My Car Jerks When Accelerating

Why Does My Car Jerk While Accelerating?

If your car is jerking around when you accelerate this is a warning sign that there is a bigger problem with your car. The sooner you are able to diagnose the issue, the more you can minimize the damage to your car and lower the costs of the repair. You should not ignore this problem, always bring your car into a certified mechanic before it gets worse.

Car jerking is a common problem with many different factors that can contribute to the cause. These are the most common reasons why your car jerks while accelerating…


Worn Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs that are worn out will cause the engine to misfire. This means that your spark plugs are not igniting the fuel in each piston cylinder in a timely manner, causing your car to jerk around while accelerating. If your spark plugs are worn out they should just be replaced, as they are generally an easy and inexpensive repair.


Dirty Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors are how the gas in your car is admitted into your car’s engine. When your fuel injectors get dirty the stream of fuel will not be continuous, causing misfires in your engine – and as a result your car to jerk as you accelerate. Your fuel injectors should be cleaned occasionally to avoid this problem, as well as more costly repairs down the line.

Related: What You Should Know About Fuel Injectors


Damaged Acceleration Cable

You may experience jerking if your acceleration cable is worn out. This is a metal braided cable that serves as a link between the gas pedal and your engine throttle plate. When you press the gas pedal the cable is pulled and this opens the throttle. Over time these cables weaken with age and can fail and break. When this cable becomes damaged it will take you longer to accelerate and cause your car to jerk.


Blocked Fuel or Air Intakes

Car engines need air and fuel to work. Inside of your engine air mixes with fuel and is lit by the spark plugs to create an explosion that moves the pistons inside. This cycle continues on and on, allowing your car to move. If there is a block in the lines that allow fuel or air into your engine then this cycle is interrupted and can cause your car to jerk as you try to accelerate. Typically a check engine light will appear if one of these intakes is blocked – remember, never ignore your check engine light, always bring it into a service center right away!


Accumulated Moisture

Moisture gathering in your car’s distributor cap can cause your car to jerk while you are accelerating, as this will cause your engine to misfire. This can happen easily when you are parked outside in cold weather. The best way to prevent this is to park in a warm dry spot on cold and wet weather days.


Clogged Catalytic Converter

Your catalytic converter is responsible for regulating the emissions coming out of your car. Sometimes the rich mixtures of air and fuel that flows through your catalytic converter can clog, which can result in a jerking or stuttering motion when you press the gas pedal.

image of catalytic converter


Don’t Let Your Car Jerk You Around

If you notice your car jerking when you accelerate it’s time to bring it into the auto repair experts at AAMCO Colorado. At AAMCO Colorado, we run a thorough Vehicle Courtesy Check to get at the root of the problem, make an accurate diagnosis, and confirm with you the work that needs to be done to fix it right and get you back on the road.

Call or schedule an appointment at your nearest local AAMCO Colorado Total Car Care center. We’re here to help!


Book an Appointment Today

  • * We do our best to serve each and every customer. If you require an appointment within 24-36 hours, please call for assistance. Appointments booked online less than 24-36 hours in advance might not be available. Contact your selected AAMCO location directly to schedule your appointment.

Schedule an Appointment