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1/14/2018

FIVE TOP CAUSES OF A VIBRATING VEHICLE

FIVE TOP CAUSES OF A VIBRATING VEHICLE
One of the most common and most bothersome vehicle problems is vibration. What’s more, it often creeps up on you gradually and
subtly, until one day you find yourself wondering how you ever put up with such an annoyance.
What does it mean to have a vibrating car? Vibration simply means to move back and forth or from side to side with very short, quick movements. In the case of your vibrating car, it means the unusual short and very quick back-and-forth or side-to-side movements. If this occurs, don’t take it lightly because the fix could be something relatively cheap and simple, like a tyre rotation or balance. Or it could be a more serious auto problem — something more costly, like steering wheel or suspension issues.
The following will explain the five common causes of a vibrating car:
Engine problems
Sometimes a shake or shiver will emanate from the engine compartment, because the engine isn’t getting enough air, fuel or spark which it needs to run smoothly.
Symptoms that might indicate such an engine-related case of the shakes include the following:
Shiver or jerking occurs during acceleration
Staccato shaking, as if over a highway “rumble strip,” within a specific speed range
Car starts and drives fine for a while, but later begins to shake
These symptoms could be signalling that it’s time for a new set of spark plugs. If the plugs are fine, it could be that the spark plug wires need to be checked (are they connected in the proper order?) or replaced.
Lastly, a dirty air filter or clogged fuel filter can starve the engine of the needed oxygen or fuel, respectively. So, be sure to replace them at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.
Axle problems
Our vehicles are full of reciprocating, rotating parts that have to fall within certain measurements or tolerances in order to perform properly.
If an axle gets bent — which is actually quite easy to do in a collision or other mishap — it will create a jostle of a ride afterward. With this problem, the vibrating often picks up in intensity the faster you drive.

A related problem would be that the drive shaft also needs inspection. This rapidly spinning part transfers engine power to the rear axles and wheels in rear-wheel drive vehicles. If it’s bent, shaking may result.
Worn-out constant velocity (CV) joints fall under the same category. If the “boots” are fine — those rubbers are intact, clamps are secure, and no lubricant is seeping out — chances are they’re not the problem. But if the boots are torn, that means dirt and dust and road filth are getting in and damaging the joints. For front-wheel drive cars, toasted CV joints mean you’ll be buying new drive axles, too.
“Axles of unevenness” could be giving your vehicle the shakes, but what if those bad vibrations come on only when you apply the brakes?
Brake problem
Do those bad vibrations appear or intensify when you apply the brakes? If so, there’s a strong possibility that your car is struggling with a warped brake rotor or rotors.
The rotor is the shiny, silver disc-shaped component on vehicles with a disc brake system. The rotor can get bent out of shape due to heavy wear and tear, basically overheating from more stopping than that particular rotor can handle. Instead of being uniformly flat all the way across, a deformed rotor is raised or lowered on parts of its surface. The callipers and brake pads, which squeeze the brake rotors to make the car stop, can’t get an even grip on a warped rotor, hence the vibration.
If you’re not handy with a wrench, it’s a good idea to see a brake specialist, who can tell you the condition of your vehicle’s rotors or brake drums (on cars with rear drum brakes).
Wobbly wheels
Often, you’ll feel your car vibrating directly through your steering wheel. And one seemingly logical thing to guess is that an alignment issue might be the culprit. But car experts often advise otherwise.
One or more wheels may suffer from excessive “play,” or wobbliness at the hub itself. The diagnosis and cure for this is involved as it could point to any of a number of issues. First, let’s just assume that each wheel is fastened securely to its hub with properly torqued lug nuts.
With that out of the way, the solution to a shaky wheel might entail replacing the wheel bearings. On most modern vehicles, wheel bearings are meant to last the life of the car or truck. But as you may already know, if you subject your vehicle to worse-than-typical wear and tear (off-roading, extremely hard driving, high mileage), it’s not unheard of for bearings to wear out.
Another thing to look out for is “run-out.” This is the term that describes how much a wheel deviates from a perfectly circular rotation when it is spun. Wheel technicians use precision instruments to determine if run-out on any particular wheel exceeds half an inch. Much of the time — but not all the time — the solution is a new wheel.

Other sources of wiggling, wobbly wheels include the tie-rod ends or ball joints. If they’re worn out, they’ll allow too much play in the wheel. At driving speeds, this translates to annoying vibration.
Wheels prove to be a common culprit when tracking down reasons for why a car is vibrating. But we can narrow it down even more.
Tyre problems
The full list of ways in which tyre issues can contribute to your vehicular shake, rattle and roll is a long one. But here are just some of the major ones:
Car vibrates at certain speeds — requires tyre balance
Tyres have separated tread — require tyre replacement
Uneven tyre wear — requires tyre rotation
Tyres are “out of round” and roll unevenly – requires tyre replacement
Sometimes, it isn’t the tyres, but rather the wheels they’re wrapped around that cause your car or truck to vibrate when driven. Watch out for potholes and sloppy road repairs which can both be equally hazardous to your wheels.
Also, keep in mind that these five reasons your car is vibrating aren’t the only possible culprits. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to see an automotive service professional.

