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According to statistics, it’s every truck driver’s dream to lift his/her dear truck to improve its ground clearance. Once it’s given enough boost off the ground, it’s easy to customize and personalize it with any modifications you’ve been dreaming of. But, to lift your truck, one factor is inevitable. You need to explore your options between professional vs. DIY lift kit to figure out which route will suit your specific situation.

Now, when it comes to suspension upgrades, you need to understand that there are myriad options on offer. First, there are lift kits and second, there are leveling kits. Lift kits are intended to lift the body of your truck to around 6-inches from the axle while leveling kits are designed to raise either the front or the rear of your truck to level it.

 

Professional vs. DIY Lift Kit: How Much Does It Cost to Lift a Truck?

 

So, whether you’re looking for a total lift or just a minor level lift to boost the suspensions, the money will have to be splashed. But, the amount of money you’re likely to spend in either of these two situations will greatly differ depending on whether you’ll hire a professional or perform the installation yourself.  With that said, this short guide will attempt to simplify the cost of lifting your truck depending on these two scenarios which are hiring a professional mechanic vs. doing it yourself.

 

But First, Why Do You Need to Lift Your Truck?

  • Improved Appearance: The first benefit of lifting your truck a few inches from the ground is to improve its aesthetic appeal. According to most enthusiast truck owners, lifting your ride creates enough clearance to fit larger chrome tires that will make your truck look more formidable while on the highway.
  • Boost Suspension: Another benefit of lifting your truck is relieving the suspension system from the daily stress it has to endure. This is more so if your truck is intended for utilitarian or commercial purposes. You see, with better elevation, your truck will not strain to haul heavy load because the lift kit will partner with the suspension system to keep the vehicle level when moving.
  • Higher Ground Clearance: If you live in rocky or mountainous regions, driving on rough terrains will expose your truck to random elements of nature. So, to avoid damaging your truck’s underside, you need to elevate it a few inches from the ground to enjoy a smooth driving experience without worrying about the axle or the brake lines getting damaged.

 

What’s the Cost of Lifting Your Truck?

 

Although we’ve already mentioned this, the cost of lifting your truck will depend on whether you’re planning to install a lift kit or a leveling kit. Lift kits on their side tend to cost more as they’re responsible for lifting your truck from all of its four corners. These kits are categorized depending on how far off they can raise the vehicle from the ground. So, if you’re looking to lift your truck by about 2 inches, then such a lift kit will cost you anywhere from $400 – $12,000.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lift kit that will raise your truck by over 6 inches, then you need to ready an amount ranging from $11,000 – $14,000.

Leveling kits, on the other hand, are designed to lift either the front or the rear of your truck by just a few inches. In fact, they’re usually designed to partner with the suspension system to help keep your truck level when towing heavy cargo. These kits are usually inexpensive and have costs that range from $200 – $1,000.

Now that we’ve broken down the cost of purchasing these kits, let’s discuss how much you’re likely to spend if you decided to hire a professional or do it yourself.

 

DIY Lifting

 

Suppose you decide to lift your dear truck all by yourself without hiring a professional mechanic? In such a situation, there are a couple of factors you’ll have to consider. One, have you ever installed a lift or a leveling kit all by yourself? Two, do you have the right tools to accomplish this project? And three, can you follow instructions to the latter?

You see, most people believe that lifting a truck is an easy endeavor. However, things get tough the moment they crawl beneath the vehicle and see the complex mechanical connections they’ll have to take apart. Since you have to pay maximum attention, you need to ensure that you ready yourself for the hefty task ahead of you.

So, to lift your truck by yourself, you need to contact a friend or invite a family member to come over to inspect the process. Next, you need a set of quality tools which include lift jacks, a floor jack, wrenches, and sockets. Topping up your tool kit might cost you anywhere from $200 – $500.

Since we’ve calculated the cost of purchasing a lift kit, the next step is to commence the project which is likely to take you anywhere from 5 – 7 hours depending on your level of experience. During the process, you’ll have to follow each step keenly which will involve removing the wheels and tires, lifting your vehicle, disconnecting the brake line brackets, loosening the sway bar, and finally lowing the axle to remove the coil springs and the shocks.

The next steps will include installing any of your desired lift kit which can be a body lift kit, a leveling kit, a block kit, or a suspension lift kit. Once you’ve installed the kit successfully, it’s often recommended that you drive straight to a professional mechanic to have the truck inspected and aligned.

In most cases, your local mechanic will align the wheels, inspect the steering components, and check underneath the vehicle for any signs of damages. The best thing about this last step is that it doesn’t cost you much as you only have to pay anywhere from $80 – $200.

 

Hiring a Professional

 

The next option, which is usually the most convenient, is hiring a professional mechanic to do the installation on your behalf. Now, there are many benefits of hiring a mechanic. First, if you’re a bust folk, hiring someone means that you can confidently leave your vehicle on your local garage and continue with your daily work routine as the mechanic handles the job.

Secondly, hiring a professional will never leave you in any doubt on whether you lifted your truck perfectly or if you made a mistake. Remember, with so many mechanical parts lying your way, a small error in the process can turn fatal in form of an accident or damages that can cost you a lot more.

Lastly, by having a professional lift your truck, your mechanic will advise you on which lift kit to consider depending on your truck’s model and usability. In addition to installing the lift kit, your mechanic will also inspect and repair any issues which will come under one cost.

In most cases, the cost of lifting your truck, when done by a professional, will depend on the types of lift kits that are being installed. For instance, a leveling kit, which is the most inexpensive option, will cost you anywhere from $500. A block kit will also cost you $500 or more while a body and a suspension lift kit will cost you upwards of $1,000 and $1,200 respectively.

 

Conclusion

To wrap things up, installing a lift kit to your truck is very beneficial in myriad ways. When it comes to the cost of installation, you have to consider whether you’ll do it yourself or if you’ll hire a professional. If you decide to go the DIY way, you need to get ready to spend anywhere from $400 – $4000 depending on the model of your truck and how you’re looking to customize it.

On the other hand, if you choose to take the professional route, you will see yourself spending anywhere from $800 – $8,000 depending on which lift kit you want to get installed. All in all, whether you take the DIY or the professional route, this guide has offered you everything you need to make an informed decision.

Whether you’re a veteran seasoned off-roader or a beginner passionate about trucks and SUVs, I believe at some point in life you’ve heard people mention about lift kits. If you’re curious like I am, you might have wondered about what they are, what they do, and how they work. If you’re that kind of person that I’m referring to, then understanding lift kits is an absolute must especially if you’re thinking of upgrading your Jeep’s suspensions.

Thankfully, this short guide has come to the rescue and has discussed everything you need to know about lift kits. Now, lift kits are popular upgrades that help to raise your Jeep, truck, or any other SUV vehicle to give it enough ground clearance to help it conquer the most vicious terrains. Besides, it allows you to fit larger tires without worrying about them bumping or scraping against the fenders. So, with that said, this guide will now go straight to the point to discuss what lift kits are, why you need them, and discuss the two main types of lift kits that are available in the market.

 

Understanding Lift Kits: A Beginner’s Guide

 

What are Lift Kits?

 

Simply put, a lift kit is an aftermarket modification that allows your SUV, Jeep, or truck to rise higher from the ground for more improved off-road performance. Also known as suspension kits, these modification kits are not installed by the car’s manufacturer but rather by specialized companies or garages that specialize in making additional car parts.

