Is it possible to damage an automatic transmission/engine by letting off the gas quickly

I have a 2008 Scion tC and I am just curious, is it bad for your automatic transmission or engine by letting off of the gas quickly, as in just removing your foot from the pedal completely. This is what I always do, and im now noticing it kinda jolts when I do this, is this a habit I need to drop, or is it okay to do?

No it is not.

The jolt may be telling you something. Maybe there is an engine mount that needs to be replaced. Or maybe your transmssion is overdue for a fluid change.


Its not the transmission fluid, Its still pink and not smelling burnt at all, changed about 10k ago along with the filter and it shifts perfectly smooth, and its not so much of like the engine isnt sitting right and moving, its kinda like when the car downshifts, just that little spot in between gears. I apologize, its pretty hard to explain exactly what it feels like without actually feeling it.

If this is a new feeling, that means something changed and may need service. If this has always been there, it is just a quirk of the car. You aren’t damaging anything.

Ok, thank you for your help!

Curious… Why do you do that?
Perhaps you should drop that habit and drive like a normal driver. What other quirks are part of your driving skills?

Curiouser… Were you ever employed by Joie Chitwood and the Thrill Drivers?
Oh, and has your car ever gone upside-down?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

Bad motor mounts don’t usually cause the engine to be visibly crooked. They do cause what you’re experiencing, if it’s a new problem.

I do that quite often, light turns yellow, exit ramp you need to slow down on etc. I do not see a problem. Get it checked out for clunk cause.

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What you’re feeling is likely a " lift throttle " upshift. The car was probably about to upshift when you released the pedal. The release triggered the shift. Won’t hurt anything.

I understand that, to a degree.

Having had aviation experience, I have adopted piloting skills in my driving. I try and not have to jerk (or “horse”) any controls or make sudden changes in anything, including accelerator pedals and HVAC controls. That was instilled in me by my FAA certified flight instructors. I try and maintain an even strain and not frighten passengers in the vehicle, make them anxious, or make myself appear as a rookie driver. Exceptions would be emergency situations, which I almost never have because of my driving style.

I always try and maintain adequate space ahead of my vehicle, don’t tailgate, and maintain a space even when stopped in traffic. When a light turns green I can safely begin moving as soon as the vehicle ahead does.

Jerky, white knuckle driving, does not appeal to me.

I wonder if these techniques could be one reason I’m almost never making quick maneuvers, rapid stops, or have to work on my vehicles? I’m thinking, “yes”.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

I lift my foot off the gas every time I slow down or brake.


So do I, but it is not done…

The O.P. is describing this a sudden movement and I imagine this as being similar to one letting their foot just slide off the side of the pedal and having it pop up.

I guess I anticipate most stops. Plus the Grand Prix is running at a high idle while going down the road, most of the time.

When a foot is smoothly removed from the pedal there is no sudden deceleration or any jerking. Could it be that little 2008 Scion tC (I’m not sure what one of those is. ??) is revving quite a bit higher while cruising for some darn reason?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

I almost always lift my foot off the gas completely with no ill effects. However, I don’t tend to do this in the middle of hard acceleration when the transmission is in lower than top gear. That would cause the transmission to upshift, possibly with a clunk, as cited by @old_mopar_guy above.

I brake with my right foot, so I always take my foot completely off the gas pedal.


I believe most modern engines have the throttle dampened so it won’t snap shut suddenly.
That facilitates emission control by avoiding sudden transients in air/fuel ratio.


Perhaps O.P. has a problem with the dampening aspect of the throttle?
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree: