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5 Common Causes of Rough Idle

When it comes to our vehicles, most people are in tune with how their car normally sounds and feels when starting it up and driving. If you’ve noticed your car has started shaking or bouncing when idling, it is a good idea to take it into a shop sooner rather than later. Determining the reason for a rough idle is key to keeping your car on the road. Check out these common causes of rough idle.

smooth car idle due to regular engine maintenance

1. Clogged Fuel Filter

Over time, your car’s fuel filter can become clogged and will need to be changed. The length of time can vary by type of vehicle and whether it runs on gas or diesel. In general, fuel filters should be changed every 50,000 miles to keep your engine running smoothly.

2. Dirty Fuel Injector

The fuel injector dispenses fuel and air into the cylinders. In time, the injector can become clogged, causing the injector to improperly mix fuel and air, creating a rough idle. Keep your fuel injectors clean and in good repair with regular maintenance.

3. Faulty Fuel Pump

Before fuel reaches the injector, it travels through the fuel pump. Like an injector, the pump can become clogged. With time, it can also fail due to general wear and tear and will need to be replaced.

4. Bad Spark Plugs

Spark plugs ignite the mixture of air and fuel. The number of spark plugs differs on various vehicles and is equal to the number of cylinders. For example, a V6 has six spark plugs. These plugs can become damaged, causing fuel to be burned at an inconsistent rate and resulting in a rough idle.

5. Vacuum Leak

The hoses under the hood carry the fuel and air while creating a vacuum. Like most things, hoses can eventually wear out and develop a leak. Too much air can cause rough idling due to misfires of the system.

Look for a Reliable Mechanic

Diagnosing the cause of a rough idle is not always easy. It takes an experienced mechanic to not only diagnose but repair the problem. At Custom Complete Automotive, our experienced technicians are here to help keep your car running smoothly for as long as possible. To learn more about our engine repair services, or to schedule an appointment at one of our six convenient locations, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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