Car Jerks When Accelerating From Stop

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    This is a previously owned car with around 120,000 miles on it. In the last few weeks, the car has been jerking. It occurred several times. Generally, when I am stopped at the traffic light and I’m about to continue driving, the car jerks as soon as I start accelerating. What might be the problem?


    Check to see what your manufacturer recommends for timing chain replacement. Your problem sounds a lot like it. The engine’s timing cycle has a lot to do with the way the crankshaft and camshaft spin. Usually, it’s a two-to-one relationship with the crankshaft rotating twice to the camshaft’s once.

    There are a couple of things that I need to know before I give you much more. What type of car are you driving? Also, does it have a timing belt or chain. The difference is of key importance.

    Let me tell you why. If your car’s engine is equipped with a timing chain, aside from longevity (about 40,000 miles), if it is slipping — what you have identified — then you are losing power and you are also in danger of having the chain immolating, scattering its metal all over the engine case, destroying everything in its path. A belt, since it is made of soft, but tough, material may break, but it won’t shower your engine with little pieces destructive metal.

    My preliminary diagnosis is a timing chain or belt problem. At 120K miles, you have to expect wear and tear and possible belt slippage.

    Let me have the information I have asked for and I’ll get back to you with specific information.

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