Car Jerks When Shifting From Park To Drive – Get Operative Measures

You enter the car to commute to work as usual, but a peculiar affair arises out of nowhere.

“When I put my car in drive it jerks”. Most drivers certainly suffer this annoying feeling once or two. If your car jerks when shifting from park to drive, the inside components go out of the track.

The jerks keep happening and drive you really crazy!

But no need to worry any longer as we are here to work out your concerns. The jerk seems too hard to control, but the proper diagnosis and individual fixes can ease the problem.

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Why Car Jerks When Shifting From Park To Drive?

Car Jerks When Shifting From Park To Drive

Why does my car jerk when it shifts? Your culprit mainly stems from the errors in transmission parts.

In rare cases, improper gear aligning, worn-out driveline system, or odd differential oil also cause the jump when putting in the drive.

Regardless of the severe effects, immediate acts are necessary to undertake. Some unwanted accidents may happen if you ignore them and keep driving as usual.

Take a closer look at a list of the triggers below to compare with your current suffering.

Low Transmission Fluid 

Can low transmission fluid cause jerking? Of course, this problem is 100% possible.

The first consideration of the transmission system must relate to the low fluid. Maintaining normal operation in transmission requires enough fluid level. Otherwise, the car jerks when changing gears.

Even worse, hard shifting will result in constant jerks, which put your car into unintended sticking.

Technically, the transmission never suffers heat issues, so the lack of transmission fluid will happen through leaky holes. We have an idea to detect those.

Right after parking the car, you walk around the car. The red-black fluid flowing will notify you of the sign of transmission fluid leaking.

Besides, the faulty transmission mount also causes wear and tear, which modify the fluid greatly. In addition to jerky gear, you can hear some thumping noise while accelerating.

Dirty Transmission Fluid

If the fluid amount is sufficient, let’s turn to check its quality. Your car jerking when put in drive may also originate from the contaminated transmission fluid.

The clean fluid always smooths the transmission flow, while the dirty peer makes it harder.

In particular, the dust somehow mixed into the fluid transforms its original essence.

Subsequently, the transmission delivers insufficient hydraulic pressure, which lengthens the time needed to engage a gear shift. The jumping or jerking, as a consequence, is more likely to occur.

Even worse, polluted fluid fastens the wear process, depressing the performance of transmission components.

It would be best to have the current fluid changed instantly. The cleaner transmission liquid offers faster gear changing.

In case you have never changed the transmission fluid before, there is a high chance that you will notice the transmission slipping even after the fluid replacement.

Blocked Transmission Filter

If the fluid inspection shows normal working, there is another part you can look into – the clogged transmission filter.

Unlike dirty fluid, a contaminated filter increases the level of transmission jerks when shifting.

With solely several big particles inside the filter, the stuck requires more time and hydraulic pressure to get rid of them.

This unwanted issue will damage the transmission efficiency, causing intense lunges once switching gear.

The cluttered filtering area does not mean you need to change a new one. Beforehand, it would be best if you got a professional mechanic to check.

Should the particles be visible, remove them so that the transmission returns to work normally. The particles, on the contrary, are out of sight or hard to take out; you may have to install a new filter then.

To simplify the problem, you can simultaneously take an annual change of transmission fluid and filter.

Worn Transmission Pump

The transmission pump inherently lies next to the filter, which means the failure in one can influence the other.

When the filter gets stuck, the pump must multiply work to compensate for the pressure loss.

The breakdown is likely to happen with an overwhelming pump, leading to transmission jerks when shifting to drive.

The warning sign, however, automatically tells you something is going wrong with the pump.

The problem keeps going bad if you do not show any care. The squeaking sound may annoy you during road trips.

A Old And Damaged Transmission System

Car jerks when shifting gears automatic transmission may be due to the too-old transmission system.

Usually, things perform best for the first stage of usage, but many things will gradually lower productivity.

And the transmission issues are not the exception.

Every single part of the system will show one or two troubles as time flies. An old system means the performance will lower accordingly, making it hard to switch gears.

