Have you noticed your car hesitating every time you take a turn? If yes, you’re probably looking for clues why this is happening and what to do about it. Why does your car hesitate when turning?
Your car hesitates when turning due to a clogged fuel filter that’s cutting off fuel. The problem may also be arising from a weak fuel pump, low fuel pressure, leaking vacuum hoses, bad ignition coil, or even low power steering fluid levels.
Right below, you’ll discover full details about all the potential causes for your car hesitating when turning, the diagnosis process, and other helpful information we gathered for you concerning this problem.
Why does your car hesitate when turning?
Your car hesitating when turning is a common problem among many vehicle owners. And NO; this issue isn’t caused by fuel sloshing as most people assume.
The truth is, there are more potential culprits for this problem as discussed below:
Clogged fuel filter
Your car fuel filter could be clogged or dirty, and this may be another reason your car hesitates whenever you make a right or left turn.
The clogging or dirt means there’s no gas flow through the filter screen and this leads to poor fuel economy, loss of power, stumbling, and even engine hesitation.
Unfortunately, the fuel filter in most modern vehicle models is situated in the fuel tank. But if your vehicle has an external fuel filter, it’s pretty cheap to replace.
Dirty or clogged air filter
Your engine requires fuel, spark, and air for smooth running. A clogged or dirty air filter can compromise the air part of the equation.
This will smother your engine, hurt fuel economy, and even affect the acceleration.
Fortunately, a clogged air filter is one of the cheapest fixes. You simply get the old filter out of the air box and drop in a new one.
Defective fuel pump
The pump is responsible for delivering fuel from the tank to the engine. And it must do so at constant pressure to ensure smooth running of the engine.
A defective fuel pump can’t do its job correctly, thus leading to fuel starvation when you’re taking a turn.
If you have a bad fuel pump, you may experience power loss as you try accelerating or turning a corner.
This is because accelerating requires more fuel and the defective pump is unable to meet this demand, thus starving your engine of fuel and making the engine die.
Low power steering fluid
If you feel some hesitation in your car when you turn a corner, that could be a sign that you have low levels of power steering fluid.
It could also be the power steering pump itself. Whenever you use this pump, the engine undergoes too much stress. Thus, your steering may still be the culprit even when the fluid levels are good.
To see if the pump is the culprit, try turning the wheel while in park and listen for abnormalities. Then, remove the power steering pump belt and repeat the test to see if you’ll still hear any abnormalities.
Still at it, if your steering wheel feels “heavy” as you turn, it may also be a sign that the steering stabilizer bar bushings may be worn.
Your engine relies on a sealed system to contain the vacuum it creates when running.
If this vacuum system gets leaky, it may make your car computer react to false data, and this results in hesitation.
Just inspect your engine system for any damaged vacuum lines and repair them.
Bad spark plugs
Spark plugs are a crucial part of your engine as they help ignite the air-fuel mixture inside combustion chamber—thus providing the engine power.
If these spark plugs go bad or are simply maladjusted, they will affect the ignition timing and hesitation will occur as you turn.
A quick inspection of all the spark plugs will help you find out if they’re faulty and require replacement or readjustments.
Throttle position sensor
The throttle position injector informs your car computer about the amount of pressure being put on the accelerator pedal as well as how open the throttle is.
This info enables the computer to adjust the fuel metering and timing accordingly.
However, if this sensor starts to fail, your engine strategies will be thrown off and the engine will experience trouble responding to the accelerator or maintaining idle.
In most cases, a failing TPS sensor also triggers the check engine light.
Other potential causes for engine hesitation include mass airflow (MAF) sensor issues, failing manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor issues, EGR valve problems, and throttle plate buildup.
How do you fix your engine hesitation when turning?
If your car is hesitating when turning left or right, we advise you to act on time and fix this problem, so that you can continue taking smooth turns as before.
You can carry out the diagnosis on your own if you’re confident in your skills.
Start by inspecting the air filter. Simply remove it and inspect the flow by blowing through it. If it doesn’t flow freely, then it’s clogged and needs to be cleaned or even replaced.
Next, you should take a look at the fuel system pressure regulator. A bad pressure regulator has key symptoms that you should look out for such as loss of power, reduced fuel efficiency, reduced acceleration, etc. It may also make your fuel pump produce a whirring noise.
Finally, take a look at the fuel pump. Inspect if it’s weak or damaged. Ensure the pump is mounted correctly and there are no seals in it. In case it appears damaged, you’ll need to replace it with a new one and see if it helps.
