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.

  • My Honda Accord 2007 shifts weird only in the morning. Sometimes it won’t shift into gear or hard shift. I have a leak on my axle seal. I replaced the seal, but it still leaks. My mechanic says I have to change the cv axle because it's leaking. What should I do?

    I recommend a second opinion on the leak. A mechanic can very easily damage the axle seal during installation, and it would be very unusual to have to replace an axle because of this leak.

  • I have a 2003 Impala which I had a rebuild done on in February 2016. Now (out of warranty) the car fires up and goes into any gear without hesitation for about 30 seconds then makes a noise and all of the gears go out. I turn the car off and restart it and then it will again work for about 30 seconds?

    I recommend brining it back to the shop that did the rebuild. It sounds like you have an electronic solenoid that is failing.

  • Just bought a Honda Accord 99 V6 V-tec and it has a slipping transmission. Where do I start?

    I alway recommend starting by checking the fluid level and condition. If it's black, replace it a couple of times and see if it helps.

  • I have a 1999 Honda Civic, and I recently changed the clutch and pressure plate, but I'm getting clutch slip. Any ideas on what to try next?

    Yes, I recommend replacing the rubber hose in the hydraulic system, if the hose collapses inside the clutch will lack pressure when releasing the pedal.

© 2011 Eddie Carrara

Please Add Your Questions and Comments Here

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hey Jackson,

      That's great news, hopefully that's all it was :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Anguiano,

      If it's only been a year, you may have a 12-month warranty on the rebuild, or even if you're over the 12 months they may help you out.

    • profile image

      Anguiano214 

      8 days ago

      I have 02 ext. Cab. Truck was driving okay until there was a small delay shifting into 3rd. I try driving it home but didn't make it. Turned off the truck and turned it on and no luck. Walked home and tried pulling it but before pulling I tried turning it on it worked perfectly fine till I got home won't move at all in any gear. I wait again like 5 to 10 mins. Turn it on and bam works and drives for 40 secs to a min. Then it won't move at all in any gear again please help had the transmission worked on about a year ago and don't want to get it rebuilt again

    • profile image

      Jackson 

      9 days ago

      Hi Eddie

      Quick update the garage has told me it was the selector cable or box needed adjustment. Pick the car up today some time so hopefully its all sorted.

      Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      10 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Subba,

      You need to take it to a transmission expert like Aamco. They can test the system and give you a diagnosis.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Blake,

      Most likely you have a blockage in the main clutch line and the transmission is starving for fluid. This happened to my kids 99 CR-V, I ended up using compressed air lightly in each one of the pressure ports on the transmission and it greatly reduced the problem. I also recommend a fluid change after you do this because you're moving debris inside the transmission. Let me know if you try this, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      12 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kristina,

      This is the only way I know to prove your point to the dealer. Drop your car off the night before your appointment. Have someone drive you to the dealership in the morning, test drive the vehicle with either the Service Manager, Shop Foreman, or the Tech so you can point out the problem. I know it's a lot of extra time you probably don't have but it will prove to them your vehicle has a problem they need to fix. Keep me posted on what you decide to do, thanks.

    • profile image

      Blake bailey 

      12 days ago

      I have a 2001 honda civic ex 1.7 sohc vtec and i was driving home last night and the trans dies no slip no low fluid no leak, i pull over let it sit start it up again goes back into gesr for 10 secs then dies again and answers on issue?

    • profile image

      Kristina Stewart 

      12 days ago

      Hi. Just bought used 2017 Chevy Cruze. Dealer never told me engine was replaced at 17,000. Found out after purchase. Now has 50,000 miles. The transmission is slipping in 4th gear (only 4th). Hard shifted a few times but generally revs between the shift. Dealer kept it for 2 weeks & said it never did it for them (of course it didn't!). Now ive had it back and it does it daily. It's only first thing in the morning. Once the car has been moving for a few it seems to not do it. Any advise?

