Why does the car shake in reverse?

There are numerous possible causes of a car shaking in reverse, including the following:

Therefore, if you are encountering the same or similar problems with your vehicle, you may want to hire a mechanic to troubleshoot each to determine which one is the actual cause of your issues.

Here is some key information that explains 3 of the most common causes and what your mechanic may recommend for each.

Clogged Transmission Oil Filter

A common reason why the car shakes in reverse.

Since the oil filter reduces the adverse effects of its coupling properties and the fluid pressure inside the tranny, it may start shaking if it cannot effectively transfer the torque from the engine drive to the transmission.

And, will result in the car shaking when it is shifted into reverse.

Faulty EPC solenoid

Another encountered cause of a car shaking in reverse is a faulty EPC solenoid.

Because the role of the EPC solenoid is to regulate the pressure in the automatic transmission by getting the feedback that it needs from the electronic control module, any malfunction can cause vibrations in the transmission.

This is primarily because a bad EPC solenoid prevents these systems from maintaining the desired pressure and performance inside the tranny.

Malfunction in Engine Systems

The engine, itself, has to work extraordinarily hard with greater RPM to drive the reverse gear functions than any other gear in the vehicle.

Therefore, if any one of the components in the engine is faulty, dirty, or poor in performance, it may result in shaking and shuttering of the transmission when in reverse.

A mechanic will need to inspect every associated part that can cause these disruptions, including one of the following:

How to fix a car that vibrates in reverse?

As referenced above, the reason for a car vibrating in reverse could be due to one of several causes. Therefore, to fix this issue, the mechanic must identify the exact cause first before he recommends a fix.

That said, let’s get started by addressing each.

Clogged Transmission Filter – Replace Transmission Oil Filter

To fix a clogged transmission, the transmission oil filter will need to be replaced. For instance, some mechanics may recommend replacing this filter whenever the driver replaces the tranny oil or refills it.

Faulty EPC solenoid

To fix a faulty EPC solenoid problem, the mechanic will need to replace it with a new one.

Malfunction Engine Systems

If the engine’s system is the source of these problems, the mechanic will need to inspect these various parts to find the source that needs to be repaired.

For instance, if the malfunction is due to faulty throttle body sensors, these sensors will need to be replaced.

How much do repairs cost?

The cost for these types of repairs may vary greatly depending on the parts and the labor involved. So, here is what you can expect to pay.

Clogged Transmission Filter: Replace the Transmission Oil Filter

The average cost for replacing a transmission filter can range from $50 to $100. The cost of labor varies from around $300 to $400 (i.e. based on the quality of the transmission fluid selected and the auto shop services pricing).

Faulty EPC solenoid: Replace the Bad EPC solenoid with a new one

Depending on the make and model of the vehicle, the average total cost to assess and replace these parts is estimated at $150 to $400.

Malfunction Engine System Repairs

As referenced above, there are several different components in the engine that can cause the car to shake in reverse. So, the cost of these repairs will vary significantly based on these factors.

For instance, if the mechanic identifies the problem as faulty throttle body sensors, the average cost for the sensors is about $110 to $200, including parts and labor.


Unfortunately, there are many different reasons why a car can shake in reverse. Some of the most commonly known are often related to bad components, low transmission oil, clogged transmission filters that need to be replaced, or malfunctions in the engine’s system components.

Whatever the case, a professional mechanic may be needed available to identify the exact cause to recommend the right fix.

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