Why Does My Vehicle Shake When Idling?

Engine Bay | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.


If your vehicle is shaking or vibrating when idling, it could be due to a variety of reasons. In some cases, the issue may be minor, such as a loose part or an engine misfire. It is important to look into this issue as soon as possible as it could indicate a more serious problem. Let’s take a look at some of the potential causes and why they are problematic.


Common Causes of a Vehicle Shaking When Idling

  • Worn Spark Plugs

Worn spark plugs can lead to decreased fuel efficiency or increased exhaust emissions. Sometimes power loss. This is due to inadequate combustion in the engine cylinders.

Spark Plug | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.


  • Engine Misfire

An engine misfire can also be caused by worn spark plugs where only some of the cylinders fire correctly. This leads to an uneven running engine that shakes at idle. A misfiring cylinder can also cause poor fuel economy and increased emissions.

Ecotec Engine | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.

  • Loose Parts

Another common cause of vibration while idling is due to loose parts. This includes loose spark plugs, exhaust components, suspension parts, and wheel bearings. When a component becomes loose, vibrations can be felt inside the vehicle when idling. It’s important to have any loose parts replaced or repaired immediately. This will prevent further damage down the line.

Engine Mount | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.

  • Faulty Alternator/Starter Motor

A faulty alternator or starter motor can also cause your vehicle to shake or vibrate when idling. The alternator provides power to lights, audio, and climate control systems. The starter motor handles starting the engine itself. If either one fails, it can lead to shaking or vibrating at idle speeds.

Bad Alternator | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.

  • Faulty Idle Air Control Valve

A faulty idle air control valve can also cause a vehicle to shake at idle. It controls how much air flows into the engine while idling and maintains its correct RPM level.


What Should You Do?

If your vehicle is shaking while idling, an experienced auto technician can determine what is causing the vibration. The technicians at Lou’s Car Care will diagnose your issue. And can advise you on any necessary repairs or replacements needed. If worn spark plugs are to blame, installing new ones may resolve any vibration issues. If an engine misfire is causing your car to shake then further diagnosis may be required. This would identify which cylinder(s) are affected and why they are not firing correctly. If a faulty idle air control valve is the culprit, replacing it with a new one may stop the vibration.

There are many potential causes for your vehicle shaking or vibrating when idling. It’s important to have these issues addressed quickly to ensure that your vehicle continues running smoothly for years to come! If you suspect any of these issues with your vehicle, don't hesitate - call us or schedule your appointment online today! We'll have you back on the road in no time!


Lou's Car Care has been proudly serving Baldwinsville, NY, and the surrounding communities since 1976! We are the right choice for all your vehicle repair and maintenance needs.



Let's Connect! Click on the links below to stay in touch with the Lou's Car Care Community:

Facebook Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.    Instagram Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.    Pinterest Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.    TikTok Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.    YouTube Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc,    LinkedIn Icon | Lou's Car Care Center, Inc.
Lou's Car Care & Fleet Services is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call Lou's Car Care Center, Inc. (315) 638-0281 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.