The motor starts lurching and my speedometer and tachometer start pegging out, the truck keeps running though

As I'm driving along the truck will start lurching and the instruments will start fluctuating, I can continue driving and the problem will stop but it will do it again, sometimes it smells like the exhaust is leaking. I replaced the battery a month ago and there was a starting issue with it, one of the wires to the positive terminal, the one with the fuse link, was sketchy. I would have to jiggle it to get it to start, I replaced the fuse in the link. What's going on with this thing.

My car has 311518 miles.
My car has a standard transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi there. It would appear, there is a poor electrical connection or wiring issue still present. This would account for the engine lurching (a loss of power or ground to the fuel or ignition system) and erratic speedometer and tachometer. It may be power supply issue and/or poor ground related issue. Taking another look at the replaced fusible link(s), may resolve the problem. It could be, a charging system related concern. A failed alternator diode(s) could create unusual electrical problems. The exhaust smell could be, an electrical smell. I recommend having your vehicle’s engine starts lurching and erratic speedometer and tachometer be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Fuel injector nozzles can become clogged over time, which can lead to a sputtering engine, slow acceleration and the car not having enough power. Fuel injectors can be cleaned if the problem is caught early, but as the conditions worsens, the injectors may have to be replaced.
There are a range of reasons why your car is juddering when you accelerate. Your vehicle could have dirty fuel injectors, a damaged fuel pump, a blocked catalytic converter, a faulty mass airflow sensor, broken spark plugs, or even an accumulation of moisture.
Dirty fuel injectors are among the most common reasons for why an accelerator becomes jerky. The dirty injector leads to your car losing power when you attempt to accelerate while at a stop and when you try to drive at a consistent speed. This is the result of an engine misfire.
A clogged fuel or air filter can make your engine sputter and your acceleration lag because the engine is not getting enough fuel or air, respectively. The combustion chamber needs the correct amount of air and fuel in order to generate combustion efficiently.
An engine that is hesitating to accelerate is most likely dealing with a fuel/air mixture that is too lean. Engine`s that are running inefficiently will begin to show signs like hesitation which will only become worse over time.
One of the most common causes of a sputtering engine is an issue with the vehicle`s fuel system—the filter, pump, and injectors. These three critical components work together to ensure fuel flows smoothly from the fuel tank to your engine`s fuel injectors, and then pumps into the engine evenly.
If you`re driving at freeway speeds and notice your engine sputter or jerk, you may have a failing fuel pump. This problem is caused when the fuel pump can`t deliver a smooth flow of fuel to the engine; periodically, your engine receives only air when it was expecting to receive fuel.
When the transmission jerks between gears or the transmission is shifting hard, it should be taken as a warning that your transmission needs repair. When a transmission is shifting hard or slipping it`s time for an inspection.
This monitors the position of your foot on the pedal relative to how much fuel is introduced into the throttle body. When this is faulty, it can cause a jerking or hesitating effect as you describe.
When you accelerate and decelerate a vehicle`s speed, you may feel a jerk when changing gears. This car jerk may occur due to a faulty transmission control module. That said, this can happen in both manual and automatic transmissions. With an automatic transmission, the gear changes may delay resulting in jerks.
Sputtering Engine

Your fuel pump is telling you something if your engine starts to sputter once you`ve hit the top speed on the highway. The sputters indicate that your engine is being starved of necessary fuel, and starvation could be caused by a clogged or failing fuel pump. Sputters also indicate spark plug trouble.

Worn Transmission Fluid (Automatic Transmission)

Over time, the transmission fluid gathers dirt and grime. This can cause the engine to run roughly, stall or fail to accelerate when you press down on the gas pedal. You may need to have a transmission fluid change before more damage is done.

