Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: car shaking/vibrating when idle

asked by on

Car shaking/vibrating slightly when idle or standing at traffic light. Initially it happened only when car was idle or it was turned on, gear was in parking mode. But now it occurs even in driving mode but only when standing at a red traffic light. It feels almost like a spark is happening inside the engine or something. Vibration can be felt in steering but more prononuced in car seat. It occurs more frequently now.

My car has 110000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. This sounds like potentially a faili...

Hello. This sounds like potentially a failing idle air control valve or potentially a misfire. The idle air control valve regulates the air intake into the engine as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine. When this is not working properly, this can cause the engine to starve for fuel which can trigger the car to misfire or simply run very rough at idle or low speeds. The rough idle will cause the car to shake as you describe. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home to diagnose the rough idle and replace the idle control valve if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Interior door handle not working

Hi there. Your door handle is connected to a linkage which will disengage the door latch letting you out of the vehicle. If your vehicle's linkage inside of the door panel is broken it will not disengage the locking mechanism....

Q: Alarm went off in Panic mode

This sounds like a good time to check the owner's manual to see if it mentions this at all. If it's an aftermarket alarm system, it may need to be manually reset through a certain procedure that is model specific....

Q: After valve cover gasket replacement, compressor broke

Hi there. Thanks for writing in about your 2000 Lexus GS400. Compressors can go bad due to oil saturation. It is likely that the technician spilled additional oil on the compressor when replacing the valve cover. The technician may have...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...