My daughter has a 2008 PT Cruiser. For months she has had the problem of "when she pushes on the gas pedal it doesn't work and the car jerks back and forth." Those are her words. We have taken it to the dealer twice, they keep saying they can't find anything wrong with it, because it isn't doing it when she takes it in. Any suggestions.
When you suddenly push the gas pedal and the car doesn't react well, doesn't pickup but hesitates it means that uneven fuel mixture is getting in. Or the gas line pressure is low (clogged filter, bad pump) and it is not providing sufficient gas, or the air intake is blocked (dirty filter) and is not giving all the air the engine requires. Check: gas and air filters. Check spark plugs (carbonized = uneven fuel mixture).
Also, it could be bad timing, but I guess if it wasn't touched before, it shouldn't be.
It could be a few things.
- airflow meter: could need a cleaning, most likely is partially disconnected or has a bad ground connection. Unplug it and replug it to verify the electrical connection, then inspect the grounding wire.
- poor fuel delivery: likely could be injectors, fuel filter or fuel pump. Test the fuel pressure and take it from there.
- throttle position sensor: could be defective and therefore incorrectly report data to the ECU. Disconnect and reconnect to rule out a loose connection.
- water in the fuel: use a fuel treatment to eliminate this possibility.
How often is the trouble happening? Is the check engine light on?
To me the
doesn't work and the car jerks back and forth.
Is more indicative of a transmission or clutch issue. One obvious and simple thing to check is the ATF level. Make sure it's appropriate as per the manufacturers spec (assuming it is automatic).
I don't fully know how auto trans systems work, much less the one is an '08 PT Cruiser, but you could also check all the basics such as fuses, battery all that. Not sure if your car has a button for overdrive, but also figuring out exactly what combination causes the problem will help greatly in figuring out what's broken without tearing everything apart. As others have mentioned, it could be something injection/fuel related. That is not all that hard to test for.
Another thing that could be having issues I the the TPS or Throttle Position Sensor. If it is feeding wrong info (even briefly) to the injection and/or timing system, this could also cause lurching.
I can put some more accurate information after doing some research, but check all the above as a start.