Car jerks while driving and warning lights are on
My car has 154234 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.
Start by having the vehicle tested for diagnostic troubleshooting codes. This may shine some light on the situation. You can also test the battery to make sure it working. Other parts that can cause these types of issues include the spark plugs, spark wires, distributor, fuel pump, and fuel injectors. Computer issues may also be to blame. The best way to figure out where to start is from the results of a diagnostic scan or by process of elimination.
I recommend having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to determine why the warning lights are on and suggest the necessary repairs.
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Having a defective mass airflow sensor could certainly cause your car to jerk or even lung forward while accelerating. The mass airflow sensor helps measures the amount of air that your car engine takes in.
The PCM uses this information to control which gears of the transmission to enable or disable. When the TR sensor fails it can cause wrong gear starts, no upshifts, or what feels like a falling-out-of-gear condition.
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If your vehicle is under warranty, by law the dealer MUST repair the issue you are describing within a prescribed time frame and number of "attempts", otherwise the dealer will run afoul of Federal and state Lemon Laws that give you very specific rights, and recourse (contact an Attorney; we are Mechanics, NOT attorneys). Consequently, if the vehicle is still under warranty, to save yourself money do be sure to seek a resolution from the dealer. If the vehicle is not under warranty, obviously a certified Mechanic from YourMechanic could identify the electrical fault and resolve this for you. If you want to go that route, please simply request a no start diagnostic -electrical system and the responding certified mechanic will get this taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.
On most modern cars, there are a series of sensors that are designed to monitor mechanical systems; such as the transmission on your Saturn. In most cases, when a problem occurs, a trouble code is stored in the on board computer that will indicate what is causing the troubles. The best way to find out what’s going on is to not take your car to a shop; let the mechanic come to you. Contact one of our professional mobile mechanics to complete a check engine light inspection first. This will allow them diagnose what’s wrong with your car so they can recommend and complete the right repairs.
It sounds like you may have a dirty or faulty mass air flow sensor. The problem this can cause may also be compounded when the engine is cold due to the change in air density in cooler weather. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the motor. This sensor relays information about fuel and air temperature, air speed entering the motor and many other things to the ECM which uses this to make adjustments to fuel supply to the motor. A dirty or faulty sensor can cause an imbalanced air/fuel load to be supplied to the motor which results in an over fueling or under fueling situation depending on the conditions. This type of inconsistent fuel supply to the motor may cause a hesitation, loss of power, a jerking reaction, potentially a bit of black exhaust smoke and typically a strong smell of fuel when this sensor is malfunctioning. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your home to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.
It’s hard to say without hearing it, but the "airplane" noise may be coming from your failed alternator. I don’t recommend running out and buying a new alternator right away, the battery needs to be fully charged or replaced so that you can have a proper tests performed.
Charging or installing a battery, or even jumping one off, is a risky business on a modern car. Connecting the cables incorrectly for even a moment can do a lot of expensive damage to the various modules in your car.
I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your home or office to confirm a diagnosis on the issue and make or suggest the necessary repairs or replacements.