Why Does My Car Vibrate Harder than Normal When I Start the Engine?

Ever been in a shaky vehicle? Most people, whether you own a car or not, have had this experience. If it is your first time experiencing abnormal car vibration, you may be scared. But, if you have been a car owner for years, abnormal car vibration may not surprise you.

It is an annoying experience, especially if you have had it for long. So probably you are looking to a solution to car shaking. You are in the right place. This article will not only give you a solution to shaking cars but will also show you some of the possible causes of vibration when you start your car engine. So, hang on, there is a solution.

Why Does My Car Vibrate Harder than Normal When I Start the Engine

Abnormal car shaking is caused by several issues. Most of the time, people believe that the problem could be arising from the engine. Even though this might be true, it is also good to note that there are other causes of vehicle vibration, as we will see in this article.

Knowing the exact cause of shaking will relieve you from stress, and you will know what to tell your mechanic. If you have been wondering what is causing your car to vibrate, below are some of the answers.

  • Unbalanced wheels
  • Poorly aligned tires
  • Brake problems
  • Engine issues

It is better to tackle a problem before it worsens to avoid spending a fortune. So, when you feel one of the causes of shaking this article will discuss could be the reason you have that frightening experience, deal with it. Inspect your car to find out the cause of shaking. In the process, you could realize a serious problem that you did not know.

Car Vibrating When Starting the Engine?

Transmission gears and crankshaft rotate when you start the engine, and in the process, they cause small shakings. These shakings are normal, and you do not need to worry about them. However, there are situations where the vibration is abnormal and produces a noise that makes you uneasy. In such a case, it is important to contact a specialist.

When you feel your car is shaking, the best decision is to check it to ensure that if something, like the engine, brake pedal, or steering wheel, is wrong, it is fixed early enough. Shaking can point to faulty engine components that require replacement or repair.

This article will focus on showing you the reasons behind abnormal vehicle vibration and solutions to such problems. Recognizing the problems will make it easy for you to correct the situation.

Reasons Behind Abnormal Car Vibration

a) Defective Plugs

Abnormal car vibration can be as a result of defective plugs. It is the major cause of car vibration, and it is an issue that needs to be corrected because it causes misfiring in the engine as it prevents the ignition of the air-fuel mixture. Hence, the plugs have to be replaced or repaired before misfiring occurs when you are driving at high speed or when the car is not moving.

Correcting Defective Plugs

Replacing defective plugs is the best solution so that shaking can end. It is easy to clean the plugs if they are dirty. However, sometimes proper cleaning is not possible, and so because plugs are not expensive, replacing them is a great decision.

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b) Timing Belt Not Functioning Properly

Abnormal vehicle shaking can be caused by timing belts that are not functioning properly. The correct working of critical and small parts of the engine is shown by the timing belt. This means if the timing belts malfunction, all parts it controls will malfunction, causing a noisy shaking, which is worrisome.

Correcting Timing Belts

Worn out cable belts need to be replaced. Ensure you constantly inspect the belts to ascertain they are not damaged or loose.

c) Disconnected Hoses

Car vibrations can be a result of disconnected hoses. This is a big problem that requires an immediate solution. Some of the components’ hoses carry are vacuum, radiator coolant, and fuel-air mixture. When these hoses are disconnected, the engine malfunctions since it is not well fed with vital needs.

Correcting Disconnected Hoses

You can replace broken hoses and reattach the disconnected ones.

d) Maladjustment of Fuel Intakes

Proper adjustment of the fuel intake structure is important to avoid abnormal vibrations. You need to constantly check the structure to solve any slight problem that may cause maladjustment of fuel intake, leading to vigorous shakings. Improper calibration causes the engine to shake because it is not receiving adequate air-fuel mixture.

Correcting Maladjustment of Fuel Intakes

Ensure the fuel intake structure is clean and adjust the carburetor’s idle speed to correct the issue.

e) Broken Mounts

Car shaking can be caused by broken motor mounts. When the motor mounts are damaged, they can make the vehicle shake when it is stopped or idle. The main purpose of these motor mounts is to absorb road shocks and shakings, and so when they are damaged, you can expect abnormal vibrations. Motor mounts assist the engine.


