Is your car doing the Harlem shake when stopped? Below are the top three reasons why your car may be shaking when idling.
#1 Dirty Spark Plugs
The spark plug is the part in your car that starts the combustion within your engine. Properly functioning spark plugs are what keep your engine running smoothly. After a while your spark plugs can become less reliable. When this happens your engine will no longer function properly.
When running in normal conditions your engine has to fire in a certain order according to the number of cylinders you have. In each cylinder you have a separate spark plug. When a spark plug goes bad your engine no longer fires in the correct order causing it to run extremely rough or in other words misfire.
You may not notice the misfires when driving but they can be felt throughout the car when the engine is running at lower RPMs.
In most cars replacing the spark plugs is fairly simple. If one spark plug goes bad it is best to replace all of your spark plugs. Chances are the rest of your spark plugs are on their last leg. This issue can be a little tricky to diagnose so unless you are very knowledgeable about your car, it may be a good idea to let your local mechanic have a look at it.
#2 Fuel System Issues
The fuel system is just as important if not more important to your vehicle than the spark plugs. The fuel system also plays a very critical role in making sure your engine runs smoothly. If there is an issue with the delivery of fuel it can prevent your engine from firing at the correct time or cause pre-mature firing. This can result in the loss of power when pressing the gas pedal or it can shake the car while sitting still (idling).
Diagnosing issues with your fuel system can be just as difficult as with your spark plugs so this too is an issue that may need to be addressed by your local mechanic.
#3 Broken Motor Mounts
Now this issue is usually more common with older vehicles (i.e. older than 10 years) or with vehicles that have been exposed to corrosive substances like salt.
The constant combustions going on within your engine can cause your engine to move very violently. To prevent this from happening and to allow your engine to move slightly during normal driving, you have motor mounts. These allow enough movement to prevent you from feeling the party going on under your hood.
When these mounts wear out or crack they can no longer dampen the constant vibration from the engine and are also not very stable when you drive causing my vibration. In some cars you can look in the engine bay and check these mounts for any visible damage.
When your car begins shaking uncontrollably when stopped it can be a very scary experience. These issues should be addressed as soon as possible by a trained mechanic to avoid further damage. A lot of the times it may not be as serious as you might think. When you do get your car looked at keep in mind the issue might be dirty spark plugs, a fuel system issue, or broken motor mounts, which a lot of the times can be a routine repair.
And Remember — knowledge is the key to a Fair Repair.
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