Car Shaking After Hitting Curb? Here Are 9 Likely Causes

car shaking after hitting curb

If you’ve just experienced the unsettling feeling of your car shaking after hitting a curb, it’s natural to be concerned about the condition of your vehicle.

The good news is, in most cases, the issues resulting from such an incident can be resolved, and your car can be restored to its proper condition.

Modern vehicles are built to withstand minor accidents and impacts. While hitting a curb might seem alarming, especially with the immediate after-effects like shaking, it doesn’t automatically spell disaster for your car.

Should I Worry If My Car Shakes After I Hit a Curb?

a worried driver that's looking through the mirror

Yes, it’s normal to be worried if your car starts shaking after hitting a curb, but you don’t need to be overly concerned. This shaking is a common reaction to such incidents and, as mentioned in the intro, most issues arising from hitting a curb are resolvable.

By following the guide we’ve prepared for you below, your car-shaking problem should be solved in no time.

Why Is My Car Shaking After Hitting a Curb?

If your car shakes after hitting a curb, it’s likely due to wheel alignment issues causing vibrations and uneven tire wear, or a bent wheel or rim from the impact, leading to significant vibrations, particularly at higher speeds.

For a more in-depth explanation of all the potential causes, let’s explore the sections below:

1. Wheel Alignment Issues

Hitting a curb can knock your car’s wheels out of alignment, leading to vibrations while driving. Misalignment causes uneven tire wear and can affect the vehicle’s handling, potentially making it pull to one side.

2. Bent Wheel or Rim Damage

A direct impact with a curb can bend the wheel or rim. A bent wheel or rim might not be immediately visible but can cause significant vibrations, especially at higher speeds.

3. Damaged Suspension Components

The suspension system, including components like control arms, can be damaged upon impact with a curb. A bent control arm, for example, can lead to abnormal tire angles (camber or toe), causing the car to vibrate.

4. Wheel Bearing Damage

Wheel bearings, which allow the wheels to rotate smoothly, can be damaged from a hard curb hit. Damaged bearings often make a whirring noise that increases with speed and can cause vibrations.

5. Tire Damage or Imbalance

tire bead damage

The impact can damage the tire itself or cause the tire to become unbalanced. An unbalanced tire will wobble or vibrate, particularly at certain speeds.

ALSO CHECK: Can Hitting a Curb Cause a Flat Tire?

6. Hub Damage

The hub, which holds the wheel to the car, can become bent from hitting a curb. A bent hub will cause the wheel to rotate unevenly, leading to vibrations.

7. Damaged Motor Mounts

Motor mounts secure the engine in place. A strong impact might damage these mounts, leading to engine vibrations that can be felt throughout the car.

8. Subframe Damage

The subframe of the car, which supports major components like the engine and suspension, can be bent or damaged from a curb strike. This can affect the alignment of the entire vehicle, leading to vibrations.

9. Tie Rod Damage

The tie rods, part of the steering system, can bend upon impact. A bent tie rod affects the car’s steering geometry, potentially causing vibration and misalignment.

What to Do After You’ve Hit a Curb and Your Car Starts to Shake

a car that's been damaged

Now that you understand why your car is behaving this way, here are the steps you can follow to help resolve the issue:

Take a Deep Breath and Assess the Situation

First and foremost, stay calm. Panic can cloud judgment. Once you’ve safely stopped your vehicle, take a moment to breathe deeply and collect your thoughts. This mental reset is crucial before you start assessing the damage.

Conduct a Visual Inspection of the Wheels and Tires

Carefully inspect the wheels and tires for visible signs of damage like dents, bends, or cracks in the rims. Also, look for any abnormalities in the tires such as bulges, bead damage, or excessive wear. If you notice any damage, avoid driving the car as it might worsen the problem.

Consider reading our comprehensive guide, ‘Tire Damage From Hitting a Curb‘. In it, we talk about what actions you can take in-depth after determining that your tire is the main cause of the problem.

