Hey, Why is My Car Jerking When Accelerating at Low Speeds?

Hey, Why is My Car Jerking When Accelerating at Low Speeds?

The vehicle's engine can be a very complex machine. It needs to have fuel, air, and spark in the appropriate amounts and at the appropriate times. You can have electrical issues that inhibit the timing and control of various engine components, which will cause the vehicle to jerk when malfunctioning. You can also have mechanical issues that inhibit the amount of fuel and air getting to the engine and out of the engine, which, when they malfunction, will also cause the vehicle to jerk.

Is Your Car Jerking When Accelerating at a Low Speed?

The jerking is commonly caused by a disruption in the engine's fuel flow, resulting in sputtering and jerky movements. This is typically because of dirty fuel injectors, broken spark plugs, or faulty ignition coils. Jerking can also occur due to other factors, like debris in the mass airflow sensor, damaged plug wires, or a faulty throttle position sensor.

If the car jerks while the gas pedal is slowly engaged, it is advisable to consult a skilled professional for a comprehensive diagnosis. Their expertise and experience will ensure an accurate identification of the underlying cause.

Maintaining your vehicle's well-being is not merely a convenience; it also ensures your safety and peace of mind. These sudden jolts prevent your car from maintaining a constant speed, affecting its reliability. By promptly addressing the jerking issue, you can prevent potential complications and regain your confidence on the road.

Let's Get To The Bottom Of It!

  • Q: Is the engine idling rough?

    Idling rough is when the engine runs unevenly or inconsistently when the vehicle is standing; this can happen due to damaged spark plug wires. Spark plug wires are responsible for carrying high voltage to the spark plug, which creates a spark to ignite the fuel in the engine cylinder. If these wires become brittle, cracked, or damaged, the high-voltage spark can short to the ground instead of reaching the spark plug. In the future, this damage can result in faulty spark plugs. This prevents the cylinder from firing properly, resulting in a rough idle and car jerks when accelerating slowly.

  • Q: Have the vehicle's fuel economy suddenly worsened?

    In a gasoline car engine, small parts called "fuel injectors" spray fuel into the engine before it ignites. Over time, these parts can get dirty and clogged from lack of maintenance. If that happens, the injector won't be able to spray the fuel, only dribble it out, making it harder to ignite. This causes the fuel to not burn completely in the engine cylinder, leading to lower performance and fuel economy.

  • Q: Is the vehicle idle surging?

    Idle surging is an irregular fluctuation in engine speed while the vehicle is stationary and not in motion. This is managed by the throttle position sensor, which detects the position of the throttle plate in the engine. If it malfunctions, the engine's computer may have difficulty accurately controlling the idle speed, leading to unstable idle and surging.

  • Q: Is the "check engine" warning lighting up when you accelerate?

    The ignition coil is an essential component of your car's engine that converts low voltage into high voltage in the battery, igniting the spark plugs. The high-voltage side of the coil requires good insulation to avoid going to the ground instead of the engine's spark plug. If the insulating boot between the coil and spark plug gets damaged, cracked, or soaked with oil or coolant, it causes the coil to short-circuit and fail. If the coil fails, the engine computer detects a misfire and triggers the check engine light on the dashboard.

All related issues checked?

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Hey, Why is My Car Jerking When Accelerating at Low Speeds?

Vehicle Health Inspection Proof

Explore the following typical inspection results that show a potential cause for the symptom and select the one you believe is similar to your vehicle's issue.

Broken Spark Plug

A customer mentioned having difficulty starting their vehicle since the outside temperatures have dropped.

During the test drive, the technician didn't notice any issues related to the customer's concern. Similarly, during the vehicle health inspection, the technician found nothing that could be causing the problem.

To further diagnose the issue, the customer authorized additional diagnostics. The technician used a specialized scanner designed for the vehicle to check for error codes. They found a P0300 code, indicating a random cylinder misfire, and a P0302 code, indicating a misfire in cylinder 2.

However, apart from the error codes, the technician didn't observe any actual misfires occurring at that moment.

To investigate further, the technician removed the spark plugs from the engine. Based on the mileage, it was determined that the spark plugs were due for replacement. Additionally, the technician noticed that the porcelain of the number two spark plug was cracked. As a result, the technician recommends replacing all the spark plugs to address the issue.

Does the issue look like this? if not accessible your shop will document it

Typical Fixes to Address the Cause(s)

The following chapters bases themselves on experiences from our auto repair shop; we'll describe related problems' causes and fixes.

"Spark plug replacement" fixes "Faulty spark plug"

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Sometimes a problem is more challenging to describe than it initially looked like. If you are not sure your problem is described by this article, please find below similar vehicle symptoms, which might describe better the issue you are experiencing.

Vehicle Symptoms

Below are just a few examples of typical Symptoms and Fixes your car might be experiencing

Other things your auto repair shop might talk about:

Car jerk. Clogged catalytic converter. Distributor cap. Bad transmission control module. Dirty air filters.

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