Car Started Jerking Then Died – Top 8 Common Reasons

Your car has been operating for a long time, it is very difficult to ensure that its functions are still as perfect as the original. One of the problems that many people are facing is that the car vibrates, shakes when running. Then the car started jerking then died.

If you do not pay close attention and promptly fix it, the car engine will quickly degrade and reduce its life, even unsafe to move.

So what is the cause of the car jerking when running and how to fix it?

Car Started Jerking Then Died – What Are The Causes?

There are many reasons why a car jerks, even stalls while moving. You can refer to some common causes below that we have summarized in detail.

1. Damaged Spark Plugs

Damaged spark plugs can cause some engine performance problems, including vibrations and car stalls. Spark plugs can wear out the electrodes, the electrodes melt, and soot gets on the electrodes.

This will cause the gap between the electrodes to widen, causing the spark to weaken, causing the combustion of the fuel and air mixture to be reduced.

Engine power will be reduced leading to engine vibration when operating. You will need to replace spark plugs as well as other components of the ignition system to correct the vibration and power loss.

2. Fuel Filter Clogged With Dirt

Fuel filter ensures your car is provided with a clean fuel source for stable operation. It also ensures that the parts in the engine are cleaned as the fuel passes through.

However, after a long time of use, the fuel filter will be clogged with dirt, leading to poor fuel quality and not providing clean filtered fuel to the injectors.

These are the reasons why the car runs jerky when accelerating and if the fuel filter has too much dirt or is clogged, it will cause the car to turn off the engine.

3. Fuel Injector Dirty

Under normal conditions, when the fuel pressure is maintained steady, the injectors operate as standard with the amount of fuel injected well controlled by the ECU.

However, if not cleaned periodically, the injector head will be covered with dirt, narrowing the injection hole, causing insufficient fuel supply. This also leads to the car not having enough fuel to operate, jerking, and stalling suddenly.

4. The Air Filter Has A Lot Of Dust

The air filter is the engine that prevents and removes dirt and toxic gases from the outside air. When the air filter collects a lot of dust due to not being cleaned, this function will not work well, causing blockage and preventing the amount of air from entering the engine, leading to the car jerking when running.

To limit this, to ensure stable vehicle operation, car owners should clean this shield after about 5,000 km and replace it with a new one from 20,000 – 30,000 km.

5. The Oxygen Sensor Has Soot

Oxygen sensors with soot will reduce the function of measuring residual oxygen in the engine exhaust. This makes it difficult for the ECU to properly handle the amount of fuel and air entering the engine to help the vehicle reach its peak performance.

It leads to a situation where the engine consumes a lot of fuel, the injectors are overloaded, causing waste and causing the car to run jerky and shake. If this phenomenon occurs frequently, causing the vehicle to stall, it will greatly reduce the life of your car.

6. EGR Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve Stuck Or Leaking

The EGR exhaust gas recirculation valve keeps the function of bringing part of the exhaust gas into the intake manifold, mixing it with the air before entering the combustion chamber to reduce engine heat, reduce oxygen content and reduce harmful components in the exhaust gas.

In case the EGR valve is stuck or leaking, it can cause the car engine to jerk or stall while moving.

7. Temperature Sensor And Cooling Water ECT

Damaged coolant temperature sensors can also affect the engine performance. Sensor operation can affect the fuel system. The ECU uses the signal of the ECT sensor to decide how much fuel is injected into the combustion chamber depending on the engine temperature.

Therefore, when the sensor is damaged, the engine will consume fuel, vibrate or easily stall when it is cold.

8. AFM Air Mass Sensor

The AFM sensor is located on the intake manifold, so it is prone to getting dirty and causing the sensor’s signal to be sent to the central processor to be erroneous.

At that time, the engine will have manifestations such as reduced power, vibration when running, and may stall when accelerating.
You can test the sensor yourself with a VOM meter to see if the sensor is working correctly.

In addition, damage to the fuel pump, throttle valve, or vacuum leak can also cause the engine to vibrate or jerk during operation.


We have listed 8 common causes of your car jerking when moving, then suddenly stalling. In particular, the problem of dirt, residue, or adhesive is one of the causes leading to damage to the fuel filter, air filter, or sensors.

Therefore, periodic car cleaning and regular maintenance are extremely important to work to remove dirt and help maintain the life of car components.

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