Car Vibrates in Drive but Not in Neutral: Causes & Fixes

Sometimes cars can be the hardest tasks to deal with, especially when they give you signals of needed maintenance such as slight strange noises or vibrations that may happen to various reasons.

In this article, I will stop at your car’s vibration, especially if your car vibrates in the drive but not in neutral mode!

Let’s get this article started so that you can understand why it happens and whether there are things you can do to stop it!

Key Takeaways


  • Vibration in your car most of the time happens while in the drive and not in neutral mode.
  • It can happen because of some reasons including the motor, fuel, spark plugs, air filters, and even wheels.
  • If your car vibrates because of the motor, you should immediately seek help from a mechanic as they know better.
  • In case of clogged fuel injections or air filters, you can fix them by just cleaning them as the dirt is the main thing that clogs them.
  • Spark plugs can be completely worn-out and the best thing to do is to completely change them.

Why Does Your Car Vibrates in Drive but not in Neutral? – Common Reasons

Your car vibrates while in drive because the whole transmission is changing gears. Basically, as the transmission is the main feature in a car that helps us change the gears, especially in manual vehicles, it is more than normal to feel some vibration.

While in neutral, it doesn’t vibrate because there is no change in the gears at all and there is no acceleration of any kind.

So, your car is vibrating in the drive but not when you use it in neutral mode? Well, there are some reasons hidden behind it, and they include different things starting from the motor, the fuel-responsive parts, spark plugs, air filters, and wheels/tires.

Motor’s Fault

One of the most common reasons that lead to a vibrating car is when the motor of the engine isn’t working properly as it is one of the main parts of the car that hold it all together!

If the motor of your car is broken, worn out in any part, or if it doesn’t connect to your engine properly the vibration is the first thing that it does as a form of a signal.

How to Fix It?

The best way to deal with the motor of your car is to replace it with a new one and remember to not wait for a lot of time, it needs to be adjusted immediately as it can bring out other serious issues to your car.

Fuel Intake System Issues

Another reason why your car may be vibrating in the drive is because of the whole fuel intake system, which is one of the main components in a car that conducts the fuel mixture into the engine.

If the system of the fuel intake is clogged up somehow or dirty, it can lead to different issues, the main one being vibration in the drive.

If the problem is in the fuel intake system, you may notice it by just checking the miles you have driven. If it has passed from 60,000 to 90,000 miles, the system is probably dirty or clogged and your car will vibrate frequently.

How to Fix It?

The best way to deal with clogs or dirtiness is to clean it! In case you notice that the vibration happens because of the fuel intake system being dirty or clogged clean everything.

Fuel Injectors

Hence the name, the fuel injectors have one job in your car and it is to inject the fuel into the whole engine.

Just like the fuel intake system, the injectors can be clogged and completely dirty, leading to nothing but vibration in many different ways.

How to Fix It?

Once again, cleaning the injectors of fuel will surely ease your job and you will notice that your car won’t vibrate anymore.

Worn Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are the parts in a car or vehicle in general that transmit electricity around the car and they make everything related to electrical work.

The problem that the spark plugs may bring to you when the car is vibrating is that they are totally worn out. It happens as a cause of your car’s overheating most of the time.

How to Fix It?

The only way to deal with and fix worn-out spark plugs in your car is to change them completely, and it is the job of a mechanic, so don’t try to do it alone, unless you know!

Air Filters Clogged

The air filters have an important job in your car and it is to help

How to Fix It?

As dust is one of the main things that can clog the air filters of your car and again, you need to clean them! You can do it yourself as it requires only taking them out of the car and cleaning them with whatever you want, there is not too much job in there.

Problems with Wheels and Tires

The wheels and the tires in your car should always be moving smoothly and bring you and your car the comfort and the perfect ride everybody needs.

If your car has any problem related to wheels as they get wobbly sometimes and fully out of balance, you will feel the vibration happening very frequently.

How to Fix It?

Go to a mechanic and ask for help on changing the wheels or simply balance them in some way. They know what they do, and you will get rid of the vibration in just one day.

Final Words

So, if you read the article above carefully you definitely noticed that your car can vibrate while on the drive because of different reasons, and finding choices for them sometimes is fully dependent on a mechanic but there are some, easier fixes, that you can do yourself.

Something else to mention is that vibration is known as a normal “issue” on your car and you don’t have to worry too much! Make sure to check everything in your car, especially before getting on a long road because you never know what can happen and by checking it you prevent various things.

I hope that in the article you found everything you needed to know. Good luck!