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Why does your car jerk when braking?

Why does your car jerk when braking?

Anything to do with your car’s brakes tends to be alarming. You may be led to inquire on what are the causes if your car jerks when braking. It is an uncomfortable experience when a car jerks for whatever reason. There may be an imbalance in the flow of fuel in the car. Whatever the reason, the best thing to do first is to pull your car over to the side where it is safe for you to assess what is going on. Once you are done with this step, you can move on to other things you can do if your car jerks when braking. This article will help you stay safe on the road and prevent yourself from having more car problems.

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What causes cars to jerk?

Before you can move forward with having anything fixed in your vehicle, you first have to get to the root of the problem. Without proper examination or troubleshooting, you are running the risk of damaging your vehicle even more. Your car jerks when braking for various reasons. Most of the time, jerking is caused by unproportional air and fuel flow. Still, there are other variables you have to consider to tell what causes the jerking and what you can do about it. Here is a list of possible causes why your car jerks when braking.


  1. You have a faulty or dirty fuel filter and fuel injectors

If there is a blockage in your car’s fuel filter, the tendency for jerking increases. This is the most common cause of vehicles jerking when you apply pressure on the brakes. If you experience your car jerking when you slow down, chances are, you have waste build-up in the fuel filter. This will cause trouble for the petrol to flow efficiently to the engine fuel system.


In addition, continued use of a damaged fuel filter is dangerous. When you drive up a slope and you lose power, you can assume that you have a bad fuel filter. Make sure to clean or replace the fuel filter to save other car components such as the fuel pump from being damaged along with the filter.


There is also a possibility that your car jerks when braking because of dirty or bad fuel injectors. Fuel injectors are needed to efficiently spray the right amount of fuel in the engine. When the injectors are clogged, jerking becomes more imminent and so are power loss and engine misfiring. You can fix the problem by cleaning the fuel injectors more often or replacing them when they are damaged.


  1. Your car’s sensors are not working properly

All modern vehicles come with a safety system. This system helps car owners drive safely on the road. Many accidents have been prevented by the safety system. However, jerking is one downside of your car’s safety features. The vehicle’s safety system makes use of sensors that report to the main system and signals the driver through warning lights on your dashboard. But there are other functions that the safety system automatically carries out.


One of the sensors in your car is in charge of the throttle position. When the throttle position sensor is damaged, it will automatically signal the vehicle to jerk. You can detect a faulty throttle position sensor by paying attention to the power as you drive. When your engine has trouble delivering power when accelerating, then you have a faulty sensor. Also, keep an eye on the dashboard as it will alert you about certain issues concerning your car’s sensors.


When your car jerks when braking, it almost always has something to do with the delivery of the fuel and air in your car. The mass airflow sensor detects the amount of air that travels to the engine. The report will then be sent to the safety system to ensure that the right amount of fuel and air is delivered. The airflow sensor contributes to your car jerking as the mix of air and fuel becomes imbalanced when the sensor is faulty. You will know if the mass airflow sensor is the problem when your car jerks when braking or when your vehicle completely stalls right after you put a start to it.


  1. Your car tires are damaged

Damaged tires are dangerous and may not only cause jerking but may lead to car crashes as well. Jerking is the least alarming thing a damaged tire can do. Tires are made to be durable however, pieces of glass, metal, or other sharp objects piercing the tire can mess with your car’s alignment.


Once these objects have damaged your car tires, it may lead to increased vibration from the wheels. Make sure to keep spare tires if you are going for a long drive. This will help keep you safe while on the road. If nothing’s wrong with your car tires, make sure to keep them that way by giving your car regular maintenance.


  1. You have a bad spark plug

There are indications that your spark plug is damaged. One of which is when your car jerks when braking. Another is when you start the engine and the car jerks. Also, if this happens while you are accelerating, then you can pinpoint the problem with the spark plug. The spark plug is responsible for getting the electric current from point A which is the ignition system, to point B which is the combustion chamber. This process is needed to ignite the fuel and air mixture.


With a damaged spark plug, your car won’t get the fuel ignition it needs thus resulting in jerking. One more indication that you have a faulty spark plug is when the engine makes more noise than normal. A bad spark plug will not only cause you a headache because your car jerks when braking. When the spark plug is damaged, your car will decrease its fuel efficiency. Power loss and trouble accelerating will become unavoidable unless you replace the faulted spark plug.


