Having car troubles stinks, right? If your car is idling smoothly but starts sputtering when you step on the gas, it’s super frustrating.
In this quick guide, we’ll walk through some of the most common culprits for the stuttering or jerky car during acceleration and the steps you can take to get your sweet ride accelerating properly again.
With a few simple checks and tweaks, you’ll have your wheels back up to speed in no time. Now let’s dive in and get your engine revving like new!
You can also read my guide on Car shaking at idle but running fine while driving.
- Fouled or faulty spark plugs can cause ignition misfires leading to sputtering during acceleration.
- Weakened ignition coils may struggle to keep up under load causing poor combustion.
- Oxygen sensors going bad provide inaccurate fuel mixture data, disrupting performance.
- Clogged fuel injectors reduce fuel delivery causing engine to stumble when accelerating.
- Dirty throttle body or mass airflow sensor throws off air/fuel ratio balance.
- Vacuum leaks let in unmeasured air, resulting in lean mixture and sputtering.
- Slipping transmission struggles to engage gears properly during acceleration.
- Catalytic converter blockage prevents exhaust gases from exiting smoothly.
- Worn engine mounts allow excessive movement effecting fuel delivery.
- Testing components with multimeter helps diagnose root cause.
What You Will Learn:
My Personal Experience With the Issue of Car Idling Fine But Sputtering While Acceleration
Once, my brother was having trouble with his 2010 Nissan Miata. It would idle fine but start sputtering and hesitating whenever he tried to accelerate. After some initial troubleshooting, we suspected it was a vacuum leak causing the issue.
I had him bring the car over and we did a visual inspection of all the vacuum hoses. Sure enough, we found a small crack in one of the hoses going to the intake manifold. We replaced the damaged vacuum hose with a new one from the auto parts store.
After the quick fix, my brother’s Camry was accelerating smooth as butter again. It just took a bit of hands-on troubleshooting and replacing a $30 vacuum hose to solve the sputtering issue.
Causes of Car Idling Fine But Sputtering Under Acceleration
Here are the causes:
1. Fouled Spark Plugs Causing Misfires
Inside an engine, each cylinder requires a spark to ignite the compressed fuel-air mixture which provides the power stroke. The spark plug provides this ignition source by generating a high voltage spark across its grounded electrode and center tip.
This spark jumps the air gap in between and ignites the mixture. The combustion force pushes the piston down providing power. Clean, properly gapped plugs spark consistently to keep the engine running smoothly.
When a spark plug becomes contaminated with carbon, oil, or fuel deposits, it can fail to properly ignite the air-fuel mixture in the cylinder. This results in a loss of power, stumbling/sputtering during acceleration, and sometimes an engine shake or vibration.
How do spark plugs foul?
There are a few common ways spark plugs become fouled and fail to spark properly:
- Oil Fouling: Oil leaking into the combustion chamber coats the spark plug’s insulator and electrodes with a thick layer of oil. This prevents sparking or weakens the spark. Common causes are worn piston rings, leaking valve seals, excessive oil, overfilling, and short trips.
- Carbon Fouling: Built up carbon and soot deposits on the plug insulator and electrodes. Typically from prolonged low speed driving, weak sparks allowing carbon build up, rich fuel mixtures, and short trips.
- Fuel Fouling: Unburned fuel reaching the plugs causes wet oily deposits. Often due to a rich air-fuel mixture, weak ignition, excessive idling, or faulty injectors. Fouls quickly with raw gasoline washing away oil film on plug.
- Coolant fouling: A coolant can also leak through a blown head gasket and foul your spark plugs. I have explained this in my guide on car not starting after overheating.
How to diagnose?
Visual inspection of the spark plugs can indicate bad plugs. Look for wet oily deposits, excessive carbon build up, electrode wear, or light grey ash deposits.
You can test spark plugs by using a multimeter and setting it to resistance measurement. You should get a reading between 4,000 to 8,000 ohms on the center electrode.
In addition, you should look for a short between the ground and center electrode of the spark plug. No short means a good spark plug.
You can watch following youtube video to learn more:
How to fix?
You can try cleaning the spark plugs using the wire brush and spark plug cleaner to carefully remove any carbon deposits or contaminants from the electrode. Ensure not to damage the electrode or insulator in the process.
