Why Is My Car Jerking When I Accelerate?

Jerk, Stutter, Hiccup, Stall….

If you’ve ever been cruising along the road, and then you hit the gas pedal only to feel your car “hiccup”, it is a normal reaction to feel concern. When your car begins to behave in a new, surprising way, it is alarming for the average driver. A jerk, surge, or hiccup while accelerating can point to a variety of potential issues. But a jerking car should not be overlooked or ignored. Should the issue at hand be serious, the sooner you get it addressed, the more money you’ll save later. Let’s look at some of the primary causes of a jerking car.

Top 4 Reasons for Car Jerking

Transmission

A transmission is a mystery to most. The Pandora’s box of your car. You know it is there, but it isn’t something you know exists. Transmissions have a big job to do and are a critical component in making any vehicle run. Essentially, the transmission acts as your engine’s bouncer. Your engine creates a tremendous amount of power, but the power it creates is too high and too varied to produce a reliable speed. The engine operates at a very high rotational speed, while the wheels rotate much slower. This is where the transmission really comes into play. The transmission keeps the RPM (rotations per minute) of both the engine and the wheels at optimal levels. There are plenty of clear indications of an issue related to your transmission. If you suspect your transmission may be causing you grief, be sure to review our article: 5 Signs It’s Time for a New Transmission

image of a car transmission up close

Dirty or Damaged Air Filter

An air filter is a must for any internal combustion engine. Clean air and clean fuel are critical to creating a smooth, hassle-free driving experience. The air filter’s sole purpose is to remove any dust, bugs, debris, and dirt from the air coming into your engine. While these filters may need to be replaced more often than other types of filters, they are quite affordable and will improve vehicle performance right away. If your vehicle is struggling to accelerate at a rate it has before, you can hear the car struggling to reach the requested speed, and you don’t recall the last time you’ve had it replaced, a Car Tune-Up may be right up your alley!

Poor Voltage Supply

The alternator provides the electrical requirements for your vehicle needs to run and stay running. It is a common misconception that your battery is the electrical powerhouse in your car. The truth is, beyond the initial ignition spark, your battery doesn’t have much to do. After ignition, it is the alternator that keeps the power flowing, but like any other frequently used mechanical mechanism, it is subject to wear and tear. This wear and tear often presents as a loss in efficiency.

The voltage provided by the alternator is used to keep the fuel pump circulating fuel in the vehicle. As the alternator begins to break down, it is not able to maintain the energy needed to circulate the correct amount of fuel to the combustion systems. If you have been experiencing loss in power, and suspect it may be related to your electrical systems we can help.

Bad Spark Plugs

All gasoline vehicles require spark plugs. Spark plugs deliver electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber in order to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture. The symptoms of failing spark plugs are very similar to the symptoms mentioned above. Slow acceleration, a significant loss in fuel efficiency, shaky or rough idle, engine surges or hesitations, and more. Spark plugs should be inspected at least every 30,000 miles to ensure they are in good working condition. Don’t ignore these symptoms longer than necessary. As it progresses, you will begin to experience more severe symptoms.

AAMCO Utah Is Here to Help

AAMCO Utah’s mechanics have seen a variety of issues roll into the shop, and when it comes to giving you the peace of mind that your vehicle is in the best working order, we are always ready to help. Whether your car needs new spark plugs, a rebuilt transmission, or new filters, no job is too big or too small for us. Schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located AAMCO Utah locations today! Those who know, choose AAMCO.

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