Eventually a 4×4 vehicle that has seen a lot of trail use or even just a daily commuter may show signs of vibration. Automobiles that grow old with time will eventually start to have issues and one of the most annoying is vehicle vibration. This is definitely a huge nuisance and if the problem isn’t fixed quickly, it can lead to future problems that will cost even more to fix. The issue could be something simple such as a tire rotation or alignment, or something more critical like a suspension problem. Regardless, this article will highlight the most common issues as to why vehicles vibrate, and what solutions you can potentially look at to solve the problem.
While not the most common cause of vehicle vibration, there are a lot of components and auto parts in the engine that can cause your vehicle to vibrate or shake. When vibration occurs from the engine, it could mean the engine may not be receiving enough air, fuel or spark that it needs to run properly, or a truck part could be loose or damaged, such as a timing belt.
Symptoms of your vehicle that can indicate vibration coming from the motor include:
- Jerking or shuttering occurs while accelerating
- Constant shaking at a particular speed
- Vehicle drives fine, but eventually begins to shake
If your vehicle is showing these symptoms, it may need to have the spark plugs or spark plug wires replaced, a belt replaced, or it may just need a new air filter. If the problem persists, it’s best to consult your 4×4 mechanic.
As an offroad enthusiast, one of the more common vibration issues you may experience are a result of axel problems. If an axel gets bent (which is quite easy to do if you are offroading) it will create an uncomfortable and unbalanced ride with the vibration increasing as your speed is increased. If the axel isn’t bent and vibration is still occurring, it could also be an issue with the driveshaft. The driveshaft transfers engine power to the to wheels and if this is bent, shaking can result.
Another component from the axel that could cause issues is if the axel boot is worn out. If the rubber boot is seems to be in tact with no rips or tears, then this is most likely not the issue. However if there are tears or the boot has fallen off the axel, dirt and particles can get in the joints and cause damage. Finally, it’s important to check the ball joints at the end of the axels, as a loose or damage joint will cause the vehicle’s handling to be compromised.
If the vibration occurs when you apply the brakes, chances are you have a brake issue. The majority of the time when you feel shaking from the brakes, it’s due to warped rotors. Rotors get warped over time from excessive use, heat, and wear and tear and therefore can get ruined. When the caliper grabs on an uneven surface from a warped rotor, this causes vibration. You’ll need to either go to your auto service center to get them resurfaced, or if the damage is more extensive you may just need to replace them all together.
Wheels that wobble can be a result of a variety of issues within the hub. If the car is vibrating at wheels and they are properly attached to the hub with the proper tension of lug nuts, it’s time to start troubleshooting and looking for a potential issue.
First, check the wheel bearings. They are usually meant to last the life of the vehicle, but if excessive off-roading or hard driving occurs, they can wear down and may need to be replaced. If they’re corroded, loosed or worn out, replace them. Also make sure to check your ball joints and tie rods as these can cause vibration as well.
If problem persists, take it in to your mechanic to check the alignment, and to check for wheel runout.
Tires that are unevenly worn or bald is a common culprit of vibration. Check the thread on the tires and if it’s uneven you may need an alignment or the rims could be damaged.