    • profile image

      Subba 

      12 days ago

      I have kia sorento (xm) 2010 model, automatic transmission. We have been trying to fix it for the last one year, but still not successful. The car jerks when shifting gear and directly jumps to gear 1 from 3...missing out gear 2 when decreasing. We have changed almost every part of the vehicle but still same problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Caroline,

      It sounds like your torque converter is sticking but I'm not sure why it could be internal or external. You'll need to have it checked for any codes stored in the computer. Are there any warning lights on?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Wow Stephanie, you were lucky! Glad you didn't get stranded but the news on the transmission sucks. Let me know if you have any questions about the transmission swap/rebuild.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Great Jackson,

      Keep me posted on what they find, it will help other readers with similar problems, thanks for the feedback so far, I really appreciate it :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joel,

      It sounds to me more like a sticking valve or solenoid but without a code, it will be hard to diagnose unless you can find an expert transmission tech who knows how to check the pressure while driving. The difficult part about diagnosing this problem is it happens under heavy acceleration, so unless they have a scan tool to monitor the transmission while driving, it will be a tough diagnosis.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Nikoli,

      Sounds like something is out of adjustment or a valve is sticking in the valve body. You will need to take it to a transmission specialest to have it diagnosed. Keep me posted on what the diagnosis is.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi John,

      Have you checked the fluid level and condition yet?

    • profile image

      John 

      2 weeks ago

      My 2007 grand prix gxp 5.3 some times slips for a second before engaging when in drive

    • profile image

      Nikoli 

      2 weeks ago

      07 Silverado 4wd v6 automatic, driving down the road and hear clunk clunk then a loud metal grinding...now if i put it in reverse it instantly starts grinding and will only move in first gear? What is going on here

    • profile image

      Joel 

      2 weeks ago

      Thx for your expertise Eddie! 2005 BMW 330i - GM 5L40E transmission. Getting a slip or "flair" into 2nd gear, mostly only noticeable under heavy acceleration from stop or very slow speed and gunning it. Seems to get a bit worse when warmed up fully. Also had one instance of hitting accelerator hard to get around an issue on highway, dropped into 2nd to accelerate then wouldn't come out of 2nd for around 30 seconds no matter what I did, then eventually upshifted to 3rd/4th and I was on my way. No codes ever. I performed one fluid change according to BMW specs/directions - have seen no change in behavior. Just over 100K on the car. Valve body? Or truly a gear issue (I hope not - really don't have the money for a whole new transmission!).

      Thx, Joel

    • profile image

      Jackson 

      2 weeks ago

      Thanks for getting back to me. It only started last week and last couple of days have struggled getting 1st and R. It feels like it goes in gear but just doesnt seem to engage.

      But on the plus side rang the garage and they are going to look into it even though its out warranty.

    • profile image

      Stephanie1290 

      2 weeks ago

      UPDATE: After 2 weeks of my car driving good (after I changed the trans fluid and filter) It all of a sudden died as I pulled I to the parking lot at work. I thanked my car for not leaving me stranded on the highway, and went into work and had it towed home at the end of my shift. I guess i will look into replacing the Tranmission now.

      Thanks for your advice with my issue.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Leonard,

      A 2200 rpm stall converter will start to engage at 2200 rpm's. Have you topped off the transmission fluid? Is it completely filled to the full line?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      That's great news Steph, I think we might be on to something here :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tammy,

      I recommend you start with a transmission fluid change with genuine Honda fluid to start, drive it for a few days and see if it's any better.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joe,

      Are you sure it's the transmission and not your brakes? How do you know?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jackson,

      Did this start happening immediately after the clutch was replaced or did it slowly get worse?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Diane,

      So you have checked the condition and level and both are ok? When was the last time you had it serviced mileage wise?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Raymond,

      This type of transmission problem needs to go to the experts for diagnosis so they check the pressures inside the transmission during operation.

    • profile image

      Raymond 

      2 weeks ago

      Hi eddie,

      I have Hyundai Elantra XE 2.0 Avante.

      Have gear shifting issue, when driving in 50 km/H sometime hear knocking sound and car slowing down without gear shifting up.

      I' ve been send my car for repair, they suggested to change solenoid and transmision heat sensor, after changed this parts, problem remain.