Now that you know what causes your car to jerk, you can easily solve the problem. You can check the components listed above to see if there is something wrong. If you see a damaged part, change it immediately. This is the way you can stop your car from jerking. Replacement of components will cost you less if you do it yourself. You just have to buy the part you need to change and begin the process. The next sections will discuss the reasons why your car jerks when slowing down or braking at high speed. The causes will be helpful for you to solve the problem with your vehicle. Keep reading to find out more.

Why does my car jerk when I slow down?

One of the main reasons why your car jerks when braking or even when you are slowing down is due to the contradicting forces inside your engine. This simply means that your vehicle is experiencing a fuel and air disproportion. Fuel and air imbalance inside the engine can be the result of different factors and parts of the vehicle. Inspect the parts of your car to find out where the problem is coming from. This list will help you know where to check and what to do to fix them.


  1. Your fuel filter is blocked.
    It might not be obvious but your tank can collect sediments that later on become hard-to-remove debris stuck in your fuel filter. You must make sure to check this compartment and clean the tank before every fuel refill. Usually, cleaning the tank will be enough for dirt to not fester the fuel.
  2. Your car has a bad belt separation.
    You might already know that the serpentine belt of your car connects to your brakes which affects your steering. A bad bet separation will cause your car to vibrate or jerk now and then even when you are driving as slow as you can. Once you notice that your car jets when braking, you must check the alignment of the brakes and tires. Confirm if the problem is caused by the belt separation, and call a mechanic.
  3. Cold engine
    CA cold engine usually happens in the morning when the engine is not hot enough to combust fuel into energy. This then results in jolts in your car at an even speed and your car jerks when braking. You can address this issue by replacing the spark plugs of your car which are part of the ignition system of your car.
  4. There is a downshift in the transmission.
    Be aware that even in normal conditions, your car’s computer can recognize the deceleration of your vehicle which then causes it to send a signal to downshift the transmission. This means that your car will automatically change gears resulting in a stop. There is nothing to worry about if this is what you are experiencing in your car because it is completely normal.
  5. Improper tire inflation
    This is another issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Make sure that all tires are equally inflated. If a single tire is under or overinflated, there will be a problem with the alignment and is the very reason why your car jerks when braking and when you are slowing down.

Why does my car jerk when braking at high speed?

Most of the reasons why your car jerks when braking either at a high speed or low speed are the same. They all start with simple car issues such as a dirty fuel injector or an underinflated tire. No matter how small these problems may be, they must not be ignored. It is already difficult to manage when your car jerks when braking. It will be even harder if this results in further damages to other parts of the vehicle.


There are more grounds for you to learn more about the system of your car and why your car jerks when braking at high speed. Here are some of the things you should look out for.


  1. Debris in your fuel and air filters

This is a no-brainer. The build-up of dirt in compartments such as a fuel injector and air filter can cause some abnormal reactions to your car. The residue in the fuel is a common problem that has a few simple solutions like cleaning the fuel tank and the injector itself. Do not leave your car in the rain because it will lead to the internal part of the vehicle becoming moist. A moist environment promotes the growth of bacteria and mildew which can also become debris for car parts such as the fuel and air filters.


  1. You have damaged cylinders

Engine misfire is one of the perpetrators of car reactions such as jerking and jolting. This type of car problem requires the immediate attention of a car mechanic. It will also be helpful if you inspect your vehicle for any leaks in the cylinders. If so, this can ultimately affect how your car will function in the long run. Replace or repair damaged cylinders so you would not have to be troubled each time your car jerks when braking at accelerated speeds.


  1. Gas lines of your vehicle

The gas lines of your car play an important role in the circulation of energy and pressure for the automobile to move. These parts tend to be sensitive so you must check for any holes in the gas lines. In addition to gas lines being the reason why your car jerks when braking, damaged gas lines may also burn and cause a fire in the engine.


Yes, it is quite alarming to experience jerks in your car whether you are braking, accelerating, or decelerating. What makes things worse is not knowing what causes the problem.  There are several reasons why your car jerks when braking outlined in this guide to help you figure out the best plan of action for your vehicle. So the next time your car jerks when braking, you can skip the panic and confidently move towards finding a solution.