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Why is the car shaking when idle?

If the car is shaking when idle it is a warning sign that something is really wrong. There are different instances when you will notice the car is shaking. Apart from the car shaking when idle, it could also be shaking during acceleration. Further, the car may be shaking when you negotiate a corner bend and when you hit a pothole or bump.

The reasons for the car shaking during these instances varies depending on which point the car shakes. There is need for you to pay attention to when you will feel the car vibrate. Because there are different reasons behind a car shaking depending on when it is shaking.

When a car is in idle and it does this so smoothly is an indication that fuel and air mixture are balanced. Meaning that the engine is receiving the amount of power that is necessary for operation. Because the engine gets power from the process of combustion. You should undertake car maintenance to keep the car running smoothly for a long time.

Which involves taking in air by the throttle body. Then this air goes into the combustion chamber to mix with fuel. The throttle position sensor communicates to the fuel injector to release fuel from the fuel tank. The throttle body receives instructions from the onboard computer and the accelerator. This information determines the amount of energy that the engine requires according to the level of acceleration.

Reasons why the car shakes when idle.

Rough idling will result to the following problems when you ignore it;

  1. Poor fuel economy.
  2. Poor performance.
  3. Starting difficulty.
  4. High or low engine RPM.

1. Worn out spark plug.

The spark plug is responsible for initiating the combustion process. It works alongside the car battery, wiring and coil to provide voltage that sparks the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber. When the car battery dies, it is one of the most common causes for the car failing to start.

So, how does a worn out spark plug relate to the car shaking when idle? Firstly, the spark plug becomes worn out due to an end to its lifespan, carbon deposits or oil getting on it. The faulty spark plug is unable to provide a powerful spark for igniting the air and fuel mixture of the car. Meaning the engine won’t be getting sufficient power hence causing it to start shaking. Further, the car engine may have misfires due to faulty spark plug.

2. Clogged filters.

This is another reason why the car shakes when idle. Air filters are responsible for passing air through to the throttle body. The throttle body then sucks in the amount of air that is required for the level of acceleration. Because the level of acceleration determines the amount of air and fuel mixture that should burn to produce acceleration power.

The air filters are responsible for eliminating any particles that are present within the air that is flowing into the engine. As time moves on, there is the possibility that these particles will accumulate inside the air filter. This will prevent normal air intake that is necessary to burn fuel and to provide power. Hence causing the car to shake when idle. Additionally, it increases fuel consumption because the fuel won’t be burning effectively.

3. Faulty fuel injectors.

Cars nowadays have high pressure fuel injectors that draw fuel from the fuel tank and inject it into the combustion chamber in a timely manner. Fuel injectors communicate with the throttle position sensor and the accelerator to determine the appropriate time to release fuel. This ensures a balance between the air and fuel mixture within the combustion chamber for power production.

Fuel injectors may become faulty due to exposure to a lot of heat over time. Further, an accumulation of carbon onto the fuel injector’s nozzle that comes from combustion may inhibit normal functionality. Hence limiting the amount of power the engine gets out of the process of combustion. This causes the car to shake when idle.

4. Faulty motor mounts.

Motor mounts are the parts that hold the engine in place within the engine chamber. Since the engine is rocked back and forth during a drive, motor mounts are necessary to ensure that it is not displaced. Further, motor mounts connect to the engine and the car’s body.

Due to a lot of movements and rocking motion, sometimes the engine motor mounts tend to become loose. This means that the engine will not be held in one position. That’s why the car shakes when idle.


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