Car Shakes When Idle and Accelerating: Causes, Solutions, and More!

If you’re experiencing a vibrating car when idle or even during acceleration, that’s not normal! Cars are designed to give the passengers a smooth riding experience, but if it’s not and there’s frequent vibration, you must look for reasons that might be a bit difficult to find out.

From defective engine mounts and spark plugs to lose tires or misalignment, there may be one or multiple issues causing it. If you want to know what evil is causing such problematic circumstances? Glance over this article with a few minutes in hand. 

Car Shakes When Idle And Accelerating

What Could Be Causing My Car To Shake When Idling And Accelerating?

You may feel your car vibrating or shaking at various times, either when idling or accelerating. Most times, the main reason is loose fitted or damaged engine mounts. We will find out many other reasons in this part.

1. What are the Reasons for the car shaking when idle

Most times, it’s simply some defects with the engine; wiring issues and fragile engine mounts are the culprits. Binge on to know more

Damaged spark plugs, wiring, and Ignition coil

wiring, and Ignition coil
wiring, and Ignition coil

Spark plugs are incorporated to carry out the combustion process smoothly. A spark plug system consisting of the plugs, wirings, and ignition coil generates the correct voltage in separate cylinders. 

Damaged Spark Plugs
Damaged Spark Plugs

They become clogged or contaminated with oil or carbon accumulations as days go by. Eventually, this degrades the ignition’s power level and causes car vibration.

Contaminated fuel injectors


High-pressure fuel injectors push maximum fuel into the cylinders to make a vehicle fuel efficient. 

Undoubtedly, these fuel injectors are always under high pressure and temperature. As a result, their nozzles accumulate carbon deposits over time. 

Therefore, contaminated and clogged fuel injectors don’t dispense adequate fuel to the engine cylinders. 

Eventually, successful combustion isn’t processed, so the car vibrates when idling. 

Jammed air filters

air filter
air filter

The primary task of your engine air filter is to catch all types of carbon deposits or other contaminations and prevent them from entering the engine. 

These air filters become clogged with dust, deposits, and debris over time. The engine runs poorly, using more fuel and shaking the car due to insufficient airflow.

Broken motor mounts

Motor mounts are used to attach the engine to your vehicle. A damaged motor mount will generally be unable to hold the engine in place. 

When the engine is idle, the car may vibrate due to the engine’s flimsy positioning. 

An excellent way to indicate mounting problems is to check if the shaking stops when the car is neutral.

Failure of the oxygen sensor

Failure of the oxygen sensor
Failure of the oxygen sensor

The primary task of oxygen sensors in a vehicle is to measure the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. 

This detailed information allows the vehicular computer to calculate if the air-to-fuel ratio is poor, average, or high. 

Like other engine parts, the oxygen sensor may fail with time due to heat, pressure, and carbon exposure. 

As a result, the computer receives erroneous data and eventually causes the engine to show poor performance and have rough idling.

2. What are the Reasons for car shaking during acceleration

Usually, car vibration when accelerating is caused by some issue with the driveshaft, including the transmission or axle components. We will describe each reason in detail.

Damaged motor mounts

A vehicular engine keeps the vehicle running, and the motor mounts keep it in place and lower the engine’s vibration. 

These motor mounts secure the most powerful part of the car, and to do so, they are constructed of heavy rubber materials to absorb shock or jerking.

When these motor mounts are weakened or damaged, they can no longer protect the engine or insulate the vibration. 

Although you may experience it while the car is idling, it’s more noticeable when accelerating.

Loose-fitted lug nuts

Lug nuts hold your car wheels in place, and if somehow they are sloppy, the tires start wobbling and become unsteady. That is when you feel the car vibrating when it is accelerated.

Wobbly lug nuts can be extremely dangerous as they might lead to your car’s wheels falling off in the middle of the drive! This is not an issue to be fixed with a torque wrench, but you must do it as soon as possible.

Different tire sizes

When you get a new car, the tires are well-fitted, but if you’re experiencing car vibration after the tire replacement on your car, they might be misaligned. 

