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Ask Ted Ritter Your Own Question
Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4332
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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03 shakes when accelerating, not sure the age, probably same

Customer Question

03 shakes when accelerating
JA: How old is the transmission? Have you checked the fuel filters?
Customer: not sure the age, probably same as car, no i haven't checked the filters, is that easy?
JA: What is the model of your '03 Toyota?
Customer: 2003 XLE
JA: Are you fixing your vehicle yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: I'm willing too, but the diagnosis has me stumped, haven't done anything because I can't find the problem, visually inspected front rotors and put the jack under the motor hoping it would reveal an obvious bad engine mount, I couldn't tell that anything was wrong.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no, but thank you
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for posting

Does the engine idle without shaking while it's in gear? If this shaking is only under fairly hard acceleration it may be a loose/worn inner cv joint on one of the front drive axles. Raise the car off the floor and see how much up/down play is when moving the axle shaft up and down just in front of the inner cv joints, if it can be moved more than about 1/8" the joint is worn and the axle needs to be replaced.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
the engine idles fine when in gear it doesnt shake when in gear and parked, it starts to shake around 25-30, when it first started I felt like it wasn't as bad when it was cold, first thing in the morning I could still feel the shake but not as bad, it was still there but softer, but after my hour drive to work i'm pretty sure she is shaking a little more obviously. and now she shakes whenever you go over 30. the level of shaking peeks out around 50 and doesnt noticeably get worse if you go play up and down for both sides... however theres a little play left to right, it appears to be the rack an pinion.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for the reply, worn rack bushings can cause this as well but it's not very common, it sounds more now like there may be a wheel or tire issue, is it possible that there is a bent wheel or a tire out of balance?? Do you feel this shaking only in the steering wheel or does the entire car seem to shake.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
not really in the wheel, more so the front of the car, my first thought was the front right but now i cant tell.Q: if it was a rim wouldn't the car shake all the time.. now I know your not supposed to but going down a long hill at 45 I put it in neutral and it stops shaking put it back in gear and you feel the shaky, this is at speed and not giving it any gas. makes me worried its the torque converter or something major in the drive train... it just started on its own, cant you just tell me its a drive actuating sensor or something......please...
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 4 months ago.

It's a mechanical problem, I still think from what you're telling me now that it's an axle/inner cv joint that is worn and it would be best if you had someone check it even though there may not be much freeplay in the cv joint I have seen plenty of them that exhibited exactly what you're describing, I have no other answer for you, sorry.