First, use compressed air to clean off any dirt and debris. Then, keep the spark plug soaked in the brake cleaner till all the gunk on the spark plug is washed away.
2. Bad or Corroded Ignition Coils Resulting In Improper Spark Ignition
Ignition coils serve as transformers, converting the battery’s lower voltage into thousands of volts required to generate a spark and ignite the fuel mixture in the cylinder.
As ignition coils age, they can gradually weaken due to heat cycling, internal arcing, and normal wear.
During acceleration, the pistons in the engine move rapidly up and down, requiring the ignition coil to generate a higher number of sparks per minute.
If the ignition coil is weak, it may struggle to keep up with this increased demand, and may not be able to generate enough sparks to ignite the fuel mixture consistently, leading to misfires, car sputtering and poor engine performance.
However, at idle, when the engine is not experiencing as much stress, the weakened ignition coil may still be able to generate enough sparks for smooth operation.
Configurations of ignition coil
An ignition coil has following three configurations, depending on your vehicle:
- Coil over plug (COP)
- Coil Pack (also called spark plug wires)
How to troubleshoot the problem?
Bad ignition coils usually throw misfire codes from P0300 to P030X. ‘X’ is the cylinder number in which a misfire is occurring and causing sputtering under acceleration.
A successful approach for COP ignition systems involves exchanging the ignition coil of the problem cylinder with an ignition coil from another cylinder. Subsequently, monitor whether there is any alteration in the trouble code.
If a change occurs, it suggests a defective ignition coil. Another method to assess the condition of an ignition coil is to remove it from a specific cylinder and observe if the engine starts to exhibit stumbling. In such a case, it signifies that the ignition coil is functioning properly. Conversely, if the engine remains unaffected, it indicates a faulty ignition coil.
For ignition coil packs/spark plug wires, you can watch following video:
3. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor Measuring Incorrect Oxygen Levels
The oxygen sensor, also referred to as O2 sensor, can have a significant impact on the performance of your vehicle when it malfunctions.
Located in the exhaust stream, it measures the oxygen levels in the exhaust gases and generates a voltage signal accordingly.
This data is then sent to the engine computer, which uses it to adjust the air-fuel mixture for optimal combustion.
When the oxygen content in the exhaust gases is high, indicating a lean mixture, the engine computer compensates by adding more fuel.
Conversely, if the oxygen levels are low, indicating a rich mixture, the computer reduces the fuel supply.
This continuous feedback loop allows real-time adjustments to maintain the ideal air-fuel ratio of about 14.7:1, which maximizes power, fuel economy, and emission control.
How do oxygen sensors fail?
Oxygen sensors can fail due to various reasons, such as age, accumulated mileage, thermal degradation, oil contamination, improper installation, or wiring/connecter issues.
When an oxygen sensor starts to fail, symptoms may become noticeable when vehicle is under acceleration.
This is because the compromised sensor struggles to provide accurate fuel control, leading to several indications:
- Intermittent sputtering, hesitation, or misfiring when you step on the gas: The faulty air-fuel mixture signal hampers the engine’s optimal performance.
- Stalling: A malfunctioning sensor can cause severe lean or rich spikes, leading to engine stalling when you try to accelerate your vehicle.
How to diagnose?
To check for a faulty oxygen sensor, you can conduct a voltage test. The sensor’s voltage should fluctuate within a specific range as the air-fuel ratio changes.
If the voltage remains steady or exhibits abnormal fluctuations, the sensor is likely faulty. Ideally, a healthy oxygen sensor should fluctuate at least once every two seconds, with a voltage range between 850mV and 150mV.
To conduct the test, connect the positive lead of a voltmeter to the sensor’s signal wire. If the sensor has two wires, connect the negative lead to the negative wire of the sensor. This will help determine whether the sensor is functioning within the expected voltage range.
4. Dirty or Malfunctioning MAF Sensor Impeding Intake Air Measurement
The MAF sensor is an important part of your car’s engine. It measures the amount of air going into the engine so it can mix the right amount of fuel for combustion.
You can find the MAF sensor between the air filter and the engine’s throttle body. It uses a heated wire or thin film to figure out how much air is passing through it.
Over time, the MAF sensor can get dirty with dust, dirt, and oil particles from the air. This buildup can mess up its accuracy and performance.
When the MAF sensor is not working properly, your car may sputter or even stall, especially when you’re accelerating and more air flows over the MAF sensor.
