reasons. But, overall, checking the driveshaft, CV joint, lung nut, tire, vacuum horse, and other car parts should be routine. 

Inspect the ignition coil if your car vibrates upon acceleration. Carefully check the wires and reconnect them if you find any breaks or nicks. Or allow a professional to handle it.  

Make sure your car has enough gas before heading out. If the gas tank is empty, pressing the gas pedal may cause the car to shake. Or become unresponsive. Consider checking or topping the fuel level before it gets low. However, if there’s a leak in your fuel system, fix it.When you cannot do it yourself, talk to an expert.  

Why Does My Car Shakes If You Go Over 60 MPH?

If your car is faulty, chances are you’d notice it at 60 miles per hour or over. Usually, the feeling is unsettling, and 60 mph is enough to cause severe damage. The most common reason for car shakes at this speed is unbalanced, which is usually attributed to tires. 

Although it is possible to do visual wheel balancing routinely, it is better to allow a technician to do it. Unbalanced wheels may be a result of damage and losing weight. When your tires lose weight, you may experience slight rocking vibrations. 

What Causes The Car To Vibrate When Decelerating?

Car shakes when decelerating or slowing down are commonly caused by weak or aging tires. However, extra friction around the steering wheel and broken suspension components may be implicated. Again oil leaks and low engine coolant levels may be responsible. 

Before inviting an expert, inspect your tires. Look out for worn or twisted wheels and ensure that the wheel is properly attached to the axle. Furthermore, ensure that your wheels are pointing ahead. If the linkage and alignment of the steering system are affected, vibrations may occur when decelerating. 

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

Your rotors may possibly make the steering wheel and brake pedal vibrate. The brake pad presses on the rotors to slow your car down; if the rotors are out of balance, this might be the source of the vibrations you feel when you brake.

A clear indication that you need to have your brakes checked is if car shakes occur when you press the gas pedal. Normal wear and tear on the road can distort brake rotors. So, the brake pads constantly press on the rotor, located inside the wheel, to slow or stop your car. 

Unfortunately, when you press the brakes, the ride becomes increasingly unsteady since the surface is no longer level. Worn brake pads are another major cause of vehicle vibrations. It’s not uncommon for brake pads to wear down to this point before being changed, as per manufacturer specifications.

DrillandDriver

I’m Brian, a car fanatic, and the founder of DrillandDriver.com, I’ve been into cars my whole life. Actually, not just into them but obsessed with them. I have been working as a mechanic for over 15 years and have been deeper into the motor and electric vehicles for some years.

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