The Most Common Reasons Why a Transmission Slips

Updated on January 27, 2019
eddiecarrara profile image

Eddie spent 35 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

What to Do 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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • 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.

  • I have 2012 Silverado, and the transmission slips while driving. If I stop and restart the engine, it drives fine. Do you have any idea what this could be?

    It sounds like something electronic, like a solenoid or valve, so it could be a quick fix.

  • I have a 2001 Dodge Ram. If I romp it to the rug, it gets to about 4-grand and then acts like it goes into neutral. What could be the cause?

    Sounds to me like your losing pressure inside the transmission and it is going into neutral. Have you checked the transmission fluid yet? Also check the condition of the fluid, if it is very dirty the pickup screen could be restricted.

  • My 2013 Ford Focus sticks at a high rev when I am on the highway and accelerate to pass. It hangs up there for maybe three seconds then comes back down - when I am going 70-75. What gives?

    I recommend checking the throttle linkage and throttle plate for any carbon build up. Try cleaning up the plate with carb clean and clean the inner and outer moving parts as well, then use some spray lube on the external moving parts.

  • The fluid itself isn’t super low, but does seem old, can this be causing my automatic transmission to slip?

    Absolutely. I recommend checking the transmission for leaks first, then doing a transmission fluid change. It's a cheap test to see if the shifting improves.

© 2011 Eddie Carrara

Please Add Your Questions and Comments Here

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 hours ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chris,

      Is the check engine light on? Does your speedometer work? That is very unusual, let me know if the check engine light is on, thanks.

    • profile image

      Chris wasden 

      20 hours ago

      I have a 2003 Honda pilot why would the transmission shift in to low gear while going down the hwy at 60or70 it goes all the way to first and some time's stays in first and won't shift back up

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      9 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Vev,

      I would start by checking the fluid level, if it's ok you may need to have it diagnosed by a transmission specialist, diagnosis isn't too expensive, but the repair might be.

    • profile image

      Vev 

      10 days ago

      I have a 2011 Ford F-150 ecoboost. Drove it on trip pulling trailer and had absolutely no problems. Parked it overnight and get in next morningbput in drive it moves about 200 ft and slips motor revs and it gear indicator goes to 5th. Any ideas on stuff to troubleshoot without going broke?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Melissa,

      Changing the fluid is a cheap quick check to see if the shifting improves. I also recommend you replace the filter at the same time. Keep me posted on how you make out, thanks.

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      4 weeks ago

      My 2011 Chevy Impala revs like in neutral when I try to reverse after warming up for about 10-15 minutes. Then does the same when I put it in drive. After about 30 minutes of driving, it seems to shift better. This has progressively been getting worse for about a year. Yesterday as I was driving I noticed when I got up to 60mph my rpm was well over 3 and I couldn’t get to 65mph. I pulled over, put it in park and started again and it drove fine. Checked my fluid and I have too much. Would a fluid change help?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mario,

      Possibly an adjustment but I need to see the engine/trans arrangement at the throttle.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Liz,

      It sounds like the transmission fluid is low (foamy) I recommend you start by topping off the fluid and see if it drives any better. The harness is most likely part of the sensor, so I recommend replacing the sensor/harness.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Andrew,

      I recommend you check the transmission fluid level first, low fluid is the most likely cause, if it's ok you'll have to dig deeper.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cheryl,

      Either they didn't top off your transmission fluid after replacing the axle or they may not have inserted the axle completely into the transmission. I highly recommend you tow it back and make sure to mention to the mechanic that you didn't have this issue before the axle was replaced, you only hand a noise and now this is a different problem, most likely mechanic made.

    • profile image

      Cheryl cahill 

      4 weeks ago

      2000 Lincoln continental was in the shop they took out the left scide of the cc boot drive shaft out and put in a new one the we could here noise comming from the left front tire it was luke it was spunning when it was in park. Then i was driving the car and it had no power at all then it would drive again just put in a brand new battery yesterday drove it to the store no power at no 123 and reverse and drive. I could here a nose when it was in 1 gear like it was trying to go in gear when they put in the new cvbootdrivs shaft did they do it ronf or is the tranny going or is the cvboot drive shaft stripped in scide the transmission

    • profile image

      Andrew 

      4 weeks ago

      When i put the toyota camry into drive it doesnt move untill the car warms up then it drives fine. 94 v6 camry

    • profile image

      Liz 

      5 weeks ago

      Awd disable and anti lock lights on, dtc showed abs wheel speed sensor harness to be replaced. Not seeing issues on any part of the harness, thought bout replacing connector on hub but would it of said that instead of harness if that was issue or no?

