Grand -Am on 2004 Pontiac Grand Am

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When I put my car in reverse it jerks like something has just kicked in. When I go forward and press the gas petal it jerks also. Whenever I move forward like at a red light or parked the car jerks forward and then moves. Can someone please tell me what the problem is and how costly is it to repair? I have a 2004 Pontiac Grand Am
(1) Answer
You could have an issue as "simple" as a broken motor mount (or two...or three...), or as complicated as an internal transmission issue. It would be hard to say for sure over the Internet. However, there are a couple things you can do.

1) open your hood, have a friend "brake torque" the engine, that is, foot on the brake to keep the car still, "goose" the accelerator in drive or reverse. Watch the engine while this is happening - does it move significantly fore and aft in the engine compartment? There should only be a modest amount of "lift" or twisting of the engine. If it moves a lot, motor mount(s) might be broken.

If not...check the transmission fluid. Is it full? Low? Red? Brown? Smell burnt? Low fluid could cause engagement issues and internal damage - so add some if it's low. Brown or burnt fluid is an indication of fluid overheating, possible caused by or causing damage internally.

Good luck!