I'm in the process of buying a used car. However, I've ran into some questions. On every automatic car that I've tried, when I switch gears from P to D or from P to R, there is always a jerk. My foot is on the brake. Sometimes it is a small one, other times the jerk is pretty violent. I'm not used to this. On my family's 2017 Ford Explorer, there is no movement or noise at all when you shift to D or R.

I've been looking at 2000-2007 Ford Taurus so far. Is this normal for a used car?


  • What is the year/make/model/engine of the vehicle you're looking at? This may be common for certain vehicles, so this knowledge will help us answer your question. Dec 10, 2018 at 15:47
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    I've only looked at 2000 - 2007 Ford Taurus. I want one of those because I read about their good fuel economy and reliability. Dec 10, 2018 at 17:44
  • It' OK if this happens when the car is not on even surface and the brake pedal is not pressed hard enough. It can be transmission fluid quality or some other reasons otherwise.
    – Lukas G
    Dec 14, 2018 at 0:46

1 Answer 1


A slight tug when exiting from park or neutral is normal, a violent jerk is not (unless trans is fully built e.g. TH400 full reverse manual HV pump and race clutches). On CVT transmissions it should be almost Unnoticeable. The jerking could be caused by the fluid being to thick or dirty.

When some people sell cars to stop the trans from slipping they add stop slip. This thickens the fluid and can cause that as well. If you know that is not the case, it could be that the motor mounts are weak which is making the normal tug seem more vigorous. Use commonsense.

  • Use a code scanner check for trans codes, if the IM monitors are complete and no codes, then ok.

  • If the monitors are not complete ask the seller to drive or allow you to drive it till they are complete and then rescan.

Short of checking the trans fluid pressure in all gears, the only way to tell if your getting a good deal is experience. If you know someone you trust to steer you in the right direction, take them with you and have them give the car a look over.

  • If you are on full throttle in D and bang it into reverse at 30mph, there is always a jerk and deep ruts in the grass...
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 11, 2018 at 14:49
  • True unless the trans is crap and it slips. @SolarMike No one who has a stock trans should be doing that. And if you don't have a stock trans I already stated that it will jerk when shifting. Plus going from D to R will blow the torque converter. Unless it has really strong anti-ballooning plates. Hell it may even snap the shaft if there is enough grip. Dec 11, 2018 at 14:52
  • Worked fine on a Chevy Blazer with a 6.2 litre diesel... did not blow the torque converter as the traction on grass (as I mentioned) is much lower.... And given the 3 doing this were / are engineers having "fun"...
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 11, 2018 at 15:01
  • Sounds like you would be fun to hang around with. Diesels have a lot more torque than gas motors, thus the trans components are stronger from the factory. Where did you mention the traction on grass before your last comment? Having fun with friends is one thing. Solving problems is another. Still, sounds like a lot of fun though. My friends and I do a lot of things like that too. @SolarMike Dec 11, 2018 at 15:15
  • "there is always a jerk and deep ruts in the grass..." the last part of the first comment... We did not, obviously, attempt it on black-top.. Mind you, we don't take risks when flying...
    – Solar Mike
    Dec 11, 2018 at 15:19

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