Shakes or Wobbles problem
2001 Ford Escort Automatic 110000 miles
My ZX2 has started to vibrate while idling and in drive. When you first start driving, it's not too bad, but after a few minutes, it gets progressively worse. The vibration seems to mostly come through the steering wheel. I have no vibration problems when driving, though I typically don't go above 70 mph (I use it mainly for school and running errands).
If I put it in park the vibration decreases fairly significantly.
Additionally, despite the parking brake not being engaged, there will be short periods where the light flickers on. This does not happen often, and it doesn't seem associated with a particular thing.
First, open the hood and inspect the engine to see if it is vibrating hard. Just because it's felt the most through the steering wheel, that doesn't mean it has something to do with steering. The engine could have a miss in it which is what you are feeling. Also, you say that it starts vibrating worse after a few minutes of driving, but then you say there is no vibration problems when driving? I'm thinking of possible faulty engine or transmission mount(s) or a miss in the motor.
As for the park brake light, this could be a failing park brake sensor which is attached at bottom of the park brake but this would not effect the operation of the brake at all.
April, 19, 2010 AT 6:25 AM
Sorry, I wasn't clear enough - the vibration is only when idling. It doesn't happen immediately when in idle, but after a moment it will start. It does not vibrate while moving. Sorry about that!
I had a friend look at it so I could shift between park and drive, and he said that the engine was vibrating a lot.
Is there anything else I should check out?
Thank you very much for the prompt response!
April, 19, 2010 AT 2:54 PM
Definitely sounds like a failed motor mount. Follow these steps to inspect the mounts.
Open the hood and locate the engine mounts. Engine mounts are usually located on the sides, front and back of the engine. Some engines have two mounts, while others have three. The third is normally near the firewall. They can be all different shapes and sizes depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but all of them have very large bolts that attach a bracket from the engine itself to the mount, which is typically welded to the frame of the vehicle.
Have an assistant turn on the vehicle and rev the engine. Pay attention to the driver's side engine mount. This engine mount is being " stretched" or " pulled" when the engine revs. Check for excessive movement. The engine will move, but the mount should not visibly move. If the mount is moving, it means that the bushing inside the mount has failed.
Rev the engine again and check the passenger-side mount. This mount tends to be compressed when when revving the engine. Again, the mount should not move. If it does, then it is likely that the bushing has failed.
Check the third mount--if applicable--the same as you did others
Check the engine in general (all mounts at once) while your assistant revs the engine once more. The engine should not move excessively, but even if it does not, check that it is not hitting the fan or fan shroud located in front of it. In addition, make sure it's not hitting anything else, either. If the engine clears all components, then your engine mounts are fine.