Car Maintenance And Repairs

Why Your Car Engine Vibration And What To Do?

Mike Cross
Updated Jul 4, 2021

There is nothing quite like the sound of a finely tuned engine, until it isn’t. Nothing strikes fear into the heart of car owners quite like the sound of a “funny” engine. What should you do if your engine starts acting up? Is this cause for great alarm?

The truth is, there are many reasons why your car’s engine may be acting up. The key is to figure out what kind of noise it is, where exactly it is originating from and what needs to be done to fix it. Not all odd engine noises are indicative of engine failure. Let’s take a look at some of the possible causes of engine vibration and what the solutions for it are.

Why Your Car Engine Vibration And What To Do?

What is engine vibration?

Car engines are designed to run smoothly. Anytime you notice anything else, that can be considered engine vibration. Your car is experiencing engine vibration if you notice any kind of shuddering or pulsing type of activity from under the under the hood.

What are the causes of engine vibration?

There are several reasons why your car may be experiencing engine vibration. Those reasons can vary from slightly annoying to extremely serious. Engine vibrations can happen anytime that any part of the engine system is having trouble.  Here is a list of possible reasons why.

1.Bad spark plugs

Any time your engine has a worn out or faulty spark plug, you can expect that your car engine might vibrate or shake pretty badly. A worn-out spark plug will prevent the air and fuel mixture from getting to the proper cylinders. This will lead to misfiring. The result is an engine that will vibrate as the cylinders misfire during idling or at running speeds. The easiest solution in this case is to simply install new spark plugs.

2.Timing Belt issues

The timing belt is crucial for ensuring the accurate functioning of all the components of the engine. Any issues that happen with the timing belt can be a cause of engine vibration. Fans and other belt-driven parts will not function properly if the timing belt becomes damaged or loose. This will cause shakes or rattling. It is a good idea to inspect the cable belts to make sure that they are not loose or damaged, and then replace the  worn out ones to take care of the problem.

3.Loose Hoses

Another cause of car engine vibration could be due to any loose or disconnected hoses in the engine. These hoses are necessary to carry the air and fuel mixture, radiator coolant, vacuum, etc., If any of them are not working correctly, it means that the engine is not being properly fed with these crucial requirements. The result in vibrations when idling and at running speeds. You can fix this problem by reattaching any loose hoses or replacing those that are damaged and worn out.

4.Fuel Intake issues

If the fuel intake system is not properly adjusted, it can result in engine vibrations. This can happen when the engine is idling. It can also happen if the engine is not getting the right fuel and air mix due to the improper adjustments. You will need to have the idle speed adjusted on the carburetor and also clean the fuel intake system to fix this cause of engine vibrations.

5.Damaged Mounts

Any time there is damage to the motor mounts, you can experience engine vibrations and shaking when you have your car in idle or when it is stopped. The mounts support the engine in its compartment and they help to absorb the road shocks. If the motor mounts are the cause of the engine’s vibrations, you will need to have them repaired or replaced by a mechanic.

Other possible causes of engine vibrations

  • Filters- a dirty air filter or a clogged fuel filter can prevent the engine from getting needed oxygen or fuel. These filters are inexpensive and easy to swap out. You should look at the owner’s manual and replace these filters as part of your car’s routine maintenance.
  • Brakes- be sure to check your brakes. Anytime that the rotor is bent or out of shape, the calipers and pads won’t grip the disc correctly. This will cause vibration too.
  • Axles- a bent axle or driveshaft will cause your engine to vibrate.
  • Steering wheel- you could also have a loose steering wheel. There are many different components to a steering wheel and column and they can wear out over time. These parts will need to be replaced by a mechanic.
  • Unbalanced tires- if even one of your tires is unbalanced and out of alignment, your car might be experiencing some vibrations or shuddering. Make sure that all of your tires are properly inflated and that you have them professionally aligned.
  • Worn out tires- if your tires are bald and worn out, replace them immediately. It is a safety concern and bald tires can cause your car to also shake and shudder.

What can you do?

Some of the causes of car engine vibration can be fixed or avoided through regular maintenance. Air and fuel filters can be replaced easily at home, and should be done on a regular schedule. You can also make sure that your tires are properly inflated and rotated. If your tires are worn out, be sure to replace them immediately.

You can also easily take a look under the hood at the hoses. Check to make sure they are all properly connected. If you see any that are worn out or have holes, then replace them. If you are not sure what the cause is, you can use a scanner to pinpoint the problem.


Owning and driving a car is a great joy and responsibility. Part of being a good owner is making sure that your car gets regular maintenance. It is the best way to head off any big problems and also make sure that your car will serve you well for many years. If you have any questions, see your local mechanic for help.

Mike Cross
Life is too short to drive with stock audio

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