      Also, my car jerks when switching gears and downshifts if you accelerate too quickly or when going up a hill, jerking seems to be worse when low on gas and car been running along time. Rpms rev higher until switches gears and seems to coincide with a "winding" noise, happens even when idle but is worse on acceleration. I flushed the transmission and did tune up bout 5-6 months ago, been checking the fluid periodically not until recently did it seem foamy cuz it has bubbles in it and showing way past the hatchmarks.

      Please help and gimme some idea of where to start. All of these symptoms can be ALOT of different things. This is on a 2005 buick rendezvous 3.4l.

    • profile image

      Mario 

      5 weeks ago

      I have a 02 Acura TL type s with 215xxxxx miles and when your just driving around normal shifts just fine no issues but once you give it gas to pass someone up or to get on hwy trans shifts around 5500-6000 rpms but dosent ingauge the gear until you let off gas can that be my trans pressure sensors????!?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hector,

      The clutch disc may be worn, the pressure plate may be weak, or you could have fluid on the clutch assembly like from a leaking seal. I believe you will probably need a new clutch assembly.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Phil,

      Usually, when a transmission has these symptoms it caused by debris clogging up a pick-up or passes way but you said the fluid level and color are normal so it's possible there is an electrical issue with one of the solenoids or valve body.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Fabian,

      It sounds like you have lost 2nd gear completely. You'll need to bring it to a transmission specialist so they can pressure test the trans to diagnose the problem.

    • profile image

      Fabián valadez 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a ,02 chevy tahoe first gear drives smooth then it does not go into second my rpm just reves and goes smoothly into 3rd i already replaced tranny oil filter and selinoids and no improvement can you give me your opinon

    • profile image

      Phil 

      7 weeks ago

      I did not see any visible damage. The check engine light is on but it was on before it got stolen. Error Code P1633 is defined as Keep Alive Power Voltage Too Low. This is the code that came up before it got stolen. I recovered the car yesterday and i have not been able to have it rescanned. So i am not sure if there are any new codes. The car has 178k miles and in 2 months it was gone there was roughly 10k miles driven. If the trans is losing main pressure, could that be caused by a sensor and/or damaged internal seals? I do realized i need to get it scanned, but it wont make it to the nearest auto parts store.

    • profile image

      Hector 

      7 weeks ago

      ihave a 2003 honda civic m anual transmission and my cuestios is why the 5 gear slps i put new gear oil on it and stll doing the same please help me whit the thank you

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Phil,

      It sounds like you're losing main pressure, is there any damage to the transmission under the vehicle?

    • profile image

      Phil 

      7 weeks ago

      2006 ford escape 3.0 v6 fwd auto. My car was stolen and i just recovered it after about 2 months. It starts and runs good. I am able to shift into all gears and drive. But after about 2-3mins the car loses all gears, it is like i shifted into neutral. There is no noise, i almost dont even realizes it happens until i give it more gas and it just revs, just like in neutral. If i shut off the car and wait 5-10mins i can drive it again, but only for 2-3mins. The trans fluid is full and a normal color. The engine oil is low and burned up. But what are some possible reasons for this? Where should i start?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Thanks Sergio, Keep it topped off and you can make it last forever :)

    • profile image

      Sergio Fuentes of Ontario , Oregon 

      7 weeks ago

      Thank you. Great artical I bave a Honda Passport when it idies it seems like its shifting, it does have a leak and i just filled it and it got the extra power i filled it through the pan in the bottom of the transmission.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Bernard,

      The pressure plate could be lacking spring pressure or your engine has cylinder compression leakage (worn rings, burnt or pitted valves, etc. Let me know if this helps.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ryan,

      Depending on the type of transmission, the screen or filter could be clogged and gets worse once the fluid moving or your fluid may be very contaminated. Those conditions are where you should start your diagnosis.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi JB,

      It could be a pressure switch or the clutch pack o-ring but usually, an o-ring would cause slippage, not a neutral condition.

