The only thing more irritating than having to wonder, “Why is my Nissan Murano jerking?” is to have to deal with it hesitating and dying.
I don’t think there’s a more nerve-wracking car situation to be in than a car or truck that jerks, struggles, and sputters.
Your car jerking as you accelerate, decelerate, or drive is a problem you’ll want to get fixed right away.
Why Is My Nissan Murano Jerking?
The most common reasons for a Nissan Murano to jerk are dirty filters, dirty and clogged fuel injectors, and a blocked catalytic converter. Some causes take extensive repairs, while you can correct others quickly and easily.
Fortunately, you can diagnose some of the reasons your car is jerking without a garage bill or special equipment.
Let’s look at the top reasons your Nissan Murano might jerk so you can fix the problem and have a smoother ride.
Top Reasons Your Nissan Murano is Jerking
Is your car hesitating sometimes and jerking other times? Let’s look at the most manageable problems to correct first.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter on a car is like a hand over our mouths and noses.
I learned long ago that what causes problems in a car often involves dirty filters, clogs, and dirty, sluggish fluids.
For example, an air filter or other filter might be the cause if most of the jerking occurs when you accelerate or slow down.
Remove the air filter and check it. You can tap the edge on a concrete sidewalk or bumper to remove a lot of the dirt.
If it’s caked, you might need a new air filter. If not, you’ll have to look for another problem.
Clogged Fuel Injectors
Dirty and clogged fuel injectors are one of the most common reasons for poor engine performance.
Clogs keep fuel from getting to the engine when it needs it. This bottleneck results in sputtering, shuddering, hesitating, and jerking.
Usually, a fuel injector problem shows itself when you accelerate, and the engine doesn’t get enough fuel.
If most of the issue is when you press the gas, this could be your car’s problem. If the check engine light hasn’t lit up, it’s probably something else.
You can check your owner’s manual or with Nissan to see what kind of fuel injector cleaner they recommend.
The problem could be cheap to fix if your fuel injectors are dirty.
Clogged Catalytic Converter
Your Nissan’s catalytic converter filters toxins and impurities that come from the engine in the form of exhaust before that air blows out the tailpipe.
It serves as an air filter for the outside world.
This filter gets dirty, and sometimes it gets clogged and needs to be changed. If your car’s exhaust is struggling to get through the catalytic converter, it can hesitate, shudder, and jerk at low and high speeds.
A hint that this might be the problem is the Nissan struggling to reach its usual highway speeds. The engine is suffocating in its own exhaust and can’t run efficiently.
The check engine light often comes on with a clogged filter, but not always.
Dirty Fuel Filter
Like with the air filter and catalytic convertor, a dirty fuel filter keeps your engine from working correctly.
A clogged filter prevents fuel from getting through at the rate it needs to run efficiently.
Bad Fuel Pump
This problem costs more than replacing a filter or battery, but it’s not difficult to diagnose or repair.
If your fuel pump is going bad, it’s not distributing fuel to the engine properly and can cause hesitation, sputtering, and jerking.
Damp Distributor Cap
The issue could just be that your car is wet. If you find beads of water on the distributor cap, that could be the cause of the vehicle jerking at acceleration.
If you can park somewhere dryer, do so to see if it fixes the issue.
Mass Airflow Sensor
If your MAF sensor fails, the check engine light will probably come on.
This sensor measures the amount of air in the engine to ensure a proper fuel mix for optimal performance.
If it doesn’t work correctly, the engine will get too much fuel or not enough.
One clue that the sensor might be failing is a jerking movement when you’re traveling at high speed instead of accelerating.
If your car runs well when it’s cold but jerks and shakes once the engine is warmed up, take it to a mechanic to see if the CVT is overheating.
The CVT is the Continuous Variable Transmission which runs on pulleys instead of gears. The transmission shouldn’t overheat.
If it does, it can cause a car to jerk and shudder. A CVT cooling unit can help solve this problem.
Engine Vacuum Leak
An engine vacuum leak causes the same general problem as a failing air sensor.
The leak lets air and fluid escape the closed engine system, disrupting the balance and causing problems.
The check engine light should come on, and you’ll probably notice the vehicle idling poorly and potentially dying while idling, as well as jerking forward at high speeds.
Spark Plugs or Coil Packs
If your spark plugs are dirty, old, or worn, they might be misfiring and in need of replacement.
The ignition coil pack transfers energy from the battery to the engine. If this component malfunctions, the motor gets variable power and will sometimes jerk and shudder before it stops working completely.
If you have a bad coil pack, you might notice the car getting fewer miles per gallon.
The jerking usually happens when you accelerate, and the car will shudder when it idles.
While checking the plugs and coils, check the plug wires to ensure they’re in good shape.
This problem isn’t as common as dirty filters, but a battery that’s going bad might keep the electrical impulses the engine needs from getting to it.
The simple fix here is to get a new battery.
Broken Motor or Transmission Mount
This problem doesn’t involve the engine or exhaust system sputtering or jerking. Instead, if you lose a motor mount, it means your engine or transmission isn’t secured correctly to the vehicle’s chassis.
When these heavy machines shift with the moment of starting, stopping, or accelerating, and the inner workings move, they make significant movements you’ll feel.
If you suspect this, you should make arrangements to get it fixed as soon as possible.
You can still drive a car this way, but it can cause more damage over time.
If you have a failing carburetor, the air to fuel mix in your Nissan Murano is probably incorrect.
This issue can cause the car to jerk when you accelerate. You’ll probably notice other problems, too.
Why Is My Nissan Murano Jerking? Bottom Line
Jerking on acceleration can be caused by something as simple as a clogged filter or fuel line.
Jerking while traveling at higher speeds usually indicates an exhaust or combustion problem.
Some issues are big enough you’ll need a mechanic to diagnose and fix them.
I hope you can quickly diagnose why your car is jerking with the tips on this list.