Why Does Your Car Jerks When Accelerating : Causes & Fixes

steering wheel

Car Jerks When accelerating, it can be a serious problem. Because this is a sign of engine failure, fuel failure, or electrical system failure. If the problems are not properly resolved in time, they start creating problems for the engine, and the engine starts losing its power performance.

Through this article, we will know in detail about the main reasons for car jerks while accelerating, so that you can get rid of this type of problem in the car.

Why Your Car jerks when Accelerating – Causes

Causes of car jerking while accelerating include dirty fuel injectors, worn spark plugs, a damaged fuel pump, a clogged air filter, a faulty MAF sensor, a clogged catalytic converter, or a vacuum leak.

These causes can lead to an improper air-fuel mixture and incorrect ignition timing, which can cause the car to jerk during acceleration. Let us know in detail, one by one, what the causes of car jerking during acceleration are.

1. Worn Spark Plugs & Coils

Symptoms Of Bad Spark Plugs & Replacement Cost

Generally, spark plugs are provided in the engines of cars running on gasoline and natural gas. Spark plugs play a vital role in the smooth operation of this type of engine. Spark plugs generate a spark to ignite the fuel mixture in the engine’s internal combustion chamber, due to which the fuel mixture burns inside the engine and the engine starts.

Sometimes spark plugs get worn or weak due to prolonged use without service. Due to this, the combustion process in the engine starts getting interrupted, which causes the engine to misfire and jerk. This problem can also be caused by a bad spark plug wire. So a bad spark plug or wire can also be the main reason for the car to jerk during acceleration.

2. Clogged or Dirty Air Filter

Clogged/Dirty Air Filter

In an internal combustion engine, a fuel mixture is burned, which is a mixture of air and fuel, and the air in this mixture comes through an air filter in the air intake manifold of the engine. So that the combustion of the engine is not disrupted by the open and polluted air of the environment. But many times the vehicle is driven for a long time without changing the air filter. Due to this, the air filter gets blocked, and due to the blocked air filter, less air flows into the combustion chamber of the engine.

Due to this, the fuel combustion process in the internal combustion chamber of the engine gets disrupted, and the engine starts jerking due to misfiring. Therefore, a clogged air filter can also be a cause of car jerking during acceleration.

3. Faulty Fuel Pump & Fuel Filter

fuel filter

If your vehicle’s fuel pump is damaged or weak, or the fuel filter is clogged. Then the engine of your car will not be supplied with sufficient amount of fuel according to the acceleration. Due to this, the ratio of air to fuel in the fuel mixture in the internal combustion chamber of the engine deteriorates.

Which causes the fuel combustion process in the internal combustion chamber of the engine to get disrupted, due to which a decrease in the engine performance of the car can be experienced and on acceleration, the engine starts to misfire and jerk. Hence, a bad or weak fuel pump and a clogged fuel filter can also cause the car to jerk during acceleration.

4. Faulty MAF Sensor

MAF Sensor

The MAF sensor is usually located somewhere on the air filter intake pipe. The MAF sensor sends a signal to the ECM about the pressure and speed of the air going into the engine’s air intake manifold. Due to this, the ECM sends the supply of fuel to the fuel injector according to the air ratio.

Due to this, the right amount of fuel mixture is prepared for the engine, and it activates smoothly. But a bad MAF sensor is unable to give the ECM an adequate reading of the air going into the air intake manifold. Which can cause the ECM to mess up the air/fuel ratio and the combustion process of the engine starts getting interrupted, which can cause engine vibration or jerks during acceleration.

5. Bad Engine Piston, Rings & Cylinder Sleeve

damage-piston-ring

Pistons, rings and cylinders are the main parts of any internal combustion engine. The piston and ring are fitted in the cylinder of the engine without any gap. So that the compression of the engine does not leak and the piston of the engine can be pushed down with the full power of compression.

Due to which the engine starts successfully. But sometimes, due to some reason, the cylinders, pistons or rings of the engine wear out and become loose. Due to this, the fuel burned during compression in the engine starts leaking into the oil chamber below. Due to which the problem of engine misfire or jerks during acceleration can occur and sometimes, it is difficult to even start the engine.

6. Bent Engine Head Valve

engine head valve bent & worn

The head is the top part of any internal combustion engine. The intake air valves and exhaust valves in the engine head open according to the position and requirements of the pistons. According to the position of the piston in the engine, intake air comes in for fuel combustion and exhaust gases come out.

The head valve also holds back the compression of the engine. The valves in the engine head open or close according to the rotation of the camshaft and the position of the camshaft is set according to the position of the crankshaft. But sometimes the valves in the engine head get worn or bent.

Due to this, the engine’s compression starts leaking before its time and the combustion process of the engine starts getting interrupted. Due to this, the engine starts misfiring or jerking. Worn or bent head valves can also cause the car to jerk during acceleration.

7. Moisture in Distributor Cap

distributor cap

A current-coil distributor is fitted in the engine of vehicles running on petrol and gas. This distributor sends current to the coils of the engine through the rotation of the camshafts and according to the position of the pistons and the current from the coil goes to the spark plug.

