What can cause jerking on heavy acceleration when AC is on in my 2008 PT Cruiser Convertable?


Asked by Octoberschild Aug 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM about the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The service engine light came on in my car. It's come on before and then gone off. Yesterday after driving about 5 miles, upon trying to accelerate my PT started jerking. If I ease off the accelerator then it will run ok without the jerking. I had my daughter come over with her computer reader to diagnose the problem for me. No codes came up. She took it and test drove it, and it didn't do the jerking. Today I go out and have the AC going, the check service engine light comes on again and then the car starts in jerking on heavy acceleration again. I decided to try turning off the AC to see if that made a difference, it did. The car did not jerk any longer as long as I left the AC off. What could be causing my car to act up like this? Also, the service engine light stayed on even with the AC off and no jerking. I just had it checked out and a service done on it about 2 weeks ago. They said it had a clean bill of health....no problems. Now this!!! Can someone give me a clue as to what is going on...PLEASE????

4 Answers


I finally figured out what was causing my car to jerk upon fast acceleration. I took my car to Autozone as my son suggested. They will hook up a computer reader to your car and get a print out of all the codes that come up. They will then give you the print out telling you what it showed as possible things wrong. I had two codes. One was saying the gas cap on my car was faulty and most likely needed to be replaced. Inexpensive quick fix! I more or less figured something was going on with it considering the gas cap light lit up from time to time on my dash. The other thing it suggested was my cam sensor. Another relatively inexpensive part replacement. If you buy it at the auto parts store it's a few dollars less then at the dealership. The parts store has two types, I chose the one with a lifetime warranty on it. My son installed the part for me which was an easy install, and my car is now running great again! :)

15 out of 15 people think this is helpful.

Octoberschild, I had the same problem. When I turned off the ac, it was fine. Finally got tired of not using ac so when it acted up, I took it to the mechanic. Ended up being an accelerator sensor. Hope this helped :)

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

my 2007 pt did same thing, engine light came on , car was jerking and bucking, ( had nothing to do with the a/c or heat) it was the cam positon sensor, on line the part is 35.99 to 55.99 depending on where you buy it, local garage did mine part and labor for 162.00

11 out of 11 people think this is helpful.

My Wifes 2004 pt cruiser began bucking and stalling, I took it to the shop ,they plug it into their computer and tell me the AC cooling fan itself was burned out causing the car to overheat and stall. So we replaced it and the car still does the same thing. They replaced the crankshaft sensor ,still the same thing.replaced oil sending unit same thing.every time we go to pick it up it never leaves the parking lot without stalling.each time they tell us the problem has been resolved and runs perfect and then never makes it a mile down the road before the problem returns. When this happens ,I push the accelerator but nothing happens ,it loses all power then dies ,the computer has been check and reprogrammed ,they say. I was thing maybe a catalytic converter or the fuel pump but they say no,it's electrical.right before his happens I get a dinging sound and a small light next to the fuel gauge comes on, any suggestions please help

8 out of 8 people think this is helpful.

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