    • profile image

      JB 

      2 months ago

      I recently replaced the torque converter and shift solenoids in my Honda also flushed out the lines changed 4 other solenoids and I'm still having an issue with it slipping out of second gear and it sometimes makes a weird shuddering sound when idling unless I rev It Up it will go away ,you think it's the 2nd clutch pressure switch? I've got way too much time and money and blood in this car For it not to be fixed .PLEASE HELP.

    • profile image

      Ryan 

      2 months ago

      Why does my transmission slip only when it's hot?

    • profile image

      Bernard F. Foryasen 

      2 months ago

      On a 30 degree incline, I parked my manual transmission SUV. My handbrake is not working so I engaged my shifter to 1st gear. But when I released the foot brake pedal, the car slides down gradually and intermittently. What must be wrong?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Alyssa,

      I recommend you start with the obvious, if there's a problem with the shift cable, replace that first and see if you still have the problem. It is possible your vehicle was not in gear completely and it slipped out because of the cable. Let me know what happens, thanks.

    • profile image

      Alyssa 

      2 months ago

      Hi. I have a 2008 Mazda 6 with an automatic transmission. Today, it felt as if my car had slipped into neutral on its own, because I wasn’t able to move too fast and the engine would rev but there was no acceleration. The only way to get it back to normal was by turning the car off and back on again. However I’m still worried. I bought the car used and I know that I have to replace the shifter cable, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Could the slipping be due to the shifter cable finally wearing out? Or a bigger issue with the transmission?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi James,

      I recommend you check the connector (inspect it for corrosion) at the speed sensor if that looks ok inspect the wire harness from the sensor to the PCM for any rodent damage if no problems are found, check the wires for continuity from the sensor to the PCM.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hollie,

      What is the year of the vehicle? How many miles? Is the check engine light on or the "D" light flashing?

    • profile image

      James kaeff 

      2 months ago

      2004 Ford sport Trac 4x4

      Engine light and overdrive indacater flashing when driving after 20 miles of resetting codes

      Code reads

      Speed sensor

      ...

      I replace speed sensor

      Cleared codes

      Drove 20 miles

      Engine light and overdrive indacater flashing

      Reading same code

      ...

      So I replace the speed sensor again

      I also replaced the differential sensor as well even know that code did not come on

      Drove 20 miles

      Engine light overdrive indacater flashing

      same code

      ...

      So I topped off all fluids

      In both differentials

      Transmission fluid was good

      ....

      I drive 20 miles

      Engine light over drive indacater flashing

      Same code

      ...

      Not sure what I'm over looking/missing

    • profile image

      Hollie 

      2 months ago

      have a honda accord that when i take off and shift into 2nd it like grabs at about 3 and i have to let out for it to grab into second but every other gear is fine

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Raine,

      When the transmission fluid sits for long periods of time like yours it tends to become gummy and valves stick. I don't usually recommend using cleaning agents in any automotive drivetrains but you have nothing to lose with this problem. Try using SeaFoam transmission conditioner, it may help loosen up the sticking parts. Let me know how you make out, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Linh,

      A skip in the engine will also feel like a slip in the transmission, not to confuse you. Is the check engine light on? Did it come on and then go out?

    • profile image

      Raine 

      2 months ago

      I have a Chevy blazer 2002 we can go up to about 30miles and then it goes into 3rd but back to first and if we go about 45miles per hour it stay at 3rd gear it gets over heated if we drive faster then 45 and we can not take it on the highway bc it won’t go that fast at all it sat for four years before we bought it from my bfs grandma what can be the issue and why it won’t go without late shifting

    • profile image

      Linh Vu 

      2 months ago

      I have a Toyota Corolla 2007 LE. I bought it new in September 2006. So the car is 13 years old with 166K. transmission fluid and filter change every 45K. Starting a month ago, I noticed transmission slip once a week. The first time it happened I did not know what it was. I had never experienced a transmission slip. I thought it was some kind of downshifting.

      After I read your article today, I definitely identify it as transmission slip not downshifting. I went to the mechanic but he could not replicate the problem. it happens only once a week.

      What should I do now? wait for it to become worse? rebuild transmission now? Thanks, Linh.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Scott,

      What does the transmission fluid condition look like and where is the level at?

