Car jerks just before coming to a stop

My 2003 Honda CRV will jerk as I am coming to a stop. It will only happen once my car warms up. I can drive it first thing in the day and it won’t happen until I’ve driven it a while or I let it idle for a bit in my driveway. For instance, if I start my car in the morning, let it idle for 20 minutes in park, it will start happening once I start driving. See video of it happening.

Sounds like a transmission problem. Why are you letting the thing idle for 20 minutes anyway. Where I live that will get you a citation .

Thanks. I let it idle in park for that long to help diagnose the problem. I don’t know much about cars but I thought it would help people and myself know that it isn’t the brake system or suspension heating up and causing the problem.

Clunking noise when stopping indicates that stabilizer links are worned. Its a cheap fix on those.

Is there any reason why the stabilizer links would act up only when the car is warmed up?

Grease inside them will get softer and cause more noise when car is warm.I suggest shaking both links and look for any play.

The “jerk” that the OP is experiencing could be a very hard downshift to first gear when the vehicle’s speed decreases. The first thing that I would suggest is to check the level (and the color, and the odor) of the transmission fluid. Please do that, and then report back to us on your findings.

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The color is a light brown/tan color. It doesn’t smell burnt. The level is throwing me of a bit. With the car on, I checked the level and one side of the dipstick is dry and the other is at the minimum level.

I’m guessing the level is low and the small amount I’m getting on the one side is from the dipstick scraping on the side when I take it out. The battery above the dipstick is preventing me from pulling it straight out.

I would have the transmission fluid drained and replaced ASAP.

Thanks. Sounds like a great plan.

Definitely, but it is VERY important that the OP ensures that ONLY Honda transmission fluid is used.
Some mechanics will claim that adding some sort of magical additive to other types of trans fluid will make that fluid okay to put into a Honda, but I believe those claims to be bogus.

Even if the OP has to go to a Honda dealer’s parts department in order to buy the *genuine" Honda trans fluid and bring it to his mechanic, it is definitely worth the effort. And, for the sake of both his wallet and his transmission, the OP should be sure to AVOID Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr, Transmission and–God forbid–AAMCO.

Try to find an independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years.


I agree w/VDC on this. It may also be a good time to have the cooling system drained and refilled. The trans cooling is built into the bottom of the radiator. Check to make sure the hoses between the trans and the radiator are intact and not leaking at their attachment points. If the trans fluid is low or discolored this could be a factor. Keeping the cooling system in good condition is helping the trans as well as the engine.