Most Common Reasons Why a Transmission Slips

Updated on January 8, 2017
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 33 years in the automotive business with Honda. He is an ASE Certified Master Technician and has bruised knuckles to prove it.

We all know what an automatic transmission is, basically—very basically, at least—so I'm not going to bore you with the details about how it converts power from your engine into power at the wheels. But you should know that the process involves plenty of hydraulic fluid as well as gears and clutches.

If you don't know why your car’s transmission is slipping, I just might have the answer, though you may not want to hear what I have to say.

The cause of a slipping transmission will depend on the type of transmission you have in your vehicle. There are three types of transmissions: automatic, standard (or “manual”), and CVT (continuously variable transmission). I will discuss the two most common types, automatic and standard.

Why Is My Automatic Transmission Slipping?

If you have an automatic transmission and it "slips" while you are driving it—that is, the car engine revs without the power going to the wheels—the most common cause (though not the only possible cause) is low transmission fluid. If the slipping is caused by low fluid, it will get worse as the transmission gets hotter.

Why Is My Manual Transmission Slipping?

A standard (“manual”) transmission uses fluid too, but leaks aren’t a common issue; a standard transmission could lose all its fluid and never slip at all, though eventually it would lock up while driving down the road. If you have a standard transmission, and it’s slipping—the engine revs but it doesn’t transmit power to the wheels—the problem is usually in the clutch.

Further down in the article I discuss how to diagnose this problem.

Sounds Like Low Transmission Fluid to Me

If Your Automatic Transmission Is Low on Fluid

The next question is, why? Probably because you have a leak. Maybe you have noticed red transmission fluid in your driveway or your parking spot at work, but it didn’t occur to you that it came from your car. The cause of your leak is probably a failure of one of the seals that keep the oil inside the transmission (though there are other places the transmission might leak). How many seals the transmission has depends on whether you have a front-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive, or rear-wheel-drive car.

If you do have a seal that is leaking, and you catch it in time before it damages your transmission, there’s a chance it might be relatively cheap to repair. Seals themselves are not expensive parts, but depending on where they are located, it might take a lot of labor to replace them.

Transmission Axle Seal: A Common Site for Leaks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you. An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.A typical axle seal leak.This axle seal is just starting to leak.A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you.
An axle seal might cost you about $20. It's the labor that kills you. | Source
An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.
An axle seal that is not leaking fluid.
Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.
Axle seal inside the transmission, with the axle removed.
A typical axle seal leak.
A typical axle seal leak.
This axle seal is just starting to leak.
This axle seal is just starting to leak.
A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.
A great view of the axle going into the transmission. You can see the transmission fluid starting to leak down the transmission case.

If you have the leak checked out by your mechanic, and he tells you it’s just your axle seal, it could just cost you for a couple hours of labor, and you could be back on the road in a few hours if the parts are readily available. Axle seal failures are common, and the dealer will usually have those seals in stock. But if it's your input shaft seal, plan on leaving your car for a day or two, and expect the labor cost to be upwards of eight to ten hours.

Input Shaft Seal: Another Site for Leaks

Leaking input shaft seal.
Leaking input shaft seal.

This photo shows an input shaft seal leak. To replace this seal, the transmission needs to be removed from the car; this job can get costly.

Be sure to check your owner's manual on how to check your transmission fluid.
Be sure to check your owner's manual on how to check your transmission fluid.
Typically you fill the transmission through the dipstick tube, using a small funnel.
Typically you fill the transmission through the dipstick tube, using a small funnel.

Checking and Topping Off Automatic Transmission Fluid to Prevent Slipping

If your transmission is leaking, you will want to fix it. Meanwhile, if you must drive a car with a leaking transmission, you should top off the fluid.

Check your owner’s manual to see exactly how you should check your transmission fluid level. Some manufacturers will want you to check the transmission fluid level when the engine is warmed up and running with the transmission in park, other manufacturers like Honda will have you check it with the engine warmed up but not running. So be sure to read your owner's manual, DON'T GUESS!

If your transmission fluid level is low and not showing on the dipstick, add transmission fluid--the proper transmission fluid. Each car manufacturer uses a specific fluid. If you use the wrong fluid, you could damage your transmission internally, so again, check your owner's manual. Fill it to the top line on the dipstick and then drive it to your mechanic.

