10 Possible Reasons Your Car Jerks While Accelerating

mechanic doing preventive maintenance for car that jerks while accelerating

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If you notice that your car jerks when accelerating at low speeds, this is an issue that you shouldn’t ignore. A jerking car is often a sign that your car will develop other problems if you don’t address this issue through preventative maintenance care or a timely auto repair service.

1. Dirty Fuel Injectors

Dirty fuel injectors are among the most common reasons why an accelerator becomes jerky. The dirty injector leads to your car losing power when you attempt to accelerate while at a stop and when you try to drive at a consistent speed. This is the result of an engine misfire.

2. Fuel Blockages

There might be a blockage that is preventing your car from receiving the fuel it needs to accelerate. The air mixes with fuel to create a spray that powers your engine. If anything interrupts this, your car might struggle to accelerate.

3. Worn Out Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs might be worn out and unable to properly ignite the fuel in the piston fast enough. This can lead to your car not accelerating as quickly. Fortunately, spark plugs are not expensive to repair and replace.

4. Dirty Air Filters

The air filter plays an important role in keeping pollutants away from your engine. However, with time, these pollutants can build up and cause your car to not accelerate properly. You can simply remove and wipe off the air filters before putting them back in place, or install new air filters.

5. Damaged Cylinders

If your engine cylinders are damaged, this will affect the ability of your engine to work properly and will lead to an engine misfire. You will want to notify a mechanic of this issue so that the cylinders can be repaired or replaced. Otherwise, you can quickly ruin your engine.

6. Blocked Catalytic Converters

Your catalytic converter might be suffering from a blockage. The air-fuel mixture passing through your catalytic converter can become too rich and this can lead to a blockage. This often leads to a car jerking when the motorist presses the gas. You may be able to clear it out with a good catalytic converter cleaner. Otherwise, you’ll need help from a Dallas-Fort Worth mechanic.

7. Damaged Gas Lines

Gas flows throughout your engine via gas lines. However, if there is something wrong with a gas line, this can cause your car to experience a loss of pressure, which can cause the car to jerk forward. In extreme cases, a malfunctioning fuel line might even cause your engine to catch on fire. Check the fuel line to make sure it doesn’t have any holes.

8. Damaged Acceleration Cables

The acceleration cable might be damaged. This cable is the link between your gas cable and the engine throttle plate. Pressing the gas pedal causes the cable to pull the throttle open, allowing your car to accelerate.

9. Defective Carburetors 

The carburetor is responsible for controlling how much fuel and air are mixed together before it enters the engine. When the carburetor is damaged, this will not only cause your car to jerk when accelerating but will also lead to poor performance in general.

10. Moisture on the Distributor Cap

If it’s snowy outside, your car might hesitate and jerk when accelerating due to moisture accumulating on the distributor cap. This typically occurs during the winter when you park your car outside. This can be avoided by parking your car in a warmer spot.

When your car isn’t operating as it should, you’ll want to visit an automotive service shop that can get to the bottom of the issue through diagnostic services so you won’t be forced to take your car off the road. At Driver’s Edge, we’ll be able to help you regardless of whether you drive a foreign or domestic vehicle.