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  • Writer's pictureBilly Hillmuth

What Can You Learn From a Car’s Idle?

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Whenever you stop your car and let it sit, your car is idling. As long as the engine is on and the vehicle is not in motion, then you’re idling. However, sometimes engines can idle high or low, depending on its rotational speed.

Today we’re going to be going over three different ways an engine can idle and how you should proceed. Let’s dive in.

High, Low, and Rough Idle

When your car is sitting in park and the engine is running, the engine is still rotating hundreds of times per minute. However, if the engine is rotating too quickly, this is known as a high idle. Similarly, if the engine is rotating too slowly, then you’re experiencing low idle. You can also keep track of how your vehicle is idling from the “RPM Meter” on your vehicle’s dashboard.

Finally, if your vehicle is shaking or bouncing, then you’re experiencing a rough idle.

None of these idling styles are good and each one can indicate underlying problems with your vehicle’s engine.

What Causes Vehicle Idling Issues?

Problems with your vehicle idle can originate from a few different sources. For help with identifying and repairing problems with your vehicle’s idle bring it in to Hillmuth Certified Automotive, today!

Leaks in Vacuum

Within your vehicle are a variety of hoses that seal the pathways of air and fuel. However, if these hoses wear down or come out of their places, then air and fuel can get into places that they aren’t meant to, causing problems for your engine, and leading to strange idling.

Dirty Fuel-Injectors

Most modern vehicles made after the 1970’s have fuel-injectors to dispense gasoline to your engine. However, if these injectors get dirty, then you may experience choppy engine performance.

Failing Intake Gaskets

Intake gaskets are important for ensuring your engine maintains a consistent internal pressure. When they fail, the pressure can vary and lead to trouble.

What If It’s Something Else?

The list above is not meant to be exhaustive by any means. Problems with the way your engine idles could be caused by a number of factors and the only way to know for sure is to bring your vehicle to a Columbia, Maryland auto mechanic. We can get to the bottom of your engine problems and help you drive away safely. Give us a call today or stop into our shop. We’d be glad to help you.

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