Due to which the fuel combustion process is completed in the internal combustion chamber of the engine. But sometimes, due to moisture in the distributor or a wrong setting, the current supply to the coil comes intermittently, which causes the fuel combustion process in the internal combustion chamber of the engine to get disrupted and due to this, the engine starts showing vibration and jerking problems during acceleration. Often, the main cause of jerks during acceleration in cars running on gasoline is moisture in the distributor cap or an incorrect setting of the distributor cap.

8. Blocked Catalytic Converter

symptoms-of-a-bad-catalytic-converter

In cars, the catalytic converter is mounted in the exhaust system of the engine. The catalytic converter converts highly toxic and polluting gases produced by engine emissions into less polluting ones, which are less harmful to the environment. But without frequent cleaning, the catalytic converter tends to get clogged.

Due to this, the exhaust of emissions from the engine starts getting obstructed and the process of fuel combustion in the internal combustion chamber of the engine begins to be disrupted. Due to this, the problem of vibration and shaking starts in the engine.

A clogged catalytic converter is often ignored by many mechanics as one of the reasons why a car jerks during acceleration. Therefore, if there is a problem of vibration or tremors in the engine of the vehicle, first of all, the catalytic converter must be checked.

9. Water Mix in Fuel

The common reason for the problem of engine vibration and jerks in cars can also be the mixing of water in the fuel. You may find it strange to hear this, but there really is a reason. As you know, the diesel or gasoline fuel used in the engine is flammable. But sometimes, while washing the vehicle or standing in the rain, if the cap of the fuel tank is loose or broken,

Then water can get into your vehicle’s fuel tank and the water can mix with the fuel. Due to this, the fuel becomes less flammable and the fuel combustion process in the internal combustion chamber of the engine starts getting disrupted. Due to which the engine of the car starts having the problem of vibration or jerks during acceleration.

10. Faulty ECM Module

faulty pcm

The ECM controls the engine and other functions of any vehicle. The ECM supplies the piston position and firing order of the fuel mixture to the engine’s internal combustion chamber via fuel injectors, based on signals from a variety of sensors mounted to the engine.

And starts the power supply to the fuel injector according to the piston position and requirement, due to which the engine starts successfully and provides power. But a bad ECM can mess up the engine’s combustion process, which causes the engine to misfire and jerk. A bad ECM can also be the main cause of jerks during acceleration in cars.

Car Jerks When Driving on Highway

If your car is jerking on the highway, it could be due to a bad engine, a clogged fuel injector, a faulty transmission, or a problem in the fuel system. Therefore, for safe driving on the highway and to prevent further damage to the vehicle, consider contacting a qualified mechanic or seeking a diagnosis.

Car Jerks When Accelerating At High Speeds

The most common causes of a jerking sensation during high-speed acceleration could be an empty fuel tank or engine overheating. Additionally, clogged fuel filters, bad spark plugs or ignition coils, bad transmissions, or vacuum leaks can also cause knocking at high speeds.

How To Fix Car jerks When Accelerating?

To get rid of the problem of jerking during acceleration in the car, you need to investigate the cause of this problem. After that, you can get this problem fixed. You can do this procedure to solve the problem of jerking during acceleration in the car.

  • Check for bad spark plugs and worn wires. If there is any deficiency in spark plug or wire current spark then you can replace with new spark plugs and wire.
  • If the air filter is clogged or dirty, replace it with a new one.
  • If there is a faulty fuel pump and fuel filter, repair or replace the fuel pump. also clean or replace the fuel injectors if necessary.
  • Check for a faulty MAF sensor or replace the old one with a new one.
  • Check for moisture in the distributor cap. If the distributor cap is damp, clean and dry fit it.
  • Clean a clogged catalytic converter or replace it with a new one if it’s badly damaged.
  • Check for water in the fuel. If water is mix into the fuel, you will need to remove the fuel tank and clean the entire fuel assembly line.
  • Checking for bad engine pistons, rings and cylinder sleeves can be an expensive and time-consuming process. For which you have to open the engine completely. You can check the condition of the pistons and rings with the compression vacuum of the engine without opening the engine. If you have experience with this.
  • If there are worn or bent engine head valves, have the engine head repaired and all intake air valves and exhaust valves replaced with new ones.
  • Check for a faulty ECM and have it repaired or replaced if necessary.

FAQ’s

Q. How do you fix jerks from a speeding car?

To fix this, you should regularly clean the injectors from time to time. Because the problem in the fuel system can be the main reason. And at the same time should check the ignition system and air system disorders.

Q. Is it safe to drive a car that jerks?

No, it is not safe to drive with any car knocking. No longer is it recommended by a vehicle professional. Because of this, there is a possibility of damage to the engine of the car.

Q. Does a dirty air filter make your car jerk?

Yes, a clogged or dirty air filter can cause your car to jerk. Because of this, the amount of air in the fuel mixture decreases. Due to this, the remains of unburned fuel freeze the spark plug and head. Due to this, the spark plugs do not get the right amount of spark current.

Q. Can fuel pump cause jerking?

Yes, a failed fuel pump can cause a car to jerk. A failed fuel pump is unable to supply fuel at a constant pressure to activate the combustion process of the engine smoothly.

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