8 Reasons Car Shakes When Idle & How to Fix in 4 Steps

Jerry Wilson
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Reasons Why Car Shakes When Idle

You’ve just parked your car and you notice that it’s shaking. The motion stops after a few moments, and you may decide that it’s nothing. But when it gets worse after a few minutes, you may start to wonder what’s happening.

A little bit of shaking is normal for cars, especially in the afternoons and evenings when the weather is warm. It’s also normal for cars to shiver when first starting out. This happens when the components settle after a trip.

But in some cases, shaking while idling can be a sign of something more serious. So let’s take a look at some of the commonly reported reasons for this and how you can fix the problem.

As you look at the list of reasons, you’ll quickly realize that they’re very similar to the symptoms of car repair. But don’t despair!

You can actually fix most of these problems yourself, and it can be just as easy as following these steps.

How to Fix Car Shaking When Idling

Here are 4 quick steps to help identify why your car is shaking when idling, followed by 8 reasons why a car shakes when idle and how to fix this problem.

Step 1: Turn the car onto a level surface. If the engine is shaking when idling, but not when driving, the first step you should take is to level the engine. Simply turn on the engine and wait a few moments to allow it to stabilize. Then let go of the gas pedal and allow the engine to idle. In most cases, a car that’s shaking when idling will stop shaking as soon as the car is on a level surface.

Step 2: Check the condition of the tires and the air pressure. Here’s the math: Tyre size (inches) x Pounds per square inch x 2 = PSI needed in each tire. You can find out how much pressure your car’s tires should be at by checking the owner’s manual or looking at the inside of the driver’s door. If the PSI is too low, car shaking can occur.


Although I’ve outlined some of the most common reasons a car can shake when idle, the cause could be something I didn’t mention … or you may not find any of the reasons I gave apply to your situation.

That being said, you don’t want to wait for the problem to get worse. If you’ve been driving for more than a couple minutes and your car is shaking when idle, stop somewhere safe to see if you can figure out the cause.

If you notice symptoms similar to those I described, it’s probably time to get it checked out by a professional instead of taking a chance and driving around with an unsafe vehicle.