Car Shakes At Idle But Smooths Out While Driving

Car Shakes At Idle But Smooths Out While Driving

When you notice that your car only shakes while at idle but feels smooths while driving, there could be a number of things wrong with the car. Some of the reasons the car would shake at idle include;

  • Having a misfire
  • Broken or worn engine mounts
  • The fuel intake is clogged
  • Timing belt issue 
  • Malfunctioning spark plugs
  • Problems with the throttle body 
  • Clogged air intake 

Fixing a Shaking Car While at Idle 

Now that you know more about what makes the car shake while idling, how do you have the issues sorted? 

In the case of worn-out or malfunctioning spark plugs, ensure they are replaced in good time. This is a simple job that cannot take more than 30 minutes for most cars. The sparkplugs would also lead to a misfire if you do not replace them leading to other issues with the car.

Changing sparkplugs is not hard. Here is a video to help you out. 

A bard timing belt is not a common issue unless it has not been changed for a while. If it is worn, it means that the engine does not run right thus leading to additional problems such as misfires. Once the timing belt is sorted, your car should run fine. 

You should also replace the worn mounts too. The engine will do a lot of moving whenever it is idling. That is why you have the engine mounts to absorb the vibrations.

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The engine mount replacement may cost from $200 to $700 depending on the type of car. Always use a professional mechanic to have the car sorted correctly. 

You may also have to fix the idle speed control valve. If the controller for the idling speed does not work, then you may have to replace it. 

Cleaning your throttle body can also help in making the car run smoothly. A carb cleaner might be used in ensuring your car can run smoothly too. Below is a video on cleaning the throttle body. 

We recommend that you let the mechanic conduct a thorough check of the other systems that might lead to rough idling and vibrations and have them repaired professionally. 

Car Shakes When At Idle And While Accelerating 

Sometimes the shaking might still be present while driving the car. In addition to what we have mentioned above, there could be additional issues with the car. The first one is tire imbalance. 

It could be that the tires are not balanced. This type of shaking is noticeable while driving at high speeds. Get the car to a tire shop for tire balancing to keep the car from shaking. 

Having a worn or bad brake system could also be a culprit. Maybe you have a warped rotor disk or your brake pads are worn. Have them checked out and repaired where necessary. 

Poor alignment and worn suspension are also culprits. Have them checked and repaired too. 


What does idling in a car mean?

This is when the engine is running but the car is not moving. 

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Should a car shake a little when idling?

You are supposed to feel a smooth idle with no shaking. So, have the mounts checked if the shaking is excessive. 

Can bad gas make the car shake?

Bad gas may clog the injectors which in turn leads to shaking of the car while idling.