If you have ever felt the car jerking when slowing down, you are not alone. A lot of people experience this at some point. This can be an alarming situation to many people, especially for those who are new drivers.
Fortunately, there are specific common causes that might cause your vehicle to jerk every time you slow down, and this article aims to help you know the possible causes and solutions to the problem.
Why does a Car Jerk when slowing down? Possible Causes
In short, the possible causes of your car jerking when it is slowing down are failing transmission, leaking transmission, worn clutch, faulty torque converter, leaking engine mounts, worn engine mounts, or a damaged turbo.
1. Failing/Faulty Transmission:
In most cases, a failing transmission can cause a car to jerk when it slows down. When a transmission is failing or faulty, it will not smoothly shift from one gear to the other.
As a result, the car will jerk when you downshift because of the failure in changing gears. The solution? Get your transmission checked by a mechanic and if it is indeed faulty, get it replaced as soon as possible.
Another thing that may cause your vehicle to jerk at low speeds is a faulty torque converter. The torque converter is a part of the transmission and helps regulate the rate at which the engine and transmission work.
A faulty or failing torque converter can make your vehicle jerk when you slow down, especially when driving at low speeds. You must check your transmission fluids and see if they are at the right level.
2. Leaking Transmission:
As mentioned above, the transmission is the number one cause of a car jerking when slowing down. It can also cause your vehicle to run poorly at low speeds, especially if there are transmission problems.
One common problem in transmissions is leakage which can make your car jerk when you slow down to a stop. I recommend you try to inspect underneath the vehicle and see any visible leaks on the undercarriage of your car; if you notice any leaks take it to the nearest mechanic.
3. Worn Clutch:
A worn clutch can also be the cause of your car jerking when you slow down. A worn or damaged clutch can result in the engine revving up at low speeds due to the component wearing out.
One way to check if your clutch is causing your vehicle to jerk is by checking for any vibrations or irregular sounds while driving at low speeds. You can have some of the clutch components replaced to see what’s wrong with it and correct it accordingly.
4. Throttle Body:
The throttle body is a part of the engine that controls the supply of an air intake system that controls the air flowing into your engine. In most cases, a faulty or lousy throttle body can cause your car to jerk when you slow down as it will be unable to control the supply of fuel and air correctly.
A car with a damaged throttle body will have difficulty idling at low speeds as it won’t be able to control how much fuel enters the engine.
5. Damaged Mass Air Flow Meter (MAF):
The mass airflow meter is a component used to measure the amount of air going into your car’s engine. If your MAF sensor is damaged or defective, it will not be able to measure the correct amount of air going into the engine, and this will cause your car to run badly at low speeds.
A performance check by a mechanic may be necessary to fix this problem as they can use some tests to help detect if there are any problems with your MAF sensor.
6. Damaged Coil Packs:
Another common problem that can cause your car to jerk at low speeds is a damaged set of coil packs. A faulty or damaged set of coils can cause your car to start running badly at slow speeds, especially if it’s been a while since you changed your coil packs.
Fortunately. This is an easy fix; you can change the coil packs yourself or ask a mechanic to help you with that.
7. Worn Mounts:
Worn-out engine mounts can also cause your car to jerk when it slows down. Engine mounts are used to hold an engine in place while the vehicle is running, and if they wear out, the engine will not be able to move up and down or vibrate as it should because of the worn-out mounts.
A vibration test may be necessary to detect any problems with your engine mounts. Replacing the engine mounts can be a solution to your vehicle jerking when decelerating.
8. Damaged Turbo
In rare cases, a damaged turbo can also cause your car to jerk when you slow down. A damaged turbo will result in the engine running at a different speed as it should, and as a result, the car will jerk when you slow down.
In cases like these, a service by a mechanic may be necessary to assess the extent of the damage and fix any cracks with your vehicle’s turbo if there is any. Unfortunately, this is a costly fix but can be done, and your vehicle can go back to normal.
Conclusion on Car Jerks When Slowing Down
As you can there are a lot of things that can cause your vehicle to jerk when driving at lower speeds, and it’s hard to pinpoint without any proper diagnostics. However, your best bet is transmission issues. I hope you found this article helpful.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.