[Solved] Car Shaking in Reverse – Why & How to Fix It?

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If you have been driving your car for a while now, you must have occasionally experienced numerous problems with it. Sometimes the car suddenly stops in the middle of the road, and at others, you find one or the other indicator light flashing on the dashboard.

One common problem many users repeatedly complain about is their car shaking in the reverse direction. Like all other problems with your car, this happens for multiple reasons. 

Some of the main reasons for your car shaking in reverse include an issue with your car’s engine, a problematic torque converter, contaminated or insufficient transmission fluid, etc. 

We have compiled a detailed guide for you explaining some of the causes of your car shaking in reverse. We will also take you through some fixes you can try to resolve this problem. So, if you find your car shaking in reverse frustrating, keep reading to get rid of this. 


Why Is the Car Shaking In Reverse? 

Generally, if your car’s condition is good and you can’t find any fault in the engine or any apparent problem, the reverse gear shouldn’t vibrate too much. However, a slight whining of these gears is common as the reverse gears are straight gears. 

However, if you notice unusual vibration in your car while applying the reverse gears, either while parking the car or moving it back to make a turn, there ought to be some problem with your car engine or any other internal component. 

Here we have listed some of the main problems that could make your car shake while reversing it, along with a detailed explanation of each issue. 

You can check out this YouTube video to discover why the car shakes in reverse. 

  • Issues with Car’s Engine 

One of the main reasons why you are experiencing the shaking of your car while applying the reverse gear is a problem with the car’s engine. The main problem behind this whole problematic scenario is actually the engine mounts that are generally made of steel or rubber. As far as steel is concerned, it is present in the mounts to ensure that the engine is positioned firmly on your car’s frame and prevents it from falling off. 

On the other hand, rubber is responsible for absorbing the engine’s vibration and reducing road shock whenever your car passes through a bump. 

Thus, the engine mounts work together to provide comfort to the driver and other passengers in the car and keep the terrible engine vibrations away from them. 

However, if you haven’t cared much about the conditions of the engine mounts in the past, leaving them worn out, you might start experiencing problems where your car shakes while changing gears, especially the reverse one. 

The twist here is the difficulty you might face while tracing worn-out engine mounts. Even if you take your car to a mechanic or professional, it would be hard for him to tell whether the engine mounts are causing the problem or not due to the complexities involved in this situation. 

However, once you find out that the shaking of your car in the reverse gear is happening due to problems with the engine mounts, the only thing that can resolve the issue is their replacement. 

  • Problematic Clutch 

Another thing that can make your car shake in reverse is the worn-out or problematic clutch. Well, you can’t deny the fact that the clutch plays a crucial role in keeping your car moving as it connects the engine to the car’s transmission. 

Your car’s clutch comes with two plates that are compressed against each other whenever the brake pedal is pressed. The friction caused by this compression is then transferred to the axle, which stops the car. 

However, if the clutch is damaged or worn out, the vibration caused due to the compression can exceed the desired limit making your car either accelerate or decelerate while reversing. This happens because of improper interaction with both plates of your clutch. 

The clutch, in this case, stops performing its function midway instead of working at full capacity. Due to this scenario, a great strain value will start building up within your car’s system. This strain or pressure ultimately appears as shaking movements, making your car shake in reverse. 

  • Damaged Tires 

If your car’s tires are damaged, or you haven’t replaced them for a long time, this can also contribute to the shaking of your car in reverse. It’s because tires are the only components of your car that get in contact with the ground. 

So, if your car’s tires’ condition is not good, there will be high friction between them and the ground, so it’s normal for you to experience the shaking of your car, especially in the reverse direction. 

Another thing that plays an equally important role in this is tire pressure. If the pressure in your car’s tires isn’t enough, it can cause flat tires, which eventually causes your car to shake as the pressure in it isn’t adequate to support the entire vehicle’s weight. 

  • Exhausted Transmission Mounts 

As mentioned earlier, one of the main things that make your car shake in reverse is the motor mounts. Though the transmission mounts are different from engine mounts, the function they perform is almost similar. 

The main difference between the transmission mount and the engine mount is that the engine mount keeps the engine attached to the car while the transmission mount works in holding the transmission box to the car. 

However, both these mounts play an essential role in toning down the vibrations of your car. This way, if the transmission mount of your vehicle is exhausted, you will experience your car’s shaking. 

It happens because when the transmission box’s condition is bad, it struggles to keep the gearbox in the right position. Due to this, unnecessary vibrations are triggered, and this whole situation worsens when you apply the reverse gears as this inserts a higher pressure on the gears. 

Another thing that could add to the car vibrations is the melting of the rubber part of the transmission box due to oil leakage due to continuous friction in the gearbox. 

  • Transmission Fluid 

The transmission fluid in your car also plays a crucial role in determining how much your car will shake when you apply the reverse gear. If it’s a long time since you last checked the transmission fluid level in your car, this is a cue for you to check it. 

Here is a YouTube video you can follow to learn how to check the transmission fluid level in your car if this is your first time doing it.

If the transmission fluid level is less than the recommended minimum, fix it before you see the car shaking badly. Similarly, if the pressure in your car’s transmission system is less, it could make the transmission shake, eventually making your car shake in reverse. 

Similarly, changing the transmission fluid from time to time and ensuring that it doesn’t get contaminated by harmful chemicals and air from outside while getting it filled is also important to prevent your car from shaking in reverse. 

  • Torque Convertor 

If you notice that your car shakes in reverse only when the engine’s RPM is less than 2000, and this shaking is almost negligible at 3000 RPM, you need to check the torque converter of your car. 

This is because if the shaking happens due to some problem with the engine or the transmission mounts, you will experience shaking even above 3000 RPM. 