Sometimes, the difference is so tiny that you can’t perceive it with observation alone; even a millimeter affects the balancing of the wheels. 

This becomes more noticeable when the car is accelerated, as the tires move faster. Eventually, it leads to the shakiness of the car.

The CV joint damage

CV joints hold the axle components in place with both inner and outer joints. When under a lot of pressure, the joint loosens with time. 

It starts with low-frequency vibrations, but it soon builds up to the point where you can feel it.  

Worn out the bent driveshaft

In the case of rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the driveshaft is highly significant as it connects the rear axle to the engine and the tires. 

If you have a bent or worn-out driveshaft, there’s every possibility that the car will vibrate.

You should check the driveshaft if your car has been in a minor to the major collision because it is likely to wear out or bend due to the accident.

Malfunctioning brake caliper

Another cause behind the vibrating car is probably a problematic brake caliper on the tire. The stuck caliper will usually create issues when your car reaches mid-range speed.

How To Repair Car Shaking When Idle And Accelerating?

As you read a minute ago, there are multiple reasons for a shaky car when idling or accelerating. Now, the solution depends mainly on the problem that’s causing the vibration. 

Of course, you need to understand that car shaking isn’t the problem; it’s a symptom of an internal problem. Let’s see if the solution below can help you-

Overall checkup

Carry out an all-over checkup of your car; begin with the engine mounts. To ensure the engine is well mounted, take a wrench and tighten the mounting bolts better. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one.

Inspect and repair spark plugs

Secondly, check if something is wrong with the spark plugs and wires. Old or corroded spark plugs can cause misfiring of the engine, which can cause your car to shake. Hence, replace them, and the issue should be fixed.

Fuel injectors checkup

If that doesn’t work either, inspect the fuel injectors for accumulation. Give them a cleanup and make sure they have no air leakage.

Check tire alignment

Finally, check the tire sizes and conditions. Have them aligned and inspect whether the tire pressure is as recommended or below the recommended level.

Cost Of Repairs For Car Shaking When Idle And Accelerating

The repair cost depends on many factors. if it is something as simple as loose lug nuts or misaligned tires. 

Well, with such minor issues, you don’t have to spend much or anything to fix them. But for major issues, the cost will naturally hike up.

The price range for buying different components of your car’s system varies depending on the specific model, year of manufacture, etc. What we can do is give you a gross cost estimation- 

Problems SolutionsCost estimations
Broken CV jointsCV joints replacement$500-$1000
Worn-out spark plugsSpark plug replacement$16-$100
Misaligned tiresTire balancing service$15-$50
Defective or broken engine mountsEngine mounts replacement$200-$600
Bent driveshaftReplacement of driveshaft$500-$1000
Oxygen sensor failure New oxygen sensors$225-$500

Some Tips To Prevent Car Shaking When Idle And Accelerating

Well, once the car starts shaking, it might cost you a good load of bucks to repair the issues. So, why not prevent them in the first place? Here are some tips- 

  • Try replacing the spark plugs once your engine runs about 30,000 to 50,000 miles.
  • If you get a burning odor from your wheels after a run, check the brake calipers and replace them if necessary.
  • Do a thorough check on your vehicle, engine, emission system, and driveshaft components after every 2 to 3 months or so
  • Get help from a trustworthy mechanic or technician to inspect if anything is wrong with your vehicle immediately when you notice some symptoms.
  • Get car insurance for your precious vehicle to avoid spending a huge load of money on car repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

If you’re still bothered about a couple more things, we have an FAQ section to answer all your questions. Let’s see if we can help you.

Are There Any Potential Safety Concerns With My Car Shaking At Idle And When Accelerating?

Car shaking can be associated with engine misfires or tire issues; in both cases, it may damage the engine and cause accidents when on the run.

Can Low Oil Cause Car Shaking?

Without sufficient oil, your car engine may create more friction and, hence, more vibration, which can intensify over time. 

Can I Drive My Car When It’s Shaking?

As mentioned, there are plenty of safety concerns, whether your car is shaking when idle or accelerating. Whatever it is, it’s wise to check the issue before continuing to drive it. 

Related Posts:

Similar Posts