Jeep Wrangler Hesitating During Acceleration: SOLVED!

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Owning a Jeep Wrangler can be a lot of fun. Not only can you use it to explore any terrain, but it can also be comfortable for a long road trip. But why isn’t your Jeep Wrangler accelerating properly?

A Jeep Wrangler hesitates during acceleration when it doesn’t have the proper fuel and air mixture in the engine. This can be caused by faulty spark plugs, fuel injectors, or even a bad alternator. You will likely need a code reader to confirm the culprit behind your shaky acceleration, though. 

Wondering about what you can do once you find the cause of your hesitating acceleration? Let’s look at all the causes of acceleration issues in Jeeps and what can be done when you find the problem with yours. 

Why Does My Jeep Wrangler Hesitate While Accelerating?

Photo of Red SUV On Dirt Road

There are several reasons that your Jeep Wrangler might be hesitating during acceleration. Still, it boils down to one common factor: your Jeep is not getting the correct fuel-air mixture required to accelerate properly. 

Several internal parts control the fuel-air mixture in your Jeep, meaning if just one of these is experiencing an issue, your Jeep won’t accelerate smoothly.

Below are all the parts of your Jeep you should check when it isn’t accelerating smoothly. 

Faulty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs, or the fuel injectors in your engine, can get clogged or go bad with time. These parts are essential to your car’s acceleration and are a significant reason you may not be able to do so smoothly. 

The fuel injectors and spark plugs are internal parts of your engine, and it can be difficult to check them on your own. There is no way to know this is the problem with your Jeep unless you take it to a certified mechanic to have a look. 

Sensor Issues

A major cause of your car hesitating as it accelerates is an issue with a sensor. Acceleration alone requires the input of two different types of sensors in your vehicle. 

The mass airflow sensor and the throttle position sensor work together to let your car know when to accelerate. If either of these is bad, you won’t be able to accelerate smoothly. 

Because you can’t tell if sensors are broken just by looking at them, there is no way to know that this is why your Jeep is struggling to accelerate unless you take it to a certified mechanic.

Your only indication that this might be the case is if your check engine light is on, but this isn’t definitive, so don’t assume this is your issue just because the light is on. 

The Fuel Filter is Clogged

For your engine to function, it needs fuel. The fuel in your engine comes from your gas tank after it passes through a fuel filter.

If this fuel filter becomes clogged, it can’t reach your engine, which could be why it isn’t accelerating properly. Because fuel is so critical to your engine, this is usually the case when you find your car jerking when you try to accelerate. 

The only way to truly know if your fuel filter is clogged is to pull it out and look.

The Fuel Pump is Faulty

Just as your fuel filter may be clogged with debris, your fuel pump can also become clogged. Fuel pump issues are typically pronounced compared to other problems with Jeep acceleration.

If you go to accelerate and find your Jeep turning off, or if you can’t seem to get your Jeep to go uphill without it turning off, then it is likely that your fuel pump is faulty. You should also listen for a low buzzing sound as you accelerate. 

If your car makes this noise, that is probably the fuel pump you are hearing.

Fuel pumps frequently go bad because they run on too low of gasoline with frequency or because the wrong type of fuel is used in the vehicle. This is why you should always be cautious to fill up your gas tank before it gets empty. 

It can be challenging to tell a fuel pump issue from a fuel filter issue. Therefore, if you think this may be the issue with your Jeep Wrangler, you should take your car to have it looked at by a mechanic to be sure. 

Problems with Alternator

Your alternator is integral in ensuring your engine gets the spark it needs to ignite. If it’s faulty, then your engine will have issues accelerating. 

Unfortunately, it is tough to tell if your alternator is faulty just by looking at it. But some indications can let you know something is wrong with it. 

The most obvious sign that your alternator is bad is the battery symbol lighting up on your dash. You should also see the message “Battery Charging Condition,” indicating something is wrong with your alternator. 

If your alternator is fully burned out, you will see traces of burning around the casing, but this is very rare, and when this is the case, you will have more problems than just acceleration. 

How to Fix it Yourself

Sadly, there are very few ways you can fix your car’s struggling acceleration on your own. Most of the aforementioned issues are deeply internal and need to be seen by a mechanic. 

If you are handy with cars, however, you can use a code reader to discern the issue with your vehicle if you have one on hand. Then, after you discover what is causing your acceleration difficulty, you can replace that faulty part with a new one. 

Because acceleration issues are so difficult to solve, there isn’t any way to solve them without replacing the faulty part.

So, for example, if you find out it’s the fuel filter, it’s best to replace it entirely rather than just trying to clean it to ensure the problem is completely solved. 

When to Call a Professional

Red and Black Jeep Wrangler on Desert

Acceleration issues are commonly internal, so it is best to call a professional. A certified Jeep mechanic will be able to let you know precisely what is wrong with your vehicle, as well as have the parts on hand to fix it. 

While you can attempt to fix the problem yourself, it is never recommended to do so with any of the above issues. Even if you are handy with cars, if you find out your Jeep has a sensor issue, it is best to take it to a professional, as sensors are very particular and need to be installed in a certain way. 

Additionally, any time you decide to fix something yourself if the issue persists after you fix it, it is best to have a professional look before you waste your money trying another DIY repair. 

Final Thoughts on Jeep Wrangler Hesitation During Acceleration

Black and Gray Jeep Wrangler on Dirt Road

Overall, if your Jeep Wrangler is hesitating during acceleration, there is likely something wrong with the fuel/air mixture the engine is drawing in. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to solve this problem yourself, so it is best to use a code reader rather than lifting the hood.

If the code reader suggests something you are uncomfortable replacing on your own, it is a good idea to find a professional to help repair your Jeep Wrangler.