Q: When driving my car jerks

asked by on

Hi I'm having trouble with my car, every time I drive it jerks or acts like it misses for a second then works but just keeps doing it. Is there something wrong with my transmission or something else?
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you are describing sounds like a dirty or faulty mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. This sensor relays vital information to the ECM which uses this to make adjustments to fuel supply to the motor. A dirty or faulty sensor can cause an imbalanced air/fuel load to be supplied to the motor which results in an over fueling or under fueling situation depending on the conditions. This type of inconsistent fuel supply to the motor may cause a hesitation, loss of power, a jerking reaction, potentially a bit of black exhaust smoke and typically a strong smell of fuel when this sensor is malfunctioning.

This may also be related to low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. This type of problem is amplified any time the transmission is low on fluid creating a drop in hydraulic pressure. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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. When driving my car jerks

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 stalls when trying to accelerate.

You may have an issue with your fuel or ignition system. These two systems have an effect on the performance of the engine. The engine will not run properly unless these two systems are working properly. In this case the...

Q: Car check engine light flashing and vibrating a little, shortly after filling up gas tank

First the Check Engine Light should be addressed to see what code is stored. The code should be diagnosed as needed. The most common reason for the light flashing is a misfire in the engine. The misfire after getting...

Q: Car will not start. It was running fine, normal shut down, and wouldn't start back up five minutes later.

It really does sound like your battery has gone dead. Sometimes they can develop an internal short where they seem fine one moment then go dead the next. The indicators on the chargers usually don't tell the whole story. ...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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...