Mysterious jerking at idle

'98 E36, well maintained and in very good condition. This has only happened a couple of times, but I'll be sitting in traffic, then comes what feels like a sudden
jerk of some sort. That's it. Everything else normal. I don't know if it could be a transmission problem or engine/electrical prob. of some sort, because the trans was in Drive at the time. I've had the car five years, never had this happen before...just changed the oil and filter last week but can't imagine this being a factor. Any ideas?
-- Cliff
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if you shift it into neutral does it stop jerking? if you increase engine RPM does it stop jerking?
On 14 Dec 2005 15:34:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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You didn't say, but my guess is you have an automatic. I suspect you need transmission service if I'm correct.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Yep, as I said, it's done it when the car was in Drive. It's only done it a couple of times, but it's annoying. Hmmm, transmission service. I've always been fortunate in that I've NEVER had any transmission problem in 30+ years of owning cars, and I keep them a long time. My regular owners manual says the fluid is for life and doesn't need changing, and even checking it is a pain. Of course, my Bentley's manual recommends changing it, but they seem to over-recommend things sometimes. I guess it gives them something to fill pages with.
-- Cliff
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I recently had a "hard shifting" in my transmittion. Almost like it had a "sport transmittion shift kit" installed. I flushed the tranny (power flush; not a fluid change) and the car shifts smoothly and comfortably.
While there -- (I went to two different shops to talk to them about it as I got some conflicting information over the internet) -- Both places told me "It's more expensive if you have the lifetime fluid - but it's not lifetime fluid and should be changed regardless -- there is no "filter" in those transmittions."
If I were you, Id go fo the power flush -- I think it's about $250 US to do a power flush with the synthetic.
Cheers -josh
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Josh Assing wrote:

But keep in mind that the people telling you this make money from changing the fluid. But as you say, different "experts" will tell you different things. I myself have never changed tranny fluid in any car I've owned, and I'm inclined to put more stock in what the owner's manual says.... that said, it wouldn't surprise me though if I will need some tranny work done in the future with this car.

Ah but there is. It's sometimes called a "strainer" though.
-- Cliff
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I've been driving 35 odd years, and only flushed a trans once -- my wife's minivan was doing some spooky stuff, and the repair place pumped in new fluid for 60 bucks, or so. The spookiness has all but gone away, so me thinks that flushing a transmission is reasonably expected service. If you get by without doing it, then fine. But don't close the book on the possibility that it needs to be done.
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The transmission probably only needs to have a fresh shot of fluid. It doesn't sound broken at all. I suspect the fluid is suposed to be a life item, but when the transmissin jerks, I'd be looking to the fluid first. It is not unreasonable for the car to shudder once in a while, especially when cold, and the shudder might have nothing at all to do with the transmission.

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