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Why Does My Car Shake When I Am Idling? 10 Causes & Solutions!

Why Does My Car Shake When I Am Idling? 10 Causes & Solutions!

Whether you are an experienced driver or a newbie, it is important to understand the different types of the car shaking. If your car shakes when idling, many potential causes must be checked out before assuming this is normal.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


It could be that the car itself needs repairs or another vehicle hit yours and left minor damage that has not been fixed.

This article lists 10 common causes of car shaking when idling and how to resolve them. Let's read on for more details on “Why Does My Car Shake When I Am Idling?”

Why should you never ignore car shaking?

Car shaking is not normal, especially when the car appears to be driving fine. This could lead to more serious mechanical problems.

Also, if your car shakes due to minor damage that has not been fixed properly, it could turn into a safety issue for you and other drivers on the road.


Car shaking might happen in different situations and at different speeds, but you need to examine the situation carefully and eliminate the possible causes.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Am Idling
 

Why does my car shake when I am idling? Ten causes & solutions :

It's never a fun situation when your car shakes violently when you are idling at a stoplight or sign. You might be thinking that this is normal for some cars, but that is not the case.

There are many reasons your car might shake when idling, and it's important to find out why this is happening.

If you ignore this problem, it could lead to another major mechanical issue for your car and possibly put your safety at risk.

Let's take a close look at some of the common causes for car shaking when idling, along with their solutions:

#1 Loose engine mount

A loose engine mount is the ​number one cause of car shaking when idling. Due to wear and tear, an engine mount can become loose over time. This is more noticeable during idle since the engine isn't really working and shaking around as much as driving

This is something that needs to be addressed by a mechanic right away. Your car idling shakes because the engine isn't properly mounted, which can cause serious, long-term damage to other components like your alternator or transmission.

Even if it is only loose for now, you want to avoid further complications down the road by getting it fixed as soon as possible.

The solution is to replace the worn-out mount with a new one from your local auto parts store and save yourself from potential problems.

#2 Air intake hose disconnection

Another common reason your car may shake when idle is due to an air intake hose disconnecting under the hood. This often causes similar symptoms as a loose engine mount since it will affect the engine's position.

The air intake hose typically connects to the big metal tube from your air filter box and sticks into your engine. If this hose becomes disconnected, you will notice increased vibrations when idling.

A loose clamp often causes this on one side or another, which can also cause damage to your car's other components over time if not dealt with immediately.

The solution: depending on where the air intake hose is disconnected, you may need to tighten both clamps on either end to reconnect it properly. If the connection was at the other end (metal pipe), you should also inspect for any cracks or dents to ensure no damage was done to the pipe itself.

#3 Tie Rod End or Ball Joint Damage

Nowadays, most cars have either a tie rod, ball joint, or both connecting your car's steering system to the wheels. If one of these is damaged, it can affect how your wheels turn and cause the vehicle's front end to shake.

The solution: Have a certified mechanic inspect and replace any damaged components with new ones that will fit properly and securely into place on your car. Replacing worn-out parts early on prevents further damage down the road and saves you money in potential future repairs.

#4 Front-wheel Drive Shaft Assembly Wear

A common problem with modern-day automobiles is uneven tire wear due to turning off drive shafts on front-wheel-drive cars.

As you can see in the image above, two driveshafts connect the transmission to each front wheel. They constantly transfer power from your engine to your car's wheels, making them important components for proper vehicle function. It is normal for these parts to wear out over time, but when they become too worn, it can cause a dangerous vibration when idling near stoplights or in traffic.

The solution: have a certified mechanic replace both driveshaft assemblies with new ones that are properly balanced and fit securely into place on your front end. Replacing worn-out parts early on prevents further damage down the road and saves you money in potential future repairs.

#5 Front Wheel Rotation Assembly Wear

Another possible reason your car may shake when idle is a worn-out front wheel rotation assembly. Since these parts are responsible for transferring power from the vehicle to the wheels, they must have a protective outer casing to keep internal components safe and secure.

Unfortunately, most of these casings wear down over time due to the constant turning of your steering system whenever you turn or move in your vehicle. This can cause some pretty serious problems since, without proper casing support, nothing is holding the rest of the assembly together, which makes them more prone to damage from an impact.

The solution: Have a certified mechanic inspect and replace any damaged front-end components with new ones that fit securely into place on your car. Replacing worn-out parts early on prevents further damage down the road and saves you money in potential future repairs.

#6 Auto Repair Shops Damage Your Car

This may seem a bit far-fetched to some, but it's still a possibility nonetheless. For example, suppose you decided to have your car worked on at a shady auto repair shop. In that case, they might have been underhanded enough to damage certain components without your knowledge to save themselves money for labor costs.

In other words, mechanics may be prioritizing making more money over customer safety which would explain why your car is shaking when idle. However, it could also mean that something was loose or misaligned during an attempted fix, which did more harm than good …

The solution: If your car is still under warranty, bring it back to the dealer where you purchased it and have them fix any issues you may be having. Unfortunately, if your car isn't covered under warranty anymore, you will need to take it to a certified mechanic for inspection and repair.