      Then, they suggested to changed valve body assembly and new set of cable joining to gear box.

      Finally, the system error been solved. However they told me after the gear box heated temp increase, they still found this transmision shifting issue.

      Can u advice, cause of this problem..thanks

    • profile image

      Diane 

      2 weeks ago

      I have an ‘05 Town Car and when I slow down for someone who’s turning ahead of me and then resume driving it hesitates as though it’s in neutral for a few seconds, then it engages and moves on. If I come to a complete stop it doesn’t do this. The transmission fluid is fine.

    • profile image

      Jackson 

      2 weeks ago

      I have a 2012 mondeo recently had new clutch apporox 6 weeks ago. Now all my front gears R 1 3 and 5 dont feel like they are going in properly 1st is the worst sometimes you need to keep it pushed forward to make sure it is in.

    • profile image

      Joseph Abercrombie 

      3 weeks ago

      My car has been sitting for about 6 months and my THM350 transmission locked up, how could i get it unstuck?

    • profile image

      Tammy 

      3 weeks ago

      I have. Honda accord i just bought it hs 244 thousand miles i was having a tune up done butmytransmission is sealed but i noticed that when i put it in drive then put my foot on thegas it hesitates for a second then it goes nd hits the gear and drives fine one mechanic said low fluid the other one said get a new trasmission the fluid was changed about 5 years ago please help me

    • profile image

      Caroline Van Wyke 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi

      I have a Mercedes ML270 cdi 2003. Auto. Runs beautifully, through the gears smoothly, picks up no problem, and smoothly down again, but, when I come to a junction and I stop in D, the car feels like it wants to take off, and the engine struggles and I have to put it into neutral. Any thoughts? Be grateful for any advice before I go and either spend cash or take it back to the seller.

    • profile image

      Leonard Parten 

      3 weeks ago

      I put a 2200 stall converter in my 350th transmission now my truck hesitate on take off and the transmission starts to slip in drive when it gets hot can you help me out with this

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      3 weeks ago

      Eddie, I took you up on your suggestion and changed my Trans fluid and filter in my 09 Chevy Aveo. Only to find that it appeared dark (no horrible smell). I plan to change it again in a month or so.

      So far no issues with slipping.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Krystin,

      I don't know what the year make and model is but some transmissions have solenoids that control flow to the reverse gear, it's possible the valve is not working.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Andy,

      If you have a reputable Transmission shop in your area they can test components and pressure ports to determine the issue. Do you have an Aamco's in your area?

    • profile image

      Andy 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a 2003 Toyota Tundra 4.7L V8 Auto Trans with 194k on it. About 2 weeks ago I noticed my tranmission would give me a pretty good jolt when driving, only around the 2500 rpm range when i was atrepmting to speed up. I took it to the shop and he said it was skipping a gear. He force shifted it and recommended I get the fluid and filter changed. Got it changed a few days ago and it is still doing it. Any thoughts? Im really dreading the thought of replacing it.

    • profile image

      Krystin Gieske 

      4 weeks ago

      Reverse was working fine one day then the next it no longer worked. All the other gears work fine and the transmission fluid level is where it should be. I have an automatic transmission any ideas on what could be the cause?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      No Problem Jay,

      The car would move if the front axles were connected and the rear drive shaft was removed, and the rear differential really wouldn't have any effect on shifting. The clutch sounds like the culprit but it's just a guess without inspecting the vehicle myself. Let me know if you have more questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Jay 

      4 weeks ago

      Thank you so much for the tip. The first repairman said at first my rear diffrential is broken thats why im having a hard time going in reverse. Then he says my transfer case basically going out because my front axle and rear axle arent connected and thats why i cant move foward or backwards (i cant remember if he said transmiision or clutch slipping) at first the vehicle will start to move a little then all of a sudden itll stop moving but the RPMs is still going. Then my check engine light came on but not until after i was experiencing the slipping...