Note: Sometimes when an automatic transmission is low on fluid and you top it off, air pockets develop inside the transmission that keep the fluid from getting to all the parts of the mechanism. After adding the fluid, I suggest that while the car is running, you move the shift lever through the different gears on the shifter selector, and then check the fluid again. Running the shifter through the gears redirects the fluid to different parts of the transmission and removes the air pockets. You may have to do this procedure several times, or even drive the car around the block, and then recheck the fluid level.

Note: I do not recommend using additives that are supposed to stop leaks; they can plug up the transmission. Use the automatic transmission fluid your car manufacturer makes.

How to Check Your Transmission Fluid

Other Fluids That Leak From Cars

If you are concerned about other fluids besides automatic transmission fluid that seem to be coming out of your car, here's some useful advice.

Clutch disc and pressure plate. The clutch looks like it blew apart. If you ride your clutch it may look like this.
Clutch disc and pressure plate. The clutch looks like it blew apart. If you ride your clutch it may look like this.

Common Cause of Manual Transmission Slippage: Worn-Out Clutch

If you think your clutch is starting to slip, you can try a stall test. Put your car in third gear and try starting off like you would normally, as if you were in first gear. If your clutch is working properly, letting the clutch out all the way should stall the car. If, however, the clutch is slipping, the engine RPMs will rise, the car will slowly start rolling, and you will have a smell like burning paper coming from the engine compartment. When a clutch starts slipping you will smell it. It’s like the smell of overheated brakes.

There are many reasons why a clutch would slip, but the most common reason is that the clutch is worn out. A clutch disc can last anywhere from 20,000 to 200,000 miles—it all depends on the way you drive—but like a brake pad, it’s a consumable item, and will be used up eventually, leaving the parts grinding metal-on-metal. If the clutch disc is worn out, you need to replace it, generally also along with the clutch plate and one or two bearings. If you don't replace a worn clutch in time, you might have to replace the flywheel (the big chunk of metal next to it) as well.

Riding your clutch—that is, leaving your foot on the clutch pedal when you aren’t using it—can really eat up a clutch disc fast, especially if you drive in hilly areas. Just being a newbie and learning to use a clutch for the first time can cause a lot of wear and tear. Learning to drive on a standard transmission can end up costing you money if you don't get the hang of it quickly.

Then again, clutches slip for reasons not related to wear and tear or abuse. If your input shaft seal is leaking gear oil onto the clutch disc, this could very well cause a slipping clutch. Another common reason for a slipping clutch is a faulty or damaged pressure plate. The pressure plate is operated by a high-tension spring. If for some reason the pressure is not distributed evenly over the clutch disc, the clutch will start to slip.

Blown Clutch: It's Completely Worn Out

I Appreciate Your Questions!

There are many possible reasons for a slipping transmission and I could not cover all of them above. If you have any questions just leave them in the comment box below. If you find this article useful, do share it on Facebook or Twitter (see buttons at top of page).

Questions & Answers

  • I have a 2012 CRV. Five weeks ago, I had a bad skid on ice and hit a steel grate built into the sidewalk. This caused approx 9000 dollars in damage to the tires, wheels and suspension systems. I just picked the car up, and it is jerking when I drive about 30-35 mph. When I drive from 45-50 mph, it stops. Is this a transmission problem, and could I have caused it when I hit that grate?

    If the problem wasn't there before you hit the curb, it might have something to do with either the accident or it sitting so long. I recommend bringing it back to the shop that did the work and take them for a test drive to show them the problem, maybe it's a quick fix. I would also let your insurance company know what's going on and keep them in the loop.

  • My fifth gear engages, and l can drive while l am supporting it, but when l let go of the shift lever it goes back to neutral. You can push it back to neutral without stepping the clutch. What is the problem?

    The shift fork for that synchro is most likely bent.

  • The input shaft seal of my Toyota Corolla broke. The ATF was lost, and I have since replaced it. But now the transmission is slipping. What could be the cause?

    Be sure to check the owner's manual for the proper procedure on how to check transmission fluid level; not every car is the same.

  • I have a 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD. This morning, as I was driving about 30 mph, the engine started to roar as if in neutral. It did this about three times for about a mile until I could get home. I later drove around the neighborhood and it does seem to make a vibrating noise at times, and it also seems like it is shifting at times. The fluid level seems normal. It is a used vehicle that we purchased three months ago, so I know nothing about the history. What could this be?

    If the fluid level is OK, it's possible you may have a solenoid or valve that is sticking or not working properly.

