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Leo, Auto Service Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 770
Experience:  2005 Dodge ASE master technician of the year
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my car jerks when downshifting going up hills and when i ...

Customer Question

my car jerks when downshifting going up hills and when i stop it seems like the transmission jerks, fluid is good, torque converter was replaced 2 years ago, what is it? no engine light on...
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Leo replied 10 years ago.
Hi, and welcome to Just Answer,

It would be very helpfull if you could provide the year, model, and engine size of your vehicle.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Leo HIckey's Post: 2003 dodge neon SE, SOHC, smaller of the engines of that year, auto trans
Expert:  Leo replied 10 years ago.

I had a feeling it was a Neon!

I've got a feeling, just going by your description that you are experiencing an engine misfire, that hasn't tripped a code yet. Very common, and many people describe it as the transmission jerking when pulling hills or at lights..

Let's do a simple test shall we? In a safe area (nothing in front of you) start the car, put it in drive, and while holding your foot firmly on the brake to keep it from moving, gently give it some gas. See if you get the same feeling your getting while climbing a hill. Don't do it for more than 20 or 30 seconds. I must emphasize to make sure that you have room in front of you in case the car goes ahead on you.

Give it a whirl, and let me know if it feels like what your experiencing when climbing hills. If it does feel like the same thing, the fix is to replace the spark plugs and wires.

I hope this helps, if so please click accept. If you need more information, don't hesitate to ask!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
well, it had a tune up, wires and plugs, 1 year ago. i asked firestone to check them for me (they put them on) and they said no, it can't be that! i'm thinking it's that or maybe even a fuel filter thing, altho that was changed about 12,000 miles ago...also, forgot to mention, it seems worse when stopped on hills, like at a stop sign. that's why i was thinking fuel filter, maybe the pressure is different then, but you're probably right. even stopped on a hill, i guess that could shift one of the plugs out of it's seat and make it chug worse? i'll try your suggestion later today!
Expert:  Leo replied 10 years ago.

Good to hear from you!

My money is on spark plugs and wires. Typically aftermarket wires are good for about a year or so. There location on your engine makes them very prone to failure.

When you do the little test I described, if you feel it popping / hesitating, then it's time for a new set. Be sure to change the plugs + wires, and make sure there is no oil in the spark plug tubes.

Let me know how you make out with the quick test, and we'll go from there.