In this case, you will need to see a specialist who will replace the motor mounts.

f) Engine Malfunction

Engine malfunction is a major problem because it is a vital part of the vehicle. Without it, the car cannot move, so when you feel shaky, the problem could be the engine not working properly. Been a major part of a vehicle, any issue with the engine will result in trembling. The reason could be that the engine is not receiving adequate fuel, spark, or air to work properly. Therefore, it vibrates as a sign that something is not okay.


To correct the problem as mentioned above, purchase new spark plugs and get a specialist to install them.

g) Brake Problems

As mentioned earlier, many issues can cause abnormal vibration of a vehicle when you start the engine, and the brake problem is one of them. The rotor is a rounded, silver-colored, shiny material located in the brake structure. Tear and wear can make the rotor bend or twist, rendering it inappropriate. Normally, this rotor is flat. When its shape is altered, it causes abnormal shaking. Brake pads and calipers compress the brake rotors causing a tremble.


Often have the rotors and brakes of your car checked to avoid getting into trouble.

h) Unbalanced Wheels

It is astonishing how car owners or drivers can inspect every part of their car when it starts vibrating abnormally except the wheels. To most people, the problem cannot originate from the wheels. And that is where they go wrong. Unbalanced wheels can be the reason you are so frightened by the shake. So, it is always good to inspect even the wheels. When mud or debris gets stuck on the wheels, an imbalance occurs.


Always ensure each side of the wheels is clean to avoid vibrations. 

Why Does My Car Vibrate Harder than Normal When I Start the Engine

Correcting Engine Shakes

1. Identify the Source of Vibration

Without finding the cause of a problem, you cannot solve it. When you know what is causing a certain failure, it is easy to correct it. When it comes to cars, vibration problems are not something you should toy with as they could be signs and symptoms of a major problem.

Always check the engine first in case you experience strange trembling because the engine problem is the most common. Failure codes can also indicate the source of the problem. If there is misfiring in the engine, you can know because of the failure codes. If you take time to understand where the problem is coming from, it will save you effort and time.

2. Examine the Issue

There is a solution to every problem. Engine failure leads to a single misfire, while several misfires are a result of several reasons, not just the engine. Misfire codes do not appear if there are unbalanced rotating and mechanical issues.

Multiple Misfires

Most people do not know that issues affecting the whole engine result from the failure of systems supporting the engine, e.g., electronic structures, the supply of fuel, and air intake. The failure of multiple cylinders causes multiple misfiring.

Single Misfiring

Ignition failures or problems in the fuel injector are the major causes of single misfiring. Hence, it is advisable to inspect the plug wires, ignition coils, and spark plugs to ensure they are in good condition. You may even find it is the ignition coils that are causing misfiring. But, in most engines, two cylinders are powered by one coil, meaning if the coil is broken, two cylinders fail.

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Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues such as damaged piston rings, broken head gasket, and camshaft problems can cause worrying vibrations because they cause misfiring in the cylinders. However, if no misfiring takes place, the rotating structure could be unbalanced, causing shaking. Shaking in the engine is reduced by harmonic balancer, and when these components fail, you can expect vibration.

3. Car Part Replacements

Once you have identified the cause of vibration when you start the engine, you need to replace and repair the damaged old car parts to solve the problem. You can get assistance from a mechanic, or you can still do it yourself. The following is a list of tools required: goggles, gloves, jack, a mallet, screwdriver, wrench, and A-frame (for pulling the engine).

Vacuum leakage is also another problem. It is easy to notice this vacuum leakage as holes and cracks are noticeable on the hoses. The vacuum structure is located right at the center of the trunk. Therefore, to solve the problem, you need to get to the trunk and inspect the hoses to make sure they are a source of shaking. Then dismantle the broken vacuum and replace them as this is the only way to correct vacuum leakage.


Abnormal car vibration can be a result of many problems; the major one been engine failure. It is important to check your vehicle any time you suspect an abnormal vibration to uncover the problem early enough.

Once you identify the issue, fix it immediately, so it does not become worse. Following the solutions given to each cause of abnormal car vibration, you will always ensure that your car is in perfect condition.

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