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.

  • When I shift, my car revs up before speeding up. Is the clutch going out?

    It's possible your clutch is going out.

  • My 2005 Honda Civic automatic transmission 1.7 engine is jumping while shifting but not revving up. Today it popped out of gear, and the engine was still running, had to coast to stop. Put it in park, reverse, and then drive, went into gear and drove home, it jumped a few more times, so I manually shifted until I got home?

    I recommend checking the fluid level and condition first. If the fluid level is low, top it off, if it is black or gray, I recommend changing the fluid a couple times and see if your situation improves.

  • I have a 2003 Honda Accord EX. It has 185,000 miles and has a transmission issue. When I take my foot off of the accelerator for a couple of seconds, the transmission immediately wants to downshift. I have an automatic transmission. The transmission does this at slow and fast speeds, but not so much above 50 mph. Is my transmission bad, or do I have bad solenoids?

    If the check engine light is not on and the "D" light on your PRNDL2 is not flashing then you know it's not an electronic solenoid failure or issue. If the fluid is dirty or not at the correct level, this could also cause some issue like this. Honda transmission fluid levels are checked with the engine off and the car on level ground. Only use Genuine Honda transmission fluid, or you will have shifting issues.

© 2011 Eddie Carrara

Please Add Your Questions and Comments Here

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    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 days ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Halie,

      That sounds like an internal issue maybe like a first gear clutch pack or torque converter issue. Did you try taking it to a transmission specialist like Aamco or Toyota? That would be where I recommend you take it. Sorry, I don't have a simple fix for you. Are you sure you're reading the fluid level correctly, some manufactures have the engine running, transmission in park, vehicle on flat ground and some check it with the engine off so check your owners manual and let me know, thanks.

    • profile image

      Halie98 

      6 days ago

      Hey Eddie not sure if my previous question went through or not, but I have a 2010 Corolla S 135k miles and have been having this issue since about 80k miles. When accelerating transmission often slips, revs increase significantly before car jumps forward into gear. All fluids are level, even had the transmission flushed and filter changed, taken to multiple mechanics can’t find the issue.

    • profile image

      Halie 

      6 days ago

      Hey Eddie. I have a 2010 Corolla with about 135k miles, been having the same problem since about 80k. Whenever I go to accelerate past about 2-3rd gear the transmission slip, first revs increase and then it jolts into gear. The fluid levels are fine, even had the transmission flushed and filter changed. I’ve taken it to multiple shops they can’t seem to find the issue

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Mac!

    • profile image

      Mac 

      2 weeks ago

      Hello

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      6 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Stewart,

      What is the condition of the fluid, is it clean and pink or gray and dirty? Did you follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to check the fluid? I believe the vehicle needs to be running in park on level ground.

    • profile image

      Stewart 

      6 weeks ago

      I have a 2007 Lincoln Town Car and the transmission seems to slip when I stop and get ready to go again when it has heated up. I checked the fluid level and it is correct. I am wondering what this may be.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Cash,

      The whining noise may be a sign of the transmission pump starving for fluid or internal damage. If the transmission filter is serviceable I recommend replacing the filter and fluid first and also have the filter inspected for any debris that may be clogging it or metal shavings. If the check engine light is on, it's a good possibility there is a transmission code stored that may also point you to the fault in the transmission. Let me know what you decide to do or if you have more questions, thanks.

    • Cash Garrett profile image

      Cash Garrett 

      7 weeks ago from Sevierville TN

      I have 2003 Saturn Vue AWD with an "on the floor" automatic transmission.

      I can start it, and immediately put it into drive and, it drives fine for about 50 yards then it goes into neutral. I shut it off, let it sit for maybe 30 minutes or more then it engages properly for again, 50 yards or less then, goes into neutral again. I checked the fluid, per users manufacturer says, it's more Burgundy than Red but, the level seems okay. So, I don't know what else to do.

      One other thing I forgot to mention is, when I start the Saturn Vue for the very first time, while completely cold, I hear a whining sound like that of a power steering low fluid issue, then, after a few sends or so, it goes away. There are NO tranny leaks at all. I'm puzzled.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Derek,

      No, but a quick look with a flashlight in the area where you see the drips may lead you to what's leaking or what has failed, usually, it's a line or axle seal that fails but you'll need to see the leak to verify. I recommend you add some manufacture's recommended trans fluid and get it to a shop for repairs asap or have it towed.

