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Old 01-22-2013, 08:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Took Car To 2 Mechanics and They Are Puzzled At My Problem

I have a 2004 Mercury Sable with the DOHC engine. The car has 132,000 miles. The car vibrates when it is idling in reverse or drive. I took the car to a Ford dealership and they had no idea what is was. I recently had motor mounts installed so I took the car back to my mechanic. I dropped the car off on Friday morning. My mechanic called me Friday afternoon and said there were no driveability problems and the engine ran smoothly. He stated the he installed solid motor mounts and that could be causing the vibration so he installed fluid filled motor mounts. Called me back Monday when the fluid-filled motor mounts were installed and told me that the car was still vibrating. My mechanic kept the car until today and checked for things that could be causing the vibration but he cannot find out what is causing the shaking/vibration at idle.

The car was in an accident two years ago. My mechanic suggested I take the car to the body shop where it was repaired after my accident. I was hit on the front driver's side..under the front bumper. Their car was a Saturn so their car went under my bumper and pushed the radiator and air condensor back. Don't know if there was any suspension damage. At the time I asked the body shop if there was any damage to the frame and they said no that the car is repairable. My Sable did not shake/vibrate when I got it back from the body shop so I don't think that could be the cause but I could be wrong. This vibration/shaking at idle started a few months ago and is getting steadily worse.

Would the body shop have a better idea of what could be causing this? This has to be a minor problem that no one is seeing. I hope the body shop did not fix the car if the unibody was comprimised. I priced newer used cars and they are going for $7500 and up with over 100,000 miles. I don't know the history of those cars and would rather keep mine because I have taken good care of it.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I lose my mind.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My car vibrates during idle too, no big deal, you learn to get used to it. Older cars tend to do that and you'll end up spending hundreds of dollars trying to find out what's wrong, it might go away on it's own (it did for me)
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mine does just a tad too. Can feel it a little in the steering wheel. What I think it is, is the pressure from having the car in gear on the engine and whatnot, since it doesn't happen in neutral or park. That's just my thoughts.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would say try putting it in neutral and see if it stops. If it does, you have your answer. These transmissions seem to do this as they get older.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you put the car in park or neutral the vibration gets better but it is still there. I checked the paperwork regarding my accident and the engine cradle was replaced. It was replaced because my radiator and AC condensor got pushed back. The body shop told me the frame was not bent. I called the body shop today and they informed me that the engine cradle was used. I guess nowadays most insurance companies buy used parts. Could the used engine cradle be to blame?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Was the transmission mount replaced along with motor mounts using QUALITY parts? There should be little to no vibration you can feel. Our 04 and 05 Tecs idle so smooth you cant really tell if the engine is running or not without looking at the tach.

When were plugs, fuel filter, etc last changed? What are the long term fuel trims at idle and at 50 mph cruise? Have the intake gaskets every been changed? PCV valve ever been changed? Has compression been checked on all cyls? Any pending codes?
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If your engine has a harmonic balancer on the crankshaft behind the drive pulley, make sure it hasn't broken loose. The one on my car spun freely for several years without me even being aware of the situation, but when I had my timing cover gasket replaced that was fixed as well and the low-speed vibration stopped.
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