Before the introduction of professional-grade lift kits, off-road enthusiasts used to raise their rides with their own personal modifications with varying degrees of safety and success. In recent times, however, this has totally changed as most manufacturers have introduced more reliable lift kits that not only raise your ride but also help to improve safety and stability.

Although I’ll explain this later in this guide, there are two main types of lift kits available in the market which are the body lifts and the suspension lift kits.

 

Should I Really Lift My Jeep?

 

Well, I was expecting this question. Now, equipping your Jeep with a suspension lift kit goes beyond improving its aesthetics. According to most city dwellers, giving your Jeep or truck a sexy look is usually one reason why you need a lift kit. That’s because trucks and most SUV vehicles have limited options when it comes to improving their aesthetics. Therefore, by lifting them just a little bit, you’ll be able to fit larger sporty tires and chrome polished side steps, nerf bars, and running boards.

But, it doesn’t always end there. If you’re a daily driver who happens to be a frequent off-roader, lifting your ride will not only supplement the aesthetic side of it but will also make your Jeep a perfect off-road toy. By lifting the body a few inches off the axle, you’ll manage to fit larger tires that will improve your Jeep’s performance in deep snow, mud, rocks, and deeply rattled trails.

So, to cut the long story short, installing lift kits helps to serve two main purposes which are style and function.

 

Types of Lift Kits

 

Whenever you think of upgrading your truck’s performance, lifting it a few inches is usually considered the best option. If you’re a beginner, however, finding the perfect lift kit to amp up your Jeep’s performance is usually difficult keeping in mind the market is already saturated with endless options. To help you out, we’ve discussed the two main types of lift kits that are available in the market.

  • Body Lift Kit

The first type of lift kit, which is the most common among most off-roaders, is the body kit. Now, car manufacturers usually construct vehicles using the “body over frame” method. This means the vehicle’s body is built on top of a metal frame foundation. With that in mind, if you’re looking to lift your vehicle a few inches up, what you do is that you install a body lift kit between the body and the frame of your vehicle.

This is done by physically removing the body to install the lift kit. When you’re done, screw the frame and the lift kit together using longer bolts to secure them tightly. Finally, reattach the body back on and secure it tightly.

The reason why body lifts are so common is because they’re the least expensive. By lifting the body, you create ample clearance where you can fit larger tires of your choice. Although that’s a huge advantage to enthusiastic off-roaders, one setback is that your truck will have a higher center of gravity which will generally impact your truck’s handling when driving on-road.

  • Suspension Lift Kits

With suspension lifts, what they do actually is that they raise your entire car’s body from the axle and the wheels. Unlike body lifts that only raise the body, suspension lifts raise both the frame and the body to provide enough clearance.

One major advantage with suspension kits is that they’re not limited. While body lifts are only limited to 3-inches, suspension lifts can go beyond this to a height of around 1 ft. and above. When it comes to your Jeep’s handling, these lift kits are considered the best as they’re not affected by the high center of gravity. They’re hence universal as they help to improve handling both in off-road and on-road conditions.

One major concern about these lift kits, however, is that they’re very complicated to install. Since they involve upgrading most of the car’s mechanical systems, the cost of installation can get really high. Also, these lift kits are not long-lasting. Since they’re fitted on crucial moving parts, they wear out over time due to frequent friction which causes metal fatigue.

Lastly, suspension lift kits don’t just come alone. They come in a few variations which we’ve listed below. Please take a look to learn more about them.

  • Lifted Spring Suspension: This type of lift kit is the most commonly used especially by beginners. It comprises of a spring system that lifts the body and the frame off the axle to create enough clearance to fit larger tires.
  • Coil Suspension Lifts: With coil suspension lifts, more work needs to be done during installation which goes as far as welding the parts. The results are a high-quality suspension system that provides tremendous articulation when driving on muddy and extremely rough terrains. While lifted spring suspensions are recommended for beginners, these ones are strictly designed for professional 4 wheelers.
  • Spring Over Axle (SPOA): For those living on rocky and mountainous geographical regions, a SPOA type of suspension lift kit will be an absolute must. With these types of suspensions, the tires are left right on the ground while the springs and other components are perfectly lifted to prevent them from any harm when crawling up and down on rocks or uneven terrains.
  • Shackle Suspension Lift Kits: If you’re an enthusiast truck driver and you’re looking to make it more aesthetically appealing, then this suspension lift kit is for you. Now, this lift kit is not designed to tackle rough terrains but rather to lift your truck’s body and frame a few inches off the axle to allow you to fit larger sporty tires.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a lot of information revolving around lift kits. If you’re planning to have them on board to stiffen your Jeep or truck for more improved performance, then you need to understand them quite well. Thankfully, this guide has done all the work for you by discussing some of the key factors you need to know about lift kits.

Although they do have everything to be celebrated for, one factor you must consider is the installation which must be done by a professional. Otherwise, by allowing an armature to install for you, then you’ll not be improving your ride but rather digging an early grave both for you and your loved ones.

Whether you’re a frequent or an occasional off-roader, upgrading your Jeep model with a good suspension lift kit will help to increase your ride’s height to give it enough ground clearance. If you own a Wrangler, then you’re aware of how notorious it can get when it comes to off-roading. But, without the right ground clearance, this beast cannot clear all obstacles it comes across to when traversing on rough terrains. Due to this reason, a jeep lift kit installation is an absolute must if you’re looking to improve your ride.

Now, when it comes to jeep lift kits, there are several key factors you need to consider. Factors such as your budget, the size of the tires, and your intention for installing this suspension kit will be integral and will influence your decision immensely. With that said, this short guide will get down to business to discuss a step-by-step procedure on how to install a Jeep lift kit.

 

How to Install Jeep Lift Kit: Step-by-Step Guide

 

Before we commence, I would like to mention that the process of installing a Jeep lift kit is not simple. This will demand you to hire a professional mechanic to do the installation for you. However, if you’re an enthusiastic DIYer, then you need to follow the installations to the latter to prevent any unintentional damage to your Jeep’s suspension system.

Finally, lift kits are not universal. For instance, the 3.5” kits are not similar to the 4.0” kits. Although both are larger lift kits, there are differences in the spring rates where some will require longer shocks as well as shorter or longer upper control arms.

So, with that said, lets now start the process where we’ll commence with the front wheels then finish with the rear wheels.

Front Installation Instructions

 

  • Step 1:

To begin, you’ll first need to pack your Jeep on a level surface then set the parking brake.

  • Step 2:

Next, secure the Jeep on four jack stands on the frame rail just behind the lower control arm mount to guarantee maximum safety. When you’re done, remove the tires and place another jack underneath the axle to make it easier for you to lower it when removing crucial components.

  • Step 3:

Since there’s enough clearance, start by removing the shocks starting with the upper nut using a 13mm socket and wrench. When you’re through, remove the lower nuts using an 18mm socket.

  • Step 4:

Once the shock is out of the way, remove the track bar using a 21mm socket. Next loosen the bolts on the control lot to allow the axle to droop up and provide some space to remove the suspensions. Don’t forget to remove the brake lines and the brake bracket using a 10mm socket. Also, remove the sway bar links and the track rod to allow the axle to droop easily. The reason why you’ll need to remove the brake lines is because you’ll need to replace them with new extended brake lines provided in the kit.

  • Step 5:

Once you’ve removed the factory springs, it’s now time to replace the suspensions with the new lift kit. But, before you begin, you’ll need to make some preparations. First, you need to remove the spring isolator and the factory bump stop. Note that these two will be reused later on so don’t dispose of them.

