Car Guides

Why does my car vibrate when I drive?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader whose vehicle vibrates on the road.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

The dealer road-tested my 2016 Subaru Forester but said it operated normally.

Q. I own a 2016 Subaru Forester, which I purchased new. I mostly drive on city streets and only occasionally on the highway. The problem is that sometimes when I’m driving at 60 miles per hour, the car suddenly vibrates. It lasts about five minutes and then everything returns to normal. This has happened more than once, but I can’t seem to reproduce it. The dealership road-tested the car, but the mechanics said it operated normally. What can I do?

A. I’ve heard of no known problems specific to this model that could cause the type of vibration you describe. A malfunctioning transmission torque converter or a worn or defective axle can cause an intermittent vibration. It could even be caused by a tire that has water in it. At this point, time may be the best diagnostic tool. Wait until the problem becomes more consistent. Once the problem can be substantiated, the cause of the problem and the repair should be possible. Depending on the cause of the problem, as long as the issue is documented, repairs outside of the warranty should still be covered.


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to [email protected].