Diagnostic codes
P0381 – Glow Plug/Heater Indicator Circuit Malfunction Repair Importance Level: 3/3
The glow plug system is used to assist in providing the heat required to begin combustion during cold engine temperatures. The glow plugs are heated before and during cranking, as well as initial engine operation. The engine control module (ECM) controls the glow plug ‘on’ times by monitoring coolant temperature and glow plug voltage. The California Glow Plug system has eight individual glow plug supply circuits between the controller and the glow plugs. If the feedback voltage from the controller to the ECM is not within range, DTC P0380 will set.
The code is detected when the glow plugs are commanded ‘off’ and the glow plug feedback is more than two volts or the glow plugs are commanded on and the glow plug feedback is not between five volts and 6.2 volts.
Possible symptoms: Engine light on (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light), the engine may be harder to start.

Possible causes: Faulty glow plug, glow plug harness is open or shorted, glow plug circuit, poor electrical connection.
P0382 – Glow Plug/Heater Circuit ‘B’ Malfunction
The glow plug system is used to assist in providing the heat required to begin combustion during cold engine temperatures. The glow plugs are heated before and during cranking, as well as initial engine operation. The ECM controls the glow plug ‘on’ times by monitoring coolant temperature and glow plug voltage. The California Glow Plug system has eight individual glow plug supply circuits between the controller and the glow plugs. If the feedback voltage from the controller to the ECM is not within range, DTC P0380 will set.
The code is detected when the glow plugs are commanded ‘off’ and the glow plug feedback is more than two volts or the glow plugs are commanded ‘on’ and the glow plug feedback is not between five volts and 6.2 volts.
Possible symptoms: Engine light on (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light), the engine may be harder to start.
Possible causes: Faulty glow plug, glow plug harness is open or shorted, glow plug circuit, poor electrical connection.
P0383 – Glow Plug Control Module Circuit Low
The glow plug system is used to assist in providing the heat required to begin combustion during cold engine temperatures. The glow plugs are heated before and during cranking, as well as initial engine operation. The ECM controls the glow plug ‘on’ times by monitoring coolant temperature and glow plug voltage. The California Glow Plug system has eight individual glow plug supply circuits between the controller and the glow plugs. If the feedback voltage from the controller to the ECM is not within range, DTC P0380 will set.
Possible symptoms: Engine light on (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light), the engine may be harder to start.
Possible causes: Faulty glow plug control module, glow plug control module harness is open or shorted, glow plug control module circuit, poor electrical connection.
P0384 – Glow Plug Control Module Circuit High
The glow plug system is used to assist in providing the heat required to begin combustion during cold engine temperatures. The glow plugs are heated before and during cranking, as well as initial engine operation. The ECM controls the glow plug ‘on’ times by monitoring coolant temperature and glow plug voltage. The California Glow Plug system has eight individual glow plug supply circuits between the controller and the glow plugs. If the feedback voltage from the controller to the ECM is not within range, DTC P0380 will set.

Possible symptoms: Engine light on (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light), the engine may be harder to start.
Possible causes: Faulty glow plug control module, glow plug control module harness is open or shorted, glow plug control module circuit, poor electrical connection.
P0385 – Crankshaft Position Sensor ‘B’ Circuit
The Crankshaft position sensor also known as the crank position sensor is an electronic device used in an engine to record the rate at which the crankshaft is spinning. This information is used by the ECM to control ignition and fuel injection. The sensor system consists of a rotating part, typically a disc, as well as a static part, the actual sensor. When the engine is running, the high and low parts of the teeth cause the gap with the sensor to change. The changing gap causes the magnetic field near the sensor to change. The change in the magnetic field cause the voltage from the sensor to change.
Sometimes and in some models, low battery voltage or a weak starter can trigger a Crankshaft Position Sensor code. Before replacing any parts, recharge or replaced battery.

The code is detected when the crankshaft position sensor (POS) signal is sent to the ECM during the first few seconds of engine cranking being out of range.
Possible symptoms: Engine light on (or Service Engine Soon Warning Light), lack/loss of power engine stall.

Possible causes: Faulty crankshaft position sensor, crankshaft position sensor harness is open or shorted, crankshaft position sensor circuit poor electrical connection, signal plate may be damaged, starter motor may be faulty, starting system circuit, dead or weak battery.
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