After gently cleaning and lubricating them, restore the spring isolator and spacer back in the bump stop tube. Next, install the new bump stop extender that came with the kit, and don’t forget to add the factory bump stop you had removed earlier. In the case of Jeep Wrangler JK 2012 to newest editions, exhaust modification may be required by pushing it a little bit backward.

  • Step 6:

Now it’s time to install the new coil spring into the upper and lower spring pockets. When you’re done, install the new shock absorbers in both the upper and lower mounts using the OEM bolts and washers which we removed earlier from the factory shock absorbers.

  • Step 7:

Now install the front track bar, the control arm, and the front sway bar. When installing the front sway bar, you need to install the supplied sway bar hoop (which is usually U-shaped) on the bottom side then secured with a bolt, washers, and a flanged lock nut.

  • Step 8:

Finally, it’s time to install the front track bar. If you have a newly supplied track bar, you might need to drill a new hole to fit it. But to do that, you’ll need to mark a spot which can be around ¾ “ from the center of the stock hole.

  • Step 9:

Once you’re done, reinstall the wheels and the tires and you’re good to go.

 

Rear Installation Instructions

 

  • Step 1:

Start by placing jack stands under the Jeep to support the frame rail. Place another floor jack under the differential to support the rear axle lightly. Use an 18mm and a 13mm wrench to remove the stock shock absorbers. Next, use a 15mm wrench to remove the rear sway bar links from the sway bar. Lastly, remove the track rod from the axle, and don’t forget to disconnect the brake lines.

  • Step 2:

With everything out of the way, lower the axle slowly to create some clearance to remove the factory-installed coil springs. With the stock coil isolator positioned on the upper coil pocket, install the new coil springs.

  • Step 3:

When you’re done, start installing the new track bar, the sway bar, and the track rod using the supplied bolts and bushings. Once you’re through, lift the axle using the floor jack slightly to compress the coil springs.

  • Step 4:

The last step is to install the new shock absorbers on the factory mounts. This can be accomplished using a 15/18mm socket on the lower part and a 13mm socket on the upper part. You will also need to use the supplied bolts and bushings to ensure every component is tight and well secured.

  • Step 5:

Once you’re done, install the wheels and the tires before lowering your Jeep to the ground. Note that, just as you did it with the front brake lines, the rear brake lines will also need to be extended further using the new extended brake lines supplied with the kit.

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it. If you’ve followed each of these steps to the latter, then congratulations! You’ve just replaced your Jeep’s OEM suspension system with a new high-quality aftermarket lift kit. The only thing I have to warn you though is that you need to be sober and really careful when installing a Jeep lift kit. You need to ensure that all bolts are tightened up perfectly as a small armature mistake can mess up your ride and cost you a lot to fix the affected parts.

If there’s something that can lower your confidence, then it’s driving a dirty and dingy car covered with a lovely shade of mud, dust, and white birds’ poop. Worst yet, failing to wash your car can over time cause serious problems in case dust and dirt debris find their way in key components within the engine. If you’re the one we’re speaking to, sparing some hours to gather some cleaning tools, not forgetting the best car wash soap alternative is one surefire way you can use to clean your car to restore its former glory.

While it’s easier said, finding the right car wash soap is quite hard as most soap solutions contain chemical agents that can have mild or substantial effects on your car’s exterior. So, to save you the frustration, this guide will discuss several car wash solution alternatives, including DIY car wash solutions that are formulated to be less aggressive as compared to most store-bought soaps. The most surprising thing about this list is that even after narrowing down our choices, we’re still left with an overwhelming list of options.

 

6 DIY Car Wash Soap Alternatives

 

1. Dish Liquid Soap

 

Dish liquid soap is by far one of the most popular soap alternatives considered by most car owners. First, it works, and second, it’s formulated to cut through tough stains caused by grease and oils. Since it’s highly effective among most kitchen enthusiasts, dish liquid soap can serve as a perfect alternative in cleaning certain types of stains on your car’s exterior such as dirt, grease, and oils.

However, although it’s an ideal candidate, this DIY method is not formulated to clean your car as it can be harsh on your paint. Therefore, you need to be very careful by not overusing this soap solution. A small portion will do just fine. You also need to rinse the car with a lot of water to remove grime, dirt, and any unsightly residue the soap might leave behind.

 

  • How to Make a DIY Liquid Soap

Making your own liquid soap at home for cleaning your car using natural ingredients is both easy and cost-efficient. Here, we will discuss a short yet detailed step-by-step procedure you can consider. Depending on your needs, you can make a soap solution that smells delicious (using essential oils) or one that’s extremely powerful (using powerhouse Borax).

  • Step One: The first step is to mix about 2 cups of water (450 ml) with grated soap flakes then stir them gently in a medium source pan
  • Step Two: Heat the solution until the soap melts completely. This should take around 10 – 15 minutes after which you should allow the mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.
  • Step Three: Depending on how thick the mixture is, you’ll need to add at least 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of distilled white vinegar to the mixture then stir them well. You can also substitute the white vinegar with fresh lemon juice as it’s also hailed for removing tough stains.
  • Step Four: Once the vinegar is fully incorporated, you can add about 15 to 40 drops of your favorite essential oil fragrance to give the soap a fresh smell. When you’re done, allow the mixture to cool completely before transferring it to a clean soap dispenser.

Now, if you’re looking for an extremely powerful soap solution, you can consider mixing 2 grams of Borax with 120 ml of liquid castile soap, 14 grams of washing soda, and 30 ml of white vinegar. Stir them in a source pan until they’re well blended.

Mix them with about 2 ½ cups of boiling water then heat them gently until they boil. This should take approximately 10 minutes. From there, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil then allow the mixture to cool before transferring it to a soap dispenser.

 

2. Laundry Detergent

 

Another route you can opt to take if you’re looking to effectively clean your car is by using laundry detergent. According to most homeowners, laundry detergent has proved to be a powerful formula when it comes to cleaning deep-rooted stains from your clothes, sheets, and towels. The same way it’s able to perform on your garments, laundry detergent is predicted to give similar results by removing any type of grime, dirt, and greasy stains on your car’s exterior.

However, since laundry detergent isn’t a real car wash soap, you need to be really careful with the amount you use as too much of it can ruin your car’s paint job. Therefore, before you proceed with the cleaning task, you need to dilute the detergent with water before applying.

You also need to understand the type of paint that’s on your vehicle to determine whether it’s too weak to withstand the harshness of the detergent. So, if you decide to take this route, you need to be really meticulous with your cleaning as you have to rinse your car with excess water to avoid leaving laundry detergent buildup on the surface of your car.

  • How to Make a DIY Laundry Detergent

Now, depending on what’s available, the formula for making laundry detergent is quite similar to that of making liquid soap. The materials are the same (Borax, washing soda, and castile soap/soap flakes). In the case of powdered laundry detergent, most people often choose to mix12 tablespoons of the powdered laundry detergent with one cup of dishwasher soap in a bucket full of water. To prevent streaking, you can opt to add borax to the solution then rinse the car with a lot of water.

 

3. Hand Soap

 

Another alternative car wash soap you can consider when cleaning your car is hand soap. Although this route is not the very best, you may consider its convenience at some point especially when you’re in a pinch. Since you can’t just allow grime, dirt, and all sort of stains to accumulate in your car, taking this route will still bear positive results though after a long hassle.

Although it still does a surprisingly good job, hand soap has a mild nature, which means you have to use a higher concentration of the soap if you want to get a lot of foam that will cover your vehicle adequately.