    • profile image

      Derek 

      8 weeks ago

      I was driving on the highway and all of a sudden i heard my car a 2013 Lincoln mkz awd 3.5 start revving like it was in neutral when i parked i noticed a little tranny fluid on the pavement any idea what this would be i drove home and it seemed to shift fine

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      8 weeks ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ed,

      Yep, that sounds about right. It is very difficult to completely remove the trans fluid from the coolant so one more flush after driving it for about a week will be a good idea. Keep an eye on the transmission fluid and the shift quality (Captin obvious here lol) just be sure the trans fluid looks clear and pink, not milky.

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      They say will see some residue of oil in the reservoir coming out from the engine for the coolant system and will need to do another round of flushing in the future after driving it for a bit for it to come out.

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      Ok

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ed,

      Yes, but it may cost a little more if they cannot clean it with just 8 quarts, and make sure you check both fluids when you pick up the car to make sure it is flushed and clean :) Keep me posted, and thanks for the update.

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      Thanks for all the great info Eddie. A shop said they could do it and quoted me almost $900 total for a new radiator, thermostat, upper and lower hose, flushing transmission and coolant system with additional 8quarts of oils at least plus labor for a full day of work. Does that sounds right or fair? Thanks

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ed,

      You'll need to find a shop that has a transmission flush machine, not all shops have them, and be prepared to have a lot of shops turn down that type of work, it's not a moneymaker, it's a pain in the butt!

      You'll need to explain to them what I told you "the transmission cooler is failed internally and coolant and the trans fluid is mixed in both the transmission and cooling system".

      We have had success flushing both systems with no future problems as far as we know. but I don't recommend you drive the vehicle have it towed. When an automatic transmission slips it is taking years of life off the transmission and could also be doing more damage.

      Keep me posted on what happens, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heather,

      I recommend you check the transmission fluid level and condition first. If you are unsure of how to check the transmission fluid level, refer to your owner's manual for the proper procedure. If the fluid level is low or extremely dirty it's probably the reason for your issue. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      It’s not advisable to drive right and I need to tow it? And do I do flatbed or drag on 2 wheels? Would it have caused damages already from my trip back or it should still be fine or try to drive to the mechanic? Just want to make sure so the mechanic won’t try to rip me off trying to get me to get a new transmission as the easy solution

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      Ouch. So any mechanic should be able to do it professionally? How do I know if they have the capability to do so. What kind of questions should I ask. Thanks Eddie

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      Ed,

      As soon as I hear from him I will let you know as I have been waiting a couple of days now to hear from him.

    • profile image

      Heather0517 

      2 months ago

      Automatic

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Ed,

      It sounds to me like the radiator has failed internally between the transmission cooler and the radiator. This is a mess and it can be fixed, but it can get a bit pricey. The radiator will need to be replaced and then the engine cooling system will need to be flushed with a degreaser/water solution, then the transmission will need to be power flushed with about 12 quarts of transmission fluid or flushed with a machine until the transmission fluid comes out clean. The transmission fluid may cause the cooling system hoses to swell and some may need to be replaced as well. Both of these flushed take a lot of time and the fluid is not cheap so you're looking at about $1000-$1500. If you have this service done, it needs to be done professionally and completely, if any residual coolant is left in the transmission it can cause a slipping issue. As I said, this is a mess and it can get very pricey. Hope this helps and let me know how you make out or what you decide to do, thanks :)

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Thomas,

      Let me know if he is able to help, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Heather,

      Is this an automatic or standard transmission?

    • profile image

      Ed 

      2 months ago

      Hi Eddie,

      I have a 2008 EXL V6 Accord. While I was driving up a ramp on the highway the other day, I think I might have experienced a gear slip(where it have high rev all of a sudden at 4k RPM but the car is not moving as fast) unless I let down the gas then it will shift back down normally. I try to slowly accelerate by pressing on the gas slowing and sometimes it works and shifts up normally but if I give more gas too fast it will shift down a gear and rev high again. I stop the car and inspected the dip stick. I was surprised it was out of transmission fluid. I went to bought a few quarts immediately and top it off through the dip stick channel. Continued my journey home hoping that that solves it, it seems fine at first until it started doing that again. It was hard to get the car over 30mph especially uphill where it will rev up again. I finally got back home and found out that liquid was overflowing from my coolant reservoir that is connected to my radiator and it is milky pink in color and I checked the transmission dip stick and surprised it is out again when I just topped it off. In addition there seem to be a slight milky pink to it too. Since then I haven’t drove the car for days as I want to figure out what is wrong before I do Incase I need to tow as I only get one tow from the insurance.. Not sure what is wrong with it and if I should tow the car to a mechanic or drive it. Help!