A clogged fuel injector can prevent the fuel your car needs to accelerate, thus causing you car to jerk in the process. If you hear your car engine stuttering, then the injectors may not be providing an adequate amount of fuel. To fix this, you should clean the injectors on a regular basis.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

The motor starts lurching and my speedometer and tachometer start pegging out, the truck keeps running though
ANSWER : Hi there. It would appear, there is a poor electrical connection or wiring issue still present. This would account for the engine lurching (a loss of power or ground to the fuel or ignition system) and erratic speedometer and tachometer. It may be power supply issue and/or poor ground related issue. Taking another look at the replaced fusible link(s), may resolve the problem. It could be, a charging system related concern. A failed alternator diode(s) could create unusual electrical problems. The exhaust smell could be, an electrical smell. I recommend having your vehicle’s engine starts lurching and erratic speedometer and tachometer be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

I changed the fuel pump and truck ran great for 3 days. Now after 3 days, the truck dies. It will start running for a few minutes, then dies like before.
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. I’d be happy to help. It sounds like you should disconnect the connector to the fuel pump and inspect it for any signs of getting hot. The female connections may be too loose on the fuel pump and lose contact after running and getting hot. If there are indeed any signs of problems, then I’d suggest replacing connector and adding dielectric lube to pins before installation. This should solve the problem, but if you continue to experience issues, feel free to reach out to us for help again.

when the motor is cold it starts right up, when the motor has been running it won’t start until the motor cools
ANSWER : Hi! Sometimes when electronic components are failing they can be affected by heat. They may work when cool but not when hot. The electronic control module on your Dodge that controls ignition spark is the suspected culprit here. I suggest checking for spark while it’s hot to see if this is causing the no start. If you need help getting this looked at, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to the location of the car to diagnose the starting problem and have this addressed correctly.

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.

Vehicle won’t start, once it’s jump started it only stays running until you turn it off, then it work start again without jumping.
ANSWER : Hi there. There could be two problems here. It is possible that your battery is bad and will not take a charge from your alternator while driving. In that case every time you shut your car off you will not have enough juice to start it again. Inspect your battery – it should have at least 12.5 to 13 volts to start your car, if it doesn’t you will need to replace the battery. The second problem could be that your alternator is bad and not charging your battery, in this case you will need to replace your alternator. Both the battery and the alternator can be tested in your car. If you would like to have the car checked for you, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and proceed with repairs.

I parked my truck for 5-10 mins. Tried to turn it on, now it wont start, called a tow tow truck 15-20mins later my truck turned on
ANSWER : It is very likely that you have a powertrain control module failure. This can happen often on many GM vehicles. I would recommend having the powertrain control module tested and replaced as necessary in order to resolve this issue. After the powertrain control module is replaced, a reflash procedure will be required so that the vehicle can relearn all of its primary engine data. Once the reflash is completed, your vehicle should no longer have this issue.

Odometer has lines, won’t start unless I put fuel in the intake. The fuel pump keeps running and doesn’t shut off? Seems like the truck wants to start.
ANSWER : Hi there. From the description you have provided, you’ve replaced the fuel pressure regulator, the fuel pump never shuts off and puts fuel in the throttle body, it runs until the fuel is gone, and the odometer has lines instead of mileage. This would appear to be a fuel control problem and communication failure.

Some possibilities are that the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) has shorted internally causing the fuel pump relay to be commanded continuously on, injector driver circuits are inoperative, or failed communication to the IPC (Instrument Panel Cluster).

This all needs to be confirmed through diagnostic procedures. I recommend having your vehicle’s fuel pump never shuts off, truck won’t start condition be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

Sometimes the truck will start and run just fine, and other times it will barely want to start and I need to press the gas pedal
ANSWER : Hello. This can be caused by a few different things. If the vehicle will run by pressing lightly on the gas pedal then it may be a bad idle control valve. If it sticks, it will allow too much air into the engine and cause it to run like this.

It can also be a weak fuel pump or an air flow meter issue. If the engine runs fine once it is started, then I would check the computer for codes first. If none are present, then I would run the engine and see what the sensor readings are to see if anything comes up faulty.

If those are also fine, then I check the fuel pressure to see if the pump is getting weak or to see if the pressure bleeds off while the vehicle sits. If you are thinking of having this starting issue inspected, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to diagnose and repair this problem.