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The Car Shakes When Starting Then Runs Fine – Top Reasons & Fixes

Car shakes when starting then runs fine

It is strange that the car shakes when you start it and then it runs fine, but there are many causes for this problem. These cases can often be avoided with regular vehicle maintenance.

Many car owners have experienced a similar situation: their vehicle shakes when the engine is first started but regains stability once the engine reaches a steady pace. While this transient vibration can be disconcerting.

Motorists often feel lost, wondering if this is a more serious problem or a harmless mishap. There is hardly a problem more annoying than a rough idle.

But with a little knowledge and experience, you can diagnose the cause of your rough idle and have everything running smoothly again in no time.

This problem is not necessarily a hard nut to crack once you understand the causes and know how to fix them. Let’s find out what makes a car shake at idle and go smoother on the road.

Is It Ok For A Car To Shake When Starting? – Car Shaking When Started

The short answer is yes. Whether automatic or manual, most cars shake a little when starting. This can be caused by the alignment and orientation of the engine and its components in relation to the chassis and body of the vehicle, as well as manufacturing tolerances between these components, such as storage.

Usually, this tremor is not noticeable, but it is important to know that the car is designed that way. However, if your car is shaking or offers another issue when stopped for more than a few seconds, then you need to investigate the problem.

Top Reasons Your Car Shakes When Starting Then Runs Fine

There are several reasons why a car shakes when idling but runs smoothly while driving. Below are the top reasons why your car shakes at idle but gets quieter while driving.

1. Bad Spark Plugs

A vehicle’s spark plugs play an important role in the combustion process. They provide the spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.

When one of the spark plugs is worn out or fouled, it stops working properly, causing the engine to put more power into the combustion process. In this case, the engine will misfire and erratic jerking.

2. Loose Gas Cap

The fuel cap is one of the top causes of car shakes when starting because if it is loose the air enters easily into the intake passage. That way the engine takes a lot of effort to start.

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This is because it works in a vacuum created by the entrance without having to force outside air into that space. It can also be caused by carbon blockage if the gas cap has been on too tight for too long.

3. Faulty Camshaft Timing

Engine vibration and shock usually mean your engine is misfiring for one reason or another. One possible cause of engine misfires is improper timing.

This is more common when you have just completed major work on your engine, but it is not uncommon for sprocket timing problems to occur when the belt or chain is worn or damaged.

4. Dirty Throttle Body

A dirty throttle body can cause your car to idle because it prevents air from getting into the engine. Also, if there is dirt on the outside of the throttle body, your engine is not getting enough oxygen and is running too lean or too rich.

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5. Loose battery cables

If one of the battery posts is improperly connected or corroded, it may not carry enough current to keep the vehicle idling. If this is the cause, the engine may take longer to start and the headlights may flicker intermittently. Also, you can hear a clicking sound when the engine starts.

6. Suspension Problem

The suspension system guarantees stability, smoothness, and control while driving. Assume there are issues with suspension components such as worn or damaged shocks, struts, bushings, or control arms.

In this case, vibration and shock may occur, especially when starting or accelerating.

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How To Fix Car Shaking When Starting? – Diagnose And Fix Rough Car Idle

Fixing the above issues won’t cost a fortune. However, if you neglect them, they can do more damage. The following recommendations will help you deal with the above problems.

– Change the Broken Engine Mount

Change the Broken Engine Mount

Most motor mounts are not repairable. Still, you can fix some of these by changing the bushing on the side. Take the car to a shop to have it replaced as soon as you discover a faulty engine mount.

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You must disassemble and inspect all engine mounts on the ground. Replace any supports that show power outages.

– Throttle Body Cleaning

Throttle Body Cleaning

You should clean the throttle body with a spray cleaner to remove any airflow restrictions. When the throttle position sensor is dirty or defective, it can cause your car’s engine to idle poorly.

– Replace Air Filter

Replace Air Filter

Just pull out the old air filter and check if it is very dirty. If so, this could be your problem. You need to change the air filter, and tune the system after the issue will resolved! Air filters typically cost between $15 and $40, and most parts stores will replace them at no cost.

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– Use OEM Components

Use OEM Components

The timing chain tensioner or crankshaft position sensor may also be defective. If you suspect any of these parts, be sure to replace them with genuine OEM components.

Finally, if you think there might be a vacuum leak in the engine, check all of your vehicle’s hoses for cracks or other problems.

Top FAQs About Why Does My Car Shake When I Start It

Why does my car shake at the beginning of acceleration?

The cause of the problem could be unbalanced tires or a worn spark plug. They could also be loose wheel nuts. A car also vibrates when it accelerates for various reasons. It is usually due to a damaged internal CV joint.

These are located at the end of each axis. Both have an inner and outer joint that could be damaged and wobble when the accelerator pedal is depressed.

Is it safe to drive when your car is shaking?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if your vehicle is safe without understanding the true cause of the problem. That’s why it’s so important to have your car checked at the first sign of a problem.

This is because some causes may not be as important to your security as others. However, you want to fix a problem with your vehicle’s brakes quickly. Let’s look at some of the possible causes and their severity.

Can old spark plugs make your car shake?

Misfiring spark plugs result in uneven burning of fuel in the engine, leading to vehicle shaking and louder noise. Increased vibrations can also occur in your vehicle when idling or at low speed. These vibrations come from the engine and can shake the entire car.

Can bad fuel injectors cause vibration?

Of course, clogged injectors can cause vibrations in the vehicle. It would be better to do everything you can to prevent dirt from clogging your car’s injectors. A clogged injector automatically prevents the corresponding cylinder from firing properly.

If you encounter such a situation, be sure to contact a knowledgeable auto mechanic immediately.

How do you diagnose engine vibration?

A simple method of reducing vibration is to fit a clean damper to the rear axle of the engine. Clean shocks are basically hermetically sealed plastic shells with a silicone gel-filled inertia body.

By adding silicone and inertia you can reduce the vibration and offers a nice damping effect.

Final Thought

Whether it is an old car or a new one, the vibration when idling but smoothing out while driving is bad. A car that shakes at high speeds indicates a serious problem with the car. Therefore, driving at a lower speed range will not solve the problem.

So try to fix the problems as soon as you notice them. Take the car to a mechanic for professional help if you can’t fix it yourself.

Kevin Williams is an automotive enthusiast and expert writer with a passion for all things related to cars. With a wealth of knowledge in the world of vehicles, Kevin's mission is to provide informative articles that empower car enthusiasts to make informed decisions about their automotive interests. With extensive experience, Kevin has contributed numerous articles to Cars Cache, covering a wide spectrum of topics from vehicle reviews to maintenance tips and more.


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