As a resident of the Flagstaff area, you rely more than most on the vehicle you drive. Whether that vehicle is a rugged four-wheel drive pickup truck, a practical minivan or a smart sedan, you expect it to keep running right, and you work hard to maintain your vehicle to the best of your ability.
That means paying attention to the little things that could indicate a big problem down the road, and shaking while stopped is one of those early warning signs. If your vehicle shakes while you are stopped at a red light or when you roll up to a stop sign, you cannot afford to ignore the symptom. A number of things can cause a stopped vehicle to run rough and even shake, and it is important to work through those possibilities one by one. Here are some things to think about if your previously well running vehicle starts to shake.
If your vehicle normally runs smoothly but has just started to shake, the issue could be a bad tank of gas. If there is water in the gas or other impurities, the fuel will not burn the way it should. That could result in shaking, and that shaking will become much more apparent when you are stopped or moving at slow speed.
If the gas in your tank is not the problem, a clogged or dirty fuel filter could be to blame. If the fuel filter needs changed, your vehicle may begin to shake, and you should have the filter checked right away.
Is It Time for a Tune-Up?
If you cannot remember the last time you took your vehicle in for a tune-up, it may be time to change those spark plugs and wires. Faulty spark plugs can cause your vehicle to shake and shimmy at low speeds and while stopped, so ask your mechanic to check the plugs.
Even if you recently had a tune-up, a bad spark plug could still be to blame. If the spark plugs are fouled, you may notice an increase in shaking when you stop at a red light or pull into the garage, and you should not ignore this issue.
A Bad Air Filter
Shaking can also be caused by a clogged or dirty air filter, and you should check that filter if you notice a decrease in performance. The air filter has an important job to do, and excess dirt and debris can hamper your performance and cause other issues as well.
When you roll up to a stop sign or come to a stop at a red light, your engine should continue to run smoothly. If you notice any shaking, you need to find the root cause, and that means working through each possibility one by one.