Please Add Your Questions and Comments Here

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi SAlan,

      I wish I had an answer for you. I recommend bringing it to a transmission specialist and ask how much it would cost to diagnose the issue. It sounds like you have a worn synchro.

    • profile image

      SAlan 

      7 days ago

      I have a 2000 Ford Ranger with the 4R55E auto trans that works it way up to overdrive (4th gear) completely normal then when starting up a grade when the trans would downshift it pops out of gear like neutral until speed is reduced enough that it catches into 3rd gear. I recently changed out the valve body and all the solenoids as a kit (from Ford Service Bulletin pertaining to updating of solenoids and valve body) with no change. Band adjustments have also been checked and adjusted as well. Please help??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Louisa,

      Did you have the clutch disc, pressure plate and bearing replaced or did you just replace the disc? You are lacking pressure on the disc causing your clutch to slip. If you didn't replace the pressure plate, most likely that is the culprit.

    • profile image

      Louisa Young 

      2 weeks ago

      Ok had a new clutch plate . Oil in. But still slipping in 2nd and 3rd having to wait for it to build up power. Is there anything else that could be wrong its Chevy 1.2

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Clint,

      I'm sorry, I don't have a good answer for you on this problem. Maybe it has something to do with the pickup screen not seated properly and vibrates a lot when on this type of surface causing an uneven pressure inside the transmission?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kathryn,

      An O2 sensor code would not cause this problem. I think this is a standard transmission, and I have never seen one come out of gear without the shifter moving out of gear, either its in gear or in neutral but not in neutral while in gear.

    • profile image

      Clint 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi, my 2010 F150 is having an issue where it has a hard time shifting from 1st to second gear, but only off road on washboard-style dirt roads. mechanic checked and everything is ok, has happened multiple times since then. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Kathryn R 

      3 weeks ago

      I just bought a used '02 Honda CR-V 5-speed with 161k miles. Today for the first time, I was accelerating uphill at about 60mph and all of a sudden the gas pedal went to the floor and it seemed to lose power. The lights didn't dim or lose power or anything and the engine remained running. I shifted into neutral and then back into 5th gear and was able to accelerate again. Then it happened again on a flat stretch of road a couple of minutes later at about 70mph. I do have a CEL throwing a code for O2 sensor. Could that be the problem? It almost felt like it slipped out of gear or something. I'm no car expert and my husband is out of town so I'm trying to do some research on my own in the mean time. Help!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gervais Fred,

      Make sure you triple check the fluid level, you'll need to run the transmission through the gears a few times and check the fluid level, do this several times with the wheels in the air.

    • profile image

      Gervais Fred 

      3 weeks ago

      I have Mazda 6 with automatic transmission I just changes engine and put another engine after that I tried to drive it was just slipping I tried to rev delayed but moved up to gear 5 reach the stop sign I drove again slipped but move now up to gear 3, since then I drain fluid I put new fluid since then it totally refused to move, now I'm confused I need a help please I will appreciate, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ian,

      If the engine is not running smooth, you most likely have a misfire which can be caused by a lot of different components like spark plugs, coil, fuel injectors, vacuum leaks, etc... You'll need to have the code pulled to start the diagnosis.

    • profile image

      Ian 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi I have a 2.8 crd chrysler voyager, and the engine light has come on (yellow) and its very difficult to pullaway?? I have checked all fluid levels and all ok, any ideas??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Osec,

      Have someone pull the code, it will point you in the direction of the problem. Let me know what the code is, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robert,

      It sounds to me like your transmission is low on pressure, what is causing this could be several things so you may need to have a professional do some testing on the transmission. I recommend checking your fluid level first just to be sure that isn't the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Victoria,

      The slave cylinder is in the clutch system, the master cylinder is in the brake system. What is the problem with your Jeep and what are the symptoms?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi NavidMo,

      Is this an automatic or standard transmission?

    • profile image

      NavidMo 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi,

      I have a manual transmission Honda Accord 2006. Sometimes (once over a week) the gear does not shift from first to second while I am driving, and clutch seems a little bit loose. The issue goes away, if I push break or clutch several times, then the gear shifts easily. It never happens for other gears or when you want to start the car. I was wondering it is the air left in Hydraulic Clutch fluid or something else. I would appreciate your help and comment.

    • profile image

      victoria 

      5 weeks ago

      I had a slave cylinder put on my jeep wrangler 2009 unlimited sahara and the shop said it was the master cylinder next. so they put that on and now they are saying both just busted and that it may be something on the transmission?

