Car Feels Bumpy When Driving: Causes and Repair Methods

Car feels bumpy when driving if it has unevenly worn tires or damaged suspension components such as springs, bushings, shocks, and struts. Car Feels Bumpy when Driving Although these are more common reasons, your car might have an issue with the engine or axle. This article explains five reasons the car drives rough and suggests ways to restore a smooth drive.

Why Does Your Car Feel Bumpy When You Drive?

Your car feels bumpy when you drive because of uneven tires or misaligned wheels. Another common reason for this problem is a faulty suspension with broken or damaged components. Moreover, damaged brake parts, axles, engine components, or driving with high load contribute to the rough ride.
  • Uneven Tires or Misaligned Wheels

Uneven tires or misaligned wheels are the first suspects if a car feels rough when driving. These issues are common and easy to detect. Worn or uneven tires disturb the car’s balance and lead to a bumpy ride. Causes of Car Feel Bumpy Uneven tire wear happens if you have been driving on rough paths or haven’t changed the tires in a long time. As a result, they lose air and have different levels of inflation. This inconsistency causes a bumpy drive. Also, if you do not inflate your tires in time or over inflate them, you will wear them quickly. Underinflated tires have an enormous surface area contacting the road; hence the tires wear out on the outer edges. However, overinflated tires wear out from the center and have low traction. The tires may also wear out if you have aggressive driving habits. For instance, if you take turns at high speeds, the tires will feel excessive stress and wear out unevenly. Moreover, if you neglect tire rotations, they will get damaged fast. So, it is a preventive measure that ensures even wear throughout the surface of tires. All you have to do is change the position of your tires, for example, move the front one to the back, etc. Poor-quality tires or tires incompatible with a specific vehicle can also wear out fast, leaving the car feeling bumps while driving.
  Damaged tires and misaligned wheels are somehow linked to each other. Misaligned wheels can also cause uneven tire wear. The tires being misaligned due to worn suspension, hitting potholes, or improperly installed suspension parts. In both cases, you would notice a shaking steering wheel, and your car will vibrate when you drive. Also, you will need an alignment if you see tire wear on one side every time. Apart from the vibrations, you can detect misaligned wheels by observing them closely. If they wobble back and forth, you need to align them.
  • Suspension Problems and Bumpy Drive

Your car’s suspension connects its body to the tires and has shock absorbers. It ensures a comfortable ride so you do not feel bumps or potholes on the road. But when a component in the suspension system fails, the car feels like driving on gravel. In case of a damaged suspension part, you would see that the tires bounce up and down frequently. You will also notice that the car shakes or jostles unnecessarily when you drive. The following problems with the suspension system can cause the car to shake or vibrate while driving:
  • Broken springs in the suspension lead to bumpy rides. The springs should support your car’s weight and absorb the road impact.
  • Damaged suspension bushings cause a rough or noisy ride. These rubber bushings isolate the suspension components from the vehicle’s frame.
  • Damaged shocks or struts cause vibrations because they do not absorb the bumps from the road. These parts wear out due to excessive use and fail to provide cushion to the car.
  • Defective ball joints or control arms cause an unstable and rough ride. These components connect the suspension to your car’s chassis, so the suspension loses control over the wheels when they wear.
  • Car Feels Bouncy When Driving Due to Brake Problems

If your car is rough only during deceleration, you might have a problem with the braking system. The vehicle might also make squealing noises and feel jerky. You should never neglect a problem with the brakes because it can compromise your safety. The brake system has multiple components, so a problem with any of them would lead to a bumpy or shaky car. For instance, you might have warped brake rotors. The rotors get warped because of heat exposure. These warped rotors lead to a vibrating brake pedal and a bumpy feeling. Moreover, when the brake pads get damaged, the car experiences poor braking performance and a jerky ride. Sometimes the brake calipers get stuck and fail to press the pads against the rotor. Such calipers cause uneven pad wear and a bumpy ride. Additionally, faulty brake components such as hoses, brake lines, and master cylinders disturb the smooth drive of cars.
  • Faulty Axle or Engine

Sometimes the answer to “Why does my car feel bumpy when I accelerate?” lies in a faulty axle or engine. You might have damaged the axle in a road accident which disrupts the spinning tires. The axle spins under your car so the wheels can move, so when the axle gets damaged or bent, the drive may feel bumpy. It happens because the wheels become imbalanced and start shaking the car. It can also misalign the wheels and unevenly wear the tires, causing a bouncy ride. Moreover, a faulty axle disrupts the consistent tire contact with the road. It happens if the axle warps or if the wheel bearings get damaged. The irregular contact between tires and the road results in a bumpy sensation when the tires hit a bump. Apart from the axle, some engine components can also cause shakiness when damaged. These include valves, sensors, and other parts. The car shakes when the combustion unit does not receive enough fuel or oxygen or when there is a problem with the ignition system. In case of engine problems, the car feels rough when accelerating or at a specific speed. However, do not prolong the repair if you suspect an issue with your car’s engine.
  • Car Carrying High Load

A new car bumpy ride is usually due to the high load inside the vehicle. You can exclude those possibilities since the tires and suspension components are brand new. Each car has a load-carrying capacity; exceeding that limit puts tremendous stress on the suspension and tires. The high load compresses the suspension, answering, “Why do I feel every crack in the road?” Moreover, extra weight in a car reduces the ground clearance. As a result, the undercarriage components may touch the road, especially when driving over bumps or potholes. It minimizes the suspension’s ability to absorb road impacts. The excessive load also causes the tires to bear more weight than they can handle. It increases tire compression resulting in a harsher ride. Besides, the extra weight affects the car’s stability, making it more difficult to control.

