I have a big issue- 2012 Prius c slipping/jerking at slow speeds

Discussion in 'Prius c Main Forum' started by Josh331, Mar 22, 2021.

  1. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    So to give you a little backstory and forgive me in advance, I am definitely not a car guy, this could all be coincidence but I will tell it like it is, my front tires were pretty bald last week so I put the rears on the front and the fronts on the rear until my new tires come in on Friday. Immediately after I did that, they sounded loud and muffled on the road (just as used crappy tires would) but either that same evening or the next morning, I noticed some jerking motion in the car when going around slow turns it started out with just a couple of jerks, and now a few days later the car will slip/jerk seven or eight times either from a stop and go, or just taking a normal turn. It does not do it at all at high speeds, occasionally it will do it when I’m doing about 30 miles an hour, but about 50% of the time around the turns or going from a stoplight, it does it. The best way I can describe it is imagine pulling out onto a road that’s kind of icy and the car jerks three or four times to get traction before it starts going, it’s similar to that. But it definitely doesn’t feel like the tires...

    My buddy who’s a semi mechanic without experiencing it swore it was the tires but after he drove it today and felt it, he feels the tires and suspension are definitely ruled out, and he felt the transmission was going. I mean he literally pointed down near the stick and said he could feel the car jerking right beneath him, however he feels it may not be the transmission now as he read a post on here that kind of ruled out slipping in a Prius transmission so who knows… Maybe the EGR going out?

    Another example I could give is imagine being stopped right in front of a train tracks and then as you accelerate and you go over the tracks how it’s kind of bumpy, feels like that a little.

    what do you guys think, the car itself has 250,000 miles on it, but the hybrid battery, engine, fuel pump all have just a little over 100,000 miles.
     
    #1 Josh331, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  2. dubit

    dubit Senior Member

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    wow - that's a hard one to shed any light on without actually seeing the vehicle in person. What came to my mind first was possibly not having the lug nuts tightened fully. But I'd think one of them would have fallen off now if that was the case. Have you tried putting the tires back where they were initially?
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Tangential to your jerking issue, I know, but I couldn't help noticing:

    Are you getting four new tires, or two new ones that you'll be putting on the rear?

    In general, you never want worse tires on the rear than you have in front. I would probably have recommended not moving the tires (so just leaving the better ones on the rear) while waiting for the new ones. Then if it's four new ones you're all set, or if it's two new ones, put those on the rear and move the better old ones to the front at that time.

     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Broken CV joint?

    I can't think of anything else that might do this on a c, but then I haven't seen one with 250k miles on it yet.
     
  5. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    I’m getting four brand new tires, should be in Friday. I will either rotate the tires back to how they were with the balds being in the front, or throw on my four summer tires which are pretty worn but, anything should be better than what I’m experiencing. Really hope it takes away this jerking/slipping issue....
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I think the issues might be unrelated; on general vehicle stability, you're better off with the good tires on the back, bu either way I'm not seeing that as the cause of the jerking you're describing.

    So the engine was changed 150,000 ago? How did the transmission input damper look at that time? Was it reused, or was there one on the replacement engine?
     
  7. topshot

    topshot Member

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    Worn tires can do something like you describe. To me it felt like the tire was binding somehow, but I only noticed it at slow speeds and tight turns (i.e, parking lot) where the wheel would jerk a but a few times as I'd do a 90 degree turn. I'd never had a car do that before but I figured it had to be something about the c and the worn OEM tires (bought used with almost 50K miles on it) even though they seemed to be worn evenly and no feathering. It drove fine otherwise including high speed around curves. Once I replaced the tires a couple months ago it has not done that.
     
  8. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    let me ask you a question man, I really don’t understand why you would put the new tires on the back and keep the older worn ones on the front. Every shop I’ve ever gone to has always said put the old tires on the rear, new tires on the drive wheels, especially a front wheel drive Prius c...?
     
  9. topshot

    topshot Member

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    You should watch the video that was in that post.
     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    That's what I think too but the current crop of "experts" doesn't agree.

    While it is true that loss of traction on the front wheels is much harder to learn to deal with than loss of rear traction...........
    your average driver is MUCH more likely to put the rears under "traction stress" than the fronts.
    So it is more likely to have the rears lose traction so the ones with better grip need to be there.

    I have been convinced that general situation is real enough so that conclusion makes sense.
    But not for me. I still put the best ones on the front.
    Because during my driving years I have recovered from a rear slide out maybe a thousand times with no major damage.
    I have lost front traction twice. Both times required major body work.
     
  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    As I understand it, whether that is true may be the exact thing being reconsidered by the current crop of experts.

