Car Shake When Changing Gears

Why Does My Car Shake When Changing Gears? Causes and Solutions

A smooth operating gear should have smooth and effortless transmission. But car owners sometimes encounter an uncomfortable shaking sensation while changing the gear. Why does this happen?

Why car shakes when changing gears? This issue, known as gear rattling, can be caused by several factors, including

  • Transmission issues
  • Worn-out components 
  • Poor maintenance 
  • Incorrect driving techniques

So, to resolve car shaking, you must understand the causes and fix them. This article will explore the common causes of car shaking and provide solutions to help you resolve the problem and ensure a smooth driving experience.

Causes And Solutions Of Why Your Car Shakes when Changing Gears

Why Your Car Shakes when Changing Gears

Let’s look at the most common causes of car shaking when changing gears and how to fix them.

Transmission Issues

Transmission problems can be caused by several factors, including low transmission fluid, worn gears, or faulty transmission.

Low Transmission Fluid 

Low transmission fluid levels can cause damage or wear on the transmission and its internal components. As a result, it generates smooth gear shifting problems, resulting in a shaking or jerking sensation when changing gears. 

Low Transmission Fluid 

Furthermore, low transmission fluid levels can cause overheating, which can cause additional damage and increase the likelihood of transmission failure.

Solution

Check the transmission fluid level and top it off to solve this problem. If the fluid level is low, it could be a sign of a leak, so have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic to locate and repair it.

Incorrect Gear Ratio 

The gear ratio is the relationship between the number of teeth on the drive gears and the number of teeth on the driven gears. 

If the gear ratio is incorrect, the gears may not engage properly, causing a shaking sensation when shifting gears. Worn gears, a faulty transmission, or improper installation cause this problem. 

Incorrect Gear Ratio

Solution

To resolve this issue, you must have your transmission inspected and repaired by a professional mechanic.

Worn Out Gears and Transmission Mounts

Gears can become worn and lose their ability to engage smoothly over time; this can cause a grinding sensation. 

Worn transmission mounts are another cause of car shaking. Transmission mounts are in charge of securing the transmission to the car’s frame. When they wear or get damaged, the transmission can move around excessively, which can cause the vehicle to shake. 

Worn Out Gears and Transmission Mounts

Solution

Replace the gears and install new transmission mounts to solve this problem.

Transmission Failure

Several factors, such as poor maintenance, a collision, or a manufacturing flaw, can cause a faulty transmission. Some of the signs of a bad transmission include:

  • Delayed engagement: the transmission does not engage immediately after shifting gears
  • Gear slippage: the transmission shifting out of gear while driving
  • Rough shifting: gears that feel rough or difficult to shift
  • Noisy transmission: a whining, humming, or clunking noise from the transmission
  • Transmission fluid leak: a reddish fluid is leaking from the transmission
  • Warning light: a warning light on the dashboard indicates a transmission problem
  • Lack of response: the transmission does not respond when shifting gears
Transmission Failure

Solution

Ensure you have the transmission inspected and repaired or replaced by a mechanic.

Read:  7 Main Causes of Car Shakes When Releasing Clutch in First Gear!

Worn-out Clutch 

The clutch connects and disconnects the transmission, allowing the gears to engage and disengage smoothly. Due to frequent use, the clutch can become worn over time, resulting in a loose or spongy feeling when shifting gears. 

Worn-out Clutch

Solution

To resolve this issue, you will need to replace the clutch.

Worn Engine Mounts

Engine mounts are in charge of securing the engine to the car’s frame. If worn or damaged, the engine can move around excessively, which can cause a shaking sensation.

Worn Engine Mounts

Solution

To resolve this problem, replace the damaged or worn engine mounts. This is usually a simple process. But a qualified mechanic must do it to ensure that the new mounts are appropriately installed.

Worn or Damaged Drive Shaft

The drive shaft transfers power from the engine to the wheels. When it becomes worn or damaged, shifting gears can cause the car to shake. 

Worn or Damaged Drive Shaft

Solution

Replace the damaged or worn drive shaft. This is more complicated than replacing engine mounts, and a qualified mechanic must perform the work. They can correctly diagnose the problem and ensure the new drive shaft is appropriately installed.

Improper Driving Techniques

If you’re not used to driving a manual transmission, you may not be shifting gears correctly, causing the gears to rattle and the car to shake. Furthermore, shifting gears too quickly or too abruptly can cause the gears to rattle. 

Car Shake When Changing Gears

Solution

Learning proper driving techniques and shifting gears smoothly and gradually is critical.

Worn or Damaged Wheel Components 

Damaged wheel bearings, worn-out tires, and wheel alignment issues can cause a car to shake. Wheel bearings allow the wheels to rotate smoothly, and when they wear out or become damaged, they can cause the wheels to shake.  

Accordingly, tires worn or damaged can also cause a car to shake when shifting gears. When the wheels are not correctly aligned, vibrations and shaking can occur while driving, significantly when changing gears.

Worn or Damaged Wheel Components 

Solution

You will need to replace the worn wheel bearings and damaged tires and ask a mechanic to help you align your wheels.

Read:  Car Shaking After Oil Change - 6 Reasons & Best Possible Solutions

Worn Steering and Suspension Components

Worn or faulty steering and suspension components can also cause the vehicle to shake while shifting gears. These components are in charge of ensuring a smooth ride, and if they are worn or loose, vibrations and shaking can occur. 

Worn Steering and Suspension Components

Solution

The best solution for this issue is for your mechanic to replace the worn or loose steering and suspension components. This can be an expensive repair, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of your vehicle.

Dirty or Clogged Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors are responsible for delivering fuel to the engine. If they are dirty or clogged, it can result in a lack of fuel to the engine, resulting in vibrations and shaking.

Dirty or Clogged Fuel Injectors

Solution

The best solution for this problem is to have your mechanic clean or replace the dirty or clogged fuel injectors.

Here is a video to help you understand more about this topic.

If you’re experiencing shaking or vibration when driving, you might find our articles on why your car shakes when cold and why your car shakes after getting new tires helpful. Our article on why your car shakes when cold explains how cold weather can affect your vehicle and provides tips to prevent shaking. Meanwhile, our article on why your car shakes after getting new tires explores possible reasons for the issue and what you can do to fix it.
Why Does My Car Shake When Changing Gears

FAQs

Here are other related questions for your further clarification. 

Q: Can my car shake due to the engine rpm going too low?

Yes, excessively low engine RPM (revolutions per minute) can cause the vehicle to shake. Low RPM indicates that the engine is not receiving sufficient fuel or air. In addition, the engine may stall, causing the vehicle to shake. 

Q: Can a gearbox cause vibration?

A faulty gearbox can cause your vehicle to shake. If the gears are not correctly meshing or if there is damage to the gears, vibrations can be felt throughout the car.

Conclusion

Car shakes when changing gears can be caused by several problems, ranging from transmission problems to wheel alignment issues. It is critical to perform regular maintenance, replace worn-out components, and learn proper driving techniques to prevent and resolve car shaking. 

Understanding the common causes and their solutions allows you to take corrective action. If the problem persists, have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic. Remember that regular maintenance, proper driving, and regular check-ups can all help to keep your car running smoothly.

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