'03 Accord vibration

10-17-2018, 05:27 PM
I just picked up an '03 Accord EX over the weekend with 171,000 miles. It is 2.4 liter 4 cylinder.
While the car is running, there is a vibration regardless of what gear it is in. After first starting, in park, you can barely notice it. But the longer, and faster, I drive, it becomes more noticeable. I don't hear anything that would indicate it's something like bearings causing the shaking while actually in motion; rather, I suspect it's the engine mounts. Since it also vibrates in neutral, could it really be the mounts?

It does seem that after driving on the highway for a few miles that not only does the car seem to be shaking more, but the transmission shift is a little different. Not really a hard shift, but just more noticeable. Otherwise, the transmission seems to be solid.

10-20-2018, 04:35 PM
So, an update. We replaced the center mount. The old one was a little worn (it is the vacuum type), with the rubber midsection starting to crack a little and be a bit spongy.
However, the vibration is still there, and when I shift gears, there is an audible click that can be heard even when standing outside the vehicle. Could this indicate that the transmission mount also needs to be replaced, given the clicking and vibration?

10-20-2018, 05:07 PM
It may sound crazy but check the exhaust. If it is tight up against the body it will cause a vibration.

As for the click it sounds like the normal click you would hear with gear engagement.

10-20-2018, 08:51 PM
I'm reasonably sure it's not the exhaust. While my husband shifted gears, I watched the engine physically move each time. So my guess is that either the transmission mount also needs to be replaced, or we didn't do a very good job of putting the center mount on.

10-20-2018, 08:55 PM
A bad mount generally won't cause vibration, just clunking on shifts.

10-20-2018, 09:08 PM
Interesting. Would a bad mount cause the engine to actually move as it shifts, though?
And the vibration is a lot milder in neutral, but is still present. Initially when we pulled the old center mount and saw it was worn, just not really bad, I thought I might have a secondary problem with bad spark plugs or something, since you can feel the vibration through the whole body of the car; I haven't checked them yet, though.
However, now my concern is that clicking/clanking sound on shifting and the whole engine moving before my eyes. I'm no mechanic, but I also don't think the tranny itself is bad as it actually shifts like it should and holds steady during driving. The RPM's also remain ok.

10-20-2018, 09:33 PM
Yes a bad mount will cause the whole engine to move. I have seen mounts so bad that the engine moved enough to dent the hood.

10-21-2018, 03:42 PM
My hubby is doing his best, but I am getting really frustrated. The center and left (rear) mounts have been replaced, and though there is still a slight vibration when actually driving, which is lighter than before, at idle the vibration actually worsened, and somehow the engine actually sounds a little louder.

The idle is rougher, though not quite as rough in neutral, but the engine smooths out some when in motion. When parked and changing gears, I can still hear a slight click, but don't hear anything other than the normal sounds as it shifts during driving.
Other than changing the transmission mounts, which we are planning on doing next weekend since we ran out of time this weekend, what else can I try for the stupid vibrating? Can the replacements being torqued at the wrong PSI cause it to worsen, because we went by what we could find online (center mount four bolts 40 and top bolt 58, I think he did the same for the rear).
The rest of the car is great, and I really, really want to get this fixed. Thanks!

10-21-2018, 08:06 PM
Take it up to speed where it starts to whine. Put in in neutral. Whine goes away, not tranny or driveshaft.

10-21-2018, 09:51 PM
Take it up to speed where it starts to whine. Put in in neutral. Whine goes away, not tranny or driveshaft.
She never said anything about a whine, just a vibration. Maybe you responded to the wrong thread?

10-22-2018, 05:43 PM
Take it up to speed where it starts to whine. Put in in neutral. Whine goes away, not tranny or driveshaft.

There's no whine. I'm getting rough idling, and now it's more in the lower gears/speeds. The engine smooths out a little while I'm cruising on the highway, but the vibration feels like those chairs at the mall you put quarters in-by the time I'm at my destination, I still the vibration even after I get out of the car. Sheesh.

Hubby insists it can't be a vacuum hose, since he only disconnected the one on the underside of the center mount, and put it back in place. We didn't get a new hose as the original still looked okay. But the vibration problem seems more spread out now, since I can feel it through even the seat, whereas before I mostly felt it in the steering wheel and gas pedal. I know this may be weird, but the vibration sound is even different. It's deeper and gruffer, if that makes any sense.

I'm having major surgery in a couple of weeks and can't really afford to have it put in the shop to get a once-over, so we're really kind of troubleshooting here. I know it's hard to give an objective opinion without being able to drive the car yourself, but does this problem sound familiar, especially with it getting worse after the mounts were replaced?


10-22-2018, 07:11 PM
Whens the last time you had tune up?

10-22-2018, 08:15 PM
I don't know. I just bought the car a little more than a week ago. Is it possible that changing the mounts might have created a secondary problem? Or do I just have incredibly bad luck?

12-20-2018, 01:35 PM
UPDATE: I put the car in the shop, and our mechanic said he thought the front engine mount we put in may have been defective. So we bought another one, and he put it in. I picked up the car today, and the vibration is still there; no change. He says the vibration might be the torque converter in the transmission.
However, it doesn't have any symptoms that fit that, except for the rough idle/vibration. The transmission shifts just fine, the fluid looks okay, and the fluid level is normal. He said the spark plugs don't need to be replaced, and that if it was truly an engine problem, the check engine light would come on. It has not come on at all.
I have been using 91 Octane, non-ethanol gas. The engine purred when I bought it and only started acting up after we replaced the front engine mount ourselves. I am about out of my wits with this stupid problem. I sincerely do not want to drive around permanently with this loud, rough engine. Any suggestions, other than drive it into the river and forget I ever bought it?

12-20-2018, 06:03 PM
When doing mounts the engine can get bound up which will cause vibration. Check to make sure everything is properly aligned. Make sure the exhaust isn't hitting the bottom of the car. You'd be surprised how loud it will sound when that happens.

Also look for a new mechanic. The one you went to doesn't sound too bright and only sounds like a guesser.

12-21-2018, 12:49 AM
I'm going to have my husband check the exhaust. I like my mechanic, but I don't feel confident in his answers in this case.
I may also have him check the plugs, even though the mechanic said they looked fine. It runs rough like it needs a tune up, but I didn't follow up that course of action since he said it can't be the engine or my check engine light would come on.
Thanks for the info!

01-09-2019, 05:38 PM
This last weekend hubby and I replaced the engine air filter and spark plugs. Unfortunately, the vibration and noisy engine are still ever-present. I have a thought, and would like some feedback.
We bought the replacement engine mount from a reputable online source that rhymes with Bock Otto (lol) that we installed at home. When I put the car in the shop, and the mechanic said we may have had a defective mount, we bought a second one from the same place.
Is it possible that the mount is simply the wrong one? The ones we purchased looked like the original one we removed. Even if they look alike, could they still be incorrect? The other smaller mounts were replaced this last time, so I doubt that's the cause. But I am at my wit's end, and getting sick of driving it feeling like a vibrating chair at the mall.
Any suggestions, other than taking it to the back yard and setting the stupid thing on fire?

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