This is because, when you press the accelerator pedal, the throttle body opens more to allow more airflow. The bad readings from the faulty MAF sensor can mess up the air-fuel mixture in the engine, causing it to misfire and eventually stutter while accelerating.
How to test?
If you want to test your MAF sensor, you can check the voltage it produces. When you press the gas pedal, more air flows through the sensor, which makes the voltage go up. When the car is not moving much, the voltage should be less than 1.0V. But when you speed up, the voltage from the MAF sensor goes up to around 1.7V.
If you notice the voltage from the MAF sensor is fluctuating, you can try cleaning the heated element with a special cleaner. Just make sure you don’t touch the wire! Let it dry completely before putting the sensor back in place.
If you need more help, you can watch a short video on YouTube that explains how to clean the MAF sensor.
5. Dirty Throttle Body Restricting Airflow
Imagine the throttle body as a gateway that controls the amount of air going into the engine. Over time, this gateway can get dirty and clogged with things like dirt, grime, and carbon.
Over time, the inner walls of the throttle body can accumulate dirt, grime, and carbon deposits, which negatively affect the movement of the butterfly valve.
Moreover, when the throttle body gets dirty, it starts to restrict the flow of air going into the engine. This means that not enough air is getting in, which can cause problems when you step on the gas pedal.
When you accelerate, the engine needs more air to mix with the fuel and burn efficiently. But if the throttle body is dirty, it can’t let enough air through. This creates an imbalance between the air and fuel mixture, and the engine doesn’t work as it should.
As a result, you may experience sputtering or stalling when you accelerate. The engine struggles to get the right amount of air it needs to run smoothly.
How to fix?
To fix this issue, you can follow some steps:
- Take a look at the throttle body and check for any physical damage, like cracks or leaks. These issues can affect how it works.
- Examine the throttle plate inside the throttle body for excessive carbon buildup. This buildup can make the throttle plate stick and not move properly, causing problems.
- To clean the throttle body, you can use a throttle body cleaner and a soft brush or rag. Gently clean inside the throttle body to remove any dirt or carbon buildup.
6. Bad Crankshaft Position Sensor Causing Improper Spark Timing
The crankshaft position sensor monitors the position and speed of the crankshaft. It provides key timing information to the engine control unit (ECU) to allow the proper timing and delivery of fuel and spark.
If the CKP sensor is malfunctioning, it can provide inaccurate or intermittent data to the ECU. This causes the engine SPARK timing to be off, which results in poor combustion and misfiring as the car accelerates. You can feel this as sputtering, jerking, or lack of power.
How does it fail?
The CKP sensor can fail due to mechanical wear and tear, damage to wiring, issues with sensor connectors, or failure of the sensor itself.
How to test?
To diagnose, check if the CKP sensor connector is loose or corroded. Look for damage to sensor wiring.
Use a multimeter to check that the sensor is providing a clean signal within the specified range. Monitor the sensor with an oscilloscope to see if the signal is steady or intermittent.
Watch the below YouTube video from 4:00.
If faulty, the CKP sensor needs to be replaced and properly synced to the engine crankshaft. To learn more, you can read my guide on car not starting after changing crankshaft position sensor.
7. Clogged Fuel Injector Restricting Fuel Flow During Acceleration Demands
Fuel injectors are like small nozzles that spray fuel into your car’s engine. Their job is to give the engine the right amount of fuel at the right time.
But when these fuel injectors get clogged, it’s a problem. They can’t deliver the fuel properly, making the engine run on less fuel than it needs. This can cause the engine to struggle and not accelerate smoothly.
You might notice that your car sputters or hesitates when you try to speed up. That’s because the engine has to work harder to get the power it needs, which leads to higher RPMs.
Why does it happen?
Clogged fuel injectors happen when carbon deposits or dirt build up around the nozzle. Another reason could be a faulty magnetic coil inside the injector.
You can check for damage by looking at the two terminals of the injector. These are the ends of the magnetic coil that carry electricity.
You should also check the o-ring of the fuel injectors. It is a small ring that prevents fuel from leaking. If it’s damaged, you’ll need to replace it. You can push the o-ring with your hand until it fits securely.
How to test?
To test if a fuel injector is bad, you can use a multimeter. Connect the probes to the terminals of the injector and set the multimeter to the right Ohms value (usually around 30 Ohms).
