‹ Tips & Guides home Rough Idle: What It Means and the Main Causes

Nothing will make you regret getting in your car like sitting in a rough idle for too long. It’s uncomfortable, worrying, and might even make you sick. You might wonder what it means to have a rough idle and its main causes. If you’ve been wondering why your car feels completely off when stopped at a red light, this article should help you pinpoint the issue.

Describing a Rough Idle

A “rough idle” is something you may experience because of an issue in the air-to-fuel ratio of a vehicle’s engine. Usually, this means something is negatively affecting the amount of air or fuel that enters the combustion chamber. This manifests as a rough idle, or that feeling of your car is bouncing violently or shaking, even when you’re not accelerating.

Major Causes of Rough Idling

It can come from a few different places, but we’ll take a closer look at the main causes of rough idling and how we can fix them. Remember that it may not be one of these causes. In fact, these issues can compound on themselves, creating an even worse idling feeling.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs wear down just like any other part, but you can really feel it when they aren’t operating as they should. Without that spark firing at the right time, your engine is completely out of rhythm. Over time, dirt and grime can interfere with a spark plug’s functionality. Cleaning these parts isn’t a reliable solution, so you’ll likely need to buy new ones for replacements.

Fuel Injectors

Your engine’s fuel injectors can get dirty over time. If this is the issue, you might notice that your car’s gas mileage takes a heavy dip. You can listen to your engine for a faulty fuel injector. Fuel injectors emit a ticking sound at set intervals, but if that interval is arrhythmic or you hear nothing at all, it’s time to get a replacement.

Clogged Air Filters

If your engine can’t get the right amount of air in order to fuel combustion, it will sputter and choke just like humans would without enough air. This issue can come from extremely clogged air filters that don’t let enough air into the engine. Luckily, a filter cleaning or replacement doesn’t take long at all.

Valve Trouble

Your engine has more valves than you might think. While they all have different purposes, they share something in common. They collect debris and grime that will eventually knock them out of place or otherwise prevent them from functioning. Keep an eye on your PCV and EGR valves if you notice a rough idle building up.

Our tire shop in Lubbock is your best bet for finding help with anything related to your car, not just tires. If your idle is giving you a ton of trouble, don’t hesitate to come by RNR Tire Express for assistance.

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