What’s the reason that my car shakes when idle?


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Specific issues in the car may cause a shaking engine, which will cause that the car shakes when idle or while driving. In some other cases, the car shakes at idle but smooths out while driving.
In most cases, this issue can be eliminated very easily and inexpensively.

My car has a shaking engine – what does this mean?

When people talk about the car is vibrating, they usually mean that the engine does not run as quietly and smoothly as usual. As a rule, you then feel that the car jerks when driving or shakes when idling. The driver feels strong vibrations from the engine that travel through the entire vehicle. Also, this symptom can be perceived very well at low speeds. Basically, there can be various patterns, such as jerking, stuttering or other noises when the engine vibrates.

If the engine does not run smoothly, often also the full engine power is no longer available, and fuel consumption may increase noticeably.

Other symptoms of engine running rough?

Normally, the first symptom the driver will see are weird vibrations.

In some cases, if the engine is running poorly, the check engine light (also called the MIL light) may also come on. There is no warning lamp specifically for the error but the check engine light.

Engine runs out of round

If the engine control unit notices that the engine is no longer working evenly on all cylinders, the check engine light will light up. When this warning lamp lights up, an error is also stored in the error memory at the same time.

Potential causes for shaking engine vibrations

There are various reasons for increased engine vibrations, which is why we cannot give a clear reason.

In any case, immediate action should be taken if the engine does not run smoothly. This is because further operation of the engine can cause serious damage to the engine, which may even lead to engine failure.

Basically, the following reasons are possible.

Problems with the ignition:

If there is a fault in the ignition system, the air/fuel mixture can no longer be ignited, resulting in engine misfire or irregular engine running.
Often here is a defect in the ignition coil, which is usually due to aging and wear of the component.

Problems with the fuel supply:

If there is a problem with the fuel supply or fuel preparation, the situation is similar to the ignition system. If no more fuel is injected on a cylinder, the spark plug will ignite, but the fuel-air mixture cannot be ignited with the lack of fuel.
An injection valve is often defective or an injector is the cause of the fault. Here, too, the reason is usually age-related wear of the component.

EGR valve defect:

Since the EGR valve is part of the engine’s exhaust gas treatment system, it must function perfectly for the engine to work optimally. The engine control unit calculates the exact feedback quantity of the EGR system. If this quantity is lower or higher due to a defect, the values calculated by the engine control unit no longer match.
As a result, optimum combustion cannot take place in the engine, which can make that the car shakes when idle.

Keep in mind, that every car has different software and modules built-in. Therefore specific features will vary with every model.

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