    • profile image

      Scott 

      2 months ago

      Hi. i have a 2002 mercury mountaineer and my transmission seems to be "slipping" going into 3rd gear. It has only started 2 days ago. Dont want to mess anything up. When i shift it manually 1sr and 2rd are fine but when i shift into 3rd it stays in 2nd. Shift into drive and seems ok. Like i said i dont want mess up anything. Whats your thoughts?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chris,

      I recommend you do a battery test and an alternator test to start to eliminate the most common problems. If all is ok, inspect the engine compartment for any signs of rodent housing or debris like acorns, nuts, grass nest, etc. Rodents like to chew wires and it's very common to find harnesses chewed causing all kinds of issues. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2014 ford focus and my car just all of a sudden started slipping real hard.My engine light came on, it did it once before when i had my ac on. When a friend ran a test on it, it said 3rd gear low and low voltage on EVERYTHING!.. WHAT COULD IT BE? PLEASE HELP!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi John,

      There is no filter on that transmission and I only recommend Genuine Honda fluid, if you can find a shop with a flush machine, that would be the best starting place.

    • profile image

      john21lopez1998 

      3 months ago

      hi I have a 1999 Honda Accord LX and the transmission was replace with one from the junkyard but its slipping do you recommend on having it drain and add lucas transmission slip fluid, full synthetic blend transmission fluid, and change the transmission filter

    • profile image

      Mike 

      3 months ago

      My daughter had her Toyota4Rinner engine steam cleaned. She drove it down the freeway for 8 miles or so and got off and transmission was not shifting properly. How much water could completely ruin the transmission? Could there be an electronic problem? Could a trans flush save it if it's already gotten to this point?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Antonio,

      How's the transmission fluid level and condition. It sounds to me like you're low on fluid.

    • profile image

      Antonio C. 

      3 months ago

      I have in 1989 Pontiac firebird my transmission shifts in all gears but when I’m in drive it won’t change out of 1st until a few minutes when the trans get hot...

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rick,

      Start with the basics, check the transmission fluid condition and level to start, if everything looks good, you'll need to dig a little deeper.

    • profile image

      RickT 

      3 months ago

      I have a Hyundai genesis coupe 2.0t automatic. Sometimes when shifting from 2-3 and 4-5 you can feel the shifts. Sometimes its a really hatd shift, sometimes it slips to about 3500rpms then shifts a little hard. Sometimes it slips from 2-3 when accelerating slowly. Any ideas to what the problem could be?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marcus,

      It sounds like you have no main pressure. You could check the pick-up and o-ring in the transmission pan, it could either be clogged of loose, other than that it could be the pump or something else.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ralph,

      I don't have a good answer for you, I recommend you recheck your work and make sure everything is plugged in correctly, if all looks good, you'll need to get some expert advice.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heath,

      I recommend you check all connections where you were working to make sure everything is plugged in properly, if everything looks ok you may need to have a shop put a scanner on it, I'm thinking your check engine light must be on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Riaan,

      Is this a standard transmission? If so your clutch may be the problem.

    • profile image

      Riaan 

      3 months ago

      I have a Volvo S80 3.2L when driving only the 5th gear slips when RPM are more then 3500 revs and when 2500 rpm it changes smoothly what can be the cause of that

    • profile image

      Heath 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee. It was idling high, so I replaced the throttle position sensor. The idle air control valve is fairly new as well. Replacing the throttle position sensor fixed the idle problem. However, my Cherokee now revs really high and it feels like the transmission is slipping or disengaged until as it shifts. I have to take my foot off the gas and then press slowly for the transmission to reengage. Until I replaced the throttle position sensor, my Cherokee had never done this before. Help, please. Any ideas?

    • profile image

      Ralph s 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2004 Chevy trailblazer Just replace both solenoids and the filter. Well I have it in drive it hesitates going to second and third and then there a PM just shoot up it will go in through third or fourth when I have it in drive to the drives good I would be the problem

    • profile image

      Marcus sanchez 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2001 Dodge Grand caravan the check engine light is on but reads transmission not shifting.It goes into drive but won't change gears what could it be possible transmission fluid is good

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi John,

      That doesn't sound good, you may want to have a transmission specialist take a look at it, it doesn't sound like a simple fix :(

    • profile image

      John Sheuchik 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2005 Hyundai elantra and in 1st gear it bangs and shifts to second. Once it goes into second and almost 3rd it down shifts to 1 or 2. Extremely hard and feels like you will go through the windshield

