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4
Doing the Jerk

No, we're not talking about that cool dance where your knees kind of open and close and you move from side to side, and you can get all low and funky with it. We're talking about a car doing the jerk, which is much less cool.

Driving should be free of jerking, surging, or stalling. It should be smooth and easy, more like ballet than Beyonce. What's cool in the club is not cool in an engine.

But if your car is popping and locking, that's a pretty strong sign of engine trouble. It could be due to fouled spark plugs, clogged fuel lines or fuel filter, the main computer reading the driving situation wrong, or many, many other issues.

The last thing you want is for your vehicle to take its own sweet time accelerating, or to give out entirely, as you're merging onto a busy highway with other vehicles barreling down behind you. Likewise, high revving at idle or acceleration that's out of your control are situations you should have a qualified technician investigate and repair as soon as possible.

Preventive maintenance, including regular oil changes and belt replacements at recommended intervals help to keep you out of the danger zone.

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