The good thing about it, however, is that hand soaps are easy to get so you can buy as much as you need depending on what you wish to achieve. These soaps also come in different variations ranging from scented to unscented ones thus giving you a chance to choose any fragrance of your choice from a variety of options. Finally, since hand soaps are not formulated to be used on cars, you need to be concerned with your car’s finish.

  • How to Make a DIY Hand Soap

Since it’s quite hard to use a bar hand wash to wash your car, we will highlight a simple DIY process that you can consider to turn your bar soap into a liquid soap for fast and efficient cleaning of your car’s exterior. In this project, all you’ll need is a block of bar soap, a knife/cheese grater, distilled water, and essential oil.

  • Step One: Start by chopping or grating a typical 4-ounce of bar soap to come up with tiny soap flakes.
  • Step Two: Next, put the grated soap flakes on a source pan and put them aside. Take another pan and boil about 64 fluid ounces of water. The reason why distilled water is preferred over direct tap water is due to the extra softness it adds to the soap.
  • Step Three: Once the water boils, add it on the soap flakes and start stirring until every bit of the flakes melt. Continue stirring until you have a thin consistency. At this point, allow the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes then continue stirring until it becomes slightly thicker.
  • Step Four: Allow the soap to rest for about 12 to 24 hours. After that, continue stirring until you get a congealed soap.
  • Step Five: From there, you can finalize your project by pouring the soap in a dispenser. Now, if you were using a fragrant bar, you don’t need to add any essential oils for extra fragrance. However, if the soap was unscented, then you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it some inspiring fragrance.

 

4. Baby Shampoo

 

For those with babies around, our next alternative car wash soap will be a huge favor to your wallets. Now, when you think of a baby’s soft and delicate new skin, what comes to mind is an extremely gentle baby shampoo that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, harmful detergents, and synthetic fragrances that can irritate the baby’s skin.

The same effects it has on your baby are the same it has on your car. However, though, since your car is susceptible to tough stains caused by grime, greases, oils, and dirt, the gentler formulation of baby shampoo makes it less effective in dealing with such heavy dirt build-up.

As a result, baby shampoo is best considered when wiping off birds’ poop from the surface of your car or the windows.

So, if you were to use this soap alternative to remove birds’ dropping from your car, you need to ensure that you mix approximately 3 ounces of the baby shampoo with at least 3 gallons of water. Also, ensure that you rinse it thoroughly after every application to avoid ruining your car’s paint job.

  • How to Make a DIY Baby Shampoo

Due to the hiked prices of most store-bought baby shampoos, not forgetting the use of harmful chemicals, there are times when making your own DIY baby shampoo might seem like a logical step. The best thing about making your own shampoo is that the ingredients used are very inexpensive and are safely formulated.

So, in this recipe, you’ll need;

  • Liquid castile soap
  • Vegetable glycerin
  • Carrier oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil
  • Essential oils such as lavender and chamomile

For the instructions, you’ll only need to;

  • Add 16 oz of liquid castile soap in a pump bottle
  • Next, add about 4 tablespoons of vegetable glycerin (it’s a natural moisturizer)
  • Add one tablespoon of aloe vera juice, 10 drops of your favorite essential oil and 1 – 2 tablespoons of almond oil
  • Add a few ounces of water then fit the lid. From there, you only need to shake the pump bottle vigorously for a few seconds to mix the ingredients.

 

5. Hair Conditioner

 

One of the most interesting options for washing your car is by using a hair conditioner. Just to clarify things here, a hair conditioner is not used for washing the car but rather for polishing your car to make it shiny. In fact, it works more like car polish. However, if the hair conditioner you’re using contains lanolin in its formulation, then you can use it to wash your car as lanolin is known to remove grime and make your car’s surface shiny.

As one of the most affordable routes, using a hair conditioner with lanolin allows you to pre-wax your car to give it an extra sparkle. Besides that, lanolin acts as a protective layer that repels water from your car’s surface to protect your car’s paint job.

  • So, How Do You Wax Your Car Using Hair Conditioner?

You’ll need the following supplies;

  • Several microfiber cloths
  • A dry clean towel
  • Hair conditioner
  • Dish soap of your choice
  • A bucket

 

  • Step One: You will start by cleaning your car the same way you usually do. When you’re done, rinse your car thoroughly using clean water then dry it entirely using a hand towel.
  • Step Two: Once you’re done, rinse the bucket with clean water then add ½ cup of hair conditioner. Using a clean microfiber towel, rub the hair conditioner on the surface of your car until it’s entirely smooth.
  • Step Three: Using a hose, rinse your car with excess water then use a new microfiber cloth to wipe the surface until it’s entirely shinny.

 

6. Wheel Cleaner

 

Our final soap alternative you can consider for washing your car is using a wheel cleaner. Now, the convenience of a wheel cleaner usually comes in handy when you have a little left and you don’t have any car wash soap available.

Now, the best thing about wheel cleaner is that it has a similar formulation to that of your car’s wash soap with just a few extra ingredients added to make it more effective. However, you need to be really careful with this one as the extra ingredients can turn out to be too harsh on your car’s paint job.

Therefore, to avoid such issues, you need to dilute the wheel cleaner with water to make it gentler on your car’s paint while still strong enough to remove grime and tough stains.

 

Conclusion

Cleaning your car may sound like a straightforward endeavor. However, there are several factors you need to consider before you can proceed. First, you need to watch out the type of wash soap alternatives you’re using as some have harsh formulations that can ruin your car’s paint job. Secondly, there are many homemade car wash solutions you can make at the comfort of your home and achieve greater results as most of them do not have the chemical composition you’ll find in most commercial car wash products.

Finally, when using most of these solutions, you need to dilute them with water then rinse your car with excess water to make it clean while still preserving its cosmetic and aesthetic appeal. With that said, this guide has both discussed the best car wash soap alternatives and has gone ahead to discuss various ways you can make your own cost-effective DIY soap alternatives.

In a movie, the smell of burning rubber simply means that something cool is just about to happen. A drama is about to unfold such as a chase or a race by speeding sports cars. But, when it comes to a real-life scenario when a car smells like burning rubber, then this is nothing less than bad news.  Such a strange smell is usually a direct warning to the driver telling you that your auto has a serious mechanical problem.

If you have ever thought of it, your car is similar to a kitchen where all sorts of meals with different odors are prepared. There are complex electrical wiring, a wide range of different fluids, the clutch, tires, and a gas-powered engine that generate all sort of smells. While these odors can range anywhere from burning plastic smell, burning oil smell, to burning carpet smell, this short guide will specifically discuss burning rubber smell which is the most common among most motorists.

 

Car Smells Like Burning Rubber: 8 Reasons & Solutions

 

1. Loose Rubber Hose

 

Its highly likely the smell of burning rubber from your car is being caused by a rubber material burning somewhere. This is in fact the main reason why loose rubber hose is our number one culprit in this guide.

So, before you even think of something else, the first step you need to take is to pack your car beside the road and do a quick inspection of the rubber hoses that connect to the engine. Thankfully, in most cases, a loose rubber hose, especially a coolant hose, can manifest itself early enough through the engine’s overall performance.

Now, in recent times, rubber hoses have become integral in an engine’s performance keeping in most vehicles today are turbocharged hence require complex coolant hoses to carry the coolant from the radiator to the engine. These rubber hoses can sometimes get loose due to engine vibrations or cracks/damages to plastic connectors that secure them tightly.

Once they break free, these rubber tubes are likely to get into contact with the hot parts of the engine causing them to get burned leading to the burning rubber smell.

