Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

1996 Honda Civic jerks during acceleration

What cause the car to jerk during accelerating,spark plug and high tension leads were already replaced

The list of possibilities are almost endless, especially since you’ve given us nearly no information about your car. Post back with details about the car, when and how you experience “jerking” and if there are any warning lights shining or blinking on the dash and we’ll try and help.

1 Like

Moisture in the car’s distributor cap can cause a car to jerk when accelerating. This is a common scenario when the car is parked outdoors and the weather is cold. Moisture can accumulate inside the distributor cap that can cause the engine to misfire, which in turn causes the jerking.

You cannot skip on physics on this one so prevention is the way to go. Unless you keep the engine running idle when you park and waste money on precious fuel but keeping the engine warm and warding off moisture, you better find a warmer, enclosed parking spot.

Corrosion on the posts inside the distributor and on the rotor can cause this. I have replaced the cap and rotor once on my 1999 Civic and have scraped off crud a few times.

My 1972 Fiat 128 sometimes had drops of moisture inside the dist cap. Its cap had a little vent open to the outside. But cars that suffer this problem are now few and far between. There are two sources: a bad o-ring on the shaft, letting crankcase vapors up into the dist cap, and a bad or missing rubber seal between the cap and the dist body. That can fall off and not be noticed.

There should be no need to keep a car running or parked in a warm, enclosed parking spot. Your car needs a diagnosis and repair, not an inexhaustible fuel supply or a warm place to park.