00 Camry V6, shaking

I have a 00 Camry LE V6. Yesterday, it started shaking really hard when I stopped at the traffic light. The shaking disappear after I restart the car. Although my car is back to normal now, but I am afraid the shaking might come back. Anyone know what caused the shaking? Thanks.

How many miles on the odometer?
Was the Check Engine Light illuminated?
What can you tell us about the car’s maintenance?

The miles are close to 100k. The check Engine light is not on. The car has regular oil change and 30k, 60k, 90k service. I don’t remember exactly but the timing belt might have not been replaced.

While it is not related to the shaking problem, I strongly suggest that you check your service records to see if the timing belt has–in fact–been replaced.

If it has not been replaced, then you are about 3 years past due, on the basis of elapsed time. When that overaged belt snaps, you will wish that you only had a problem with the engine shaking on one occasion upon start-up.

Sounds like an intermittent misfire, causing the engine to run on less than 6 cylinders sometimes. Could be a bad coil/igniter, distributor cap, rotor, spark plug wire, or possibly spark plug. Basically, anything in the ignition system that might be intermittently failing to send a spark to one or more cylinders. Have you ever replaced the spark plug wires? May be time for a new set.

Hi Jesmed,

Thanks. Your suggestions make sense. I will check. Is there anyway to know for sure? Also, I will sell this car in a few months. Is it worth to do so?

Well, intermittent problems are hard to diagnose, so until the shaking happens more often, it’ll be hard to know for sure. You don’t want it to happen when a potential buyer is test driving it, though, so you have a few months to figure it out. I’d start with a tune-up that replaces spark plugs, spark plug wires, distributor cap, and rotor, if any of these haven’t been done. After 10 years, they probably all need to be changed, even if they don’t fix your problem. That’s probably $200 or so, depending on who does the work. I’d try that first, and see what happens. At the very least, you can tell potential buyers that the car just got a tune-up.

If you have not yet done a good tuneup consisting of new spark plugs, wires (if you have them), rotor and cap (if you have them) and new filters, then you are due. NOTE: if you have coil-on-plug ignition, the wires rotor and cap will be an obsolete suggestion, but the rest still holds.

And consider VDC’s post also. That belt will not last forever.