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Sudden Vehicle Vibration After a Storm & Cold Snap? - Here Is The Cause & Solution

The morning after a winter storm you find that your car, truck, or crossover is vibrating like crazy. Don't panic. It could be this simple cause and it has a simple remedy.


If your car is vibrating like crazy the day after a winter storm don't panic. Particularly if it is super cold. Often times, a car will do this if snow and slush build up on your wheels while you drive and then freezes after you park.
nissan rogue
The slush and ice are usually able to melt off your wheels, but if the conditions are right, that slop can slide down to the bottom inside part of your rims and then freeze there. When you then drive with this frozen mass on one part of the rotating rim, the wheels are now unbalanced and the car will shake. This is particularly true as speeds increase.

Pull over to a place that is safe and inspect your wheels. If there is snow stuck in the "spokes" of the rims or if it is frozen in just one spot, you are likely in good shape. The problem will be solved once you remove the snow, or once it melts on its own.

You can use a stick or some other object to poke the frozen slush away and you will get away with it most of the time. Some of the time you will also poke off a balancing weight, or accidentally break a valve stem. Both of which are going to cause you problems bigger than the slush, so be careful.

Our test vehicle this week was the 2019 Nissan Rogue which handled a winter storm like a champ. However, it suffered the vibrations we describe. One tap with a stick on each frozen section removed the ice and the Rogue returned to normal. We hope you are just as lucky. Let us know if this story helped you. If it does, share it.


Benny (not verified)    February 19, 2021 - 4:38AM

This is so true this happen to me twice after snow storm wheels wobbled from having ice and snow on tires and rims once ice melts back to normal thanks for story.

Kali (not verified)    November 18, 2022 - 8:08AM

This was happening in my 2018 Kia Optima and I was so worried sobering was wrong with my car. It was 8 degrees out. Both my rear wheels had snow in the rims. Ran light stream of water in them at the carwash and everything was fine. Thank you!