  • Solution

Due to vibrations and exposure to high temperatures, rubber hoses in the engine system are likely to wear off on the ends. Inspect these areas carefully and don’t forget to check the plastic connectors for any cracks or damages. In case they’re loose, simply tighten them or replace them in case they’re worn out.

 

2. Faulty Electrical System

 

Our number two culprit that might be the cause of a burning rubber smell is an electrical short-circuiting. The reason why it came second is that most wires you’ll find in your auto are coated with rubber flex or plastic to keep them safe and well insulated. Now, just like a loose rubber hose, an electrical fault is very easy to identify, as your car’s electrical components are likely to dim due to insufficient power supply.

Another way you’re likely to identify this problem is pronounced rubber smell in the cabin which will be getting through via the AC ducts on the dashboard. Now, short-circuiting is not something new among motorists. Sometimes it can occur when loose cables get to contact with the hot engine causing the rubber insulation to burn.

Other times, the problem may occur when the cables are handling a heavy load more than what they can bear causing them to heat up and melt the insulating rubber. Whether the problem is caused by blown fuses or damages caused by rodent attack, this issue should be inspected as soon as possible as failure to do so might damage your battery or worse, start a fire.

  • Solution

So, to solve this problem, you should pack your car beside the road to perform a quick inspection of the wiring system. In case you’re unable to, you can either drive straight to your nearest garage or have your car towed to your preferred garage.

Now, during the inspection, your mechanic will check the electrical wiring that connects the engine control module (ECM) to the engine’s coolant temperature sensor (ECT). Using your car’s electrical wiring diagram (EWD), your mechanic will then use a multimeter to test the wiring system in an attempt to locate the affected circuit.

He/she will also test the fuses and the load connectors to ensure they’re not damaged. With the help of the multimeter and reference from the EWD, your mechanic will finally get to the exact location of the short circuit to repair the problem.

 

3. Damaged Drive Belt

 

The third reason that can be a possible cause of a burning rubber smell in your car is severe damage to the serpentine belt. Now, in the engine, there’s a belt. This belt is a critical component that operates continuously to power several key components within the engine such as the alternator, the power steering, the air conditioning system, and the cooling system.

Now, since the serpentine belt is generally rubber, there are situations where it might get damaged causing it to release a burning rubber smell. For instance, there might be debris between the belt’s grooves and the pulley’s ridges, oil and grease contact, continuous exposure to extremely high temperatures, and frequent contact with foreign objects on its path.

Another reason why the serpentine belt is likely to produce a burning rubber smell is when one of the components it’s tasked to power suddenly malfunctions. Since the belt is designed to rotate so long as the engine is running, it will continue spinning and running against the pulley increasing friction buildup which then results in a burning rubber smell.

  • Solution

Just to be certain the problem is caused by a damaged drive belt, you’re likely to hear an annoying squealing sound. At this point, the drive belt is obviously damaged leaving you with no choice but to replace it with a new one.

 

4. Gasket Problems

 

The next possible explanation of a burning rubber smell in your car is possible gasket oil leakage. Now, what is a gasket in the first place? In simple terms, a gasket is a cover that seals the two pieces of an engine block. Although it’s not a technical piece, a gasket is responsible for regulating the amount of oil and coolant from the alternator that’s getting to the engine. It also separates the oil and the coolant from mixing with the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.

So, when the gasket is damaged, it generally releases hot oil which drips on vital engine parts such as the rubber hoses and the electrical wiring causing them to fry up and cause a rubber smell. Besides, since most of the engine’s parts are wrapped using plastic materials, some of these plastic parts can also release the burning rubber smell as they’re already overwhelmed by the high temperature in the engine.

Other than the engine parts, oil leakage on the exhaust system is also likely to cause a burning rubber smell.

  • Solution

Just as we’ve mentioned above, a head gasket is a critical part that seals the engine block and the cylinder heads to avoid contact. Depending on the model of your auto, the gasket seal can be made of steel, copper, or composite materials such as graphite and asbestos.

So, to solve this problem, the first step you’re supposed to take is to crawl under the car to check the intensity of the damage. Here, you’ll check the oil pan seals, the oil pan drain plugs, the timing cover seals, and the valve cover gaskets.

Once you’ve identified the leaking parts, you can start fixing them by using a stop leak additive such as the BlueDevil Oil Stop Leak or No Leak Engine Oil Stop Leak. The best thing about these oil leak additives is that they can soften and condition rubber seals in your engine to stop oil leakage permanently.

Once you’re done, grab a torque wrench and check for any loose bolts. You can start with the oil pan then go all the way to the timing belt cover then finally to the valve covers.

 

5. The Brakes

 

If you’re a driver with a tendency of braking often and intensely, then there’s a high possibility that your braking system might develop a burning rubber smell. Also, if you happen to drive downhill and drive the brakes or apply the brakes quite often, then the same issue might develop.

Now, as you already know, the braking system relies on friction to stop your vehicle. When the brake pads and the discs are denied enough time to cool down, then this can result in the burning rubber smell. Secondly, if you have new brake components, such as newly installed brake pads, then the burning rubber smell is likely to occur which mostly indicates that the resin on your brake pads is curing.

Finally, if you happen to pack your car beside a hill then you forget to disengage the emergency brake before driving off, then this too can cause a rubber burning smell as you’re trying to force your auto to move when the handbrake is engaged. Although these situations are normal, if you happen to realize that the burning smell is happening often and it’s being accompanied by screeching, grinding, and other high-pitched sounds, then the problem is dire and needs to be examined with haste.

  • Solution

The first step of repairing your braking system is by ensuring that the handbrake is disengaged before driving off. Also, check how often you apply the brakes and if you’re applying them too intensely, try to avoid it as much as possible.

Finally, you need to take your car to a professional mechanic for further inspection. Here, your mechanic will jack the rear of your car to inspect the brake pads, the rotors, and the brake calipers. About the calipers, your mechanic will inspect the brake hoses that carry the braking fluid to the calipers.

The main reason why the calipers need inspection is to guarantee that the brake fluid doesn’t miss to pull back after applying and releasing the brake pedals as this can cause the brake pads to continue rubbing against the rotor.

Finally, your mechanic will inspect the brake pads to ensure they’re not too thick. When the brake pads are thicker than normal, they might fit too tightly causing them to rub against the rotor. This too can cause the rubber burning smell.

 

6. Clutching too Hard

 

If you’re driving a manual transmission car, there are cases when the rubber burning smell might occur from a burning clutch. Now, in manual transmission, the clutch is tasked to enhance a smooth transition from a stop position to a rolling motion. It also assists the driver to shift between gears by matching the speed of the engine to that of the transmission.

If you’re a novice who’s still practicing how to drive a manual transmission vehicle, there are chances that you might end up riding the clutch too hard. By this, we mean depressing the clutch halfway while still pressing the gas pedal.

Since the clutch works by pressing itself against the flywheel for smooth gear transmissions, pressing it halfway causes it to grind against the flywheel resulting in friction buildup. This friction is the one responsible for the rubber burning smell. In fact, the smell is more like burning newspapers since the clutch is made of paper composition.

  • Solution

The first remedy to solving this problem is to stop riding the clutch and practice how to drive a manual transmission car well. However, if the problem was already at an advanced stage, then you’ll need to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic for further inspection.

Here, your mechanic will remove the entire flywheel for further inspection. If there are signs of wear and tear, your mechanic will repair them. He/she will also repair the crankshaft flange by removing any debris, dirt, and grime before replacing it. They will also inspect the flywheel bolts and replace the clutch disk in case it’s unserviceable.

