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Why does my car jerk at 40 mph?

What Causes A Car To Jerk When Slowing Down?

Cars have become more complicated throughout time and with that have come an increase in the amount of symptoms that can imply a variety of things. Many of these symptoms, thankfully, can be detected and treated without the use of specialized equipment. When your Car Jerks When Accelerating, it could be a sign of a variety of existing or impending issues. We’ll go over here about What Causes A Car To Jerk When Slowing Down?

How to remedy them in this article. When you’re travelling down the road and trying to get somewhere, the last thing you anticipate is for your Automobile Start Jerking. When you’re behind the wheel and the automobile jerks as it accelerates, it might be terrifying. That alone can cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle for a few seconds, putting them in danger.

If your automobile shakes when you accelerate, don’t overlook the issue. If your catalytic converter is malfunctioning, it could be caused by anything from your spark plugs to the catalytic converter. It may even suggest that your vehicle’s transmission needs to be repaired in some circumstances. Continue reading to find out what to do when your car jerks when you accelerate in a variety of conditions.

Car To Jerk When Slowing Down

When Accelerating At Low Speeds, Why Does A Car Jerk?

When your automobile jerks when accelerating at low speeds, it might irritate you from the moment you get inside it. Even something as basic as backing out of your driveway slowly can cause your car to jerk, making you question whether you should be driving it at all.

When an automobile jerks when accelerating at low speeds, it’s almost often due to an issue with the spark plugs in it. A quick tune-up should be enough to put an end to the jerking for good. However, there may be an issue with the air intake system or the catalytic converter. When an automobile jerks when accelerating at low speeds, these are some of the most typical causes.

On The Distributor Cap, Moisture

If it’s snowing outside, moisture gathering on the distributor cap may cause jerky acceleration. This usually happens when you park you’re automobile outside in the winter. You can avoid this by parking your car in a warmer location.

Carburetors That Aren’t Working Properly

The carburetor is in charge of regulating the amount of gasoline and air combined together before entering the engine. Carburetor failure causes your car to lurch when you accelerate, as well as perform poorly overall.

Acceleration Cables That Have Been Damaged

It’s possible that the acceleration cable has been damaged. This cable connects your gas cable to the throttle plate on your engine. The cable pulls the throttle open when you press the gas pedal, allowing your car to accelerate.

Gas Lines That Have Been Damaged

Gas lines carry gas throughout your engine. A problem with a gas line, on the other hand, can result in a loss of pressure in your car, causing it to jolt forward. A faulty gasoline line could even cause your motor to catch fire in extreme situations. Make sure the fuel line doesn’t have any holes in it.

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Catalytic Converters Blocked

It’s possible that your catalytic converter is clogged. A blockage might occur if the air-fuel mixture travelling through your catalytic converter becomes too rich. When the driver hits the gas pedal, the car often jerks. With a decent catalytic converter cleaner, you might be able to clear it out. Otherwise, you’ll require the assistance of a mechanic.

Cylinders That Have Been Damaged

Your engine’s ability to perform properly will be harmed if the cylinders are damaged, resulting in an engine misfire. You should contact a professional about this problem so the cylinders can be serviced or replaced. Otherwise, your engine would quickly deteriorate.

Filters That Is Dirty

Filtering impurities out of your engine is the job of the air filtering system. However, these pollutants might accumulate over time, causing your car to not accelerate effectively. You can simply remove the air filters and wipe them clean before reinstalling them, or you can replace them entirely.

Spark Plugs That Have Been Worn Out

It’s possible that your spark plugs have worn out and are unable to ignite the fuel in the piston quickly enough. As a result, your car may not accelerate as rapidly. Spark plugs, fortunately, are inexpensive to repair and replace.


It’s possible that there’s a blockage stopping your car from receiving the fuel it requires to accelerate. Air and fuel combine to form a spray that powers your engine. If something gets in the way, your car may struggle to accelerate.

Fuel Injectors That Have Been Ruined

Fuel injectors that are dirty are one of the most common causes of jerky acceleration. When you try to accelerate from a stop or drive at a regular speed, your car loses power due to a filthy injector. A misfire in the engine caused this.


