Why Does My Car Jerk Into Gear When I Accelerate?

Few things are scarier than a car that jerks around when you step on the gas pedal. Performance issues aside, stifled acceleration can mean bad news for one or more of a car’s vital systems. Let’s take a look at some issues that can strain your vehicle and cause it to jerk as speed increases:

Clogged Converter

A catalytic converter regulates the emissions put out by your car. If this element stops working properly, air and fuel can mix unevenly resulting in a stuttering or jerking sensation as you accelerate. To diagnose a clogged or failing catalytic converter, have your vehicle evaluated by a professional.

Blocked Intakes

Like stated above, air and fuel mix in the engine, and it’s essential that balance occur. When these elements get out of whack, chaos ensues. If lines that bring fuel or air into the engine get clogged or blocked, an imbalanced air-to-fuel ratio can result, causing the car to jerk as it strives to speed up. If a troubled intake is to blame, though, you’ll usually see the check engine light turn on.

Excess Moisture

If your car stays parked for long stretches during cold weather, moisture can accumulate in the distributor cap, leading to a jerky acceleration. To avoid this issue, make sure to park in the warmest, driest locations available.

Dirty Injectors

Fuel injectors are responsible for admitting fuel into the engine. When these parts get mucky, the stream of fuel can get interrupted and cause the engine to misfire. Consequently, the car will also jerk as it accelerates. To prevent filthy fuel injectors, have them cleaned at least once per year.

Worn Out Cable

An acceleration cable is a metal braided band that links the gas pedal and engine throttle plate. If this cable gets weak (which can happen with time and use), it can stress the car as it accelerates, even making slight jerking motions. Your best hope for diagnosing this issue is to have a technician thoroughly evaluate your vehicle.

Old Spark Plugs

Your vehicle needs an appropriate spark to function well. If the spark plugs get damaged or overly worn, they won’t ignite enough fuel in each piston cylinder, and the car will jerk as it tries to accelerate. In good news, replacing old spark plugs is a simple, painless procedure that shouldn’t cost a lot of money.

For all your vehicle’s repair and maintenance needs, call the experts at Mike’s Auto Service & Repair in Springfield, MA at 413-523-0180 today!

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