Engine vibrations at idle speed – what causes them?

How to deal with them yourself?

Each engine tingles somewhat while idling. However, increased vibrations, which are strongly perceptible, causing the cabin to tremble and the elements inside it are a signal that the drive unit has a problem.

There are many reasons that cause excessive vibration of the drive unit. In most cases, the exact cause of the problem can be identified by yourself. In some you can also deal with yourself by making simple repairs. Unfortunately, it will not work in every situation. There are those in which the help of a qualified mechanic will be necessary.

Heavy duty diesel engines as well as modern gasoline engines built in accordance with the downsizing rules are among the particularly “trembling” engines. It is not without reason that most manufacturers had to significantly modify the engine suspension system in these units to compensate for their vibrations.

Reasons for excessive engine vibrations that you can deal with yourself

A frequent cause of excessive engine vibration at idle speed is the change in engine speed. The revolutions are decreasing and increasing, and their declines are so strong that they almost dampen the engine. Such problems occur when the elements of the ignition system in the gasoline engines have been used up.

The most common causes for this problem is damage to one of the electronically controlled ignition coils. In an engine with four coils, for example, one of them does not work. The coils are not subject to gradual failures. One day, after exceeding a specific mileage (in the case of good products, 150-200 thousand km), they fail and stop working. The coil does not requires any repair. The solution is to buy a new ignition coil (adapted to the model, year and engine version of the car) and its assembly. The changing the coils is simple. “Ingnition coils”, because so often are called coils, are placed under the engine cover, which must be unscrewed. They are connected to the engine computer by means of plugs that need to be unplugged. In addition, they are attached to the motor head by means of screws, which are unscrewed with a typical key.

When replacing coils, it’s a good idea to install new spark plugs immediately . It should be remembered that tolerating the failure of coils in a short time will lead to damage to the catalysts (they will be destroyed by unburned fuel from the inactive cylinder).

Failure of the spark plug can also be the reason for the idling vibrations. When buying spark plugs, you must also remember to choose them according to the instructions of the car manufacturer. The whole set is replaced. The use of unsuitable spark plugs may cause a number of problems, with destructive knocking at the forefront. Changing spark plugs is not difficult. In the case of deep-seated spark plugs, a special long wrench tool should be used . It is also necessary to remember about the right moment of tightening with a torque wrench . Tightening torque is given by the car manufacturer in the manual or in the service data.

In older cars, high-voltage cables (ignition cables) in which damage has occurred, for example, can also be the cause of vibrations . In this case, you must purchase a set of ignition cables matched to your vehicle and replace them. The exchange is quite simple, you just need to be careful about the correct order of cable assembly for individual spark plugs and places in the right firing order of the ignition system.

Situations in which a mechanic’s help will be needed

The engine vibrations may be caused by the wear of the rubber-metal components of the engine mount, especially the cushions . In this case, the only task for the driver can be their independent purchase or the rubber mounting (Engine seats). The assembly must be ordered by a mechanic. The cushions (seats) themselves are not expensive, but their assembly is not easy to work around yourself, because you have to remove them by lifting up the vehicle (raise the car up) the motor needs to be suspended or the use of a service pithole.

The engine can also generate strong vibrations when starting it, when the starter is running. The reason is the wear of the starter’s gear, the flywheel rim or the rim of the dual-mass flywheel (in the latter case, additionally strong noise will be generated when the engine is switched off and on – the swaying of the body can be very strong). Here, too, it is difficult to count on an independent repair. You need to buy a new starter , a new dual mass flywheel or a one-mass flywheel and have it assembled by a mechanic.

Sometimes the source of strong vibrations at idle speed is a clogged catalyst. In this case, the failure is also associated with poor acceleration and sometimes with the check engine indicator on (low catalyst efficiency). In this situation, the driver can not handle himself. However, it can purchase a universal catalyst with parameters (dimensions, exhaust pipe diameter, Euro/American standard, engine capacity) matched to your car. The universal catalyst is even 10 times cheaper than the original one, although it has no durability as the original.

Increased motor vibrations are a symptom of problems that can not be neglected.

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