It’s all about What Causes A Car To Jerk When Slowing Down? If your automobile twitches when accelerating, depending on what your mechanic says about it, you might want to consider selling it. If the vehicle is older, it may not be worth the money to replace the catalytic converter or do any of the other costly repairs that may be required.

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You’d be better off selling your automobile for cash and letting someone else handle it for a change. When your car isn’t working properly, you’ll want to take it to an automotive service facility that can diagnose the problem so you don’t have to pull it off the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

When I slow down, why does my automobile jerk?

This could indicate a clogged or failed mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor is an intake system component that monitors air intake as it is combined with fuel before being injected into the engine.

When a car jerks, what causes it to do so?

In fact, the most common reason of a jerking vehicle is a clogged fuel filter. A faulty gasoline filter will also cause the car to cut out or lose power when driving up an incline, in addition to jerking. This happens because fuel demand rises when the engine is working hard, and the blocked filter limits the required flow.

Is it possible for the transmission to cause the car to jerk?

Automatic transmissions that jerk, shake, or shift hard during a shift change may indicate that the transmission fluid needs to be replaced or that the fluid level is low. Abnormal gear changes in manual transmission automobiles could indicate faulty gear synchro, worn clutches, or other, more serious concerns.

At 40 mph, why does my automobile jerk?

When trying to shift gears, a faulty transmission may frequently kick forcefully. The engine’s RPMs will increase when the automobile reaches 40 mph. A defective transmission at that point might cause the automobile to jerk, possibly accompanied by loud slamming sounds.

jerking at 20 mph & 35 mph (intermittent)

I need some advice. every couple of days, while I am driving my 2000 Montana, it jerks at 20 mph and again at 35-40 mph. It doesn’t make any engine noises while it does this. The van has 108,000 miles. just had the oil changed. my dad checked my trans. fluid and it was orange/brown. he said GM vehicles tran fluid should be pink (??). any input would be greatly appreciated.
BTW just bought it amonth ago. no warranty. please tell me how I can stop the «jerking»

09-04-2003, 10:17 AM

how heavy are you on the gas when accelerating? I have noticed a lot with automatics that when you put full throttle to the ground that shifting in lower gears 1-2 and 2-3 there is a slow lag in gearshifts. I don’t drive an auto myself, but in other peoples cars I have noticed it a lot. just accelerate slowly in autos is all I can say, and changing the tranny fluid might not be a bad idea.

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09-04-2003, 10:21 AM

since it has over 100,000 miles on it and it is only 3-4 yrs. old, I baby the gas pedal. I never lay on it too hard, just ease into the speed.
looking around for the best price on a tranny flush. HOPE that is all it needs. If not, I will be back. :lol2:

09-04-2003, 07:12 PM

Those speeds are your shift points!! Heavy accleration changes the shift points. Make sure you don’t have a misfire it can easily be confused with a trans problem.

I would be worried about doing a trans flush at that many miles. I would never reccomend a trans flush if one hasn’t been done before it could cause more harm than good!! I would reccomend doing a small fluid change and filter replacement. Your best bet would be take it to a trans shop or a dealer to check out. You have an electronic trans in the van and it could be something minor.

09-04-2003, 08:11 PM
yes i agree it might be a missfire your feeling,When was the last tune up done? It might be due.
09-05-2003, 08:12 AM

This may sound like a stupid question, but what is a small fluid change? I mean, what does it consist of? And what filter should I get replaced. air. fuel. I know nothing really about cars and all that. so any help would be great!
And the «jerking» doesn’t happen all the time, like I said before, since it has so many miles on it and we just got it a month ago, I baby the heck out of it. no hard accelerating.
Thanks so much for all your advice so far, I just don’t know what I should do. and I don’t want to take it somewhere and pay a ton of money for something that didn’t need to be done to it.

09-05-2003, 06:27 PM

You have a filter for your transmission inside your trans pan!! A full flush would change roughly 12 quarts of fluid. Dropping the pan and changing the filter changes 6 quarts.

01-15-2004, 08:15 AM

I ‘m having the same problem . . . already replaced injector 6 (misfiring per p0306 code ) that didn’t fix the jerking . . .now another injector is doing the same thing . . .so I’m thinking . . .fuel pump

Anyone fixed this jerking problem ?

Why Your Car Jerks While Accelerating: Causes & Fixes

A woman frustrated that her car jerks while accelerating.

