Q: Tugging after startup or accelerating from a stop light

asked by on

Hi. My car has gone around 120,000 miles. It is a well-maintained car but it recently started having issues with tugging and jerking movements. It started happening out of the blue and it occurs on taking off. There are no dashboard lights on. When I try to accelerate from a stop light, or after turing the engine on, the strong tugging movements happen. When I reach around 40 mph, and I slowly give it gas, the jerking stops. But, at that point, the engine seems to be sluggish. At around 80 mph, the car runs great. I would appreciate if you could give me some advice on how to fix this issue. Thank you in advance.

Hello. Most of the time, if this is occurring and there is no Check Engine Light, it is because there is a transmission related issue.

To diagnose this, I usually start by checking the transmission pressure to see if it is failing internally. If the transmission pressures are low then it needs to be rebuilt. If they are fine, then I monitor the inputs from the air flow sensor and the throttle position sensor to see if the readings are right as both of those will cause this as well. If you need help with the checks and repairs, consider reaching out to a certified mechanic who can come to your home or office to diagnose and fix the acceleration issue that you’re experiencing.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Tugging after startup or accelerating from a stop light

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: Car starts in On position

The most likely cause of this issue is a faulty ignition switch or lock cylinder. One of the tumblers may have fallen out of place causing a connection to the starter when there should not be. My best recommendation would...

Q: Minor skip when accelerating -1985 Chevrolet C10 Pickup

Hello, thanks for writing in. This sounds like an exhaust valve was adjusted too tight after the rebuild, causing combustion to leak past the exhaust valve into the exhaust itself. For an in-person diagnosis, a certified technician from YourMechanic can...

Q: I have changed my crankcase oil separator on my BMW e90 and now it's jerking at 1500rpm.

If you left any connectors loose or broke and seals in the process of the repair, a bad vacuum leak may cause your concerns. A technician equipped with a professional scanner may be able to hook up to the car...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.