Why Is My Car Jerking When Stopped? Learn the Causes and Fixes

November 2, 2023

When a car jerks when stopped, it can be unnerving and potentially dangerous. It might happen while applying the brakes or coasting to a stop. The good news is that the problem isn’t always a serious one and can often be fixed with common tools. Read on to find out more about the different causes of this issue and learn some lasting solutions.

One possible reason your car jerks when stopped could be due to low transmission fluid. If this is the case, topping it up should solve the problem. Alternatively, it could be an indicator that the transmission is having issues and needs to be replaced.

A failing clutch or torque converter can also cause your vehicle to jolt when stopped. These components perform the same functions as a manual transmission’s clutch and can cause your check engine light to come on if they get damaged or worn out.

Another potential culprit is a dirty air filter or throttle body. These filters keep dirt, contaminants, and debris from entering the engine and disrupting the combustion process. A clogged or damaged air filter will restrict the flow of oxygen and fuel to the engine and can cause erratic jerking when stopped.

Lastly, it is possible that the anti-lock braking system or ABS malfunctioning is causing your car to jolt when stopped. This system relays information about wheel speeds to the computer, which then adjusts brake fluid pressure to avoid lockups. If the system malfunctions, it can send erroneous messages to the shift solenoids of your automatic transmission, causing the car to jolt when stopped.


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