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Madeleine,

      It sounds like you’re low on transmission fluid or it is very dirty. What is the level and condition of the fluid? Check the level by parking the car on level ground with the engine off. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Madell 

      4 months ago

      I have a 1990 acura ledgen the tranny will slip when its seems to be hot out and drive it for a distance i can get up to 30 mph then have to let iff the gas for it to. Shift then give it more gas seems nit to have power when taking off like i said only when the car is hot it does nit over heat

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi RW,

      It sounds like you have a sticking valve inside the valve body, I recommend you have a professional diagnose the problem, it may be a simple repair or not.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ernesto, The vehicle should still be under factory warranty so I recommend you have it towed to the Dodge dealer closest to you. Also you may want to call them before towing it just to be sure it is under warranty. Sounds like the transmission pump has failed.

    • profile image

      Ernesto 

      4 months ago

      I never got a light engine on, but the car was making a whining noise while accelerating, then it got to a point where it wasn’t switching gears (automatic) and when stop it will switch gears and make a funny noise, I decided to stop the car, is a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi BETqueen,

      It's worth having it checked by a professional. If the check engine light is on with a stored transmission code it will point the mechanic to the possible problem. Let me know if you have more questions :)

    • profile image

      BETqueen 

      4 months ago

      Hi Eddie. My husband has a 2005 Buick Rendevouz where the automatic transmission slips when shifting between first and second gears. Is the transmission wiped out? Could it be the “solenoid “ in the transmission or something else not as egregious?

      Thank You, in advance, for your help. ☺️

    • profile image

      David Wilson 

      5 months ago

      My 04 Honda civic sat for a long time due to a hood cable break. I had the transmission slip real bad after sitting at a long red light. Had the fluid changed but it did it again, this time not as bad. Both times I was on a slight incline. What could this be?

    • profile image

      w.d.yapa 

      5 months ago

      I highly appreciate your educative words.

      Mine is a Mitsubishi Montero Sport - 2012 - Thailand - diesel - 105,000km.

      ATF changed at 80,000. 9.7 liters per Manual. No leaks appear.

      The dipstick is hopeless. It shows the oil level well above the maximum or actually the level is higher. No way for me to know.

      The jeep shifted to neutral recently, while driving at 50/60, but re-engaged after stop ( engine not stopped) and gear shift. This was repeated at two other subsequent drives.

      Ring a bell friend?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Melissa,

      You may have an engine problem, not a transmission issue. I recommend you have the code pulled from the computer and it will at least tell you the system that is not working properly. Let me know the code, maybe I can help :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome DK, let me know if you have any questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Dk 

      5 months ago

      Thanks for the tip vary knowledgeable

    • profile image

      Melissa 

      5 months ago

      Mazda 3 2012 85000 miles

      Car jerks when driving , dash board light turn off, then turn back on. Took my car for transmission flush 2 wks ago no problems, today same thing all light off , turned it off then turned it on. The car starts but to electical power ( dash board lights and no acceleration.)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mike,

      That's really weird, it sounds like you're losing pressure to the first clutch. It's possible you have a sticking valve inside the valve body. If you have a transmission specialist near your home you could schedule a road test with the shop, they may be able to tell you the issue without diagnosing it. Keep me posted on what you decide to do, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Old Salty,

      How can the transmission fluid be dirty if they just replaced it 5 days ago? I really think you need a second opinion.

      What is happening when you can't go over 10 mph? Are the rpm's going up, is it bucking? Give me more details on what is happening when this happens, thanks.

    • profile image

      Old Salty 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2011 GMC Yukon XL with a5.3 liter engine with113,000 miles. About a month ago thought transmission was slipping a little climbing hill getting on highway about 50mph. Got home went to check fluid and fill pipe came out with stick about 14” long .Not sure how long it has been broken. Last service was a oil change about 3 months ago Called dealer about it as they did a GM issued repair to prevent such damage in 2016. Stopped driving and towed to dealer . Advised not to drive in rain to dealer. Although we have had the rainiest 2 months in history the last two months. Dealer repaired pipe under previous work order and changed transmission fluid . Asked to check transmission as did not want any issues going forward as I did not know how long pipe was broken and what got in there or leaked out . Drove home 5 days later pulled out of driveway and would not go over 10mph. Towed back to dealer . Transmission gonzo. Says not related to broken pipe or fluid flush. Now Says there was no water in fluid but was very dirty and discolored. Never said anything at time of repair. Wants 4500 to replace transmission . Would appreciate any advice you can give me going forward . Thank you.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gina,

      I recommend you start by fixing the EVAP canister leak first and then clear all codes to see if any of the transmission codes come back. Keep me posted on what you decide to do and what you find out, thanks.