If the resistance shows “infinite,” it means the coil is open. If it shows “OL” or very low resistance, it means the coil of fuel injector has short-circuited. The right resistance means the coil is okay.
If you want a visual guide on how to test fuel injectors, check out a video starting from 2:40.
Another test is to listen for a clicking noise. Use a long screwdriver near the injector and turn the key to prime the fuel pump. Then connect a 9V or 12V battery to each injector and listen for a ticking noise. That’s the sound of the injector opening and closing.
You should also check if the fuel injector is spraying fuel in the right direction without any leaks. If it’s leaking, you’ll need a new one. To learn more about fuel injector tests, you can read my guide on car not starting after replacing fuel injectors.
Apart from the above experiments, check these things on the fuel injector:
- Look for burrs on the injector inlet
- Check nozzle holes for hole erosion or plugging
- Inspect the end of the nozzle for burrs or rough machine marks
- Look for cracks at the nozzle end
8. Bad Fuel Pump Decreasing Fuel Pressure for Smooth Acceleration
When you press the gas pedal, your car demands more fuel to meet the increased power requirements. This is where a faulty fuel pump exposes its true colors.
Due to its compromised functionality, a faulty fuel pump may struggle to meet this requirement, resulting in a lean fuel mixture – an imbalance of fuel and air. This inadequate fuel supply causes the engine to sputter and struggle, impacting its performance.
Another aspect affected by a bad fuel pump is fuel pressure. The fuel pump is designed to maintain a specific pressure within the fuel system.
If the fuel pump is faulty, it may fail to maintain the required pressure, leading to a disrupted fuel supply.
This pressure drop during acceleration can cause the engine to sputter and hesitate, as it struggles to receive the necessary fuel for optimal combustion.
Why does it happen?
The fuel pump relies on an electrical circuit to power its operation. Any disruption or malfunction in this circuit, such as loose connections, faulty wiring, or a worn-out relay, can hinder the pump’s performance.
Furthermore, fuel contamination, caused by impurities or debris in the gas tank, can clog the fuel pump’s filter or cause damage to its delicate parts. This can hinder the pump’s ability to supply fuel efficiently.
Fuel pump can also damage due to excessive heat. Fuel pump is completely immersed in the fuel tank, and the fuel is also responsible for the lubrication and cooling of the fuel pump during operation.
If you frequently drive with very little fuel (less than 1/4th of tank capacity), your fuel pump will run dry, which will damage the internal components of the fuel pump.
To learn more, you can read my guide on problems after changing fuel pump.
How to diagnose and fix?
A fuel pressure test helps determine if the fuel pump is delivering fuel at the appropriate pressure during idle and acceleration. If the pressure is insufficient during acceleration, it’s a strong indicator of a bad fuel pump.
Clogged or dirty fuel filter can restrict fuel flow and put additional strain on the fuel pump. You should inspect and replace fuel filter if necessary to ensure smooth fuel delivery.
9. Vacuum Leaks Causing Lean Air-Fuel Mixture
A vacuum leak is when extra air enters the engine’s intake system without being measured by the MAF sensor. This messes up the perfect balance of air and fuel that the engine needs to run smoothly.
Now, you might be wondering how a vacuum is created in the engine. Well, when the piston moves down in the cylinder during the intake stroke, it creates more space for the air-fuel mixture to enter. This creates a partial vacuum, which is like a suction effect.
The intake valve opens, and the vacuum pulls in the air-fuel mixture from the intake manifold into the cylinder. This vacuum is important for the combustion process.
When you press the gas pedal and accelerate, the throttle plate opens wider, allowing more air into the engine.
So, as you accelerate, the vacuum decreases. At idle, the vacuum is strongest in the engine.
But when you come to a stop and the engine is idling, the throttle plate closes to limit airflow.
Since the vacuum is strongest at idle, any leak in the vacuum system allows unmeasured air to enter. This messes up the air-fuel ratio and can cause your car to stall or turn off.
How do vacuum leaks happen?
- Cracked or Leaking Intake Manifold: The intake manifold distributes air evenly to the engine cylinders. If it has cracks or leaks, it lets in extra air, causing a vacuum leak. Checking for damage and replacing the intake manifold is important to prevent this issue.
