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What Can Cause My Car to Jerk Forward at High Speeds?

You're driving along on the highway enjoying your ride when all of sudden, you notice that your vehicle is jerking or surging forward. This can definitely be scary, especially if cars are driving in close range ahead of you. It can be a tricky issue to diagnose, but other symptoms such as strange noises can help pinpoint the issue. Let's look at some of the common causes of this strange issue and how it can be repaired. 

Typically, a surging or jerking motion can be caused by an unbalance of air and fuel in the engine. Your engine needs the exact amount of an air and fuel mixture to properly perform the combustion process. There are many different components within the fuel or air intake systems that can an issue if they become damaged or faulty. Not only do they cause this weird jerking motion, but they can also significantly decrease your vehicle's fuel efficiency and cause engine damage over time. 

Here are some of the most common causes of this jerking/surging symptom: 

  • Failing mass airflow sensor - this sensor is used to measure how much air is entering into the engine and gives this info to your vehicle's computer system so that the right amount of fuel can be injector from the fuel system. If the sensor is failing, your vehicle more than likely isn't entering the right amount of fuel. This will usually also trigger your vehicle's check engine light to illuminate. 
     
  • Engine vacuum leak - the engine vacuum lines help ensure that the computer system is calculating the correct amount of fuel and air mixture. If there is a leak in one of the lines, your engine won't run efficiently. You may also notice a check engine light and that your engine idles rough. 
     
  • A bad fuel pump - the fuel pump moves gas from the tank to the engine, and if it is failing, it may be struggling to move the correct amount of fuel. This can cause a fuel/air intake issue and will also cause your vehicle to run sluggish and have trouble going uphill. 

If you're experiencing a jerking motion while driving at high speed, you more than likely also have the check engine light on. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, bring your vehicle into the experts here at H B Auto & AC for an inspection. We will probably have to run diagnostics to determine the issue and perform several tests. Once we figure out the cause of the fuel and air intake system, we will provide you will a full estimate of our recommendations to get you back out there on the road. Give us a call or stop by today! 

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