    • profile image

      mike bobier 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2008 chevy Silverado. while sitting to either turn usually to the left, my truck suddenly makes a grinding noise, a clunk and then it wont move until I put it in neutral and the griding noise stops and then I can put it back in gear and it is fine. sometimes this takes a couple of times putting it in neutral. sound transmission to you

    • profile image

      Gina Marie 69 

      6 months ago

      Yes Eddie, the check engine light is on.

      I also went by Auto Zone last night and they added transmission fluid, and did a scan, they said it mentioned an "Evaporative Emissions Purge Solenoid"

      On another scan done by my friend prior to Auto Zone the following codes were:

      p1705

      Tranaxle control Module A/T Gear position Switch Circuit short

      p0700 Transmission control system

      p1457 EVAP control system leak detected (canister area)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kim,

      I think you're right, I think you may need a minor adjustment on the servo, it sounds like there may be too much or not enough pressure in the servo to cushion the shift. If you know of another transmission shop that is reputable, I highly recommend you get a second opinion. Keep me posted, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Gina,

      Is the check engine light on? It may not be a transmission issue, it could possibly be an engine skip or misfire, they feel very similar. Let me know if the check engine light is on, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Deanna,

      The first step is to identify what is leaking, once you have the leak fixed the transmission will stop slipping. The transmission is slipping because the fluid is low. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Deanna 

      6 months ago

      Hi, I have a 2006 New beetle Bug 2.4 automatic. It's started to slip on 1st and 2nd gear then the RPM shoots up and goes back down and I am leaking fluid that looks redish dark. I am hoping i just have to put more transmission fluid but the leaking do sent sound good. Any advice very much appreciated. Thanks

    • profile image

      Gina Marie 69 

      6 months ago

      Hi,

      I have a 2002 Honda Accord with a rebuilt transmission...

      I noticed that when I am on the highway, going into the 55-60mph range, the car starts to buck, then stops as I slow back down...

      It sometimes shifts roughly in lower gears as well, or so it feels...

      I am clueless and do not want a mechanic to take advantage of my ignorance. lol

      Could this be a transmission issue? even with a replacement? it was a used one for $650 the original owner said. Please advise.

      #singlemomissues

    • profile image

      Kim 

      6 months ago

      I have a 2007 4X4 Ford Ranger (186000 Km on it and I bought it new). The automatic Transmission fluid was leaking so I took it to the Tranny shop and they changed two Servo Caps and put in a new TR Sensor. Now when I put the truck in "Drive" it doesn't always go into gear right away and revs and then "bangs" into first gear. Once it is engaged it seems to shift normally through the other gears when on the highway. If I put it into 2nd instead of Drive when starting out, it seems to go into gear fine so not sure what is going on with it. They did something to the "shifting" mechanism as well and it seems rather loose to me. Took it back to the Tranny place and talked to them about it and they said I should tear the whole transmission apart and rebuild it but my intuition is saying they didn't do something properly and it is an easy fix and I don't think spending $3000.00 on a rebuilt transmission is necessary. My next option (which I will probably take) is to take it to another shop for a second opinion but came across your site so thought I would see what you had to say about it. Thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Hudginsjp,

      Sorry to hear about the troubles you're having. It sounds like your clutch is slipping when it gets hot, it's the only reason for a standard transmission to slip. I recommend you have it replaced by a reputable shop. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Hudginsjp 

      6 months ago

      I have a 1998 ford contour 5speed and a few days ago it slipped in 5th gear.

      I didnt know it was slipping until today.