    • profile image

      Robert 

      6 weeks ago

      Having transmission Trouble it’s a 2003 Chevy 1500 it shifts really slow in the level but up s hill it does fine

    • profile image

      Dan van 

      6 weeks ago

      How do you check the transmission fluid on a toyota rav 4 when the car is running or when its off

    • profile image

      josh d 

      7 weeks ago

      hi i have a 2004 honda oddesy and it will drive good for a few min and when i stop it acts as if it is not in gear and no gear will work just revs and ill cut van off for a few min and it will drive again. i have changed the trans filter with no luck please help

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi TJ,

      It's sounds like you are losing pressure internally, and with no malfunction indicator lamp on it's probably not an electrical issue. You'll need to have a transmission expert look at it to figure out where the pressure is being lost.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jacob,

      You'll need to have a transmission expert diagnose the problem, it may be external and an easy fix like a solenoid or something.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lacey,

      I recommend bringing it back to the mechanic who did the work, it may be a simple fix like replacing a solenoid that is failing. I doubt it's covered under any warranty but you said they are reputable.

    • profile image

      Lacey 

      8 weeks ago

      I have a 2006 Ford Expedition. I had the transmission rebuilt 30,000 miles ago by a reputable mechanic. The other day the transmission seemed to be slipping out of gear ( I'd be pushing on the gas, lose power, but the rpm's kept going up). Found that driving with overdrive off fixes the problem. Any ideas? Thank you!

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      8 weeks ago

      I have a 2012 Dodge Avenger SE with 118k miles on it. The car accelerates fine up until around 50-55 mph (will usually be in mid-3rd gear by that point). Once it reaches around there, it drops down to the beginning of 2nd gear unless I either keep my foot down a bit harder on the gas or have the car set in 3 instead of just D like normal. I've had the car for maybe a month or so and am not sure if it's low on tranny fluid or if there's some other issue the previous owner didn't tell me about. It also has trouble going uphill when in D as well. If I press down hard on the gas it'll jump from 2nd gear up to around the top of 3rd or into 4th gear and revs a lot.

      I'm a bit illiterate when it comes to cars and would greatly appreciate some input!!

    • profile image

      TJ 

      2 months ago

      My 2005 GMC Yukon Denali was shifting at high RPM's from 2nd gear to Third for the last 7 months, all other gears shifted just fine, now 8 months later the Denali will go into gear and drive for 30 seconds then all of a sudden the transmission stops working completely, the SUV is still on with no motor/idle hesitation and all you can do is put the SUV back in Park shut the Denali off and start it back up and the Denali will drive for another 30 seconds and so on... Can you please tell me what is possibly wrong with the transmission. Also, there is no engine light on, and I plugged the Blue Driver bluetooth scantool in and no Codes appeared... Thank you Eddie.

    • profile image

      Osec 

      2 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      The check engine light is not on and no other warning light is on.

      The car just done 154,000km

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cris,

      Are you sure the jerk isn't from the motor instead of the transmission? A skip in the engine can feel just like a problem with the transmission.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Osec :)

      Is the check engine light on or any other warning lights on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rock,

      I'm not sure if that transmission will bolt up, you'll need to call a salvage yard, they will have that information. You could check the second gear shift solenoid operation, if it's not working, that is most likely the problem. Is there a second gear shift solenoid on the 97 you could try?

    • profile image

      Rocky 

      2 months ago

      My 1995 nissan altima acts like it is in neutuel when it goes into second gear it is a automatic transmission i have a 1997 transmission will it bolt up or is it just my sylonoid clogged up it only does it in second gear

    • profile image

      Osec 

      2 months ago

      Hi Eddie thank you for the article,

      I have 2006 Nissan Tidda after changing transmission fluid and filter, I change injector, I change fuel filter and my mechanic confirmed that the spark plug and coils are ok but my car still rav especially in the morning until the engine is warm and it goes on and off like that for the whole day. its really draining my pocket, what else can be done to solve this problem.

    • profile image

      Cris Backer 

      2 months ago

      I have a 2001 xj Classic. When I change from R to D or P to D my car slightly jerks 95% of the time. Also when I’m picking up speed it will feel like it’s slightly jerk when picking up speed

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anthony,

      It sounds like the transmission is on it last leg. It may be time to either upgrade the car or the transmission.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Susan,

      It sounds like you may be having transmission problems. If you live near a Honda Dealer, I recommend either having them replace the transmission fluid or buy some Honda transmission fluid and change it yourself just to see if there is any improvement. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Zoe,

      It sounds like your clutch is slipping, so either your clutch disc is out of life or you have some type of fluid leaking on the clutch disc causing it to slip. Is there any unusual smells after driving it like burnt paper or anything?