When you notice any abnormal sounds, like clunking, whining, or humming noises, it could indicate a serious transmission problem, usually stemming from an too old transmission system.

Word of caution, regular check and reinstallation to ensure your transmission works well.

How To Take Care Of Your Transmission To Prevent Car Jerking

After diagnosis, it’s time to settle the matters.

To stay safe, we have offered a set of measures which you can refer to change gear with ease. Take a full look and take note to apply correctly to your jerky gears.

Regular Transmission Fluid Check

Regular Transmission Fluid Check

As we mentioned, the fluid is rare to low unless the leaky holes appear. But that fact does not mean the long-last stability of transmission fluid.

Generally, the fluid will begin to self-reduce if the car runs over 100,000km.

So regular transmission fluid check is so important. But what to do at home? It is quite simple to implement.

After parking, come over and pull out the dipstick. Clean, put it in, and take it out again after a while. Pulling out a bright red stick smelling a little sweet is reasonable.

In contrast, the stick turning dark with a rotten smell indicates the fluid is going bad. It would help if you immediately changed the car to the new fluid.

For additional technical solutions, you can check out our blogs to learn more.

Lower Heat Damage

The overused transmission fluid commonly increases heat damage, which is the source of the faster wear and tear speed.

Thus, it would be best to consider this additional factor on regular checking occasions.

Avoid these conditions below:

  • Traveling heavily into traffic jams
  • Usually traveling under 33-celsius degree or higher
  • Usual carriage with weighty loads 

If those situations are compulsory in your daily commuting routines, make the fluid and filter change after every 30,000-kilometer.

Keep Cooling System Steady

Keep Cooling System Steady

The cooling system inherently helps reduce heat in the engine. But the application of it does not stop there.

In addition, the cooling system lowers the heat released within the transmission. The engine movement, like pumps, will generate a lot of heat.

On the other hand, the transmission is one of the most fragile parts of the system. So protecting it from overheating is a must.

The stable cooling system can help you to control the transmission heat rise at ease with effectiveness.

Be Careful In Changing Gears

Be Careful In Changing Gears

As we just talked about the delicateness of the transmission, the possibility of ruining the gearbox is more likely than ever.

When you lunge gears out of a sudden, the transmission cannot catch up, leading to the repetition that the car jerks when put in drive.

So the solution is to start with the small throttle, then gradually level up to the bigger one. This move allows the time for transmission to warm up and change from the idle state into the dynamic.

Annual Inspection

Regular mechanic maintenance is a must for any vehicle, including your car. With a comprehensive check, experts can detect abnormal activities inside the operating system.

What’s more, if you attend the annual meeting at the auto repair shop, you can save a lot of money. In other words, the prolonged jerking will severely injure all parts of the transmission.

Consequently, the repairing payment will cost you a fortune which manifolds the annual test fee.

So we highly recommend this preparation.

Is It Okay To Drive With A Jerking Transmission?

We will say no to this question. Some drivers ignore and underrate several jumps; they see them as a natural engine degradation. The severity, however, may go beyond their thoughts.

Once the car jerks when shifting gears automatical, you need to take instant action instead of putting it off.

Traveling with failed transmission may put you in some undesirable situations. Stranded on the pavements or striking other vehicles on the road are unavoidable.

Most experts suggest that drivers should bring their vehicle to the auto repair shop when detecting the jerks.

A pro inspection will inform you exactly which part triggered the jumping gear. Hence, drivers can easily apply an appropriate solution to fix the jerky gear.

Small repairs will help you stay safe and keep you from higher payments in the future.

In Short

Once your car jerks when shifting from park to drive, the culprit must come from the bad transmission.

There are numerous reasons resulting in strong lunges. So you need to perform DIY clearly. Otherwise, have a mechanic spot the right malfunction hidden inside the transmission system.

From there, you know how to shift gears properly.

Also, experts can give appropriate solutions to resolve the problems like new transmission fluid and filter changing or cooling system renovation.

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