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Tugging in the downtown

I own a 2000 Ford Focus SE, with 124,000 mi. Recently, when driving on the highway, the car’s steering wheel jerks left to right repeatedly, and, when coasting between lights in an urban area, the car tugs ahead and then back.

Any clues?

You may have a broken motor mount.

It sounds like you may have two different situations going on there. The “left to right” jerking of the steering wheel could be related to a problem with front end components, such as the tie rods. It could also be as simple as a tire being out of balance, but this bears checking, as a front end problem is a safety issue.

As to the car “tugging ahead and then back”, this is difficult to interpret, but you may be telling us that the engine is surging intermittently. That might be related to a bad motor mount, but it could also be a myriad of other things that would be stored as trouble codes by the car’s OBD system. Have it scanned for trouble codes, and report back if anything is found.