- Worn or Damaged Intake Manifold Gaskets: These gaskets seal the connection between the intake manifold and the engine block. Over time, they can wear out, crack, or get damaged, allowing air to escape or enter where it shouldn’t. This leads to a vacuum leak and related problems.
- Faulty Vacuum Hoses: Vacuum hoses carry air between different engine components. If they develop cracks, leaks, or become disconnected, they let in unmeasured air, causing a vacuum leak.
How can you spot a vacuum leak?
While the engine is running, listen closely for any hissing sounds. A vacuum leak often makes a distinct high-pitched hissing noise. If you hear it, try to locate the source, as it can help you find the problem area.
Professionals sometimes use smoke machines to find vacuum leaks. These machines fill the intake system with smoke, making it easier to see where the smoke escapes from. While this method might not be readily available for most people, it’s highly effective in finding even the trickiest leaks.
You can also use carb cleaner to detect vacuum leaks.
10. Blocked Catalytic Converter Restricts Exhaust Gas Flow
Catalytic converter a device in your car’s exhaust system that helps turn harmful gases into less harmful ones before they are released into the air. It does this through a chemical reaction that breaks down pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.
Inside the catalytic converter, there are precious metals like platinum and palladium that act as catalysts for the chemical reaction.
These metals are coated onto a ceramic honeycomb structure, which helps the gases flow through and provides a large surface area for the reaction to take place.
Now, here’s where the problem can occur. If the catalytic converter gets clogged with unburnt fuel or if its ceramic honeycomb structure gets damaged, it can’t work properly.
This means that the exhaust gases can’t escape as they should before the next cycle of air and fuel comes in.
As a result, the engine can’t get rid of the burnt gases effectively, leading to reduced power, lower acceleration, and more fuel consumption.
Basically, there is a backpressure that prevents exhaust gases from exiting the engine cylinder after combustion due to a blocked catalytic converter. I have explained this in detail in my guide on straight pipe exhaust systems.
How can you tell if your catalytic converter is causing the sputtering issue?
Well, you can do a simple test using a laser thermometer. Start your car and let it run for a few minutes. Then, open the hood and point the thermometer at the spot where the exhaust gases enter the catalytic converter.
Next, go underneath the car and point it at the spot where the gases exit. If there’s a big temperature difference, it means that the gases are trapped in the converter and not escaping properly.
Another way to check is by giving the catalytic converter a gentle tap with a hammer or mallet. If you hear a rattling sound, it could be a sign of a problem. You can also remove the catalytic converter and see if any pieces of the ceramic honeycomb structure have fallen out.
If you suspect that your catalytic converter is faulty, it’s a good idea to use an OBD2 reader to check for any error codes, like the P0420 code, which could indicate a problem with the converter.
11. Bad Engine Mounts Impairing Smooth transmission of Torque to Drivetrain
Engine mounts, also known as motor mounts, play a crucial role in securing the engine to the car’s frame or chassis.
They are usually made of rubber or a combination of rubber and metal. Their main job is to absorb the vibrations produced by the engine and prevent excessive movement.
When engine mounts become worn or damaged, they can lead to sputtering issues during acceleration. Here’s how it happens:
- Engine movement: As you accelerate, the engine generates torque and tends to move. The engine mounts keep it in place. However, when the mounts go bad, they lose their ability to stabilize the engine effectively. This causes the engine to move more than it should.
- Vibrations affecting sensors: Bad engine mounts can lead to increased vibrations and shaking. These vibrations can affect the various sensors in your car, including those responsible for measuring air and fuel intake. When these sensors are disturbed, they may send incorrect signals to the engine control unit (ECU), causing the engine to sputter.
How to test?
To determine if your engine mounts are causing sputtering issues, you can perform a simple test. With the engine running and parking brakes engaged, have someone observe the engine while you rapidly accelerate. If there is excessive movement or shifting visible in the engine, it is likely that the mounts are worn and need to be replaced.
12. Slipping Transmission Failing to Transfer Power Smoothly to Wheels
If you have an automatic transmission and you notice that your RPMs are increasing but your car is sputtering while accelerating, it’s likely because the gears in your transmission are slipping.
Let me break it down for you in simple terms.
Your automatic transmission is made up of a few important parts:
- Torque Converter: This is a special device that connects the engine’s power to the car’s drive shaft. It uses transmission fluid to reduce friction and make things run smoothly.