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jay,

      No worries about your phone. Something doesn't sound right here. The transfer case is on the transmission and the rear axle is on the rear of the SUV. How is it that both components need to be replaced? I know you don't what to hear this but I recommend you get a second opinion because the components they are referring to are on opposite ends of the vehicle and I can't understand how they are both damaged beyond repair. It may cost you a few bucks to switch garages via tow truck but it may save your thousands in the long run. Keep me posted on what you decide to do, and let me know if you have any other questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Jay 

      4 weeks ago

      Sorry my phone again but the repaor man said ot was my transfer case and my rear axle, bc now i cant move it foward or backwards. My question is does tht sound about right tht needs to be replaced and if so is there any other damage tht i should look out for? Thank you for your time

    • profile image

      Jay 

      4 weeks ago

      Sorry the last one had cut me off. But i hace a 2004 Jeep Liberty 4WD, 6 cylinder. At first i was hearing a whinning noise coming the front of the vehicle. Then i had a hard time reversing feeling i had to use more gas to go backwards. Took to the repair shop they said it was my

    • profile image

      Jay 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a 2004 Jeep Liberty 4WD, 6 cylinder. At first i was hearing a whinning noise coming from the front of my truck. Then i was having a hard time going in rev

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mike,

      The transmission is having a hard time going into final gear but I'm not sure why. I have heard of those transmissions needing a software update that may fix the problem but you'll need to call the dealership to check for any recalls.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tasha,

      It sounds like maybe the first gear clutch pack is worn and may need repair, that would require a transmission overhaul.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ali,

      You may need to have it looked at by a transmission professional, at that age, I'm sure the gaskets and O-rings are getting brittle.

    • profile image

      Ali 

      5 weeks ago

      Hello

      When I am driving the car Mercedes 190E year 1988 with 5 speeds at any speed( on D only) the slipping occurs for short time and then return. some times I stop and move then ok but the slipping occurs again,

      thanks with regards

    • profile image

      Tasha 

      5 weeks ago

      I have a 99 acura cl 3.0 and it shifts reall whe. Coming and going into first gear after that its fine

    • profile image

      Mike 

      5 weeks ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 2010 Suzuki Grand Vitara 5 speed automatic transmission. Sometimes during 4th and 5th gears (55-60 Mph) I will get a lag and it won't shift, then I let off the accelerator and push again and it shifts. It happens only sometimes, but the frequency has been increasing. Fluid is changed (not filter) but no improvements. Any idea if this could be something other than the transmission?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Steph,

      Make sure the fluid level is at the correct level and is clean. It sounds to me like you have a pressure issue, so if the fluid is dirty (dark) I recommend replacing the transmission filter and fluid first. Be sure to check the owner manual on how to check the transmission fluid level, all cars are different.

    • profile image

      Stephanie1290 

      5 weeks ago

      Hello Eddie,

      I have a 2009 Aveo and recently have been experiencing issues when I come to a Stop sign or Red light my car seems to go into Neutral (it will not respond to the accelerator and the RPM's will go up). But it isn't in Neutral. I can shift it into Neutral and i feel it go into gear, then shift it back and it will go into Drive with no issues. I am experiencing this when I try to park and put the car in to Reverse also. As the car is backing up on it's own (idling) it will slip in and out of Reverse. No Engine or Transmission light comes on. And the problem is intermitting. We do a lot of the mechanics on our vehicles ourselves, but I don't know where to start. please help...

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Terry,

      Auto or manual?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Paul,

      It sounds like something electronic is malfunctioning like a solenoid. I recommend having someone pull the code, it may point you to the problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jason,

      It sounds like the vehicle is driving normal with the rpm rising a little going up hill, and if stomping on it doesn't cause any slippage and there is plenty of power, what is your concern?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mercedez,

      If the fluid is clean and full, I think it's time to get a professional opinion from a transmission shop who can do some testing on the problem.

    • profile image

      Mercedez 

      6 weeks ago

      2005 f150 lariat. Automatic transmission. Slipping and takes forever to shift gears as going down road. Truck acts like it has no power. Transmission fluid is completely full no leaks. Accidentally put a quart too much in? Can that cause a problem and what are your thoughts on the slipping?

