Why Is My Car Jerking When I Give It Gas? (11 Reasons Why)

When you speed up your car, a lot is going on in your engine. You feel that tugging in your steering wheel whenever you give the gas pedal a little push.

After some research, you find out that it’s caused by the car jerking when you accelerate. There’s a good chance you’re experiencing jerking at highway speeds at this point! Here’s what we’re going to crack about why vehicles jerk upon accelerating!

Why Is My Car Jerking When I Give It Gas?

If your car jerks while you accelerate, the accelerator cable may be broken, which will cause the engine to stall and produce a yanking sound. Additionally, contaminated fuel injectors may cause it if they cannot supply each cylinder with adequate fuel. Otherwise, a leaky fuel pump might be the root of it all.

Let’s begin by revealing the causes of why your car creates a jerking sound upon accelerating, so keep reading!

1. Busted Accelerator Cable

Over time, your car’s accelerator wire could degrade. Further, the car will react more slowly when you step on the gas, lurching rather than accelerating smoothly.

Eventually, if the wire in your cable gets worn down, it can cause your car to jerk when accelerating.

As a direct result, it will take longer to accelerate, and your car will hurtle if these cable wires are busted.

2. Contaminated Fuel Injectors

In addition to cables, contaminants in fuel injectors can also cause a jerking effect when accelerating.

That said, if there are any foreign particles in your fuel system, they can clog up the fuel flow from your injectors and cause this problem.

Overall, if any part of the fuel injection system is dirty and contaminated, it can cause your vehicle to create a wiggling sound when accelerating.

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3. Leaky Fuel Pump

A fuel pump consists of a series of hoses and tubes connected to the engine and is responsible for supplying fuel.

Besides that, the efficiency and pressure of a gasoline pump are impacted by leaks or damage.

In the event, you can tell that there’s a leaky fuel pump by noticing that you have to work harder than usual to start your car.

Therefore, if this part of your vehicle leaks, more fuel won’t get pumped into your engine, causing it to quiver when you speed up.

4. Concealed Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converters help reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere by converting hydrocarbons such as carbon monoxide.

However, a blockage in the catalytic converter can eventually form when your engine’s air/fuel ratio is vibrant, which disturbs the airflow of the exhaust system.

As an effect, it may cause jerking, stuttering, and a general delay in responsiveness anytime you press the gas.

Along with the jerking, other symptoms could include a rotten egg smell, a decrease in fuel economy, and a flashing check engine light.

5. Insufficient Mass Airflow Sensor

When you give your car gas, it flows through the intake manifold and goes into the cylinder.

As it follows, the air becomes fuel as it passes through the combustion chamber and ignites; this process occurs in each cylinder of your vehicle, one after another.

That said, if there is an inadequate mass airflow (MAF) sensor, these components can fail to determine proper airflow, especially when going uphill.

Afterward, when traveling at more incredible speeds, a malfunctioning MAF sensor may suddenly cause your vehicle to jolt or surge forward.

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6. Filthy Air Filter

Filthy Air Filter

Because less clean air passes through the air filter and into the engine, the engine’s power and performance are reduced.

Aside from that, an obstruction in the filter will restrict airflow to the engine, making it idle rough. As a result, your fuel usage can rise as well.

When your car yanks when speeding up, filthy filters are frequently the root cause.

7. Defective Spark Plugs

Defective spark plugs may affect a car’s performance by causing misfires. Because of that, if even one spark plug fails to ignite the fuel-air mixture, the engine may stall.

Under those circumstances, the engine will misfire if a spark plug is faulty or unclean, which might inhibit proper ignition.

Above all, your car will seem to shake or shutter when you accelerate while driving.

8. Moisture Expansion

Under the distributor cap, moisture may develop on colder days, which generally happens if you leave your car parked outside all night.

Fortunately, the issue will disappear once the water has dried off, but continuing moisture buildup might wear down your engine over time.

As an outcome, this moisture buildup can cause the plug to break loose from its socket and become stuck in the cylinder head.

As it turns out, your vehicle would flick on when you step on the gas pedal.

9. Deficient Transmission Control

A vehicle’s system uses signals from sensors to determine how much power should be sent to the wheels and what speeds they should be driving.

When you step on the gas, these sensors send signals to your car’s computer that say there is more power available than what your current engine can handle.

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However, if it causes a speed increase that is more than what the computer deems safe, that puts your car’s engine under more strain, which causes jerking.

10. Flawed Ignition System

Another possible cause for your car jerking can be improperly adjusted ignition system components.

With that, these are related to how well the spark plugs are working and how much fuel is being delivered at any given time.

If this is the case, then an adjustment may need to be made to prevent your vehicle from creating a bouncing sound down the road.

11. Restrained Air Intake

A mechanism that directs air into the cylinders of your car is known as the air intake system.

That said, when you give your vehicle gas, and it pulls like a truck, there’s a reasonable probability that the air entering via the intake manifold isn’t entirely clean.

As an outcome, it will be more challenging for your engine to produce the necessary power since dirty air will cause more friction than clean air. That’s when a jerking sound is produced.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why cars jerk when stopped at light, why trucks jerk when you accelerate, and why your car jerks when you brake.


One of the best ways to deal with this problem is to pay attention to the sound of your car, especially when speeding up.

As previously mentioned, this jerking sound frequently comes from a broken accelerator cable, contaminated fuel injectors, and leaky fuel pump.

Overall, if your car responds strangely when you give it gas, take some time to inspect it before anything else happens!

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