Check Wheel Alignment

If your car pulls to one side or the steering feels off, it could be an alignment issue. While you can’t fix alignment at home, you can certainly identify symptoms. For a proper fix, take your car to a professional for a wheel alignment.

Inspect the Suspension Components

A licensed mechanic inspecting both the suspension and wheel of a car.

Examine the suspension components like control arms for any signs of bending or breakage. If you’re not sure what to look for, a quick internet search for your specific car model can help identify these parts. However, repairing suspension components typically requires professional assistance.

Listen for Unusual Noises from Wheel Bearings

Drive your car slowly in a safe, enclosed area and listen for any whirring or grinding noises, which could indicate damaged wheel bearings. If you suspect bearing damage, it’s best to have a mechanic replace them.

RELATED: I Scraped the Bottom of My Car and Now It’s Making Some Noise

Balance Your Tires

If you suspect a tire imbalance, visit a tire shop to have them balanced. Tire balancing is a precise and affordable service that can significantly improve the situation if the issue is related to tire balance.

Examine the Hub for Damage

car's hub being taken out

Inspecting the hub can be more challenging and might require jacking up the car. Look for any signs of bending or damage. Replacing a bent hub is a task best left to professionals.

Inspect Motor Mounts

Check the motor mounts for any visible damage or excessive movement. Damaged motor mounts will usually need to be replaced by a mechanic.

Evaluate the Subframe

Examine the subframe for any obvious signs of misalignment or damage. Given the complexity of this part, it’s advisable to have a professional mechanic inspect it.

Check the Tie Rods

Inspect the tie rods for any bending or damage. A damaged tie rod needs to be replaced and is usually followed by a wheel alignment. This is generally a job for a professional.

Be Sure to Get a Professional to Inspect Your Car’s Wobbling Problem

A professional mechanic shows a car owner the results of their vehicle's assessment

Safety should always be prioritized. If you’re unsure or unable to identify the problem, it’s crucial to get a professional inspection.

A trained mechanic can accurately diagnose and fix the issue. Make sure to describe the incident and your observations to help them pinpoint the problem.

After repairs, keep an eye on your car’s performance. Any recurrence of unusual noises or vibrations should be addressed immediately to avoid long-term damage to your vehicle.

FAQs About Car Wobbling After Hitting a Curb

Have more questions about car wobbles and curbs? We might have answered them below:

Can I still use my car even though it’s shaking?

No. It’s best to avoid driving your car if it’s shaking after hitting a curb. This shaking could indicate underlying issues that might worsen with use. To prevent further damage and ensure safety, have your car inspected by a professional as soon as possible.

How much would the cost be for this type of problem?

The cost to fix a car shaking after hitting a curb varies depending on the damage. Minor issues like wheel alignment might cost around $50 to $100, while more significant repairs like suspension or rim damage can go upwards of a few hundred dollars. It’s advisable to get a professional diagnosis for an accurate estimate.

What can I do to avoid this in the future?

To avoid similar incidents in the future, practice cautious driving, especially in poor road conditions. Regularly maintain your vehicle, paying attention to tire condition and alignment. Also, consider driving courses that focus on defensive driving techniques to improve your ability to handle unexpected road situations.

Check out our guide, ‘How to Avoid Hitting Curbs,’ to learn what to do in similar situations.

And if you’ve hit your car against your driveway’s curb, consider looking into our driveway curb ramp. Its main purpose is to help you avoid problems like this.


In summary, while your car might be shaking now, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road for your vehicle.

With the right approach – careful inspection, timely repairs, and professional assistance – you can expect to get back to smooth, safe driving.

If you’re interested in reading more topics related to how curbs can be a major problem for car owners, you might want to check out our blog.

There, you can find discussions like ‘Is it bad to park with tire against curb?’ or ‘Does insurance cover curb damage?’ and much more.

Remember, cars are often more resilient than we give them credit for, and with a bit of care and attention, they can continue to serve us well for many years.