Q: Shaking and low idling in neutral, car stall and runs rough in gear

asked by on May 25, 2016

While driving at highway speeds, it happens that my shifter strongly jerks back and forth when I put it in neutral. While in neutral, it idles less than 170 RPM. The car stopped running while I was at the stop light, so I restarted it. But, I had to keep my foot on the gas pedal so that it wouldn't stall again. There is no check engine light on. The engine keeps running but it is a bit rough in gear. What could be the problem here? Thank you.

Car is shaking or vibrating Inspection $79.99 - $99.99 Get a Quote

Hello. The two most common issues that cause this are a bad crank or cam sensor, or a failing throttle body. I usually install a scan tool and see if the sensors are reading right. If they are, then I try cleaning the throttle body to see if it helps. If that does not help, then I check the functionality of the throttle body and replace it if necessary. I have also had the computer fail on this car and cause this, but that is not as common. If you are going to have this repaired, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose your shaking and idling issue.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

Egr valve insufficient flow

Insufficient EGR flow is probably not the cause of the rough or low idle and thus is just a coincidental fault. You should repair it and perhaps first, just to be absolutely sure, but rough idle is more likely due...

I need the torque specs for my motor mounts

Hi, thanks for writing in about your 2005 Nissan Altima. The front motor mounts on your Nissan Altima should be torqued to ~65-77ft lbs. As you know, this can be a bit of a tough job in some cases. In...

Car won't start

This may be related to many different possibilities, some of which may be related to a lack of spark and some of which may be related to a fuel delivery problem or a combination of both. For example, if the...

The car starts to stall when I accelerate at high speed.

I would first check to see if the PCM has set any diagnostic trouble codes, including pending codes. Codes can be downloaded and evaluated by YourMechanic in the context of a Check Engine Light diagnostic. The camshaft and crankshaft position...

2017 Tacoma DRL fuse possible popped the DRL switch won’t turn them on without the whole headlight being on..

Did you check to see if your DRL lights come on when you go into gear? The lights will only come on when you go into gear on most vehicles. If not then since you are under factory warranty I...

My car struggles when put into gear.

Hi there. When you have problems with trying to shift the transmission into gear it is usually caused by a shift solenoid failure on CVT transmissions like your Altima has. However, it could also be a problem with internal transmission...

Is there a way to turn off passenger side airbag?

The passenger air bag can be disabled by a switch. Check your glove box, should be a key-hole like switch. Set it to "off" and you're done. Keep in mind that if an airbag is turned off and just because...

Clutch slipping

Hello. If the clutch is slipping it more than likely needs to be replaced. In some cases, the clutch slave cylinder can bind and not allow the clutch to fully engage but this is rare on this vehicle. I typically...

transmission wont push back on clutch slave cylinder

Hello, The slave cylinder is meant to be bench bled just as a master cylinder is. If this is not done it can cause air to remain in the slave cylinder. This will allow the slave cylinder to fully compress...

Related articles

How to Use Autostick
Autostick gives drivers with automatic transmissions the feel of a manual car. It allows the driver to upshift and downshift for extra control.
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Altima Hybrid
The The Nissan Altima is already a favorite among mid-sized sedans, but it gained even more points with a lot of car buyers with the option to buy a 2012 Nissan Altima Hybrid. Though the four-cylinder Nissan Altima was already...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Nissan Armada
If If you need an SUV that lives up to the name “full-size SUV”, the 2012 Nissan Armada just might be your best option. With up to eight passenger seating and a 317-horsepower V8 engine that hauls 9,000 pounds with...