You are driving on the expressway way and all of a sudden, your car begins to jerk and splutter. I can see droplets of sweat making a 7-2-1 formation over your head. You then try to hit the accelerator, and the jerk hits harder. Confirmed, your ride has become a jerk ass. This scenario described is a common challenge faced by car owners. Most times it is symptomatic of a larger problem. The good news is that it has got several solutions depending on the root cause. Let’s examine a few reasons why your car might jerk while in motion.   

Air Filter Check

Your car may be jerking because of dirty air filters. Air filters are designed to rid your car of pollutants such as dirt, dust, debris, and other things that contaminate the engine. Over time, these pollutants accumulate in the filter and affect air intake leading to inefficient fuel combustion. 

Quick fix – remove and wipe off the air filter or install a new filter. 

Fuel Injector Check

This is sort of closely aligned to the first point around dirty air filters. Fuel injectors are the conduit through which fuel is injected into the engine.  The injector sprays spurts of petrol into the engine’s intake manifold. Clearly, a dirty injector will affect the distribution and can lead to engine misfiring, loss of power, and jerking as well.  

Quick fix – A fuel injector cleaner should do the trick. However, we have seen cases where the injectors are clogged with huge carbon deposits and so need to be handled by a professional technician. Regular checks for your fuel injector and air filters are advised. 

Where’s the Spark

Another suspect when you start your car in the morning and it greets you with a jerking movement is your spark plug. Something fishy might be going on with them. Plugs typically, are responsible for delivering electric current from the ignition system to the combustion chambers. So, if it’s faulty or dirty, there’ll be no good spark, and igniting the fuel in the piston cylinders would be labored. Obvious signs of spark plug problems include noise from the engine, poor fuel economy, and loss of power.

Quick fix – change the spark plugs and while you are at that don’t forget to check ignitions wires and coil packs during your routine maintenance as they are prone to be worn out.  

Restricting Fuel Flow

Fuel supply issues can also cause your car to jerk while in motion. As we have established, when a sufficient dosage of fuel isn’t supplied to the engine, then wahala dey and forward surging movement is a sure banker. Reasons for this might include a clogged fuel filter, or the fuel pump is working sub-optimally and isn’t supplying the engine.

Quick fix – replace the fuel filter or get a qualified professional from Fixit45 to check out the fuel pump.

Oluwa wetin dey catalyze

Jerking movement in cars can also be attributed to a blocked or damaged catalytic converter (CC). CCs regulate emissions coming out of the vehicle’s exhaust. Air and fuel mixtures that flow through the CC can become very rich and lead to a blockade over time. The results include stuttering movement on acceleration, the release of hydrogen sulfide which smells like rotten egg, and the check engine light which would be on the instruments cluster.

Quick Fix – while some motorists are able to use a good catalytic converter cleaner to solve the problem, it is best advised that you consult a trusted mechanic as CCs don’t come cheap.  

Some other indicative reasons while your car could be jerking include

  • Bad engine tuning
  • Blockage in the engine
  • Perforated fuel pipes
  • Damaged carburetor
  • Faulty transmission control module or solenoid
  • Condensation happening under the distributor cap
  • Faulty throttle position sensor
  • Spoilt acceleration cable.

Considering that there are many potential reasons for a jerking vehicle, one sure proof method of being 100% certain is to take your car to a Fixit45 experience center. At these centers, our highly knowledgeable technical advisors can properly diagnose and fix any of these issues. In return, you get to drive with peace of mind knowing we’ve got you covered with genuine and transparent spare parts. 

Next time when your car begins to jerk while you drive, I can see you smile with a cool, calm, and collected demeanor.