Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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.

A: Hello. I think what we are looking for here...

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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: Car jerks when shifting gears, check engine light

There are more tests that need to be done before the speed sensor module is replaced. There are about 20 tests that need to be done to verify the number turbine speed sensor is not working properly. These tests are...

Q: Water pump issue

Most people wouldn't say yes, it needs to be replaced. But the truth is, there is a bit of an argument within the industry about this. Before I go to far into that, let's make sure we are clear on...

Q: What does the speed control indicator mean?

The speed control indicator is located on the instrument panel. When the light illuminates gray, then the speed control system is currently turned on. When the light illuminates green, then the speed control system is currently in use.

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.