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Car Jerks While Driving At Constant Speed? Causes & Solutions

Car Jerks

Car Jerks While Driving At Constant Speed? Causes & Solutions

Cars are expected to operate at a maximum level of soundness and when they are not sound, they tend to show it in different ways and one of such is through jerking. Car jerks while driving at constant speed when there’s an uneven distribution and transmission of energy and a jerking car doesn’t move smoothly and can hardly maintain a constant speed. 

If your car jerks each time you are on top speed and you are wondering why that happens; then you should read through this.

If you’re experiencing car jerks while driving at a constant speed, you need to act fast before it degenerates into other problems. Driving a jerking car will first slow down the speed of your car and can damage your car’s engine. Perhaps, the check engine light may signal you, indicating an underlying fault with your car. 

However, different conditions can cause your car to jerk. Examples are faulty spark plugs, dirty fuel injectors, clogged catalytic converters, and many others. Rest assured, you can correct it.

This article will show you why that happens, and how to fix it. If your car jerks when slowing down, then read through this instead : https://yourmotorguide.com/car-jerks-when-slowing-down/

Causes Of Car Jerks While Driving At Constant Speed

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Both manual and automatic transmission cars experience this problem. Also, there are other possible reasons why your car is jerking. It’s very important to detect the real cause of your car jerks before trying to fix them. For the record, these are the basic causes of car jerks in most cars. 

CauseDescriptionSolutionEstimated Cost
Dirty Fuel InjectorsHinders the free flow of fuel, leading to engine malfunction.Clean with cleaning liquid or professional cleaning.$50 – $100
Dirty Fuel Filter or Bad Fuel PumpReduces fuel flow, causing insufficient fuel supply to the engine.Replace faulty fuel filters and pumps.Varies by model
Bad Spark PlugsAffects the ignition of fuel in the cylinders.Replace spark plugs.Varies by model
Blocked Air Intake/Faulty Mass Air Flow SensorPrevents adequate air intake, causing car jerks.Replace faulty air flow sensor.$250 – $400
Dirty Air FilterReduces free airflow, causing jerking and poor acceleration.Replace dirty air filter.$100 – $200
Clogged Catalytic ConverterInterrupts the airflow, leading to jerking at constant speeds.Use a catalytic converter cleaner or replace if needed.Varies by model
Deficient Transmission Control ModuleAffects gear changing in automatic transmission cars.Replace the control module.$500 – $1000
Damaged/Worn Accelerator CableReduces the speed of your car, causing jerking.Replace accelerator cable.Varies by model
Moisture Build-up in Distribution CapCan lead to jerking and engine misfire in cold weather.Park in areas with moderate temperatures.N/A
Faulty CylindersCan lead to jerking and cylinder misfire.Replace or repair faulty cylinders.Varies by model
Throttle Cable IssueLeads to imbalanced air-fuel mixture causing jerking.Replace throttle cable.Varies by model
Faulty CarburettorCauses inconsistent fuel flow leading to jerking.Repair or replace faulty carburetor.Varies by model
Transmission IssuesCan lead to hard or inconsistent shifting causing jerking.Address the underlying issue (e.g., refill or replace transmission fluid, repair gearbox).Varies by model
Failing Coil PackMay result in engine misfires and jerking.Replace the coil pack.Varies by model

Dirty Fuel Injectors

Dirty fuel injectors usually cause car jerks. That’s probably the most common reason for car jerks while driving at a constant speed. That controls and ensures the constant flow of fuel into your car cylinders. Once the fuel injector is dirty, it hinders the free flow of fuel. Thus, there wouldn’t be enough fuel, and your engine would begin to malfunction. That will make your car jerk while speeding and could lead to engine misfiring too. 

A Dirty Fuel Filter or Bad Fuel Pump

Most car jerks usually result from a low supply of fuel. Fuel filters ensure that impurities do not enter your engine and a fuel pump allows free flow of fuel to the engine. However, a bad fuel pump or filter will reduce fuel flow into the engine. Your engine will have very little or no amount of fuel in it to function properly. At the same time, a dirty fuel filter will inhibit the flow of clean fuel and cause insufficient fuel to enter the engine because of dirt. 

Bad Spark Plugs

This is an easy-to-point-out fault. The combustion process needs enough spark to ignite fuel in each cylinder appropriately. However, this is done by the spark plugs. Thus, if the spark plug is faulty, it’ll affect the ignition of fuel in the cylinders. Plus, your car could start jerking. 

A Blocked Air Intake Or A Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor

Automakers built the air intake channel to take in air from outside and combine it with fuel to ignite the spark plugs. If the air intake is blocked or the mass air flow sensor is bad, your car will be incapable of taking in needed air. However, that could lead to continuous car jerks while driving at constant speeds.

Additionally, dirty air filters help filter impurities from entering the car’s engine. A faulty air filter will allow dirt to build up, reducing free airflow. And this can also cause jerking and poor car acceleration. 