    • profile image

      Zoë White 

      2 months ago

      Hey! I drive a manual Ford Focus ‘01. Lately when I’ve been shifting up, it seems my rpms will drop after the shift but when the gas pedal is then depressed again, the rpms jump straight back up and the car doesn’t accelerate until I release gas pedal. I then have to slowly press down on the gas pedal and lightly pump it before fully stepping on the pedal, for the car to register the shift change, so that I can accelerate up to the next gear change. What could be the problem?

    • profile image

      Susan Bachle 

      2 months ago

      Hi just bought a 2004 Honda Accord automatic 170km on it. It was my first day on the road with this car and upon acceleration I feel a jerk going into 1st gear. Going into second gear the rpm dial accelerates as it is supposed to do but then once in second gear the rpm guage accelerates for a split second on its own but not because I am pushing the gas pedal any harder this went on all day. If I take off very very slowly from a stop sign it does not jerk. I also noticed when I had parked today that the RPM went down to half way between 0 and 1. The car was going to stall so I gave it some gas and it continued to run. Also I felt twice today while driving that around 50 to 60 km p/h a sudden shake in the whole vehicle so I let off the gas and it was fine. Any thoughts? Thank you

    • profile image

      Anthony 

      2 months ago

      I have a 1995 3000 gt sl starts up drives but when shifting seems like it revs up and i come to a stop put it in reverse it drives or revs again i drive it in 2 and its alright 90% and the 10% it rolls to a stop stays running just gas it and it revs up i just changed trans fluid and added 3 quarts any idea ?? It smokes a lil smells like gas

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sorry so late on my reply Cristina. The noise you're describing is usually cause by either a torque converter or transmission pump, both are internal and the transmission needs to be removed to inspect, but you may be able to find an Aamco transmission shop that can do some external testing first.

    • profile image

      Cristina 

      2 months ago

      Hi, I have a GMC Sierra 2500HD with an Allison 1000 6 speed tranny. A few days ago while slowing down to come to a stop my tranny started making whirring noises and I had to put it in neutral to bring it to a stop. I turned off my truck and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I started it back up and it ran fine the rest of the way home, about 2 miles. When I got home I followed my owners manuels way to check the tranny fluid and it was a little low. So I completely changed the fluid and the filter. Now when I try to run it, it operates fine for about 3-4 miles, goes through all the gears fine with no noises, then when slowing down it will begin making the odd noise again, except in neutral and reverse. Reverse still working perfectly every time.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Randallalt,

      Does the truck move in reverse at all ? Any abnormal noises?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chad,

      If you're ambitious you could try locating all the test ports on the transmission and blowing a little light compressed air into each, you may have some debris clogging the passageways inside the transmission. If this helps, try changing the transmission fluid to remove the debris, and use Genuine Honda Fluid if possible, it makes a world of difference.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michael,

      Are you sure it's not a skip in the engine? An aged spark plug or spark plug wire can have the same feeling, it will skip only under a load like going up a hill or heavy acceleration. Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Michael 

      4 months ago

      I have a 99 Toyota 4Runner that feels like it is slipping in 4th gear uphill at 45 miles an hour around 2500 rpm. Only happens uphill.

    • profile image

      Chad 

      4 months ago

      I have a 1998 Honda accord SIR vtech tip tronic trans. It wouldn't go into gear at all changed sequential solenoid and now I can all gears except reverse, and from 2nd gear upwards its grabbing each gear but before it grabs from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th gear etc,it slips out of gear and just revs up for a bit and won't change up till I pulse the revs at 4000 to 5000rpm. would you have any ideas on a solution or what I could do to solve the problem plz

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi J Mora,

      The car sounds nice. It's possible your clutch pack discs are starting to wear and with the added power they are starting to slip.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Elizabeth,

      It sounds like first gear has a problem. When your gear selector is in second gear, the transmission start out in second and not first. You'll need to have it checked by a transmission specialist.

