Misty Vaughn

Asked by Misty Mar 15, 2010 at 10:50 AM about the 2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8 S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

MY car started jerking when i started it and while i was driving it when i push the gas it would not jerk as bad but it seemed like it did not want to pick up speed and when i stop it acts like it wants to die. HELP!! I have already had the timimg belt changed

19 Answers

Allan Spittal

have you had the timing checked?...maybe check to see if there is a vacuume leak some where...or maybe a fuel delivery problem, a faulty injector, a plugged fuel filter...or a plugged convertor... hope this helps a bit!

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

Did you ever figure out what was wrong with your car?? Mine is doing the same thing! I tried new engine coils, spark plugs, mass air flow sensor and no luck yet! Let me know what you have tried... Sierra

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Chris Young

I replaced my crankshaft sensor on min and that seemed to do the trick. Is your Check engine light on?

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.

My Nissan Sentra 1.8 S started to feel like it swallowed a Watermelon. Very sluggish to drive and hard to start. This car has 82,000 miles on it and has been well maintained. Found out that there is a service campaign on the Fuel Pump. The new kit includes a fuel pump and a fuel regulator and my mechanic thought this might also take care of the starting problem. $ 498 dollars later, my car is jerking all over the place...usually at high speed. I am a single gal with two kids and me and my son are fighting an illness that insurance won't cover. WE DID NOT NEED THIS. I thought Nissan made reliable cars but just internet surfing and looking at review after review by consumers, I think I bought a lemon.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.

same problems....check engine light came on and got codes po420 abd po455 ....probable causes = faulty fuel cap, purge system leak, faulty canister vent control valve, faulty purge control valve, large vacuum leak, fuel system fault, ignition system fault, failed bank 1 catalytic converter....this car has been checked out by 2 auto mechanics...... nothing came up on at least two diagnostic runs.... fuel system cleaned, new fuel pump and fuel regulator installed, new spark plugs, and no leaks detected..... 2 weeks after work done I get the service engine light on with those codes......WHAT'S UP ???????

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.

Same issues as above, 80k miles. Got codes for multiple misfires, car is jerking at high speeds and makes a glugging noise while idling. We thought that this was caused by the engine running lean (some cat converter codes noted above). replaced the o2 sensors, but the issue persisted. One day the car doesn't start. I took it to a reliable mechanic who noticed two problems. The ignition coil had to be replaced as well as the crank sensors. The car starts now...but still jerks or bucks when idling and at high speeds. Who would have though these problems would be so pervasive in Nissans?

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Doran Harney

As a mechanic and as a Sentra owner who has modified nearly every aspect of his own car, I would suggest trying a couple things if you have not yet done so - I can't guarantee that any of these will resolve your issue, but unfortunately it is extremely difficult to troubleshoot/diagnose a vehicle without experiencing the issue firsthand: 1. Try re-grounding the MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor). Even the slightest resistance in the ground wire of the MAF will cause it to send the wrong information to the ECU regarding how much air is being drawn into the motor, which will throw off the critical 14.7 to 1 air-to-fuel ratio, an issue which can manifest itself in a manner consistent with your description, and is also fairly common in Nissan motors. 2. Try replacing your spark plug wires. This is another part that is extremely sensitive to any increase in resistance, as extremely high voltage is required for the current to arc from one of your spark plug's electrodes to the other. It is also a part that is easily deteriorated by the heating and cooling cycles found within your engine compartment. Although your spark plug wires may look alright, tiny cracks in their insulation and/or breaks in the indvidual conductors found within can lead to inconsistent or weak spark, an issue which can also manifest itself in a manner consistent with your description, and prevalent among many compact cars, especially front-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicles such as yours. 3. This might sound stupid, but check that both your front tires are the same size, and that one is not considerably more worn than the other. This shouldn't be too hard for you to check on your own, just look at the sidewall of both tires and make sure that they both have the same set of numbers printed on the side, such as "195/55R16". If you have two different size tires on the front wheels, the smaller of the two tires will have to make more rotations in order to go the same distance as the larger tire, which in turn means that one axle will try and rotate more quickly than the other. Suffice it to say that this is not a circumstance that your differential or your transmission enjoy, and can also manifest itself in a manner consisten with your description. Anyways, I hope this information helps you out.

