Why is my car jerking?
vehicle maintenance

WHY IS MY CAR JERKING? 6 Reasons & Solutions

Let’s assume you are in a hurry to meet a client or close a deal, or perhaps, you are in a hurry to take a member of your family to the hospital – a pregnant wife or a sick child – but then, you get into your vehicle, ignite it, and it starts to stutter. 

You get mad, disappointed, hit the steering, and wonder what the heck is wrong with your car at such a crucial moment. The last thing you want at that moment is your car jerking. You get frustrated, thinking, why is my car jerking and losing power? 

Keep calm. You’ll find answers to your questions here and how to fix a jerking vehicle, so you wouldn’t have to miss another appointment.

I believe the best place to start is to answer the question: what does it mean when your car jerks back and forth? Car jerking implies there is an upcoming issue, and without boring you with technical details, it simply means there is an obstruction with the proper power distribution and transference. It’s a common problem with automatic and manual cars; hence, you shouldn’t be overly alarmed.

See our research about How to Fix Car Vibration.

Now, if you find yourself in such a situation, you would need to pinpoint the actual cause because there are a few causes of a jerking car when accelerating. Some of the problems, however benign that contribute to a jerking car are thus highlighted below:

6 Main Reasons Why Your Car is Jerking

  • Damaged Fuel Pipes

It’s common knowledge that the car engine converts fuel (chemical energy) to mechanical energy for acceleration. Fuel pipes are laden with the responsibility of transferring fuel from one section to another in the engine. Now, when something damages the fuel pipes, it thwarts the process of fuel transference, resulting in a jerking car. This situation can result in other significant issues such as fire outbreaks in the car or other internal combustion issues. 

So, when next you wonder why is my car jerking when you give it gas, a damaged gas line or fuel pipe is most probably the root of the problem; check it immediately!

  • Dirty Air Filters

When you drive, there are road pollutants such as debris, dirts and other things that could get into your engine and contaminate it; hence, the placement of air filters that prevent these pollutants from achieving their aim. However, like a sponge that cleans the plate but also requires washing, the air filters need to be cleaned to eliminate accumulated obstructions. Otherwise, the effect of a clogged air filter is inefficient fuel combustion.

  • Engine Blockage or Poor Engine Tuning

Due to whatever reason ranging from ignorance to negligence, you ignore the “Check Engine” warning light in your car dashboard. More critically, when it is blinking, you just don’t pay attention. Quick advice, don’t lament if you lose that appointment due to a stuttering car.

The light indicates a blockage in the engine; jerking occurs from this blockage because the engine is finding it challenging to spurt out certain gases as when due.

Another activity you must carry out on your engine periodically is engine tuning. In layman’s terms, engine tuning means to adjust the engine and its fuel system to optimum functionality. This boosts your car’s performance and quells car jerking.

  • Damaged Carburetor

What is the function of the carburetor? The engine cylinder can only successfully effect proper fuel combustion with the right amount of fuel and air; a drastic fall or increase in the amount that gets into the engine cylinder will hamper the process. The function of the carburetor is to blend and regulate the right amount.

A damaged or bad carburetor cannot perform its fuel-air mixture balance, and the effect is car jerking. You should check the idle jet and throttle lever should you figure out that the issue is with your carburetor.

  • Bad Spark Plugs

bad spark plugs

If the carburetor does its job well, and the right amount of fuel-air mixture has gone into the engine, the spark plugs light up the mixture and cause the pistons to move. This means for an engine to function efficiently, you need fine working spark plugs. However, if faulty, you’re looking at a failed engine, and of course, a jerking car.

Mechanics advise that spark plugs should be changed often, and it is also expedient to check its wires in case of tear or wear.

  • Drained Acceleration Cable

The acceleration cable is what connects the engine throttle plate to the gas cable. When you step on the gas in the bid to accelerate, the pedal causes the cable to pull the throttle and open it up for increased speed. With a worn-out or drained acceleration cable, you will definitely have car jerking issues. Some of the signals that symptomize this problem are damaged outer covering of the cable or late response when you step on the gas for acceleration. 

Now, to what end shall we discuss these possible reasons behind your car jerking if we do not also consider ways to fix them. How do you fix your car jerking when accelerating?

You will agree with me that a quick fix is sometimes required to move on with your life for the time being before you can address the issue on a full scale. If you have gone through the plausible reasons for car jerking written beforehand, some can be instantly fixed while others would require expertise. 

However, before you abandon the car, thinking a mechanic can only fix it, check these boxes:

  • Are you driving a manual car?

If you haven’t driven a manual car before, you’d likely have an experience-problem with driving a stick shift car. This type of car jerk is familiar to those who are just starting to learn how to drive a manual car, especially when you try to shift gears.

  • Check for Blockages

Blockages in the air filter, fuel line, the fuel tank should be easy for you to check and figure out where the problem lies. Clean it out, if you can, and you’re good to go.

Last Words

Ensuring you check your car quickly to fix jerking issues helps prolong your car’s functionality and affords you hassle-free driving. Above all, don’t wait till your vehicle starts jerking before you take it for check-ups; do that periodically. It’s a machine, after all, and machines break down!

Why is Your Car Jerking & How to Fix It