- Solenoid Valves: These control valves determine the flow of transmission fluid. They play a key role in shifting gears based on how much you’re accelerating or decelerating.
- Valve Body: It’s like the brain of the transmission system. It has tiny passages that direct the fluid’s movement and help control the gears.
- Transmission Fluid: Similar to engine oil, this fluid is crucial for keeping everything well-lubricated and functioning properly.
- Clutch Bands: These are responsible for shifting the gears and are connected to the valve body. They engage and disengage with the help of hydraulic pressure from the transmission fluid.
You can watch the following Youtube video to understand how automatic transmission starts slipping:
So, how can you spot a slipping transmission?
One common reason is low or bad transmission fluid. Just like with engine oil, you can check the transmission fluid level using a dipstick. Park your car on level ground, warm up the engine, and follow these steps:
- With the engine running, press the brake pedal and shift through each gear, holding for about 5 seconds in each position. Then, put the gear lever in PARK.
- Turn off the engine.
- Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and insert it back all the way.
- Take out the dipstick again and check the fluid level.
If the fluid level is below the designated lower mark, that means your transmission oil is running low. If you notice a dark color in the transmission fluid, it’s time to flush the transmission to keep it working smoothly.
Note: Keep in mind that if your car has been driven in various conditions, like fast highways, city streets, or towing a trailer, it’s important to let the transmission fluid cool down to get an accurate reading.
Now, it’s not just the fluid that can cause slipping. Worn-out clutches and bands can also be to blame.
You see, the bands in the clutch are what provide the necessary grip to engage the gears. When they get worn out, their grip weakens, resulting in the clutch slipping and the gears not engaging properly.
Next, you should check the control solenoids in the valve body. A faulty solenoid valve sticks open or closed so the fluid can’t apply the proper pressure to shift gears. The result is the same transmission slippage and hesitation when accelerating.
You can watch the below youtube video to test the solenoids of an automatic transmission system:
In summary, a car that idles fine but sputters under acceleration can be frustrating to diagnose. Key culprits often include fouled spark plugs, faulty oxygen sensors, clogged fuel injectors, slipping transmission, or vacuum leaks.
Thorough visual inspection and testing components with a multimeter can help isolate the root cause. Replacing worn parts, cleaning sensors, checking wiring, and refilling fluids may resolve these acceleration issues.
Proper maintenance and tuning up ignition, fuel, and transmission systems reduces the likelihood of sputtering. Addressing minor problems quickly prevents bigger issues down the road.
Some First Hand Experiences Shared By Users In Different Communities
Our team conducted research across various online communities, forums, and subreddits to gather user comments and opinions on “car idles smoothly but sputters during acceleration”.
User 1 says:
My 2016 Ford Fusion had a similar problem. It idled okay but would hesitate and sputter when I tried to accelerate. After some research, I learned that the spark plugs could be the culprit. I checked them and found they were worn out. I replaced the spark plugs and ignition coils, and the car’s acceleration improved quite a lot.
User 2 says:
I drive a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze. It started to sputter during acceleration, though idling was fine. The check engine light came on, so I used a code reader and found a P0300 code, indicating a misfire. I replaced the spark plugs and ignition coils, but the issue was actually a clogged fuel injector. After cleaning the fuel injectors, the car accelerated smoothly again.
User 3 says:
I own a 2015 Nissan Altima. It was fine at idle but stuttered and sputtered when accelerating. I suspected a fuel delivery issue. A mechanic friend suggested checking the fuel pump and filter. Turns out, the fuel filter was almost completely blocked. After replacing the fuel filter, the Altima’s acceleration returned to normal without any sputtering.
User 4 says:
I had a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta that ran smoothly at idle but sputtered on acceleration. After some troubleshooting, I discovered that the oxygen sensor was malfunctioning, sending incorrect data to the ECU and causing the fuel mixture to be off. Replacing the oxygen sensor fixed the issue, and the Jetta’s performance returned to normal.
User 5 says:
I drive a 2019 Kia Sorento which started to sputter during acceleration. The car would idle perfectly, but as soon as I pressed the gas pedal, it would hesitate and jerk. A mechanic checked and found that the catalytic converter was partially blocked. This was affecting the exhaust flow. Mechanic replaced the catalytic converter and the Sorento’s acceleration became smooth again.