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Car Lunging

I have a 2001 Huyndai Elantra (4CyL) and it has about 145,000 miles. Recently, it seldomly “lunges” as I’m driving, mostly on the interstate. I stopm and put oil in it thinking that it was low but think I over filled the resevoire. Today, I tried to play it safe by having a tune-up and oil change performed at a repair shop. I feel that the car has more pep but after driving about 50miles and o the interstate on my back home this evening, it had that same old jerky movement (once). Could it possibly be the transmission.

There are numerous possibilities for the car’s behavior, which is usually described as “lurching”. A diagnostic evaluation is likely to reveal the problem, but unless your check engine light has come on when the lurching takes place, it is also possible that no trouble codes have been stored by the vehicle’s OBD II system.

One possible area that your mechanic may have missed is the fuel filter. If it has never been changed, I would suggest that you have it changed a.s.a.p., as that is a possible source of the problem. And, I would add that a partially clogged fuel filter has the potential to wear out your fuel pump. So, if the fuel filter is the original, it is also possible that you have done damage to the much more expensive fuel pump. A failing fuel pump would also cause the symptom that you describe.

Some really valuable advice that I can give you is to only add oil when the oil level on the dipstick shows that it is in need of oil. Adding oil because you “think it is low” is something that has the potential to cause severe damage to the engine.

If you do not know how to use the dipstick to check the oil level, refer to your Owner’s Manual which contains this information as well as virtually everything else that you need to know for the safe and economical operation of your car. Among other things, the manual contains the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, including information on when the fuel filter should be changed.

My vote is a fuel pump or fuel filter problem.

Please explain what you mean about “thinking that it was low”. What did the dipstick actually show?

Thanks for the advice and I guess I should have mention the fact that the “check engine” light DOES always come on when the “lurching” occurs.

Thanks, you are the second person to suggest the fuel filter or pump. NOTE; The “check engine” light does go on every time that the car lurches.

Did you mention any of this to the shop who performed “tune up”? The check engine light is a huge clue as the code can be read whether on or off(stores them) and lead to a solution hopefully. Take it back to that shop.

okay, I will and thanks a heep!!!

If you are driving at a steady speed and you find that you are pushing the gas pedal farther down and still losing a little speed and then you get a surge of power, you could have a bad O2 sensor. When you are describing symptoms, try to say exactly what happens. Lunges, to me would mean that it jumps forward.

Because I am cognizant and sensitive to the problem, I am careful about not trying to press down(too hard) on the accelerator. I believer everytime that the “lurching” occurred, I was driving at a steady speed and not even expecting anything,…then it happens.