How To Fix a Vehicle That Feels Bumpy While Driving?

To fix a vehicle that feels bumpy while driving, start by wheel alignment or inflating or replacing the tires. If there is a problem with the suspension, you can jack up the car and replace the faulty components, such as bushings or damaged brake pads.
  • Adjust Tire Pressure and Align Wheels

The first step toward fixing a bumpy car is the inspection of the tires. You should observe each tire separately and look for uneven wear or improper inflation signs. If you notice a deflated tire, get a tire pump and fill it to the appropriate level. You can also take your car to an auto repair shop and get the tires inflated. Fix a Bumpy Vehicle Consult your car’s manual to know the recommended tire pressure. You can get a tire pressure gauge to check and adjust the pressure accordingly. However, if they look unevenly worn, you must replace them. Replacement is necessary when the tires are worn only from the center or edges. Ensure you invest in good-quality tires compatible with your driving conditions. Moreover, wheel alignment is the only solution for unbalanced wheels. Ideally, it would be best to get them aligned by professionals in the nearest auto repair shop.
  • Suspension or Transmission Repair or Replacement

Getting the suspension repaired involves making changes to the components to complete replacements. The steps you take depend on the level of car damage. Follow the steps below to fix your car’s suspension:
  • Elevate your car with a jack for a thorough inspection. The suspension components are under the car, so notice any leaking fluid, damaged bushings, or other parts.
  • If you find a damaged shock absorber or control arm, buy its replacement and install it.
  • Your car’s manual will show the ideal specs for these components. The installation of these components is straightforward and requires essential tools.
  • If you find worn bushings, it’s advisable to replace them. It requires removing the associated components first, such as control arms or sway bars.
  • While you have lifted the car, you should also inspect the drivetrain or transmission components. Replace the damaged axles or CV joints.
  • Replace the Failing Brake Parts

You can hire a car repair mechanic to diagnose and repair the problem with the brake or fix it yourself. Some procedures are simple and quick, for example, replacement of brake pads. You will need a jack and its stand, lug wrench, C-clamp, grease, wrenches and sockets, and new brake pads. The steps below will help you replace them:
  1. Park your car in the garage or on any flat surface. Engage the parking brake and loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  2. Use the jack to lift your car but ensure the jack stand is secure.
  3. Remove and save the nuts safely and remove the wheels to find the brakes.
  4. Find the brake caliper mounted over the brake rotor and remove its bolts. These bolts secure the brake pads so you can gently slide them out after removing them.
  5. Depending on the car’s condition, you might have to compress the brake piston before installing the new pads. That’s where the C-clamp becomes useful. Compress the piston gently to prevent caliper damage.
  6. Install the new pads, but apply some brake grease behind them before that. It will reduce the vibrations and noise when you drive the car.
  7. Properly align the pads in the caliper and insert them in.
  8. Reassemble the caliper above the brake pads and fix it using bolts or clips.
  9. Reinstall the wheel in the wheel hub and secure it with lug nuts.
  10. Repeat the same process for other wheels, pump the braking pedal for some time, and take your car for a test drive.
Bumpy Ride with a Vehicle

Could the Bumpy Feeling While Driving be Related to the Car Shaking When Starting?

Could the bumpy feeling while driving be related to the car shaking during starting? It’s possible. Car shaking during starting could indicate problems with the engine, transmission, or suspension components. A thorough inspection and diagnostic testing by a qualified mechanic can help identify the exact cause of the issue, ensuring a smoother and safer driving experience.

Are the Causes of a Bumpy Car Ride and Rattling Under the Car Related?

A rattling car when going over bumps can be indicative of several issues. It often suggests that the vehicle’s suspension components or exhaust system might be loose or damaged. However, this does not necessarily mean that the causes of a bumpy car ride and rattling under the car are directly related. Additional inspection is usually required to determine the precise cause of each problem.


After reading all the reasons why your car feels bumpy when driving, you can take steps to mend it. Here are the main findings from the article that will help you restore a smooth ride:
  • The primary reasons behind a rough drive are unevenly damaged tires, misaligned wheels, and lousy suspension.
  • Other reasons include high weight in the car, failing brake system, and engine problems.
  • You can fix a shaky car by adjusting tire pressure, aligning the wheels, or replacing worn tires, brake pads, axles, shocks, or components.
Now you’re perfectly capable of diagnosing and fixing your bumpy or shaky car.
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