    • profile image

      elizabeth 

      4 months ago

      i have a 98 saturn automatice when in drive my rpms will fly up to 5000 but when in secon gear my car drives normal

    • profile image

      j mora 

      4 months ago

      i have a 350 mounted to a th350 tranny, at normal driving all is well, motor runs at around 195-200 degrees once warmed up, i have a tranny cooler, when i stand on it after its warmed up and it downshifts to 2nd it feels like it is slipping a little, while the tranny is cold its downshifts hard and plants you in the seat. i have replaced all vacuum lines, i have 18 inches of vacuum at idle at the manifold line leading to the trans. there are no other concerns, i have recently upgraded the fuel and ignition systems and am producing more power than it has had in 20+years. there is less then 100k miles on the trans. summer only street rod originally built in '94.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cathy,

      Sounds like maybe your coolant is low causing the idle to be high, or maybe you have a leaking head gasket. I recommend you check the coolant first and let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Cathy Piersol 

      5 months ago

      Have 2006 P.T Transmission stocks R PM running high.causes it overheat.Cant drive far.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Walter,

      I always like to start with the least cost repair attempt before dishing out 1k. Sometimes a new filter and fluid can work wonders. I recommend the filter and fluid change first and let me know how you make out.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jess,

      Have you tried taking it to an Aamco or a transmission specialist? They can usually do some test that the average mechanic will not do. The can check the pressures in the transmission and see what's not working properly and possibly find the issue without removing the transmission. Let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      jess 

      5 months ago

      hi eddie I have 1994 mustang gt 5.0 I do have a small leak on transmission but stick is showing full ..its an automatic transmission when driving it jumps into a lower gear or even no gear ..I have it parked ..can you point me in the right direction on this repair ..because most mechanics want too go with new transmission..and I know this transmission has served me well and worked fine till a couple DAYS AGO..ANY ADVICE WOULD SERVE ME WELL

    • profile image

      Walter 

      5 months ago

      Having BMW e39 touring (A5S 390R Auto)

      AT ransmission issue. Panel got trans.failsafe.prog.After than driving gets horrable.like starting with 4th gear not 1st.someday drives well without error.Some lads says need to change trans fluid,some says needs trans repair around 1k

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi James,

      Sounds like either a shift solenoid or you have a blown clutch pack at that gear. It most likely will not be an easy fix, but if you tell the seller to have it fixed and it shifts normal, you'll buy it lol. This is probably the reason they are getting rid of the truck.

    • profile image

      James tolbert 

      5 months ago

      2001 jeep GC. 4.0 automatic. Truck gets up to 35mph and then feels like it goes into neutral and wont engage gears rill it gets back under 35mph. If u stay 35 and under it will drive. Can you help explain what it might be and I hope its cheap. Lol. I didn't buy truck yet but it it really nice and only 160000mi so I wanted to buyout if it can be fixed easily. Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jessica,

      It's possible you have an electronic shift valve malfunctioning causing your shift issue.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Donna,

      I would start by checking the transmission fluid level, it sounds like the pressure is not building as it should inside the transmission. If the fluid level is ok you may have a sticking shift valve or an internal blockage and that would have to be diagnosed a transmission specialist.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      5 months ago

      I have a 1.4sri turbo zafira tourer automatic. When I put my foot down on the throttle, like when pulling out of a junction or going down the slip road onto the motorway. The revs will go upto 6000 but the gear will stick. Only when the revs are released then reapplied the gears will change as normal. Could you please tell me what you think might be causing it I would be very great full

    • profile image

      Jessica Fortunato 

      5 months ago

      About a month ago my gears were slipping, my check engine light would come on and my vsa light would kick on and also have a little triangle with an exclamation point through it. I added transmission fluid and it was fine. A couple days ago my car started slipping gears again, transmission fluid was fine. Made an appt to get it checked and now my car is shifting gears fine again. What could be the cause of this??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Vijay,

      It sounds to me like your losing pressure inside the transmission because of a bad transmission solenoid or a blockage. You could try flushing the transmission with a flush machine or change your fluid several time to see if the problem clears up. How does your tramisssion fluid look? How is the fluid level?

    • profile image

      Vijay 

      5 months ago

      Sir I have 2004 honda city, it drive smoothly but after 10 or 20 k.m drive one's stops shift to any gear then the car doesn't moving forward but reverse still moving. Wait to 20 to 30 minutes car will go smoothly.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi KC,

      How does the engine run? Do you think it's a problem with a clogged catalytic converter?

    • profile image

      KC 

      6 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      My automatic car will go through the gears fine but after a few minutes and usually when in the higher gears when I try to go faster (push peddle down) it seems to lose speed. It will usually go into fourth and stay there for a long time but when it does go to higher gears it still has no power. what could this be?

      Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eloise,

      Manual or automatic transmission?

    • profile image

      Eloise Mayonr 

      6 months ago

      What is wrong when I am having touble getting my car to change gears?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Linda,

      If the leak is bad enough to continuously have low transmission fluid, then yes. When the fluid is low the transmission will slip, so keep it topped off and don't drive it, you don't want to get stranded. Keep me posted on how you make out. I wonder if the mechanic needed to remove one of the hoses to perform the transmission flush? If so, did they cause the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bylor44,

      You're in a tough situation, the mechanic will need to verify the problem first, check for any stored temporary codes and check all your fluid levels and condition. If the mechanic can't reproduce the problem and there are no codes stored the mechanic can only go by your description of the problem and check for any service bulletins on the issue. Hope this helps.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Shawn,

      Are there any warning lights on? Shift solenoids work only one gear each, you have several that control the complete operation and if one is not doing it's job it will usually set a code in the computer. Changing the fluid may help but the problem is only during one shift and that seems to very specific like a solenoid or clutch pack issue.

    • profile image

      Shawn Christ 

      6 months ago

      Hi Eddie. Have a question on a jeep liberty 3.7 v6 auto transmission. Here in the last week or so ive noticed a slip or hesitation when going into second gear.Only in second. I feel like it would be a shift solenoid but wouldnt that happen on all gears not just one? Checked fluids they are fine. My only other thought would be a full filter/fluid replacement. Any directions would be great. Thanks.

    • profile image

      bylor44@yahoo.com 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2015 328 i BMW that is under extended warranty. In the last 6 months when I started the car that was parked it did not move when I put it in reverse or drive until after many trys it finally did go into gear and move fine. No lights go on when this happened. It would happen a few months apart so i"d forget since its seldom used by me. Only 20 thousand mies and only goes to BMW.. I'm bring it back this time and telling them the situation. In the past when a car I have is under warranty there is nothing serious wrong until its run out and then they finally find the problem and I pay plenty. Fact is I don't trust dealerships anymore. I think its the transmission but if they BS me I need info to hold my ground and insist they fix it Remember it doesn't do this all the time so it may run beautiful when they test it. Please help me.

    • profile image

      Linda 

      6 months ago

      Ok so I have a 2002 GMC Envoy I bought a few weeks ago. It needed a new radiator, so we had one installed by a friend. I had lube express do a oil change, filters, and they talked me into a tranny flush. Anyhow it wasnt leaking fluids. Yesterday I was close to my home, and it kept slippping badly. I went to Auto zone where they said the transmission fluid was very low. They put a half a gallon in it, I proceeded 1 min up the rd to Lube express, and told them my tranny fluid had all drained out. Mind you we were smelling cat piss, but no leaks outside or in, and no lights coming up on dash. They told me a hose was busted, now Im thinking did the guy who put my radiator in do it? I dont know, have no idea about vegicles. Next I drove next door to the garage, they put it up, and said 2 hoses are cracked. Lube plus had filled it, but it’s leaking out when I drive. They did the changing of the gears, and said I should be ok until Thursday when they can fix the hoses, just keep making sure the tranny fluid is goid. Now it’s not slipping as bad, but it’s still slipping, enough that I dont want to drive it. Will the hose fix, fix the slipping problem is my question

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danny,

      Did you change the pressure plate at the same time? Do you smell clutch disc burning when this happens?

    • profile image

      Danny 

      6 months ago

      I just changed my clutch disk (manual), and I don't think that there's any oil leaking inside, yet my car doesn't react as it used to be. I start my car on steep hill, my RPM goes about 5000 RPM in 1st gear and my car just have a 40km/h power. Before, at 5000 RPM on the same hill I was going at 100km/h. I'm desperate, it's been almost 1 year now that my car does that!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eternityksa,

      Have you ever had the transmission serviced? How does the fluid condition look? How is the transmission fluid level?

    • profile image

      eternityksa 

      6 months ago

      I have lexus ES 2011, Auto transmission is having some issues of hanging and then sudden shifting with a slight jerk move from 2nd to 3rd or 4th gear in between 40, sometimes 60 to 65 KM /H, also the RPM needle sometimes slightly go up down kind of shaky movement by himself, any suggestion would be warm welcome :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Teresa,

      If the transmission only grinds in third gear, most likely the problem is inside the transmission and not the clutch.

