Why Isn’t My Car Smooth During Acceleration?
Typically, when you step on your car’s gas pedal, more air will flow into the engine. This increased airflow will make your Engine Control Unit (ECU) increase the fuel flowing to the injector valve. Thus, it increases its speed. However, sometimes you may notice that your car jerks or throttles before it accelerates. This jerking or throttling is something that is not normal and should be addressed right away to prevent the risk of accidents and more costly repair.
Here are the most common causes why your car isn’t smooth during acceleration:
- Dirty fuel injectors and filter
One of the most common reasons why your car may not accelerate smoothly is because of the dirty fuel injectors and filters. When the fuel injector is problematic or dirty, it can cause an engine misfire or your car to lose its power every time you try to accelerate. A fuel filter that is dirty can also affect your car’s acceleration. The main function of the fuel filter is to screen and prevent dirt and debris from getting into the fuel system. Over time, the dirt that is screened in the filter can clog it, causing a delay in response when you push the gas pedal.
- Damaged spark plugs
Another automobile issue that can cause a delay in acceleration is damaged spark plugs. If the spark plugs are damaged, they won’t be able to properly ignite the fuel in the piston-cylinder and your car will be unable to accelerate on time, and may even cause damage to your engine.
- Faulty catalytic converter
A catalytic converter is a car’s exhaust emission control unit that is responsible for changing harmful emissions into lesser toxic pollutants. Because of its complex mixture of air and fuel that passes through the catalytic converter, it sometimes gets clogged and worn out. When this happens, you will hear that unusual jerking in your engine as you step on the gas pedal. It can even damage your engine and cause a fire if left untreated.
- Broken acceleration cables
Another issue that causes your car to jerk as you accelerate is a broken acceleration cable. An acceleration cable is a metal braided cable that connects the gas pedal and the throttle plate of your engine. The acceleration cable will experience wear and tear over time and will likely break. When the acceleration cable breaks, it will result in the jerking movement of your car and will take more time for it to accelerate.
- Accumulated moisture in the distributor cap
A car’s distributor cap is a covering that serves as a protection to the distributor’s internal parts. It also holds the contacts between the spark plug wires and the internal rotor. Problems arise when the distributor cap gets moist which typically happens if you park your car outside during cold weather. To prevent this from happening, make sure to park your car in a warm and dry area, especially during rainy and cold seasons.