Honda Shake, Misfire, Spark Plugs, Vacuum LeakThere is only one reason why my Honda should shake when I start it. It’s because I have the radio cranked up too high. But if that is not the case, then there is a mystery to be solved. There are several reasons that can make your Honda shake when you start it. If the shaking is followed up with a misfire, then it may be time to change out your spark plugs. This phenomenon is often heralded with your check engine light blazing away on your dashboard.


Of course, there may be more than just one issue causing the shaking. It is a good idea to schedule a service, so a certified technician can check the main systems that may be to blame: the fuel system, the ignition system and run a compression test to check for a vacuum leak.

Engine Misfire

We have all heard an engine misfire before. It’s that sudden bang, cough or loud popping sound that makes your heart race when you hear it. While a misfire is not really dangerous, it can cause a sudden loss of power, which can be a driving hazard. Therefore, it is a good idea to quickly address whatever problem is causing your Honda to misfire.

Spark Plugs

Sparks plugs are often the cause of shaking, slow acceleration, and other undesirable characteristics in our car. A faulty or worn spark plug may not spark reliably, which causes the air/fuel mixture to not ignite, resulting in a misfire. Replacing spark plugs is relatively simple and inexpensive (depending on the make/model of your car). A few reasons spark plugs may need to be replaced are:

  • Carbon Tracks: these black marks are caused by burned carbon and cannot be cleaned
  • Worn Spark Plugs
  • Faulty Spark Plug Wire

Bad Distributor Cap

The distributor is part of the ignition system in your car and it is so vital, your car can’t run if it is faulty. Its primary function is to route high voltage current from the ignition coil to the spark plugs, in the correct order and at the correct time. The distributor cap is the cover that protects the moving parts from dirt, water, oil, and other contaminants. If the cap has been compromised with cracks or a bad gasket, then it will need to be replaced. 

Fuel Injectors & Connectors

The fuel intake system in your Honda needs to be properly adjusted and assessed to run properly. If there is a problem with the fuel system, or a loose connection, it may be what is causing your engine to shake.

Vacuum Leak

This can be a tricky thing to diagnose without specialized equipment and tools. Sometimes a vacuum leak will trigger the Check Engine light, and sometimes it won’t. A few signs that there may be a vacuum leak are a rough idle, shaking when starting the engine, stalling at idle, and a hissing sound from the engine compartment.

Take Note

Make sure to notice when, where, and how often your car shakes and bring the information with you when you take your Honda in for service. The more information you provide to the technician, the more helpful it will be. Diagnostic codes can be handy, but they don’t always target the exact issue or issues.

Taylor Co Japanese Auto Service

We perform maintenance and repair services on all Japanese makes and models, including Nissan, Honda, and Toyota. Extended warranty work accepted.

Schedule Your Auto Service Today

Make your appointment online or call us at (909) 971-3422