    • profile image

      Jason 

      6 weeks ago

      I’ve got a ‘00 suburban 4x4 auto that runs great until it warms up. Even when warm the truck runs great on flat roads. Going up hills I will see the rpm go up (~500rmps) but no increase in power. If I really step on it, I’ll get all kinds of power. It seems to move through gears without problems. Fluid looks good. Does this sound like a clutch issue? What else could I check out? I was thinking transmission but could it be engine related?

    • profile image

      Paul 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a 2001 GMC Sierra and the service engine soon light came on and then my truck going 60 miles an hour would back shift from overdrive to 3rd and then back but then it smoothed back out and then did it again later in the ride what could that issue be

    • profile image

      Terry 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a 1989 chevy. Silverado trans. Slips

      N higher. Gears

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes, it could leak transmission fluid out the dipstick tube and cause a low transmission fluid issue.

    • profile image

      Lisa 

      6 weeks ago

      I took my car for a oil change and fix engine light that’s on....mechanic misplaced my transmission dip stick and I wasn’t aware of missing dip stick..now I’m having problems keeping my transmission fluid from leaking...now mechanic wants put a trannny in my 1999 Lexus RX300...now!!! Could the missing dip stick cause me a tranny leak?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Amy,

      It sounds like maybe one of your axles broke because the car was still making the noise when the engine was off but the car was still rolling. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      7 weeks ago

      So i was driving home last night (manual transmission) and my car was suddenly driving like i was in neutral. I wasn't i was in 4th and so i tried down shifting and same thing.... i press on the gas and rps jumped wayyyyy up and i didn't go any faster. I turned to pull over in a safer place then the main road and suddenly i hear this super loud clunking or clanking noise. I turned my car of as i coasted to a parking lot and my car continued to make this super loud noise. Once i parked i fired it up to see if she'd start. It did, but same thing... all gears acted like they were in neutral. I feel like its my crutch that is the problem, because ive been meaning to replace the clutch master cylinder and the slave cylinder i think its called. But i hate working on my car its super old and annoying to work on. So, do you think its my clutch and what do you think that loud clanking noise was? It happened at night and i havent had a chance to check it out. What do you think i should check when i go back to see?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dion,

      I would start with a transmission fluid and filter change and see if there is any improvement, it the quickest and cheapest check. If there is no improvement, it may be an internal problem.

    • profile image

      Dion 

      7 weeks ago

      I have a 92 mazda eunos 500 20Lv6 automatic

      Warm or cold it slips in 3rd and when you put your foot down a bit it will rev higher and let off 2 shudders/clunks when it kicks down a gear. Also slips wen in top gear at highway speed limit. Fluid was well over full so i drained some out and its very dark in colour. I have just purchased the car so dont no when or if trans filter has been changed. Any help would be appreciated

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Joshua,

      Either the transmission pump is failing (causing the noise) or you have debris clogging up the filter or a port. I'm not sure if it's worth changing the fluid and filter or sending it to a specialist to have them diagnose it.

    • profile image

      Joshua 

      8 weeks ago

      I have a car that slips bad but when you first start it it goes into gear fine

      And drives fine then all at once it slips to the point were it will not pull out in drive or reverse and you can turn it off wait 2 min start back up and it will go again so far and there is some sort of pump that my trans lines run into from my resavor and its making a terrible sound

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Martez,

      I'm not sure, you'll need to consult a transmission expert on this question. I would assume that it's normal but it seems to me like there should be some kind of a snap-ring holding in the shaft, but again, I'm not sure... So I just looked up the assembly diagram and it appears there is no snap-ring or clip holding in the shaft so I think it's normal. Let me know what you find out, thanks. https://www.google.com/search?q=5r55s+transmission...

    • profile image

      Martez 

      2 months ago

      Have a 2010 mustang GT... automatic 5r55s and I purchased a used transmission. Took the torque converter off to inspect input shaft splines and fluid level in torque converter. When I did this the first part of the input shaft splines came out. I stuck it back in...my question is, is this normal for this transmission input shaft are is the sign of a problem.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ebony,

      Do you have an automatic transmission or standard?