A Clogged Catalytic Converter

A catalytic converter controls the emissions from your car. It’s part of the exhaust header. If your car often covers a certain mileage, the catalytic converter may get clogged or damaged. Also, a bad fuel injector, coil problems, and a blown head gasket can damage your catalytic converter. 

Furthermore, a catalytic converter may get clogged up when the mixture of air/fuel is relatively rich. Hence, this can interrupt the airflow in your catalytic converter. Consequently, this will result in the jerking of your car while at a constant speed. Also, you’ll notice that the check engine light may go off.  

Deficient Transmission Control Module

A bad transmission module can make cars with an automatic transmission jerk. The transmission control module is the major reason why auto-transmitted cars jerk. The control module is in charge of changing gears while driving. Hence, once your gear becomes difficult to change, it’s none other than a faulty control module. 

Damaged Or Worn Accelerator Cable 

A damaged accelerator cable is capable of reducing the speed of your car. The cable’s location is between the throttle plate and your car’s gas pedal. It serves as a link between them. Hence, when you match your gas pedal, it pulls up the throttle. That promotes maximum inflow of fuel for easy and fast acceleration. Nevertheless, accelerator cables may become worn or damaged and result in car jerking.  

Moisture Build-up In The Distribution Cap

The winter period can harm the distribution cap when moisture builds up. That may happen when you park your car outside in low temperatures and are possibly exposed to snow. That could lead to car jerking and a possible engine misfire. 

Faulty Cylinders

A faulty or damaged cylinder will hurt your engine and could cause car jerks and possible cylinder misfire. Also, the car jerks could inhibit your car’s movement while running at high speeds. 

Throttle Cable Issue

The role of the throttle cable in your vehicle is to control the amount of air entering the engine. When the cable is damaged or starts to wear out, it can lead to an imbalanced air-fuel mixture entering the engine. The imbalance in this mixture can affect the combustion process and can cause your car to jerk while driving at a constant speed.

Faulty Carburettor

A carburetor is a critical component in the management of the air-fuel mix that enters your engine. If it starts to malfunction, the engine may receive inconsistent fuel, which can cause jerking. A faulty carburetor often causes abrupt changes in the vehicle’s speed and can severely disrupt your driving experience.

Transmission Issues

Transmission issues are another common cause of a car jerking while driving at a constant speed. If your car’s transmission fluid is low or dirty, it can lead to hard or inconsistent shifting and subsequently, a jerking car. More severe transmission issues such as worn-out gear synchros, a failing clutch, or damaged gearbox can also result in a jerking sensation.

Failing Coil Pack

The coil pack in your car is what delivers the necessary voltage to ignite the spark in the spark plugs. When the coil pack starts to fail, it may not provide enough voltage, which can cause engine misfires. These misfires result in your car jerking, disrupting your smooth drive.

Solutions To Car Jerks

mechanic fixing car
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Since this is a sensitive car problem, you may fix it through different means. Some are easy to fix, while others require an entire replacement. 

  • For dirty fuel injectors, thoroughly clean them by adding a cleaning liquid into the fuel tank. You can use a DIY method or send it to the mechanic workshop for cleaning. Charges range from $50 – $100. 
  • You should replace faulty fuel filters and pumps to stop jerking in a car if that’s your case. 
  • If the issue results from bad spark plugs, replace them. That could eliminate car jerks while driving at constant speeds.
  • You can replace it by yourself to save some money or send it to a mechanic workshop. 
  • A faulty air flow sensor will undergo a replacement. That costs are estimated between $250 to $400 to replace. Again, a dirty air filter will cost about $100 to $200 to fix, and remember that your car model determines the price.  You can free up a clogged catalytic converter with a catalytic converter cleaner or opt for a replacement if it’s gone bad. 
  • Replace a bad control module to stop the car from jerking. The replacement cost may rally around $500 to $1000. To avoid moisture build-up in the distribution cap, pack your car in areas of a medium temperature.

Final Words

vw steering wheel
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 Car jerks while driving at a constant speed may occur at some point while driving your car. Another way to determine a jerking car is to observe the functioning of the tachometer. Nevertheless, endeavor to check for the exact reasons for the jerks and fix them appropriately for a maximum level of operation. 

What Causes An Automatic Car To Jerk?

If you’re an automatic car owner, transmission-associated problems could lead to car jerking. Also, if the air-fuel mixture is not properly dispensed to the engine, your auto-transmitted car will jerk. 

Can Transmission Cause Car To Jerk?

The transmission control module specializes in facilitating the change of gear while driving. Therefore, a problematic transmission can cause jerking and the gears won’t respond properly. 

Why Does My Car Jerk At 50 MPH?

A car could jerk at 50 MPH because its mass air flow sensor is faulty and needs replacement.

What Does A Jerking Transmission Feel Like?

This is one of the major automatic transmission challenges various car owners face. You’ll notice a strange movement as your car accelerates.

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