Driving a Car - Others

Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 20, 2017
Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating

If your car jerks when you accelerate, it can be a sign of moisture or probably something wrong in its motors. It often runs fine without jerking if you stay easy on the accelerator, but as soon as you race it, the car starts jerking. Sometimes, the service light may also come on to indicate that the car needs servicing. We have already told you why your car might be jerking, but if you are also facing similar problem particularly when you accelerate, then OneHowTo.com will try to tell you why a car jerks when accelerating.

You may also be interested in: How To Reverse A Car With Manual Transmission
  1. Moisture
  2. A vacuum leak
  3. Faulty throttle position sensor
  4. A faulty spark plug
  5. Worn out acceleration cable
  6. Motor winding
  7. Accumulated waste


If your car jerks when you accelerate, it can be a sign of moisture in its distributor cap. When you park your car outside in very cold temperature, then moisture may form inside your car’s distributor cap, due to which the engine misfires when you accelerate. So, try to park your car inside a garage or in a warmer place which will prevent the formation of moisture.

Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating - Moisture

A vacuum leak

A vacuum leak may also cause a car to continuously jerk when you accelerate. This happens when vacuum is created in the engine by the car’s fuel system, due to which the car springs forward when you push the accelerator. An inadequate amount of fuel is sent to the engine, thus causing a vacuum leak and ultimately jerks when accelerated.

Faulty throttle position sensor

A car may also jerk upon acceleration due to a faulty throttle position sensor. If your car has a fuel-injection system, the sensor allocates a particular amount of fuel to be dispersed when you push the accelerator. If your throttle position sensor has some problem, it tends to transmit wrong data which ultimately sends wrong the wrong amount of fuel to the engine. As a result, the car jerks when you accelerate.

A faulty spark plug

Your car may jerk while accelerating probably because there is some fault in your car’s spark plug or any of its cables. You can try to solve the problem by changing the spark plug and always keep it clean as far as possible.

Worn out acceleration cable

A car may jerk badly upon acceleration if the acceleration cable has worn out. It is important to replace the cable immediately, as it may break any time and the car may stop in the middle of a road.

Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating - Worn out acceleration cable

Motor winding

The motor winding of the car’s engine can be another important reason that may cause a car to jerk when you accelerate. The car engine’s winding usually occurs when you put the engine under stress by accelerating hard. If you have a car with many windings, then make sure that all of them are fit, fine and unbroken. If your car has only one winding, then the car will refuse to start at all. But if it has many, then the car will start but will jerk when you accelerate.

Accumulated waste

The car will jerk when you accelerate, especially if your fuel filter has been blocked due to accumulated waste in it. Learn to know how to identify a bad fuel filter, and take your car to a mechanic to get it cleaned or clean your fuel filter yourself at home.

If you want to read similar articles to Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating, we recommend you visit our Cars category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
I have a 1986 Toyota corolla, which I have changed the Distributor from the standard one to an Electronic one.it was working fine for the past year, however now when I start the car it seems fine. once it gets hot at normal temp, the car starts to miss fire and when I drive it jerks and the lights inside seem to dim away, like theres no power coming through.
I have looked at most of the possibilities, which now, all seems fine.
maybe I am over looking something, is there someone out there that might have a clue what else might be causing the jerking. please this is very frustrating and if some one can kindly assist me.
D. Moulds
Vauxhall Astra 2002 jerking when accelerating but not all the while

My car jerks even when the fuel pump and filter had been changed. The mechanic had confirmed that the spark plugs are firing and in good shape. I had change my fuel station owing to this problem. Is it that, there is water in the fuel tank? Could it be the distributor cab or plug cables? Or is it that the electric cabretor has failed? Or could it be leakage in the exhaust pipe that is causing this? Am really confused, because it will jerk in the morning, but when the engine is hot, it stops. Please help.
i just had my transmission replaced because my car had been jerking, but on the way home, when i was stopped at a stopped sign and then i started up again, the car jerked again, twice, and then did not do it anymore....i saw above that one problem may be moisture in the distributer cap because of being left outside...the car had been left outside at these repair place, when at home it is in the garage every night...i just hope that it will be ok by tomorrow and never do this again....i have other cars before that have been left outside and this never happened, but then again, they did not ever have to have their transmissions replaced....but this car is an Oldsmobile and another Oldsmobile that we had, we had to have transmissions replaced on both of them and both cars had been kept over night in side a garage, every night for years....so maybe this is just an Oldsmobile problem, maybe that was why they stopped making them....
Ekeh Alexander Uchenna
Please I will want to know the cause of engine failure and when it will be advisable to replace the engine with another one.
I will also want to know how to repair an engine that's faulty.
1 of 3
Why a Car Jerks when Accelerating