While diving can be stressful, experiencing a sudden jerk while you accelerate can be downright scary. If a sudden jerk catches you off-guard you may even lose control of your vehicle. It’s important to know the possible reasons your car may jerk while accelerating, and how to fix these issues. Below, we’ve outlined some common possible causes and fixes.

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1. Clogged Fuel Injectors

Having clogged fuel injectors is a very common issue that can cause many car problems. A clogged fuel injector can prevent the fuel your car needs to accelerate, thus causing you car to jerk in the process. If you hear your car engine stuttering, then the injectors may not be providing an adequate amount of fuel. To fix this, you should clean the injectors on a regular basis. Using a fuel injector cleaning solution might eliminate the issue of the car jerking. If the clog is too severe, the injectors may need to be taken out and cleaned or replaced by a mechanic.

2. Obstructed Catalytic Converter

Your car’s catalytic converter manages the reduction of exhaust particles that your car puts out. However, if the converter is obstructed with too much exhaust/air, then it can become obstructed. This can also cause the airflow to be impeded throughout the car’s exhaust system. This can result in jerking and stuttering, which can cause your car to become unresponsive during acceleration. Other than the possible jerking, you may also experience bad smells, an illuminated check engine light, or decreased fuel economy. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may be able to clean out the converter using a cleaner. However, if the issue needs more than a cleaner, then you will need to have a mechanic investigate, and it may end up needing to be replaced.

3. Defective Mass Airflow Sensor

Having a defective mass airflow sensor could certainly cause your car to jerk or even lung forward while accelerating. The mass airflow sensor helps measures the amount of air that your car engine takes in. Based on the amount of air intake, the MAF data is used to adjust the injectors to supply an adequate fuel amount when necessary so that an ideal air and fuel mixture is maintained. If the mass airflow sensor becomes defective, jerking can occur as you accelerate or drive at higher speeds. It may be noticed a lot as you drive at a constant high speed such as highway diving. You may notice black smoke coming from your tailpipe or your engine may backfire, and you will likely be notified of a problem when the check engine comes on. To fix this issue you’ll need to have the sensor replaced.

4. Dirty Fuel Filter

Car jerking is often due to the amount of fuel being supplied to the engine, so checking the fuel filter and fuel pump is a good place to start diagnosing. When a car has a faulty fuel pump your car will have a hard time maintaining the required amount of fuel needed for accelerating. You will likely need to have it replaced.

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5. Clogged Air Filter

Proper air intake is essential for your car to run properly, so it is necessary to have a clean air filter. When your air filter is dirty, it decreases the amount of available air that the engine needs to combust properly. The air filter’s job is to prevent dirt and debris from entering the engine. When the filter becomes too dirty, it may allow some of the built-up dirt to enter. When this happens, your car may begin to jerk. By keeping an eye on the filter’s cleanliness, you will be able to prevent clogging, and when it becomes too dirty to clean you’ll need to replace it.

6. Spark Plugs Don’t Spark

Checking the spark plugs and identifying if they no longer spark is easy to do and fix. When the spark plugs are working properly, they ensure power is properly provided to the vehicle. Having the spark plugs misfire due to being worn out can cause jerking or shuttering while you accelerate and drive. To prevent any misfiring, you can just replace the plugs. To prevent any other spark plug issues, it’s a good idea to have all the plugs replaced.

7. Worn Out Accelerator Cable

Although most cars today use a throttle that is electronic, many older cars still utilize a cable that helps the vehicle accelerate. This cable is the link between the throttle’s plate and gas pedal. As times passes, you may wind up with a worn-out accelerator cable on your hands. If this is the case, then the car will not respond normally as you attempt to accelerate, which can lead to jerking. If the cable shows signs of damage or wear and tear, you’ll need to have it immediately fixed or replaced to ensure that it does not snap, which will prevent the car from being drivable.

8. Malfunctioning Transmission Control Module

A malfunctioning transmission control module can be another cause of jerking as your car’s gears shift. If you feel the jerk as your car shifts gears, you need to check the control module. The transmission control module controls the shifting as you accelerate, so you may experience delays with shifting, which can cause your car to jerk. While this is not as common of an issue as others in this list, it can certainly be the culprit behind your car jerking.

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