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Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

 
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Old 06 Oct 2019, 06:27 pm
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Default Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

Hello all. My wife started having an issue with her 2005 PT Cruiser: Touring Edition yesterday and I'm having trouble figuring out what is going on. While driving up to the mountains, the check engine light began to flash (misfiring) and the car started to jerk a little while she was accelerating uphill. She described the intensity of the jerking between mild and moderate. She says it did not hesitate or stall; just the light jerk. The same thing happened again a few miles later. When she reached her destination she did the "key dance" and got not codes; just the "done" message.

When she drove it home last night, coming down the mountain, it drove fine for the most part. There was only 2 instances where there was some slight jerking on her way home but she says they were very slight, she was going uphill, and there was no CEL. Once again, she did the "key dance" when she got home and, again, no codes.

I've done a lot of searching today and the thing that comes up most is the Camshaft Position Sensor. However, we are getting no codes and the CEL hasn't come back on since those first 2 instances on her way up the mountain. She drove it to AutoZone a little while ago so they could check for codes and they came up with nothing as well. On the way to AutoZone and back the car did fine except for 1 instance of jerking, again, while accelerating uphill. No CEL. The guy at AutoZone told her that low transmission fluid could cause these issues. That seemed strange to me but we checked it anyway. Transmission fluid looks good. I considered spark plugs as well, but none of those symptoms really fit other than the 2 times the car was misfiring.

We are going to take it to a garage in the morning to get it diagnosed but I thought I would post here to see if you guys had any ideas. I'm hoping it is a simple fix and would like to avoid being bled dry by a garage. However, we have no idea where to even begin. Thanks in advance for your knowledge and time. It is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06 Oct 2019, 11:03 pm
LionPT's Avatar
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

If it was the Camshaft Position Sensor...it would be jerking at all times & you can't get over 40MPH.
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Old 06 Oct 2019, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

I would suggest having the Pt Cruiser taken in to a transmission shop only to get transmission diagnosis trouble codes. Report what codes there

If no codes I would check the fuel pump pressure and if it stays pressurized. You might have a faulty fuel pump.

If fuel pressure is good I would check to see if your CAT is clogged or your exhaust is restricted.
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Old 07 Oct 2019, 07:30 am
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

It could be that the cat con is getting clogged. Check it.
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Old 07 Oct 2019, 08:49 pm
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

you need to determine a few things to narrow down the problem.
symptom appears only when;
partial or full throttle
hot or cold engine
higher elevation vs sea level
water in fuel, bad fuel
fuel pressure, fuel flow
injectors not flowing fully
ignition system faulty
excess back pressure, faulty o2 sensors
cam and crank pickup signal faulty
timing is set correctly
engine compression
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Old 07 Oct 2019, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _PTGT03 View Post
you need to determine a few things to narrow down the problem.
symptom appears only when;
partial or full throttle
hot or cold engine
higher elevation vs sea level
water in fuel, bad fuel
fuel pressure,
fuel flow
injectors not flowing fully
ignition system faulty
excess back pressure, faulty o2 sensors
cam and crank pickup signal faulty
timing is set correctly
engine compression
That's a great list. I've highlighted the ones I believe are most common. If me, I'd try the following simple fixes:

First, check for a clogged air filter.

If no joy, get a cheap red bottle of STP gas treatment and a yellow bottle of HEAT. Poor half of each bottle into your fuel tank along with at least half a tank of fuel. See if that fixes the problem.

If no joy, hook up a vacuum gauge to the engine. Download one of the many vacuum gauge guide charts from the internet and see if an exhaust blockage is indicated. If so, it's likely the cat converter.

If no joy, see if one of your local parts stores has a fuel pressure testing kit. Use that to check fuel pressure.

Most of the other things mentioned will throw a code.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 07 Oct 2019 at 10:17 pm.
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Old 08 Oct 2019, 02:39 pm
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LionPT View Post
If it was the Camshaft Position Sensor...it would be jerking at all times & you can't get over 40MPH.
40 mph? Is that with the automatic? I was keeping up with traffic on I95 when mine went out. I changed it after I drove from DC to NY. I did have to stay in the right lane. FWIW, mine was intermittent at first, but I was getting the code.
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Old 10 Oct 2019, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Jerking When Accelerating Uphill. No Codes. No Clue.

When my camshaft sensor went out earlier this year, I was able to make it to my repair shop. Thanks goodness it was during the day and open. Chugged at times and just did not want to go over about 45. An hour later it was fixed.
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