Shaking Subaru when stopped



Hello, I am writing about a 1996 Subaru Legacy - Green (if that affects anything!)

We maintain it well and have taken it to a dealship and three different local repair shops and the problem can’t be found.

And here it is:

The car SHAKES, often very irritatatingly, when STOPPED and in Drive.

If we shift the car into neutral or park, the shaking stops instantly.

Reverse does shake but much less than DRIVE.

It happens in all of the Drive gears (automatic).

The Motor mounts (both front and back?) have been replaced with genuine subaru parts.

We have taken to putting the car in neutral at every stoplight (which in NYC is all the time) because the shaking is so unpleasant.

We do like this car, and get fairly good milage, so we’d like to get this fixed.

Any ideas?



When you take your foot off the brakes with the tranny engaged, does the vehicle jump forward? It almost sounds like the engine is idling too high or the torque converter clutch is malfunctioning.

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No the tranny seems fine.
and I can change the idle speed with the gas and it does not change - which I think it “should”.
The shake does changes if I let the car roll forward a bit and then stop again - sometimes shakes more sometimes less…

I’ll have a look over on and see if there are any answers there…


A problem could be caused by an engine performance problem; low compression in one or more cylinder, ignition misfire, or a vacuum leak.
A vacuum leak can show up as a rough idle and smooth out when the throttle is opened.

Another potential cause could be the pitching stopper. Has the starter been replaced or the transmission worked on before this problem surfaced?
(Note. The pitching stopper controls the stance of the engine/trans assembly and there is a Technical Service Bulletin out on the pitching stoppers if I remember correctly.)


check your spark plugs