Will your car shake if you need an oil change?

Do you notice your car shake while idling nowadays? If you think whether it’s a sign that your car needs an oil change, maybe you’re right.

So, let’s help you find out if that’s the case. Want to know how does your car act when you need an oil change?

Just go through this article, and you’ll get several reasons why a car shakes. Match them with the condition of your car and figure out which reason is your case.

Will your car shake if you need an oil change?

There can be several reasons for your car to shake. It really depends on when your car is shaking.

If your car shakes while moving, there is a good chance the reason is simply a problem with the front or rear wheels or tires. The wheels or tires might be uneven, damaged, or malfunctioned.

But let’s come to the question of whether your car will shake if you need an oil change or not. The answer is yes.

Generally, cars do shake if the oil needs to be changed. And it happens especially while starting the car as it idles loud and the engine shakes the car way more than usual.

And so, if you observe your car shake heavily while idling, then it is most probably because it needs an oil change.

Why your car shakes if you need an oil change?

As we have mentioned before, cars might shake heavily while idling if they need an oil change. But then again, this question definitely strikes your mind that why does the car actually shake if it needs an oil change.

We’ll tell you why. Old or impure oil gradually becomes thick. And that is why the function of the oil to lubricate the engine does not properly take place.

Moreover, it further causes friction among the metals of the engine since they are not being lubricated well. And this very friction of metals might cause the engine to shake more than usual. As the engine shakes heavily, it makes the whole car shake heavily with it.

When fresh oil is added to the car eliminating the old one, the engine starts to run smoothly with less effort and less friction. Thus, no more shaking heavily while idling.

What are the other causes that make your car shake?

Except for the need to change oil, there can be many other reasons that can cause your car to shake, like the one we mentioned before, which is an issue with the wheel or tire.

So, we are listing up below a few of the most common problems that make a car shake for your convenience.

  • Spark Plugs or Engine Filter Malfunction

There is no doubt that the engine is the most crucial and complex part of the car. If the engine is the cause of your car shaking, then it’s most probably because of a problem in either spark plugs or engine filter.

So, if you suspect there is an issue with your engine that’s making your car shake, first, check the spark plugs.

Usually, spark plugs last up to 80,000-10,000 miles, depending on the model and manufacture of the car.

So, if your spark plugs are old enough to have issues, then they might be the culprit. But if they aren’t, and if everything seems fine with the spark plugs, the air filter is the next on the list to be checked.

An air filter that is dirty and clogged causes suffocation to the engine. The engine doesn’t get the adequate oxygen it needs, which further causes it to shake.

  • Distorted Pads and Rotors

When your car seems to shake while applying the brake, it is most probably due to a malfunction in the front brake mechanism. Among the front brake mechanisms, parts like pads and rotors are required to be replaced frequently.

The rotor is actually the round metallic disc attached to the wheel. It can get distorted gradually due to continuous use.

If you find your rotor to be completely fine, check the pads that press against the rotor to make the car stop. Pads are required to be of a certain amount of thickness and get strained sometimes.

Generally, the life span of the brake mechanism varies with the model and manufacture of the car. But averagely, brakes require replacement every 50,000 miles.

  • Damaged CV Joints and Driveshaft

Damaged CV joints are one of those problems with a car that is very difficult to diagnose. Because the inner CV joint damage is very unobtrusive, it creates the vehicle to shake severely while accelerating.

Again, a damaged driveshaft can also be a good cause for the car to shake. Since their function is to transfer engine power to the wheel’s axles, the wheel makes the car move. If this gets damaged or distorted, it can cause remarkable shaking in the vehicle.


  • Can needing an oil change cause rough idle?

Yes, the need for an oil change can certainly cause a rough idle in your vehicle with the engine shaking more than usual. This is generally because of the friction between the pistons, rings, and bearings of the car due to dirty oil.

  • Why does my car shake after an oil change?

If you find your car shaking after an oil change, it is required to be immediately checked whether the oil filter plug is loose or if the oil has leaked out, which can result in serious damage to the engine following the car shake.

In case you don’t see any leaks in the oil filter, there is a possibility that you have filled your oil too much than required. That can cause the crankshaft to whip the oil, making foam. And so, it further results in shaking the car.

Overall, if your car shakes every time you change oil, it is not a good sign. And so, you should immediately take your car to a mechanic for a checkup.

Because there is a decent chance of some malfunctions in the oil pan, connecting rods, or pistons of your car.

  • Can bad oil cause a car to stall?

Yes, a bad or dirty oil can cause your vehicle to stall because any lack of proper engine oil causes the car to stall. So, dirty oil can even further cause an engine failure.

Final Words

Maintaining a car is tough. There can be several issues that you alone won’t be able to figure out.

At the end of the day, when nothing seems to help you solve your problem, the only remaining option is taking your car to a mechanic or workshop for a checkup. Then, be it.

Because like you should have frequent health checkups, your car deserves it too. So, if the points noted in this article don’t solve your issue, it’s high time you showed your car to a mechanic for a check-up.

Though we really hope we were able to help. Thanks for reading till the end!

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