#7 A Broken Fuel Pump Could Cause Vibrations

Fuel pumps are an essential part of your vehicle since you won't get very far before running out of gas without one. Unfortunately, while rare, some fuel pumps can fail while idling, which causes vibrations due to a lack of power transfer within the vehicle.

The solution: Having this type of problem checked out by a professional can prevent further damage from occurring down the road due to dirt, debris, or any other flammable liquids that may leak from a faulty fuel pump.

#8 A Broken Differential Could Result In Vibrations

Like a faulty fuel pump, a broken differential can cause vibrations when idling due to a lack of power transfer between your vehicle's wheels and engine. The differential is what makes your car move forward and backward, so without one, it's like trying to drive a two-wheeler on the highway.

Not only can this be dangerous for you, but traffic around you is why it's best to have any issues with your differential checked out by a professional.

The solution: Having this type of problem checked out by a professional can prevent further damage from occurring down the road due to dirt, debris, or any other flammable liquids that may leak from a faulty fuel pump.

#9 Your Steering Assembly May Have Failed

Another major problem that can cause your car to shake when idle is a faulty steering assembly. Since this part is responsible for holding the front wheels in place and allowing you to steer, turning becomes limited or even non-existent if it fails.

The solution: Have a certified mechanic inspect and replace any damaged front-end components with new ones that fit securely into place on your car. Replacing worn-out parts early on prevents further damage down the road and saves you money in potential future repairs.

#10 One Of Your Suspension Components May Have Failed

Another culprit for shaking when idling could be a broken suspension component such as your front right sway bar. Without this piece, steering and stability become limited, which can cause vibrations throughout your vehicle.

The solution: Having this type of problem checked out by a professional can prevent further damage from occurring down the road due to dirt, debris, or any other flammable liquids that may leak from a faulty fuel pump.

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How to deal with the problem if you can't find a solution?

If your car is shaking when you are idling, and it's not something that falls under the above categories, you may need to have it towed to a professional for servicing.

If they can't find anything wrong with it during the inspection, then be sure to ask them about an engine fault code scan and tire balance and rotation services. Chances are there's a problem with your tires, and they're causing the vibrations to occur even though you can't visibly see anything wrong.

Tips for avoiding this issue in the future?

The best way to avoid this problem in the future is by performing regular maintenance on your car. This means routinely checking things like your oil, air filters, belts, brake pads, etc., so that nothing slips through the cracks and you can catch issues early on before they become big problems down the road .

More specifically, here are the top tips to prevent car shaking when idling:

  • First, check your tire pressure at least once a month.
  • Rotate your tires if necessary.
  • Replace damaged or worn-out suspension components as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
  • Keep an eye on your battery and have it checked by a professional every 3-4 years for optimum performance.
  • Has your differential fluid changed by a professional every 2-3 years for optimum performance?
  • Have your fuel pump and filter checked by a professional every 6-12 months for optimum performance.
  • Have the cooling system inspected and serviced by a professional if you notice problems with it at any point.

Why does my car shake when I am idling? FAQs

This section answers common questions regarding car shaking when idling issues.

Q: What is the most common reason for car shaking when idling?

A: According to our research, the most common reason for this problem is a faulty or damaged suspension component such as the front right sway bar. If you haven't checked your tires, fuel filter, and fuel pump recently, now's the time to do so before serious problems occur down the road.

Q: My car is shaking when idling, but it does not vibrate while driving or moving. Does this mean that there is nothing wrong with it?

A: Not necessarily. Even though your car vibrates when you are moving, this doesn't rule out a problem with your engine. If you have never had an engine fault code check performed or any work done on your front-end assembly, getting these services may be necessary to pinpoint the root of the issue with your car shaking when idling.

Q: Do all cars shake if they are idling too long?

A: No, some cars don't even shake when idling for a long period. This is why having your idling speed checked by a professional can be beneficial as they can diagnose the problem and fix it accordingly.

Q: My car shakes when I am idle but only once in a while. Is this dangerous?

A: It depends on how difficult a situation you are dealing with. If there is something wrong with one of your suspension components, chances are it could cause serious damage if left unattended down the road, which could cost you more money in the future. For this reason, you must have an engine fault code check performed or try to figure out what's going on yourself before all hope is lost and you need to get your car towed for repairs.

Q: How can you tell if your car is idling too high or low?

A: One way to tell if your car's idling speed is off is by keeping an eye on the tachometer as well as listening for unusual noises such as engine knocking and rattling. If you notice that your car shakes when idling and it feels like the engine is having difficulty turning over, then consider reducing the idle speed yourself or have a professional come out to adjust it accordingly before serious damage occurs.

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Conclusion

In this blog post, you've learned what causes a car to shake when idling. We hope that by reading the information here and following our suggestions for prevention, your car won't be shaking anytime soon!