Q: Tugging after startup or accelerating from a stop light

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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.

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