2005 Hyundai Elantra GT jerking while driving

I’ve taken my 2005 Hyundai Elantra (95K miles) to the dealer twice to be serviced because it is jerking while driving - mostly in low speeds, but sometimes even in fifth gear - and occasionally stalls while stopped. the jerking happens while driving, not when the clutch is engaged. The first time I took it to the dealer they said it was a loose battery cable. After about a week the problem started again. I took the car again to the dealer and they did something like rearrange the ignition coils. It drove better on the test drive and for the past several weeks I have had no problems, but just today the same problem started again. It seems to happen more when the AC is on, but has happened when the AC is off. The dealer also told me the clutch is very worn and that we should have it replaced - I’m hesitant to spend the money replacing the clutch if it’s not causing the jerking, i.e., if there is something else wrong with the car. Would a worn clutch cause these symptoms? Thank you for any insight- Cate

You may have a worn clutch. The common complaint for that is the driver pushes on the gas pedal and the rpms increase, but the car doesn’t go faster. A worn clutch could also possibly cause a jerking sensation when the car is being driven down the road, but a bad clutch wouldn’t usually cause a stall at idle. So I doubt the clutch – while it might need replacing at some point for other reasons – I doubt the clutch is the culprit. Any inde mechanic can test your clutch, give it a definite yay or nay, if that remains a concern to you.

What you have is a so-called “drivability” problem. On older cars, like my early 70’s Ford truck, there were only a few things that could cause this. But on newer cars like yours there is a host of things that can go wrong and cause this same symptom. That’s why the designers put in diagnostics into your car’s computer, so the computer can give some clues what’s wrong. You should take advantage of this function. What you need to do is get a list of the diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) stored in your car’s computer and post them here. The dealer may provide this to you if you ask. If he’s reluctant, most big box auto parts stores will do it for free. Once you post the actual DTC’s, I expect the experts here (of which I am not, esp on 05 Hyundais) will be happy to offer some guidance.

I had to read that carefully, “clutch is engaged”! That means clutch is pushed in so motor is not transmitting power to wheels. You say the car does not jerk when you are stopped but that motor may stall sometimes when you are stopped. So, driving at steady speed around 30mph, like in slow traffic, does motor seem to stumble? Or not?

When I wrote the jerking happens “not when clutch engaged” I meant not while shifting gears. Yes, when going 30 mph, for example, it will jerk. It has stalled when driving very slowly, like less than 10 mph, or when stopped at a light or stop sign.

I’ll get the codes checked out and post them.

Thank you.

if dealer focused on coils they think it may be ignition related or engine related, not a trans issue. but any car with a manual trans and 100k miles may be due for a new clutch and dealer or any shop will always recommend service based on miles. i am sure they tried to tell you to change the timing belt too.

I just took the car to Pepboys - no codes. The car stalled on the way there once at a stop light. I noticed a few more things. Right before it stalls the RPMs stutter and the car shakes a little. If it stalls I just turn the car back on and it’s fine. If it doesn’t stall (if the light turns once it starts shaking but before it stalls) when I get going the RPMs zoom up to 3000-3500 right away.