If your fuel pump looks right but you still believe it’s the culprit, try this quick fix:
Try rewiring it directly with a switch (i.e., from your car battery to switch and then to pump), and then reground it at the fuel pump to the rear hatch area. This fix will help prevent any electrical gremlins.
If your fuel system seems alright, you may want to check other parts that are likely to be the source of this problem. These include the mass airflow sensor and its related wiring, the throttle position sensor and its wiring, and the EGR valve (for sticking pintle).
You should also check if your power steering fluid levels require top-up.
Note that we always recommend taking your car to a professional mechanic to inspect these parts for you. Or if you diagnose a problem with your car, get a professional to check it and fix it for you.
What if your car hesitates and makes noise when turning left?
If you have a situation where your car hesitates when you turn left, you’d want to check the parts we mentioned earlier such as the spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel pressure, and wires.
You should also inspect the fuel system (for pressure problems) as well as the MAF sensor, TP sensor, and the EGR valve and their wirings for any faults and correct them.
This has been a common problem among countless vehicle owners. One such interesting case is where this car owner tries to take a left turn aggressively and the car hesitates. And as he straightens out, the car gets back to normal.
The responses from other motorists who have had this problem mainly revolved around checking whether the fuel pump is in good condition or needs to be changed. You should also inspect whether the fuel filter is clogged.
In another case, the car shows hesitation as the owner tries accelerating from stop light and turns left. He further explains that his car doesn’t do this during right turn from a stop
However, there’s one interesting response from a car owner who had this exact problem. He explains that after his car was diagnosed, the mechanic found a broken filter at inlet in the car transmission.
The motorist proceeded to replace the broken filter and topped of trans fluid and the problem was gone!
What makes your car stop/stall when turning right?
You may also be experiencing a case where your car stops or stalls when you turn right. This situation is perfectly echoed by this Redditor whose car tends to stop as he goes around corners.
The reason your engine cuts off as you turn right corners can be attributed to electric power loss to the ignition system, or the engine losing fuel to the fuel injection system.
This issue could be an indication of failing parts such as a clogged air filter, weak fuel pump, bad ignition coil, or fuel pressure regulator going bad.
Our advice is to have a good mechanic check your car. Experienced auto shops usually have the tools (as well as the knowledge) to easily pinpoint the root cause and fix it for you.
What to do if there’s no check engine light but car hesitates?
If your car hesitates when making turns around corners but the check engine light doesn’t show up, that’s nothing to worry about.
You can still have your checked by an experienced mechanic to find out the cause of the hesitation problem.
The lack of a check engine light means there’s no diagnostic trouble code available, and this makes it a bit harder to locate the problem behind the hesitation.
Good news is that you already know the major culprits behind engine hesitation when turning left.
Thus, you’ll just need to diagnose these parts to find the source. But keep in mind that this may take longer than when dealing with error codes.If your car hesitates when turning, it can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem. At MotorAdvices, we have articles that address a range of issues related to car hesitations, including what to do when your car hesitates and jerks when accelerating and what the white or blue powder on your car battery means. Our article on car hesitating and jerking when accelerating explains the possible reasons for this issue and offers solutions to help you keep your car running smoothly. Additionally, our article on car battery with white or blue powder discusses the causes of the white or blue powder on your car battery and provides tips on how to clean it. Visit MotorAdvices to learn more about how to keep your car running smoothly and address any hesitations or issues you may be experiencing.
Yes, a dirty throttle body can cause hesitation. The throttle plate which is housed inside the throttle body tends to accumulate carbon deposits over time. This interferes with proper throttle plate operation and interrupts proper airflow. As a result of inconsistent airflow patterns and uneven amounts of air, your engine will experience hesitation during acceleration.
Your car stuttering when turning left may be an indication of a worn or loose belt in the power steering system. As you turn left, the power steering pump gets stressed by power steering piston. This makes the belt slip (and make noise) since it needs more torque to spin the pulley. It could also be due to your engine drawing more current, so you’d want to inspect the spark plugs and idle speed.
Many things can make your car hesitate when turning. The most common culprits for this problem include clogged fuel filter, clogged air filter, failing fuel pressure regulator, and a worn fuel pump. Other potential culprits are a bad throttle position sensor, a bad MAF sensor, power steering issues, bad spark plugs, and vacuum leaks.
Keep in mind that your car hesitating can be a dangerous scenario especially when you’re taking turns on the freeway. We recommend you get a professional mechanic to carry out a comprehensive diagnosis of your car and pinpoint the source of the problem. A reputable mechanic will give you a detailed report for the necessary replacements/repairs to help fix the issue.