Q: My car is jerking and the engine light is on.

asked by on February 18, 2017

I have an 2002 Mazda tribute. It just got two catalytic converters fixed, it has mostly new hoses, a new radiator, and a new battery. It jerks a little and the engine light is on. It might be on because of a bad gas cap or crappy gas. So, I plan on getting a new cap and I've been using Shell with the middle grade gas. I'm hoping it's just that, but I would like to see if y'all might have a better idea. I just got it back from my mechanic, so I don't want to take it in if I don't have to.

My car has 196600 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A loose or leaking gas cap will almost never be the cause of a poorly running engine. It will set the check engine light on and set an Evaporative System fault, but will not make the engine jerk or misfire. With the check engine light on now, a fault code is stored in the system and is most likely the cause of the rough running. The fault codes should be pulled from the system and a proper diagnosis performed to find the exact cause.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

The front passenger door will not unlock or open. How can I fix this? What part do I need? 2002 Ford Escape

Hi there - this sounds like the door lock actuator has failed. This a common failure over the years, especially with high-use doors like the front ones. I recommend a car door lock actuator replacement performed by a mobile, professional...

When I try to start my truck, the lights work but no crank.

First, we need to make sure the signal wire to the starter is properly connected and the power cables are attached properly. I have seen many situations where the signal wire is loose or the connector is broken and the...

I have an evap system issue with a check engine light code P0456 for a "really small leak"

Hi there. Unless you have professional EVAP system leak detection equipment, there really isn't much more you can do to isolate or diagnose the source of your EVAP leak or warning light. The one thing we can suggest is to...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Just Retired
Here’s Here’s a cruel, hard fact – car manufacturers no longer target seniors. Instead, they devote their time and energy to appealing to the 18-45 demographic. Still, some features make certain cars more suitable for older drivers. We have...
The Best Used Cars to Buy for Highway Driving
Do Do you spend hours each week on the highway for work? Maybe you just live in a very rural area and have to drive for 30 or 45 minutes to get to the grocery store. Whatever the case, your...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The The Miata is one of the few cars of the last few decades to become an instant – and enduring – classic. Adored among young and old, male and female alike, the car has maintained popularity as well as...