 

7. Leaking Radiator Coolant

 

Another possible cause of a burning rubber smell in your car is leaking coolant from the radiator to the hot engine. Just like other fluids in your car’s engine, the radiator coolant is vital as it’s tasked to protect the engine from overheating. It does this by mixing with cold air getting in via the radiator while driving. While this is obvious, what is not obvious is when you detect a burning rubber smell being caused by burning coolant.

What causes radiator coolant to leak? Just like the rest of your car’s parts, the radiator coolant is housed in a tank that’s prone to damage caused by vibrations, punctures, and regular wear and tear due to corrosion. A blown gasket is another major reason that can cause radiator coolant to leak to the engine. Another cause is corrosion and damage to radiator tubes or loose attachment points of the radiator tubes.

  • Solution

The first step of fixing the leaking radiator coolant is performing a thorough inspection of the exact leaking point. In case the problem is caused by punctured radiator tubes, you can either replace them or use a radiator stop leak concentrate to seal the punctured areas permanently. Your mechanic will also inspect and fix the radiator and the head gasket in case they’re the cause of the leakage.

 

8. Tangled Plastic Shopping Bags Under the Engine Bay

 

All the above reasons we’ve discussed are directly related to your car. However, there are cases when your car is not the main cause of burning rubber smell but rather other external factors. One of the major culprits here is when your car picks plastic shopping bags during a long drive.

Sometimes, these plastic bags can get stuck on the engine bay or on the hot exhaust system causing an unpleasant smell, especially after the meltdown.

  • Solution

To remedy this problem, you only need to pack your car and allow the engine or the exhaust system to cool down before pulling the remaining parts of the plastic papers.

 

Conclusion

Of course, the smell of burning rubber isn’t something pleasant especially when it accumulates in your car’s cabin when driving. However, it does play a critical role in alerting you of an underlying issue that’s happening under the hood while you’re driving. This way, a worst-case scenario won’t get you by surprise, as you’re already aware of the danger unfolding beneath you.

In case the problem isn’t detected by your car’s computer system and displayed as an alert on your dash, the wisest thing to do is simply to pack your car beside the road and try to remedy the problem before proceeding with your drive.

If the problem is quite serious, then it’s wise that you book an appointment in your nearest auto shop to have your car inspected by a professional mechanic. This way, they’ll identify and fix the underlying issue before it gets any worse.

Although it might appear like just a minor issue, scratches on your auto’s windshield can do a lot more than just ruining your car’s integrity. They can create low visibility by letting the sun’s rays bounce off the scratched areas on to your eyes thus causing an accident. If the scratches are deep, water can collect on the grooves making it impossible for the wipers to wipe the water off entirely. This too can cause low visibility. So, to prevent any of these uncertainties, not forgetting costly repairs in the future, your auto will require a comprehensive windshield scratch repair immediately these scratches appear.

Now, repairing windshield scratches is a problem that can be remedied at home provided you have the right-hand tools. However, this process can sometimes be a real challenge depending on the depth of the scratches. So, with that said, this short guide will offer a detailed step-by-step guide on how you can remedy this issue in the comfort of your home garage.

 

What Causes Scratches on your Auto’s Windshield?

 

Before we begin, we would like to discuss just a little bit of what causes scratches on your car’s windshield. Now, one common way your windshield can acquire scratches is via the wipers. This usually happens when you accidentally turn them on during a dry day. Here, you generally squeeze sand, debris, and abrasive that have collected between the wipers and the windshield onto the surface of the windshield thus causing scratch marks.

Another way you can get scratches on your auto’s windscreen is by using an improper wiping cloth when cleaning your car. If you don’t wish to ruin your car’s integrity too soon, then it’s recommended that you use a microfiber towel to clean the windows and the windscreen.

Finally, your car can get really bad scratches if your window’s tint is installed by the wrong person (a non-professional). In this case, a tinter’s cutter or an X-acto knife can do the damage if it’s mishandled during the process.

Now that you’re fully aware of some of the common ways your auto can get scratches on the windscreen, lets now move to our next section which is a step-by-step guide on how you can remove these scratches.

 

Windshield Scratch Repair. Everything You Need To Know!

 

Step 1: First Check the Depth

 

From what we’ve mentioned above, it’s clear that the first step you’ll have to take is to examine the depth of the scratches to determine the extent of the damage. You can do this by running your fingernails over the scratched areas. In case your fingernails are not snagged by the scratches, then good news—you have a superficial scratch that can be repaired at home.

However, if your fingernails get snagged, then it simply means the scratches are more than 50 microns which is way deeper to be repaired at home. In this case, a professional repair facility is the only option as most of them have advanced scratch repair kits that can remedy the problem professionally.

 

Step 2: Gather Repair Materials

 

So, assuming the scratches are just minor and shallow; these are the supplies you’ll need to accomplish this DIY process.

  • Water
  • Soft cloths (most preferably microfiber cloths)
  • Small bowl
  • Glass cleaner
  • Rubbing compound (You can choose Cerium Oxide, Baking Soda and toothpaste, or nail polish)
  • A spatula
  • A tape

Now, when choosing any of these rubbing compounds, you need to understand that each of them has its own distinct characteristics. For instance, nail polish works well on shallow scratches while baking soda and toothpaste works well but requires numerous applications. Also known as jeweler’s rouge, cerium oxide is inexpensive and the only “closest to perfect” rubbing compound that you can consider when removing scratches from your car’s windshield.

 

Step 3: Wash the Windshield

 

Once everything is ready, prepare your car’s windshield by washing it thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris that might interfere with the process. Here, you can use a glass cleaner alongside a dry microfiber cloth to clean the surface of the windshield.

Now, there are two ways you can clean the windshield. One, you can simply spray the glass cleaner on the surface then wipe it dry using a microfiber cloth. Two, you can mix water and white vinegar in equal ratios then use them to clean the windshield. An all-purpose cleaner and degreaser will also suffice though you have to ensure that no ordinary dish soap is used whatsoever.

Note: When cleaning, it’s wise to cover the windshield’s edges with a painter’s tape to prevent any splatter from penetrating to other parts of your auto. Also, make sure that you dry the windshield completely before moving to the next step.

 

Step 4: Mark the Scratched Areas

 

Since you’ll be focusing on repairing specific areas of the windshield, sometimes it’s easy to get lost along the way since the scratches are likely to get less visible as you progress. So, to prevent this, you need to use a dry-erase marker to mark the inside (opposite side) of the windshield to outline the scratched areas. You can also use a piece of tape to do the same in case the marker pen is unavailable.

 

Step 5: Prepare the Scratch Remover

 

Now, if you’re working with an acrylic product, then this step is not necessary. However, if you’re working with cerium oxide, you’ll need to first mix this powder with water, inside a bowl, to form a slurry compound that has the consistency of Elmer’s Glue.

The same can be done for baking soda and toothpaste where you have to mix the two thoroughly until a slurry is formed.

 

Step 6: You can Now Apply the Rubbing Compound

 

Now that the rubbing compound is ready, you can start applying it on the surface of the windshield. But, before you commence, you have to wear protective gear, especially when dealing with cerium oxide, such as protective goggles, rubber gloves, and a dust mask.

If you’re dealing with cerium oxide, simply start by applying the compound on the scratched areas. Use a dry microfiber cloth to rub the surface as you apply. If the compound is drying out, you can spray a little amount of water on it then continue rubbing with the microfiber cloth. Always rub gently in a circular motion to let the compound fill the cracks.

