Q: On highway, car jerks and RPMs rise sharply

asked by on

When on the highway (and this only happens on the highway), my car starts jerking as if it wants to go faster. On its own, it will jump from 2,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm and this goes back and forth. I have to floor the accelerator before it will properly run. What is causing this?

When an engines rotation speed increases the speed should increase. If it isn’t, then there is likely an issue with the torque converter (an automatic transmissions clutch). If the speed is increasing, it could be an issue with the cruise control. Is it possible the cruise control was turned on by accident? It is also possible the vehicle has a vacuum leak as that would cause RPM fluctuations as well. A certified professional from YourMechanic can inspect the jerking issue and pinpoint the appropriate repairs to have this corrected.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. On highway, car jerks and RPMs rise sharply

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

Q: Why why does the check engine light come on but runs fine until it gets to 2500 RPMs then it stutters

Hi there. It is possible that you could have a bad camshaft or crankshaft position sensor. These sensors keep track of the timing of the engine and send signals to the vehicles PCM. If one of these sensors fails, the...

Q: Unknown white box behind glovebox.

Does the box seem to be attached to the A/C blower box? This sounds like the blend door or fresh air door actuator for the A/C blower case. It may have been cut because, when they go bad, they make...

Q: 2002 Chevy cavalier

The a/c compressor is most likely seized and when you turn on the a/c the compressor stops the serpentine belt from turning causing the loss of charging and burning smoke from belt. You will need to have compressor replaced and...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...