    • profile image

      Ebony 

      2 months ago

      I have a 2008 Pontiac torrent in when I shift gears it’s not moving

    • profile image

      sean mcteague 

      2 months ago

      93 lx accord wont go in higher gear in d3, starts in higher gear in d4, will drive in neutral. sometimes gets stuck in park.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sandy,

      It sounds to me like you may be very low on automatic transmission fluid. I recommend you check the fluid level first and if its low add what is needed. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      SandyParker172 

      3 months ago

      I have a 93 Toyota Corolla and I’m afraid my transmission is blown.. while driving down the interstate at 70 mph the rpm’s reved up to 6000 rpms.. we pulled over and turned off the car. When I restarted the car and put it in drive it wouldn’t go forward but would roll backwards a bit.. I cut it off again and put it in drive and it would go.. once again the rpms went up high again and the car was making a loud noise as if the engine was straining. It still cranks and will move but at 20 mph it starts staring again.. could it be anything other than a blown transmission? Thanks I’m advance for the help!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Dawn,

      I know I'm late but it sounds like your radiator failed and you lost transmission fluid at the same time, the transmission cooler is usually located in the radiator. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ruhaima,

      Does the pedal feel normal? Any abnormal noises or smells? At what speed and gear does it slip?

    • profile image

      Ruhaima 

      3 months ago

      Hi I have mk4 v5 manual transmission. Ive had pressure plate and top pot replaced but problem still persists. No sign of leakage anywhere.

    • profile image

      Dawn Copenbarger 

      3 months ago

      I have 99 sonoma 4.3 4x4. I was driving down the road about 70mph all of a sudden my truck red lined i immediately pulled over. Since then i can't get the truck to move. There was no noise when it did this. There is no grinding and it starts. Any ideas?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Susan,

      Sounds like your transmission has lost all pressure, I recommend checking for any leaks, the fluid level, and condition first. If everything looks ok you'll have to have the line pressure checked. There are a lot of things that can cause loss of pressure and you may need a transmission experts diagnosis.

    • profile image

      Susan 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2005 Ford Explorer truck my son got in it and every gear was out at once is this because transmission is out

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi John,

      Do you think its possible it was the engine skipping and not the transmission? Maybe a coil is staring to fail? It would have a similar feeling.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Myron,

      Have you checked the level and condition of the transmission fluid yet?

    • profile image

      Myron W 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2004 honda accord automatic. It sometimes slips out of gear on sharp turns, where the Engine revs but the wheels wont move. I have to switch out of gear to drive again. Do you know what could be causing this?

    • profile image

      John 

      3 months ago

      I have a 2008 Ford F-350 with a manual trans. It’s got just over 80,000 miles on it. I had never noticed the trans slipping before but the other night while I was driving the truck started hopping like the clutch was engaging and disengaging. I pulled over and could smell burnt clutch. I drove a little further to park it and it jumped and slipped the entire way. I checked the brake fluid and it was completely full and couldn’t notice anything wrong. I had tried to pump the clutch when I stopped early but it didn’t seem to do anything so I was messing around and pumping the clutch and checking things. The transmission still slid into every gear easily. After a while I decided to see if it fixed it self and took it for a quick drive. It didn’t slip at all. The next morning I drove it and still no slipping or burning clutch smell. As I said before it had never slipped before. It’s got me completely stumped.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Marcy,

      If you could find a use one with low mileage, but it's a 2006 so that will be tough, plus of the age. I recommend you get a rebuilt with a 12 month 12k mile warranty if possible.

    • profile image

      marcy 

      3 months ago

      My husbands 2006 ford f150 started slipping on his way home from work. towed it to a transmission repair place and we were told it needs rebuilt at a cost of $2500 +tax, is it better to rebuild or replace with a used one

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Sorry Rachealt,

      If the transmission experts don't have an answer it may be time to replace the transmission completely. Will they help you out on price seeing how they can't fix your issue? They did take your transmission out already and it's not fixed, maybe they can offer you a discount on labor installing a reman trans?

