Q: When letting off the accelerator, the vehicle will jerk (it feels like a slight back and forth movement)

asked by on

The vehicle is auto 4wd and I have looked at several different forums with no luck to a possible answer. It does look like it may be a common problem with these years of explorers. No check engine light.

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. I think what we are looking for here are possible problems caused by a "torque-reversal" in the drivetrain. That is, when accelerating or maintaining road speed, the engine/transmission and all the drive links (driveshafts, differentials, transfer case, etc.) have force applied in one direction. When you let off the accelerator, the vehicle is now forcing all these bits to turn the engine - in the opposite direction. So any loose play in U-joints, CV joints, bearings, motor or transmission mounts, etc. catches this force. The loose motion, or "slop," can cause clanging, "thunk," or shifting of the engine/transmission on loose mounts. I would recommend having a your noise inspected by a professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to diagnose this problem, get an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. When letting off the accelerator, the vehicle will jerk (it feels like a slight back and forth movement)

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Hesitation, stumbles, and sometimes stalls when accelerating

Hi there, thanks for writing in. It looks as if you've covered almost all of the bases. The only thing that I could think of without being there to complete a diagnostic inspection is that perhaps the idle control valve...

Q: My car is trying to stall when shifting gears.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a faulty MAP sensor as your vehicle seems to respond adversely to varying loads being placed on the motor which is what the MAP sensor is designed to do. The Manifold Absolute...

Q: My 2003 ford explorer is jerking while driving

Hi There, A jerking reaction is generally caused by a couple of potential things such as a vacuum leak, a failing fuel pump or most commonly a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.