If you’re using a non-gel paste, start by soaking the microfiber cloth on warm water then rinse it gently. Next, apply a small amount of the paste (baking soda + toothpaste) on the microfiber then use it to wipe the scratched surface. Since toothpaste requires numerous applications, you have to repeat this procedure several times while inspecting the scratches. Just like cerium oxide, wipe in a circular motion to let the paste fill the cracks.

To guarantee efficiency, you can use a buffing machine or an electric drill to remove the scratches entirely. Here, you only need to attach a soft buffing pad then turn the machine on to wipe the affected area back and forth several times.

 

Step 7: Let the Compound Dry

 

Now that everything is done, the final process is to expose your car to direct sunlight for the rubbing compound to cure (dry up). This usually takes anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes. While the resin dries up, you can use this free time to remove the painter’s tape and wipe off any excess paint before it dries up.

Once the resin fully dries, wash the windshield thoroughly before wiping it with a dry microfiber cloth. In case you spot some white flakes on the surface, you can scrape them off using a razor blade.

 

Conclusion

If you have followed this step-by-step guide to the latter, then congratulations! You’ve just removed scratches from your car’s windshield. What you need now is simply to sit back and admire the reflection on your car’s windscreen.

Now, one drawback with rubbing compounds is that they’re not long-lasting. Since they tend to wear off over time, you have to reapply them regularly to seal the small cracks to prevent them from getting worse over time.

Sources:

01. How to Remove Scratches from a Windshield – Car Bibles

02. Windshield Scratch Repair: A How To Guide – CarsDirect

03. How To Remove Scratches From Windshield: A How-To Guide – CAR FROM JAPAN

If you’ve owned a car for quite a while now, it’s basically inevitable that you’ve experienced several auto-related problems along the way. One of these common culprits is car shaking while driving. Not only it is irritating, but this problem can also make you feel nervous especially if your car begins to wobble while speeding downhill.

Now, the best thing about car vibration issues is that they start early. If you’re an experienced motorist, you can easily read the symptoms and determine whether it’s serious enough to hire a mechanic or if it’s just a small issue that requires a simple fix. However, for average motorists, it can be challenging to identify the vibrations at an early stage as they always start off smoothly then creep up gradually to nuisance shakes.

With that said, whether the problem is a minor issue or something major out of the ordinary, this short guide will get deep into your car’s mechanical components to look at some of the common culprits that might cause your beloved auto to shake.

 

10 Reasons Your Car Shaking While Driving

 

1. Loose Lug Nuts

 

The first cause, which by the way, happens to be the most common is loose lug nuts or bolts (for the sake of some car models such as BMW). If you’re replacing your car’s tire while in a hurry, chances are, you’re likely to hand tighten the lug nuts and forget to perform the final tightening. Since the nuts are not properly tightened, the next thing you’ll experience is the tire wobbling and in some cases coming off.

Since you can’t wait for the latter, it’s strictly recommended that you drive your car off the road and inspect the lug nuts. If there are any loose nuts, then pick the lug wrench and tighten them back inside the hub. Now, apart from ordinary human error, two more reasons can cause loose lug nuts. The first is over-torquing the lug nuts beyond their resistance capacity. This can cause cross-threading or cracking of the nuts.

Another cause is an improper mating surface that includes clamping the nuts on a damaged/bent hub or a contaminated (rusty, dirty, corroded, or painted) mating surface. What happens is that the nuts will feel tight at first. However, as the rust, dust, and paint wear off, the nuts will eventually loosen.

 

2. Worn Out Braking System

 

If you happen to apply the brakes and you realize that your car is shaking, then you guessed it right—it’s a faulty braking system. In most cases, the main culprit is the front braking mechanism as it’s the one that shoulders all the stress when brakes are applied. Although there are so many components in the front braking mechanism, there are two main components that are usually involved here—the brake pads and the rotors.

The rotor is generally the rounded steel disk that attaches to the wheel. Although it’s made from heavy-gauge steel, this component can suffer from heavy wear due to friction caused by the brake pads when a braking force is applied. Now when you apply the brake, the brake caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor.

Following substantial use, these pads can thin and wear out causing scratches on the rotor. This scratching is what causes the vibration whenever you apply the brakes. Thankfully, most car models are fitted with longer-lasting braking mechanisms that can last for about 50,000 miles before they’re replaced.

 

3. Sticky Brake Calipers

 

Another reason that can cause your car to shake when driving is sticky brake calipers. Previously, we mentioned the main task of calipers is to press the brake pads towards the rotor to create a friction force that stops the car. Now, there are times when these brake calipers can become faulty and get stuck unexpectedly causing the steering to shake.

The good news, however, is that this problem can be identified easily by checking the speedometer to see in which speed range the shaking begins. In most cases, this happens when you reach a speed range of 40 – 50 mph. The problem is also likely to worsen the more you accelerate to higher speeds.

Now, since the vibrations are basically friction between the brake calipers, the pads, and the rotor, you’re likely to smell a burning odor.

 

4. Bent Axle

 

Another common cause of your car shaking or vibrating while driving issues with the axle. Most car models have two axles—one connected to the front wheels and the other to the rear wheels. Now, supposing you get involved in an accident or you hit a pothole accidentally when speeding. Then it means you’re most likely to damage the axle by bending or denting it.

This damage to the axle is the one responsible for the vibrations you experience and it’s likely to intensify as you accelerate your car. Now, there are times when the axle might not be the cause. In such a situation, you might be forced to inspect the driveshaft as it’s the one tasked to transfer engine power to the rear axle (especially in manual cars). If the driveshaft is damaged (bent), then it can cause vibrations as well.

Other components in this bracket that can also be the cause are constant velocity (CJ) joints. Now, these components have rubber boots that prevent lubricants from leaking out and prevent dust, water, and debris from the road from sneaking in. if they’re worn-out, then it means they can no longer prevent all sorts of debris from sneaking inside the CJ joints thus causing vibrations.

 

5. Erratic Motor Mounts

 

If you’ve ever peeped in your car’s hood, you might think that the engine is just wedged inside there without anything supporting it. However, in reality, the engine is usually secured on the car’s chassis by special mounts called motor or engine mounts. Now, these mounts are usually made of metal and hard rubber.

The metal part is responsible for providing structural integrity by offering a firm frame to bolt the engine. Once the engine is secure, the rubber part takes over by absorbing the various engine vibrations to provide you with smooth flawless drivability.

Now, with time, the rubber section of the motor mount is likely to thin and wear out. When it does, you’ll suddenly and gradually start to notice some shaking on your car which will intensify with time into disturbing vibrations. If this issue is not fixed on time, the engine can vibrate and get misaligned causing breakage to crucial components within it.

 

6. Engine Problem

 

Sometimes the problem might not be the tires or the braking system but rather the engine itself. As the heart of your car’s overall performance, the engine is the largest component that houses numerous complex mechanical parts. Some of these parts include the air intake filters and the spark plugs. Now, if any of these components malfunctions, then your car is likely to shake while driving.

Thankfully, vibrations caused by the engine are easy to identify as they come with unique symptoms that are easy to tell. These include:

  • Your car shudder and jerk when you accelerate
  • Staccato shaking when you reach a certain speed range
  • The car feels okay at first then starts to shake later

If that’s the case, then it’s clear the problem is engine related. Here, the spark plug can be the main issue (more of this on our next point). The second problem can be clogged air intake filters. If these filters are clogged, then it means there’s a lack of sufficient oxygen getting to the combustion chamber. This will result in an inefficient fuel-air mixture which is likely to starve the engine and cause your car to shake.