    "There are two good things about having the better tires on the back," noted Evan Sanders, another Michelin test driver at the proving grounds. "The main thing is that [the front tires hydroplaning] is easier to control, it's safer, it's more stable and the car won't spin out,"

    Without doubting that you had the experiences you had, it's possible they involved factors that make them harder to generalize.
     
  12. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Which is more important, the traction you were hoping for or the traction you were counting on?

    Always put the deepest tread on the back. That gives you the stability and steering control* you've been counting on the whole time.

    *More precisely, it helps your chances for maintaining that control and predictability when driving in wet weather.
     
  13. PriusII&C

    PriusII&C Member

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    While seeing the logic there, it seems to me that this practice almost guarantees that the front tires need to be replaced earlier than the rear ones. This may result in different types of tires on a car.
     
  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Yes, you're bumping up against the lack of sophistication in a simple "more tread rear" rule. Like everything else, it is nuanced.

    You're likely to wear the fronts faster in any car with F>R weight distribution.

    Braking loads will amplify this a bit.

    You can use regular tire rotation to keep things manageable. Yes, you will regularly wind up with a slightly deeper tread up front, but not for long as it wears. Doing it this way keeps all four tires at about the same performance for predictable handling throughout most of the life of the tires. It's just those periods right after the rotations where things are out of whack, but only slightly. Rotating the tires isn't the corrective action, just the setup: driving those first 500-1000 miles on them after the rotation is the real corrective work.

    You could better honor the "deeper tread on the back" rule by installing 2 new rear tires, drive x miles and then move them to the front and put 2 more brand new tires on the back, and repeat ad infinitum.

    The problem with that method is that the wear-induced handling characteristics of the fronts will be significantly different from those of the rears throughout most of the tires' service life. This isn't necessarily bad, just... undefined, not proven or predictable.
     
  15. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    Fellas, I have a big issue.
    So my new tires definitely didn’t fix the problem. The car is running much worse. It’s not just around turns where the chugging/slipping/jerking sound occurs, it happens at every slow speed. Whether I’m taking off from a stop light or just going around a turn, the car will shake and jerk. Only in gas mode, electric it runs fine and here’s the thing, at high speeds the car is picture perfect, won’t do it at all, same as if I accelerate fast from a stop it’ll drive perfectly which is making my mechanic buddies scratch their heads because if it was a rod knock, it would be doing it all the time.

    Something I did not mention previously, we changed the spark plugs the same day this issue arose. Literally right after changing them, I felt the first couple jerks/slips and it slowly got worse from there. Coincidence? No idea. Below is the video. Again, around every turn, every take off, the second the gas engine fires up, shakes and jerks like crazy. This engine only has 125k miles on it. It always jerks like this a little when it’s cold but this is something else entirely. Please help guys. Thank you, here’s my video of my car

    https://youtube.com/shorts/-sHzrZW8WTk
     
  16. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    One of my mechanic friends read online that my issue is coil/spark plug related. Sure hope so and that it’s not a rod knock or the transmission. What do you guys think

    Doing some research, man, this older post is pretty identical to what I’m dealing with

    2012 prius c low speed & cold start vibration... | PriusChat
     
    #16 Josh331, Mar 29, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  17. topshot

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    It doesn't SEEM like a misfire to me based on your video, but your plug change (along with the other thread) is strong circumstantial evidence of an ignition issue. Odd that it is not that consistent or throwing a code though. The occasional "rattle" just sitting at idle makes it seem like something is loose so inspecting the engine/transmission mounts wouldn't be a bad idea. I wouldn't think it would have to do with the transmission internals since it does it in park as well.
     
  18. Josh331

    Josh331 Junior Member

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    So when we hooked the car up to a code reader, it spat out a second cylinder code so we replaced it with a different coil and once we fired the car back up, there was zero engine rattling, I even took the car around the block several times and aside from an initial slight jerk at takeoff, the car was picture perfect. So we thought we had solved the issue, but a few hours later, no... it was jerking again so we replaced the other coils and I didn’t help, the second this thing goes out of electric mode to the gas engine, all hell breaks loose. Vibrating, shaking, jerking as if I’m going over railroad tracks or something… Unfortunately I don’t have my old spark plugs, but my buddy gave me 4 used ones from his other Prius C that we will put in tomorrow morning and see what happens.

    again- this all began when we changed the spark plugs two weeks ago. According to the Internet, this is a coil/spark plug problem… At high speeds the car it is perfect, but at low speeds when the gas engine kicks on, I’m surprised the engine doesn’t jump right out of the hood… If not the spark plugs, what on earth could this be....
     
  19. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You didn't put any "grease" on the plug threads when you installed them, did you ??
     
  20. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Okay that's....kind of a big omission.

    Put new plugs in the car. Buy good Densos from your neighborhood auto parts store. Amazon, eBay and most of the rest of the internet are overrun by crappy counterfeit plugs, so don't trust anything mail order.
     
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