10 out of 10 people think this is helpful.
Doran Harney

Just want to add a footnote to my last post: My car ended up doing the same thing just the other day, and after deciding that it wasn't realistically driveable until I resolved the issue, I pulled over, popped the hood, and went through the motor compartment, only to find my MAF ground wire was loose. I tightened it back up, and the issue went away. DEFINITELY check the MAF sensor ground wire, or have someone who knows Nissans very well such as myself check it. I've found that this is exactly the sort of thing that mechanics who do not own or specialize in Nissans tend to misdiagnose.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Dustin McRae

Sounds like fouled plugs, or a bad coil. Not sure what kind of ignition that 1.8 has though, but I'd assume it's COP.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have an 05 Sentra and its starting to jerk while im sitting at the stop light and while im driving. I just had a tune up on my car less than two weeks ago and the mechanics didn't experience none of the jerking. Can anyone help me figure this out. I dont wanna spend a bunch of money on random stuff thats not gonna help resolve the issue. I've already had head gasket work and my fuel kit replaced in the car a couple years back. If anyone has any ideas please help.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
Doran Harney

Is your Check Engine light on? When you say it's "starting to jerk" while you're at stoplights, do you mean that the vehicle physically moves forward in small increments, or that the steering wheel is shaking, perhaps not constantly, but regularly enough to notice? When you say that it's jerking while driving, do you mean that it feels like a momentary loss of power, then power returns, and quickly repeats this power-loss-then-surge pattern, or is it more that it begins with a surge, then returns to normal, and repeats, or am I completely misunderstanding? Either way, the more specific and descriptive you can be as you explain what the car is doing, the better, and more likely I will be to be able to help.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

The check engine light did not come on while i was sitting still. The car just started jerking as if it wanted to shut off while i was sitting still. More like the care was trembling instead of jerking. The car didn't move foward or anything as I had my foot on the brake. As for when i was driving down the interstate, the care was jerking forward as it seemed like a temporary loss of power or gas flow. At that point the check engine light would come on and off each time the car would jerk. I just had a tune up, (spark plugs changed and new belts), i also had the idol control system checked and they a did a relearn system on that because my cars rpm's were too high. That did solve the jerking/trembling problem but its not as bad. Haven't seen the check engine light come on since.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Doran Harney

Sounds very much like you're experiencing multiple-misfire events - double check ignition timing, plug gap, and if you haven't replaced cap/rotor/plug wires as a part of your tune-up, that might help as well. The exact code(s) that the CEL is reporting would be very helpful, you might be able to find a shop that'll read it for free.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have a maxima and am experiencing the same jerking got a new MAF spark plugs coil pack tubing transmission serviced and tune up nothing has stopped the jerking its less frequent butvstill occurring. Ive spent over $3000 fixing things now im broke with a car that stillnjerks. Dealer and local mechanic see no error codes or anything and the check engine light isnt coming on so the say come back if it appears. What should i do?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Doran Harney

A new MAF won't fix a bad harness ground. Try regrounding the MAF.


I have an 05 Nissan Sentra. Mine does the jerk thing too at 40 MPH. The RPMs will be at normal speed then jerk down to 1 and a half. I have got a new gas cap, which made my check engine light go off after a "multi cylinder misfire" reading. My gas gauge never works until I am at a quarter of a tank. I notice that when the gas gauge doesn't work, the car jerks, but when it has a normal reading, the car doesn't jerk. Other than that the car runs fine.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

hi, i dont no if any of you will be able to help me. i have a 1990 nissan AD wagon. my car runs well. no noticeable driving problems. my issue is cold start. when i start the car turns on and jerks like if its suffocating, and levels out on its own, morning time start is the most aggressive. i have an electronic throttle qg13 engine. i was told to try spraying a carburetor spray into the TB before starting, this in fact makes the car start very smooth. but its only for that one start, any other cold start for the say will result in a problem happening. i have no check engine light, no codes come up if i scan. any help?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jordon Dillon

I had a problem with my nissan sentra thumping, had advance auto parts run a car sensor for free on my car, said cylinder 4 was miss firing, replaced my spark plugs, car did a bit better but not a lot. So I then replaced the coil on cylinder 4 and it ran a lot better, it stopped thumping and gained a lot of it's horse power back. It is now idling out though when i start my car, once i get it running a bit it keeps running but getting it going sucks. I'm not sure what to do next.


2003 NIssan Sentra 99500 miles .Car jerks when at stop light. SES light is ON and SES code is P0302 Cylinder 2 misfire. Probable causes vaccum leak, air leak, mechanical fault. What is wrong? what should be replaced??

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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