    • profile image

      Teresa lee 

      6 months ago

      How do Ifix this...I have a Mitsubishi Raider grinds in 3rd gear we just replaced the clutch. It worked before we put in new clutch please help with ez fix it was hard to put in clutch...( first time ) .. brother supervised but I'm learning to fix it my self .....thanks tuns

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Robert,

      I'm not sure what you mean that your clutch pedal moved close to your brake pedal. That sounds like the bushings at the pivot point on the clutch pedal arm is worn or the bracket has broken. I recommend crawling under the dash with a flashlight and checking the clutch/brake pedal bracket for any damage.

    • profile image

      Robert 

      7 months ago

      My clutch moved really close to my brake pedal and has gotten a short travel what can i do

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Pricilla,

      I'm not sure what is going on with your vehicle but the fluid near the rear axle wouldn't cause your issue, you don't have 4 wheel drive so the only fluid back there is brake fluid and fuel.

    • profile image

      Priscilla 

      7 months ago

      Eddie, no the pedal feels the same whether its normal or acting up. Clutch engages at the top end of half way depressed, if that makes sense, which is about where its always engaged. This stupid issue has now completely burnt out the clutch and since its been sitting unusable ive noticed quite a bit of fluid puddling under the rear end, about where the axle is...

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Frank,

      You could try a transmission service with a new filter and fluid but it's a shot in the dark.

    • profile image

      Frank 

      7 months ago

      I have a 1992 dodge caravan when I come to a complete stop when I try to go the transmission jerks before it shiftes in gear

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ben,

      Did you check the transmission fluid level and condition?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Michael,

      Does it drive good in the forward gears? Any hesitations or skipping? Any check engine light or other warning lights on?

    • profile image

      Michael 

      7 months ago

      My f150 2005 when I put it in reverse it feels like it slips or shakes.

    • profile image

      Ben 

      7 months ago

      Hi,

      I have a 2005 ford focus that when taking off it lacks power plus rpms will go sky high and car feels like it stops forward motion. If you ease off the gas it will eventually shift gears. Once a bit warmer same type of thing happens except all drive motion stops once 1st is wound out and after a few seconds will slam into next gear and jerking car dramatically. Help please.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heather,

      Your shifting issue may be because of low transmission fluid and they don't know how to check it properly. If the car is driving, the axles are installed completely. To check you fluid, park it on level ground, engine off, pull the transmission fluid dipstick and make sure the fluid level is between the crosshatch marks on the dipstick. If it low, use only Honda genuine fluid to top off, and make sure the garage didn't use an aftermarket fluid in your transmission, that would be the cause of your shifting problem as well. Let me know hat you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Heather C. 

      7 months ago

      I have a 99 honda accord ex 6 cylinder and it drove great until my axels in front needed replaced! Now ever since its not shifting right and valvoline said all my fluids were good, but wondering if the axles weren't properly put in did be the cause?

    • profile image

      john 

      7 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have not seen a check engine light yet but I will let you know if I see one on the 2004 Honda

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Eddie,

      It sounds like a shift solenoid is failing, is the check engine light on?

    • profile image

      Eddie 

      7 months ago

      I have a 2004 Honda accord v6 transmission replaced 24k miles ago

      When my daughter derives car at slow speeds (cold) it seems to go into neutral. SHe turns car off and restarts then car drives fine anty thoughts

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi BobDan,

      If you don't mind driving it like this, you will have a hard time selling it in the future but if it works for you and you don't mind all the lights on, go for it. One thing to think about, if you live in a state with emissions testing it will. probably never pass.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mimi,

      Are you sure it's the transmission and not the engine?

    • profile image

      Mimi 

      7 months ago

      Help, I have a 2002 dodge Dakota pickup. When I start to take off it doesn't go fast it hesitates then a couple secs it goes. When I'm at a light or stopped it jerks forward and when I press the gas it wont take off just real slow till a few secs then it goes fast.

    • profile image

      BobDan 

      7 months ago

      I drive a 2003 Acura MDX Touring which has a 2005 engine and transmission installed in it (I bought it fairly used that way). I was usually having transmission issues of which I had previously replaced the gearbox on 4 occassions); leaking seals and bad transmission fluid were among the problems I encountered. I eventually installed a 2007/08 Honda Accord V6 FWD gearbox which of course don't have the VTM-4 system attached to the transmission and fitted perfectly well to the vehicle; I as well got the propeller yanked off.... Pls I would like to know if it was a good decision to have had this type of transmission installed...... Thank you!

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