If you can’t diagnose when the torque converter goes bad, you can check out this YouTube video for help.


  • An issue with EPC Solenoid 

If the EPC solenoid of your car is encountering an issue and fails to maintain the required pressure inside the tranny, this would affect the performance of your car’s transmission system. As mentioned above, this will eventually make your car vibrate in reverse with a vibration of much higher intensity. 

  • Damaged Throttle Body Sensors 

Vehicles usually come with a lot of sensors, and a large number of these sensors are attached to the throttle body. Most of the sensors play a crucial role in ensuring that the fuel combustion in the piston cylinder is happening peacefully. 

However, if even one of these sensors fails to perform its task rightly, it could drastically drop the RPM value of your car’s engine. Once the RPM value is dropped, the amplitude of the engine’s vibration increases drastically, and you will see your car shaking in reverse. 

Similarly, if you haven’t cleaned the throttle body for a long time, this could also cause an increase in the intensity of the vibrations you will notice when your car shakes in reverse. 

  • Fuel Pressure 

Another thing that contributes to lowering the RPM value of your engine, indirectly contributing to the shaking of your car in reverse, is the fuel pressure. Some other things triggering the issue are a problematic fuel pump and fuel injector, a clogged or blocked fuel filter and strainer, and a vacuum leak. 

  • Ignition System 

Any problem with your car’s ignition system is equally crucial in making your car shake badly in reverse. It’s because when the ignition system goes bad, the chances of your car’s engine’s misfiring increase, eventually increasing your car’s shaking, especially when you are applying the reverse gear. 

  • Transmission Oil Filter

The last but not least factor that adds to the car shaking problem in reverse is the clogging of the transmission oil filter. This is because when the fluid pressure inside the transmission box reduces, the coupling properties of the fluid are affected. 

Because of the reduction in the oil pressure due to clogging of the filter, the torque might not be adequately transferred from the engine to the transmission causing your car to shake. 


How to Fix the Car Shaking in Reverse? 

Now that you have looked at all the causes that add to the car shaking in reverse let us take you through some of the fixes you can try to get yourself out of this problem. 

Method #1: Fixing/Replacing the Engine Mounts 

As the leading problem-causing agent, in this case, is the engine mounts of your car, the first thing you can do to resolve the issue is to fix or replace them. For this, you must take your vehicle to a professional who then needs to inspect the car properly. This way, he can trace the problem and suggest the best possible solution. 

Ensure to get the rubber and steel part of the mounts checked and make them perform the relevant function to see how well they absorb the vibration. Once you trace the problematic area, get it fixed. 

Note: If nothing else works, you might have to replace the engine mounts, for which you can check out this YouTube tutorial. 

Method #2: Fixing/Replacing the Transmission Mounts

Though you can replace the engine mounts on your car by yourself, handling the motor or transmission mounts on your own can be risky. This is why the first thing you should do once you fear a problem with the transmission mounts of your car is to take your car to a professional. 

As mentioned above, finding the problem with the transmission mounts is a little risky, so be as patient as possible while the mechanic does its job. If you fail to discover the main problem, ask the professional to replace the mounts. 

In case you are curious, check out this YouTube video to see how the replacement goes. 

Method #3: Replacing the Clutch 

Here are the steps you need to follow to replace the clutch on your car if this contributes to its shaking in reverse. 

  1. Go to the nearest auto part store to buy a new clutch. 
  2. Ensure to get a clutch that goes with your car’s model. 
  3. You can also check the owner’s manual for your car to ensure that the clutch you are getting is compatible with the vehicle. 
  4. Now, remove the clutch and battery cables to reach the transaxle. 
  5. Once there, disconnect all the wires and cables you can see. 
  6. Remove the starter motor as well. 
  7. Unscrew and remove all the bolts holding the bell housing to the engine. 
  8. Remove the transaxle along with the drive axle and the prop shaft. 
  9. Before installing the new clutch after removing the older one, thoroughly clean all the car components. 
  10. Use the clutch alignment tool to place the new clutch in the right position. 
  11. Install the bolt plate and transaxle batch and put the screws back on too. 
  12. Once the transaxle is installed, let go of the jack. 
  13. Connect all the wires and cables back and get on the road. 

You have successfully replaced your car’s clutch on your own. 

Method #4: Fixing the Suspension Components

Another thing you can do to fix the problem where your car shakes in reverse is to fix the incorrectly fitted suspension components. Here is a list of all the components that could be behind this problem: 

  • Shocks and struts
  • Suspension bushings
  • Ball joints and control arms (inner and outer)
  • Sway bar links or bushings (inner, outer, or both)
  • Springs

If any of the above-mentioned components are exhausted or damaged, get them fixed or replace them immediately. 

Method #5: Replacing/Fixing Tires 

Fixing your car’s tires is another thing you can do to prevent your car from shaking in reverse. Though you can easily tell when the tire pressure isn’t enough, using a coin to check the grooves is better. 

Take your car to a professional mechanic; if the problem is severe, replace the tires as soon as possible. Here is a YouTube guide for you if you haven’t replaced your car’s tires before.


Method #6: Fixing the Failing Transmission System

If, according to you, the main reason why your car shakes too much in reverse is a problem with its transmission system, seek the help of a professional and get it fixed immediately. 


Conclusion – [Solved] Car Shaking in Reverse – Why & How to Fix It?

In this guide, we have enlisted some of the main reasons why users experience the problem of their car shaking in reverse. We have also taken you through some of the fixes you can try to eliminate the issue. 

Hopefully, one of these fixes works for you, and you no longer have to shake along with your car when you apply the reverse gear. Thanks for reading till the end. 


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