      What it was doing was if while in 5th if i pressed the gas to accelerate too hard the rpms would shoot up really high but it didnt feel like it went to neutral because it was still accelerating just not like it should for the rpms. Not knowing what was happening i kepted on the gas and as it sped up the rpms came down and they met in the middle so at 45mph i hit the gas hard and the rpms went to 6k but but the car was eccelerating like i had only slightly pushed the gas but once i hit 55mph the rpms at 4.5k then at 65mph the rpms at 3.5 which is normal. This happened about 4 times over the last 2 or 3 days and i couldnt figure it out. Then today i drive it to visit my wife 30 min one way and everything is fine there and back. But a few hours latter i go to drive it again And it has very little acceleration... im thinking its out of gas and put half a tank in but when i go to leave the gas station i can not press the gas pedel more then a baby toe of pressure or the rpms shoot up and the car wont accelerate at all once the rpms go up and its now happening in all the gears. The rate of acceleration is about 0 to 60 in 5 minutes and im not exaggerating. Trust me everyone on the highway was letting me know as i was trying to get to speed to get home. I got the car to go 70mph wjth normal rpms by very very slowly accelerating but the car is not drivable like this. I just looked it up and read that its the clutch slipping and so i check the clutch as follows. Start car, place in 1st, pull handbrake, dump clutch with no gas and the car stalled right out. I tried this in 2nd gear as well and the car stalled out.

      Please help me, im currently homeless and living in this car and i need to be able to get to work or ill be homeless and carless and no way to fix either with out my job.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rob,

      After eating at Denny's you may have to .... never mind lol. If the trans only slipped once it may not even be the transmission you felt slipping. If it continues to happen I recommend having it checked out but I don't think you should be worried about it right now, but I would be worried about your choices of places to eat lol.

    • profile image

      Rob 

      6 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 1997 328i, i felt the tranny slip about 2 months ago while exiting the parking spot at Dennys. It has only happened once and the fluid level turned up okay, could the tranny be taking a crap or did i eat to much at Denny's.....lol She has 150k miles on her.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tombiz,

      I kept reading this question over and over and I'm not really sure what you're asking. Could you try to explain the issue in more detail?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dave,

      Are you sure it's no an engine skip or misfire? Another reader Joe just had a similar issue and he found deteriorated coils. I recommend you inspect for an engine skip/misfire first and let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Garry,

      I think you have an internal leak and once the transmission warms up the metal expands and temporarily fixes your issue.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joe,

      That's great news! Sometimes a skip in the engine will seem like a transmission slip, the problems are very similar. I'm glad it all worked out, the coils and plugs are a lot less cash than a transmission lol. Thank you for coming back to post your findings, this really helps other readers with similar issues :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom,

      I recommend you change the transmission fluid to see if the problem persists. It sounds to me like there is some debris clogging up one of the ports or solenoids. Is the check engine light on? If so, the computer has stored a transmission code and it just needs to be diagnosed.

    • profile image

      Tom 

      6 months ago

      My honada while driving is reving out.

      I stop it turn off the car.

      After 15 seconds i start it again and its drive and change out nicely.

      But after a few miles up the road it start to rev again i repeat the process.

      My mechanic add a few bottles of oil and we test drive it same results so he said the transmission need to change.

      With your experience could this be something else?

      I change it a few year back rebuild it.

      Atlease so they say.

      What you think?

    • profile image

      Joe 

      6 months ago

      First off, thank you so much for all your help. A misfire was the problem. I pulled the coils and they looked worse than the ones I replaced?! All but one was corroded and falling apart. The plugs did not look bad at all to me but just to sure I replaced them as well. I upped the quality on these parts and my car ran like a champ. I waited a few days to post to be sure but I am certain the issue has been resolved.

    • profile image

      Garry 

      7 months ago

      I have a 1995 dodge ram 1500 1st gear slips in and out till it gets warm and then it shifts fine but the rest of the gears are good what would cause this a bad band or sylnoid. It had low fluid but its been sitting 9 hours not 1 deop of fluid yet has leaked so i dont think it would be a bad seal or leak in the lines anywhere?

    • profile image

      Dave 

      7 months ago

      Eddie, My '03 Jeep Liberty 4WD 4 speed AT just developed an atypical (to me) slipping problem. Fluid looks great and I'll check the level today. No leaking evident. It has a very short period slip-like impulse maybe a second in duration. I can't tell for sure but it doesn't seem to be at a natural shift point, e.g. when going uphill and it may want to downshift. I can be on level roadway when it happens. It may be starting a shift sequence then stopping or a slip that ends abruptly. Ideas?

    • profile image

      Tombiz 

      7 months ago

      On my 2004 Ford Taurus it has 115,000 miles when turning the car has no power and when it finishes turning it will feel like it pops back into gear and goes

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