Jerky Car Problems? One Simple Solution That Might Help

Your car may start jerking at any time, and you need to be ready to deal with it, especially if you want to save some money. Your throttle position sensor might be causing your erratic acceleration, and you can take care of this on your own. 

The Throttle Position Sensor

The throttle position sensor helps the throttle regulate the amount of air that goes into your engine. It reads the amount of power that you are requesting and allows just the right amount of air for proper combustion and power. This sensor can fail, which can cause your car to jerk. The problems that are caused by a faulty throttle position sensor has to do with improper air intake. You might also experience some of the following:

  • You'll experience a loss of acceleration because your car won't have enough power. 
  • You may also notice quick and erratic fluctuations in your normal idle RPM's, which should stay at around 1000. 
  • Your scanner may also read codes from P0120 to P0229.
  • The engine might begin to stall from time to time.
  • Your check engine light might turn on.
  • Pay attention to your fuel economy, as it may drop.
  • Gear changes might become difficult and jerky.

You can have your auto care specialist check your vehicle out to confirm your suspicions. You can either have him or her replace your throttle position sensor or deal with this on your own with the following guide.

Fix Your Throttle Position Sensor

Things You Need

  • A new throttle position sensor that matches your car.
  • Your owner's manual or repair guide.
  • A screwdriver set. 
  • Your safety goggles and gloves. 


  1. Park your vehicle in a safe and leveled location. If needed, let your vehicle cool down enough to work on.
  2. Put your gloves and goggles on. And open the hood of your vehicle.
  3. Disconnect the red (negative) cable of your car battery for your safety.
  4. Locate the throttle position sensor, which looks like an octagon with a small tail. You can use your owner's manual or repair guide to find the throttle position sensor. It is usually to the left or right of your throttle body and connected to one plug-like cable. 
  5. Carefully disconnect the plug-like cable from the throttle position sensor. 
  6. Use your screwdriver to remove the screws holding the throttle position sensor in place. There are usually just two screws to remove. 
  7. Remove your old throttle position sensor, and replace it with your new one. 
  8. Reconnect the plug-like cable to the throttle position sensor. And reconnect your car battery. 
  9. Turn on your car, and test out your work. 

As you can see, dealing with jerky car issue issues might not be hard. But, remember that your auto care specialist can deal with this problem if you feel uncomfortable with any of the aforementioned steps. 

To learn more, contact an auto repair shop like Lakeland Automotive