 

7. Worn Out Spark Plugs

 

On our previous point, we mentioned about the engine being the cause of your car’s shaking. There, we mentioned a dirty air filter as being the main culprit. At this point, we will look at the second possible reason, which is a faulty spark plug. Now, just like other mechanical components, the spark plug too can wear out and become defective.

To prove this, there are some symptoms you’re likely to see such as:

  • Increase in vibrations when you accelerate
  • Feeling as if you’re driving on a constant stream of small bumps with the car still shaking
  • Your car starts smoothly then begin to shake as it accelerates
  • The check engine light appears out of nowhere while the car is still shaking

So, if you experience any of these symptoms, then it’s clear that your car’s spark plugs are worn out and need to be inspected. You see, the spark plug is responsible for transferring power from the ignition coil to the combustion chamber to ignite the air-fuel mixture to start the engine. Once it gets faulty, it simply means there’s inefficient power to run the engine leading to vibrations and finally loss of power.

Thankfully, repairing or replacing this component is quite easy. First, the kit is quite inexpensive in case it calls for a replacement and the overall repair work doesn’t cost much.

 

8. Damaged Tires

 

The absolute number one cause of your car shaking while driving issues to do with the tires. Remember, the tires are the only components in your car that are in direct contact with the road. This alone makes them susceptible to regular wear and tear more than any other component. Now, in case the vibrations are caused by the tires, many reasons can explain this some of which are listed below.

  • First, most EVs and hybrid cars are fitted with low profile tires to reduce drag and resistance in a bid to improve the car’s EPA fuel economy rating. While that’s the future of modern cars, the drawback to these tires is that they have less material that prevents them from absorbing much of the road’s imperfections. This alone causes the car to shake especially if you’re not used to them.
  • Another reason is when the tires wear out unevenly. This leads to an imbalance that causes vibrations.
  • Modern tires are built with a new material that prevents them from bursting while driving. If this material (tire tread) is separated from the tires as they age, then they’re likely to cause vibrations.

There are other times when the problem might not be the tires exactly but rather the wheels that hold the tires. This can come in the form of loose or damaged wheel bearings which prevent the tires from rotating smoothly thus causing the shaking experience. Another explanation could be worn out ball joints or tie rod ends which too will need to be inspected and repaired.

 

9. Improper Tire Balance

 

Tire imbalance is another major issue that can cause your car to shake while driving. Two main possible reasons can explain this problem. First, if you’re having new tires, they’re likely to have different weights which might cause them to rotate differently. When this happens, tiny vibrations can be felt as you accelerate which are likely to either reduce or intensify.

The second is having old tires that tend to lose their balance differently as they age. Overall, whether the problem is caused by old or new tires, your car’s tires will require a comprehensive inspection.

 

10. Faulty Steering Components

 

The last possible explanation as to why your car shakes while driving issues with the steering components. When your car was brand new, the steering system was more responsive making the car more drivable and easy to handle. That’s because most of the steering components were new and young back then making the responses much quicker.

Now, as these components age, they begin to wear out slowly by slowly making it harder for you to manage the car while driving. If the damage to these components reaches a critical stage, then you’re likely to face steering problems which over time will cause vibrations and shaking of your car while driving.

 

5 Possible Solutions 

 

Shaking on your rocking chair can be soothing and relaxing. However, having the same experience when driving is probably bad news. Although there are so many causes, like those discussed above, the good news is that there are possible solutions that can remedy each of these issues. With those few remarks, let’s look at five possible solutions that can fix this annoying problem.

 

1. Try Tire Replacement

 

Although we discussed tire issues at the end of our previous section, this is probably the very first cause of your car shaking. That’s because the tires are the ones in contact with the road. If the tires are worn out, you can consider replacing them with a new set. If they’re still young and the shaking problem persists, then you can try rotating them to see whether the issue can be solved.

Now, if the problem is caused by imbalanced tires, then you’ll have to use a jack, a lug wrench, and a flat end screwdriver to remove the wheel weights and the wheels to diagnose the problem with the help of a balancer. Since the process is quite complex, you’ll need to have your mechanic diagnose the problem on your behalf.

 

2. Spark Plug Fix

 

Now, if the problem is caused by the spark plugs, then the best remedy is to replace them with new ones. Sometimes the issue might be as small as dirty spark plugs where you’ll have to clean them then fit them back. Now, since spark plugs are quite delicate, failure to handle them properly when cleaning might lead to even more serious problems than before such as damage to the engine itself.

So, to avoid any of these uncertainties, it’s better to replace the spark plugs altogether. When doing so, you need to first locate the old one and take it off. Spark plugs are usually found under the engine’s plug covers. Once you remove them, you need to replace them with exactly the same spark plugs. Fit the new plugs on each hole and avoid overtightening to prevent damaging the engine’s head.

 

3. Have the Brake System Checked

 

Other than the spark plugs, we’ve seen that the braking system can also be the cause of vibration issues. We’ve discussed the brake pads, the rotor, and the brake calipers as being the main culprits here. So, to prevent these vibrations, not forgetting smelling burned rubber, you need to take your car to a mechanic for a comprehensive inspection.

Since the braking system is one of the most important components of your car, your mechanic will have to disassemble it all together to inspect the root cause. Here, the inspection process will check for corrosion on the disks, pads, and calipers, signs of breakage, and anything to do with regular wear and tear.

Depending on the condition, your mechanic might opt to repair the braking system by cleaning the various components then lubricate them thoroughly, or simply replace them with new ones to prevent any uncertainties in the future.

 

4. Low Transmission Fluid

 

Other than replacing a worn-out tire, another process that can easily be accomplished by almost any motorist, including novices, is adding transmission fluid into the transmission hole. Remember, this is another highly common cause of car vibrations when driving.

So, to accomplish this, you need to keep the engine idle by starting the car with the handbrake locked. When you’re done, read the instruction manual to know how much is enough depending on your engine’s specifications. Finally, add the fluid to the transmission to around halfway then start pouring small portions until the level gets to the maximum.

Now depress the brakes and run the transmission to circulate the fluid throughout the system. If everything sounds great, you may now put back the dipstick to the transmission hole to lock it back into place.

 

5. Replacing Damaged Motor Mounts

 

Just as we mentioned earlier, motor or engine mounts are responsible for holding the engine in place inside the chassis and absorbing vibrations to prevent them from being heard inside the car. Following regular use, these mounts can sometimes give up the run by wearing out. Some of the visible signs you’re likely to see here are leaking liquid (for those mounts that rely on liquids instead of rubber to absorb engine’s vibrations), cracks, wear, and sagging of the engine towards the faulty motor mount.

So, to replace the motor mounts, you need to first inspect the engine to ensure that you don’t end up damaging its components when you attempt to jerk it. Use a wooden block to support the engine when jerking it. Before you do so, first loosen the engine from the motor mount bolts. Crawl under the car and do the same for the bolts beneath.

Once the engine breaks free, jerk it to remove the faulty motor mount. Bolt the new mount towards the car’s frame then lower the engine to tighten the bolts.

 

Conclusion

And that’s it for today. As you can see, there are so many reasons that can cause your car to shake while driving. In fact, apart from the ten we’ve mentioned, there are other reasons that can cause this problem some of which are mild and others critical. Since you’re not certain what exactly the problem is, it’s always a good practice to visit a professional mechanic early enough to have your car checked.

For the case of mild issues such as tire wear, inefficient transmission fluid, and loose lug nuts, you can check these ones all by yourself to keep your car in good working order.

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