My car (2002 Honda Civic Type R) has some vibrations when it is on idle. All the vibrations disappear as soon as I get on first gear and take off. There are different types of vibrations that I will describe below:

  1. Using electric windows - the car vibrates for a second and the interior and exterior light dim for a split second.

  2. Using indicators - the car has a rhythmic vibration usually every few seconds when my indicators are on when I'm waiting at the lights. It goes away when I turn it off or when I take off.

  3. Using the AC - hard vibration on idle. Similar to using the indicators, only it's a lot worse. The vibration completely goes away when AC is turned off or when I take off.

What could be the most likely culprit for these vibrations? I'm thinking it has something to do with the alternator. Can anyone shed some light on other potential causes? Thanks.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


TLDR: Check if the engine belt has the necessary tension (does not slip). Check if the engine's idling rpms are correct. Check if the output of the alternator is of the right amount (voltage). Check the wires/contacts are not damaged.

The symptoms you have described can be caused because of poor supply from the alternator while the engine runs on low rpms.

The engine uses electricity to ignite the fuel with sparkplugs. In order to do that well it needs normal voltage. For normal voltage it needs to spin the alternator in a certain rpms. To get the alternator spinning normally the engine should run properly. To run the engine properly it needs a good supply from the alternator.

This is a closed loop. That's why everything works fine as soon as you reach that minimum amount of rpms which is enough to get the alternator spinning properly, which generates enough electricity to supply the engine and anything you turn on.

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