Why Does My Car Jerk When Accelerating?

A car is designed to move you forward, so if you can’t accelerate comfortably, you need to find the source of your car’s erratic behavior as soon as possible. Like many automotive issues, a jerky acceleration can stem from several sources. Let’s take a look at the most common:

Catalytic Converter

This vital component reduces the pollutants that exit the exhaust, so if it gets blocked (usually stemming from an imbalance in the air to fuel ratio in the engine), the exhaust system gets disrupted. As a result, the accelerator slows in its responsiveness, causing jerking or stuttering when you step on the gas. If the catalytic converter is to blame, you might also smell foul odors coming from the exhaust and notice a decrease in fuel efficiency.

Fuel Injectors

If the fuel injectors malfunction, your vehicle can experience a slew of annoying symptoms, one being a slight jerk while driving. You might also hear engine stutters or notice engine misfires. If you have the injectors evaluated and cleaned regularly, you can avoid this issue, so make sure to prioritize these parts in your regular maintenance schedule.

Fuel Filter/Pump

When your car’s fuel supply runs low, it will jerk when accelerating because the engine isn’t receiving enough fuel to run efficiently. This problem normally starts with a failing fuel pump that struggles to meet engine demands. Of course, the issue could also come from a clogged fuel filter that doesn’t adequately allow air to flow through the engine.

Air Filter

Filters play a vital role in vehicle health, so neglecting dirty or clogged filters can lead to several damaging issues. Always check the air filter when having your oil changed, as keeping a close eye on this component will ensure no caustic particles reach the engine, inhibiting its ability to accelerate.

Airflow Sensor

If your car jerks when driving at high speeds, the mass airflow sensor could be to blame. If this component can’t properly measure the air in the engine and relay the information to the car’s computer, it can affect how other engine parts do their jobs. Fortunately, if this part is having trouble, it will usually prompt the check engine light to come on.

Spark Plugs

If your car can’t get a good spark to ignite the fuel cylinders, the engine will misfire, which feels like a stutter or jerk when you accelerate. Replacing or cleaning spark plugs will normally remedy the issue.

For all your automotive needs, bring your car into Auto Solutions in Orlando or give us a call today.


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