Why Does My Car Hesitates When Accelerating? (10 Simple Solutions)

by Joshua Thomas

Ever wondered why your car hesitates and jerks when accelerating? This article provides an in-depth explanation of why a car hesitates when accelerating from a stop. Let's find out together:

Car hesitates when accelerating from a stop is quite scary. The issue can make the driver lose control for a few seconds and even park the vehicle in the wrong way.

It would be best not to ignore the problem. Some issues may increase the risk of road carnage and even get stuck somewhere inaccessible.

So, why does my car hesitates when accelerating? It could be due to faulty fuel pump, mass airflow sensor, bad fuel injectors, throttle position sensor, clogged fuel filter, and bad accelerator system.

The best option is to investigate the causes of car hesitation when accelerating before finding a way on how to fix the issues. It will save on time and cost of fixing engine hesitation at highway speed.

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Why Does My Car Hesitates When Accelerating? (10 Simple Solutions)
Why Does My Car Hesitates When Accelerating? (10 Simple Solutions)

Reasons Why a Car Hesitates and Jerks When Accelerating

You should note that a car that experiences hesitation when accelerating is not safe for driving on the road. Figuring out the cause of the problem and hiring a mechanic to fix is quite important.

Below are some of the most common causes of car engine hesitation when driving. We have pinpointed the causes to help you save on time and cost.

Clogged Air Filters

Dirty air filters are one of the primary reasons why your car hesitates when accelerating from a stop. The good news is that fixing dirty air filters is simple and easy. It will help resolve car hesitation when accelerating.

A running car engine needs a constant supply of airflow and clogged air filters usually inhibit the distribution of air. Engine hesitation is an indicator that there is no enough air to enhance optimal combustion.

The vehicle will be unable to generate more power to facilitate acceleration. Failure to fix the issue will affect fuel economy, driving experience, and safety. The best option is to remove the air filters from the airbox and replace them with new ones.

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Dirty Fuel Injectors

Fuel injectors are responsible for spritzing fuel into the cylinder. It is the part where the fuel mixes with air and get ignited by a spark plug to produce combustion.

But fuel injectors are highly susceptible to the buildup of dirt and debris. These substances affect the performance of fuel injectors.

Clogged fuel injectors limit the supply of fuel for combustion. The car hesitates on takeoff smoothly due to a lack of enough power generation by the engine.

Remove the fuel injectors and try to inspect if there is any buildup of dirt. Worn-out fuel injectors will need a replacement to resolve the issue permanently.

Worn-out Spark Plugs

Damaged spark plugs are another common cause of engine misfire. The issue will make it hard for the ignition of fuel in the piston-cylinder at the right time.

The issue will make your ride to hesitate and jerk when accelerating. It would be best to replace the worn-out spark plugs. The problem is easy to fix since spark plugs are inexpensive.

Throttle Position Sensor

The car component coordinates the opening of valve position and relay vital information to the engine control unit. It helps to enhance the proper mixture of air and fuel for complete combustion.

Bad throttle position sensor symptoms are the wrong relay of information to the computer and engine hesitation when driving. Hence, the car hesitates when accelerating uphill or from a stop.

Get your mechanic to diagnose the cause of the computer error and fix it. You cannot fix the issue if you are not conversant with vehicle components.

Faulty Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor determines the amount of air entering the engine to enhance combustion. It helps the engine control unit regulate the amount of fuel being injected into the combustion chamber.

The faulty mass airflow sensor fails to regulate the correct amount of fuel being injected into the combustion chamber. The car hesitates when accelerating hard due to a bad mass airflow sensor.

Clogged Fuel Filters

Fuel filters are known for preventing dirt, rust, and other foreign particles from mixing with fuel before entering the internal combustion chamber. Car hesitates when accelerating sometimes is due to clogged fuel filters.

Changing fuel filters after accomplishing certain miles is quite important. These components are prone to clogging due to the build of dust and debris. The issue limits the supply of the correct amount of fuel in the engine causing hesitation and jerking of the vehicle.

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Bad Fuel System

The main components of the fuel system are fuel pressure regulators, fuel pumps, and fuel injectors. A faulty fuel system makes it hard for the engine to get the correct amount of fuel for combustion. The issue will make the car engine stumble or hesitates when accelerating from a stop.

Faulty Ignition System

Ignition systems comprise spark plugs, rotors, and electrical wiring. Issues with the ignition system usually make the car engine to lose power. Hence, the car hesitates and jerks when accelerating from a stop.

Vacuum Leak

Worn-out or damaged vacuum hoses in the engine system facilitate air leakages. The problem results in a limited air supply to mix with fuel before getting in the combustion chamber. Engine hesitation at low rpm is one of the symptoms of a faulty vacuum hose. Repairing or replacing the vacuum hose happens to be the best solution.

Bad Fuel

Allowing fuel to sit in the tank for long or using fuel with low octane for your car engine might result in hesitation and jerking when accelerating. The hesitation and jerking are the warning signs of an engine problem. Check the reputation of the filling station before getting the gas.

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Moisture in the Distribution Cap

Moisture usually buildup in the distributor cap when the car is parked for an extended period. The moisture accumulation causes the engine to misfire and the car hesitates when accelerating from a stop. It would be best to drain the fuel, dry the fuel tank, and refill again with new gas.

In Conclusion

If your car hesitates when accelerating, it could be due to faulty ignition and fuel system. It would be best to examine the cause and launch the right course of action.

The rule of thumb is to replace all worn-out components that play a crucial role in the car ignition. Also, take the vehicle to your mechanic for further inspection and diagnosis.

We hope the information was helpful. The causes pinpointed in the article will help you save on time and cost. Feel free to share your views or suggestions in the comment section.

About Joshua Thomas

Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.

He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.

His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.

Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

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