Figuring out what is causing the problem on your car is often harder than fixing it. There are several reasons your car is lurching while you accelerate. These auto enthusiasts go over most potential issues and what you can do to remedy them.


Devin Purcell, Editor in Chief of

Plugged Catalytic Converter or Transmission Fault

A Plugged Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter is an emissions control device that reduces harmful emissions from exiting the tailpipe of your vehicle. Inside the catalytic converter is a dense honeycomb-like structure. This structure is where the chemical reaction occurs, where these emissions are converted to less harmful gases. Over time this honeycomb structure can deteriorate and become plugged.

When this happens, the exhaust of the vehicle cannot exit the tailpipe. When you are normally driving, there is not enough exhaust flow out of the tailpipe to cause an issue. However, when you accelerate, the extra amount of exhaust flowing through is not allowed to exit. This displaces the air that is trying to enter the engine, which causes the engine not to produce power and a jerking motion.

A Transmission Fault
Shifting issues can sometimes cause your vehicle to feel like it is jerking when accelerating. If you have internal transmission damage, it can cause the gears to slip [and] engage over and over again, which feels like jerking when accelerating.

An Electronic Fault
The other possible issue is electronic. If your fault [is] with a speed sensor or other electronic sensor on your transmission, it can cause the transmission to “hunt” for a gear. This is where the transmission shifts up and down, up and down, up and down. This sensation feels like a jerk during acceleration. This fault should be addressed by an experienced technician to ensure it is fixed properly.

Problems With Your Throttle Pedal, Cable, or Position Sensor

If you are experiencing jerks in your car when accelerating, it might be due to a few reasons. The first reason is that the throttle pedal is not positioned correctly. The second is a result of the throttle cable being too tight or too loose. The third reason could be that there is a problem with your throttle position sensor, or there might be an issue with the idle air control motor or idle speed control valve.

The reasons for a car jerking while accelerating can vary. Also, it could be due to a faulty engine, a loose or worn-out drive belt, or even the wrong type of gas in the tank. The first thing you should do is check your gas tank and make sure that it is full. If not, fill it up with the appropriate type of fuel and see if that has solved the problem. If not, you will want to check your drive belt and make sure that it is tight enough around the pulley on the engine.

Check your tires as well to make sure they are inflated properly. If there are any problems with these parts of your vehicle, they will need to be repaired before you can continue driving safely. In order to fix this issue, you should check all of these possibilities, and if none of them are causing the jerks in acceleration, then you will need to take it to an auto repair shop for diagnosis.


Mike Baldicana, Marketing Content Specialist at Kostex Garage Repair.


Margarette Stine is a content writer for 4WheelOnline.

Issues With the Fuel Injector System, Spark Plugs, or Transmission

A car’s engine is not only responsible for propelling you; it also has to push against the air to get up hills or move at high speed. As your vehicle accelerates, engine power is transferred to your wheels via belts and pulleys. The more power you have, the faster your vehicle will go. If these components are not working together seamlessly, it can cause your car to shake while accelerating.

There are a few possible reasons why your car jerks while accelerating and ways to fix it:

The most common reason for a car jerk while accelerating is that one or more of your spark plugs may be going bad, which will lessen performance if the problem persists. If you think this might be the case, have a professional check them and replace them if necessary.

Another possible reason is that there is something wrong with your fuel injector system. This could be caused by a clogged fuel filter or a faulty oxygen sensor. Both of these issues can cause your car to run less efficiently, which can lead to shaking while accelerating. If you suspect that your fuel injector system is the problem, it is best to bring it to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair.

Finally, a car may jerk while accelerating if something is wrong with the transmission. It’s usually less common than other issues, but you still need to be aware of that. If your car is jerking and you suspect the transmission, it’s important to get to a mechanic as soon as possible so they can take a look and fix the problem before it gets worse.

Low Engine Oil Levels

One possible reason your car jerks while accelerating is low engine oil levels. Engine oil makes driving more comfortable because it lubricates the engine’s moving parts. So, if your engine oil level falls below a certain level, you may hear a jerking sound caused by the rough friction between the less lubricated parts. This is extremely harmful to your vehicle because the engine may overheat, resulting in more expensive repairs.

It is simple to fix low engine oil levels, [but] it is not safe to diagnose car problems on your own. It is still preferable to take your vehicle to a repair shop and have it inspected by a mechanic. You may discover that there are other problems that should not be overlooked.


Tobias Rawcliffe, Head of Marketing at Number 1 Plates.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors’ statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.

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