Not sure of a better title, but Ill try to explain what I am experiencing as best I can. I've driven a few different automatic transmission cars with a manual mode. Normally when down shifting (to slow down) it appears to automatically bring the engine rpms up to match the speed and create a nice smooth downshift.

I notice that when I downshift in this car specifically (most apparent from 3rd -> 2nd gear) that this does not happen and I experience a "jerking" motion as the car rapidly decelerates as the engine rpms match the speed.

If I press the accelerator even just a little bit, it seems to smooth this experience out and eliminate the "jerk" forward.

Is this a common issue? or is there something I should be concerned about?

1 Answer 1


When driving your vehicle in Drive, all gear shifting is done automatically by its control system. The control system would be set out to engage, up or down, with a soft engagement. When you are selecting manually the system would engage the gear and adjust the engine speed usually abruptly. This applies to a great many autos and is the harshness you discribe. Using the gearbox, auto or manual, as a brake is not a great idea. Try slowing with the brakes and then selecting the lower gear. You should find the harsh down change will greatly disappear.

  • Thanks for the response. Its not something I do regularly, nor do I plan to. Just an observation ive made over time. Good to know its not abnormal.
    – gh123man
    Dec 6, 2013 at 13:39

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