    • profile image

      Kevin 

      4 months ago

      My 2005 chevy silverado (auto trans) acts like its in second or third gear when taking off. Like it has barely any power. Doesnt jerk. But doesnt aeem like it shifts either. When i shift the gears manually, it jerks when i shift it. The fluid is good. It doesnt do this offten. Mostly only when i put the vehucle in gear right after dtarting it without giving it a few minutes to warm up. Do tou know what could be causing this??

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Russ,

      It does sound like the torque converter hunting or going inland out of lockup, especially when going up a slight grade under light acceleration.

    • profile image

      Russ 

      4 months ago

      I just bought a 2005 Ford F150 two months ago and just last week it started doing something wierd, that doesn't sound like everyones description of a "slip". At any speed, highway or city driving, if I get off the accelerator for a moment, then slightly feather the gas pedal, SOMETIMES it will start jerking the whole truck, and feels like I've lost powet to the wheels. It seems like it is more common while going up a small grade. It will continue until I get off the accelerator, feathering the brake doest seem to effect it, so it's probably not the torque converter.I have checked the fluid, per my owners manual, and it was originally barely registering othe dip stick, so I added 1 1/2 quarts oMerconf

    • profile image

      rachealt 

      4 months ago

      Hello, I have a 2005 E-350 1 ton passenger van. It has 160K miles. I had the transmission rebuilt 3K miles ago, as it had failed. It suddenly started shifting erratically last week (will shift down when you take your foot off the gas, shift up when you try to accelerate up the hill, shudder when you took your foot off the brake on takeoff, etc). I took it to the shop: they replaced a solenoid, the torque converter, and the valve body. It seemed to fix the erratic shifting, but the shudder was still there. I drove it for the weekend and the erratic shifting is back but worse (shifts into neutral now as well, when going highway speed, then shifts back into drive) and clunking along with shuddering when you take off from a stop. All symptoms are worse after it's warm, and erratic shifting is worse on the highway. If I take off in 2nd gear, it doesn't shudder/clunk, and neither does reverse. The shop does transmissions regularly and has done many of my same type of transmission. They are perplexed as to what it may be.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Matt,

      Hey Matt, I searched this on YouTube and I found this, I'm not to familiar with this issue or the repair, let me know if it helps. https://youtu.be/o78OgvtIEBA

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      You're welcome Bilal,

      There is no filter and or seals, just drain and refill. The transmission will drain about 2.7 qts and you can find the fluid on Amazon, I checked to make sure it's the right fluid https://amzn.to/2QAESTm

      You may want to buy 6 quarts and do two drain and fills. The process is to drain and fill the trans, drive it for about 10 miles or more and then drain and fill it again.

      This may help the shift quality by flushing out any debris, it may not help, but I think it's worth a try for the low cost of the repair. Let me know if this helps, thanks.

    • profile image

      Bilal 

      4 months ago

      Dear Eddie, Thank you for the kind reply.

      Pls guide which Oil is to be used for My Honda Accord 1989 Auto gear? as it is a very old model most Honda Dealerships don't know its mechanics here in Pakistan.

      They usually suggest ZIC SK Dexron III. Temp in my country usually stays in hot around 30-35C.

      And also is there anything specific to be done/taken care of on this model whilst flushing/changing the auto transmission oil (like any filter/seal to be replaced)? My car mileage is over 200K Kms.

    • profile image

      Matt 

      4 months ago

      I have a 2005 Dodge Caravan when I put it in Drive it drives for a minute until it starts to go into second gear and then slips out of gear but I can turn it off crank it back up and we'll go back into drive but I was slip out again when it goes into second it also doesn't have reverse I change the solenoid and both in and out speed control what could be wrong

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Danny,

      I recommend having the code checked and diagnosed, it sounds like maybe a sensor is not reading properly and sending the computer false readings.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chris,

      No, not even close. That is the most common reason for a transmission slip. Transmission slip is caused by low pressure which can be cause by dirty fluid, blocked ports, inop shift valves, valve body problems, damaged or worn o-rings, torque convert issues, low fluid, the list can go on depending on the type of transmission and the make.

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