Transmission Jerks When Letting Off Gas: Troubleshooting Guide Along With The Causes

Transmission Jerks When Letting Off Gas

Feeling a harsh bump or significant jerk from your transmission when coming off the accelerator can be jarring. While not inherently harmful, this surging indicates an issue that needs diagnosis and repairs.

This article will explore the typical internal transmission problems and engine and electronic culprits behind drive gear jerk causes that arise during deceleration. Identifying if the issue stems from worn bands, faulty valves. Or even engine misfires will lead to the proper solutions to overcome the problem. 

After reading this article, you will get the essential ideas to overcome the problem. So, save your transmission from further damage and get those bothersome deceleration jerks smoothed out.

Potential Causes Of Transmission Jerking When Letting Off The Accelerator

Worn bands and clutches

  • Internal automatic transmission brake bands and clutches with excessive wear allow abrupt, which results in harsh gear changes when they cannot engage smoothly.

Sticking valves

  • Hydraulic valves inside the transmission that stick and hang up result in erratic pressure control by causing shifts to happen too quickly with a bump when decelerating.

Faulty solenoids

  • Malfunctioning electrical solenoids that control transmission fluid pressure and gear shifts can mistime shifts and cause flared jerky during deceleration.

Engine misfires

  • Consistent engine misfires from bad spark plugs, coils, etc., can worsen perceived transmission jerking as engine torque pulses go into the driveline when letting off the gas.

Low transmission fluid

  • Insufficient fluid significantly causes slipping and abrupt torque bumps when changing throttle position from acceleration to deceleration. 


Worn motor mounts

  • Broken motor mounts allow extreme engine movement under torque changes by multiplying drivetrain jerking sensations when letting off the gas pedal.

Solutions For Fixing A Transmission That Jerks When Letting Off The Gas Pedal

  • A transmission overhaul or rebuild is required to renew worn internal brake bands and clutches, which are not engaging smoothly during gear changes.
  • Check transmission hydraulic control valves for proper actuation and flow control. Clean or replace sticking valves that are not regulating pressure properly.
  • Use an Ohm meter to test and monitor the actuation of the solenoids and also to check whether any replacements are ideal to prevent erratic shifting.
  • Replace worn spark plugs, wires, and coils that are causing engine misfires, which sends torque pulses into the driveline and exacerbate perceived transmission jerkiness.
  • Inspect and replace cracked or deteriorated engine mounts that no longer isolate engine movements from the chassis and driveline.
  • Flush contaminated fluid if there is evidence of burnt material or excessive clutch debris, which causes valves and solenoids not to respond appropriately.

Frequently Asked Questions About Transmission Jerks When Letting Off Gas

Q: Should I be concerned if my transmission only jerks at certain speeds?

A: Not ideally. Speed-specific jerking typically points to deteriorated clutch packs or valves unable to engage the correct gear smoothly at those speeds. 

Q: How soon should I get the deceleration jerking and surging issues repaired?

A: While not an emergency, repairs should be essential soon to avoid accelerated wear of internal components from the harshness of flared shifts. Because the damage worsens over time.

Q: Is this transmission jerk a severe problem?

A: A transmission jerk can indicate underlying issues, some of which may be serious. While not all jerking instances are severe, but addressing them promptly is essential. Because ignoring the problem can lead to more significant and costly repairs.

Q: Can I drive my vehicle if it experiences transmission jerks?

A: It’s generally not advisable to continue driving a car that shares transmission jerks. It’s best to diagnose and repair the issue as soon as possible.

Q: Can regular maintenance prevent transmission jerks?

A: Regular maintenance, including scheduled transmission fluid changes, can help prevent some transmission issues and prolong the life of your transmission. However, jerking can still occur due to various factors, so promptly addressing any unusual causes is crucial.

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