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      ok thanks

    • profile image

      Heather0517 

      2 months ago

      I have a 2012 Chevy Captiva and randomly while we are driving the engine will rev really high and once I take my foot off of the gas it lowers and drives normal it’s almost like it thinks it’s shifting into neutral

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Follow this link to one of his pages, you could search out an article of his that is similar to your problem or you can click the link next to his picture that says "Contact Author" https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/Honda-Accord-Sp...

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      How do I get a hold of hardlymoving?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Thomas,

      I believe the engine needs to be running and the vehicle needs to be on flat ground. Usually, there are two lines or dots on the dipstick, hot level, and cold level. Make sure the fluid level is topped off completely. If the check engine light is on it could give you an idea of what is failing as well. There are a lot of things that could cause this problem like debris in the valve body, cracks in the filter o-ring or a damaged filter/screen. It sounds like something is clogging slowly as you drive then when you shut the car off the debris releases and the car will move again for a few miles but without opening up the pan and inspecting the valve body and screen/filter it's hard to say if that's what is happening.

      There is another Author here on HubPages that knows Toyota well, you may want to ask him if he has ever experienced your problem. His pen name is hardlymoving, let me know if he has any suggestions :)

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      So it is also possible that there still isn't enough transmission fluid in the transmission even at 6.5 quarts?

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      All of the transmission fluid that is in the car is new as after the cooling line was changed, we drained the fluid and replaced it all new fluid. Right now there is 6.5 quarts in the transmission.

      If it is an electrical issue, what would that be so I know where to look.

      Also, do you think that it could be a shift solenoid that has gone bad?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Thomas,

      Did you check the fluid again after the road test? The transmission holds a lot of fluid, even a honda transmission holds anywhere from 9-12 quarts so double-check the fluid level road test it, then check it again. If the level is completely full and you still have an issue, the fluid may have a lot of debris in it clogging the screen/filter or you may have an electrical issue. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      I put an additional 1.5 quarts of transmission fluid and took the car out for a ride. It ended up doing the exact same things and as the car got warmed up, it started doing the same thing, revving loudly as it started to slow down to a stop with the engine still running. I then turned off the car, started it right up and it went into gear for a short distance before it started slowing down to a stop. HELP!

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      It has been told to me that a transmission can have up to 8 quarts in it and it is quite possible that a lot of that leaked out from the rusted cooling line. Putting in 3 quarts as the manual suggest may not be enough in that case and I have already added 5 quarts and the problem still persists but now the car goes farther before it comes to a stop with the engine still running. Do you think that I need to add another 2 to 3 quarts to make sure that the transmission is fully fiilled?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom,

      The best way to fill a transmission if you're unsure of how much fluid was lost is to follow the direction in the owner's manual because some vehicles are checked with the engine running and others are checked with the engine off. Always triple check the fluid level, you'll need to run it through the gears either on a lift or suspended off the ground (safely) or by road testing it. Sometimes there are air pockets in the transmission that can only be driven out so once you get the level close to full take the vehicle for a good road test and check it once more to be sure all the air pockets are gone.

      The pickup screen or filter is located in the pan on most transmissions and I believe the Corolla is located there as well. You will need to unbolt the pan to replace or clean it. Let me know how you make out or if you have more questions, thanks.

    • profile image

      Tom 

      2 months ago

      Do you feel that because I lost a lot of transmission fluid thru the rusted out cooler line, that 5 quarts of fluid is not enough and I should add more?

      Also, where do I find the pick up screen/filter?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom, I recommend you check the pick up screen/ filter first because it may be getting clogged from some debris that is inside the transmission. That’s where I would start and if everything’s OK there I would dig deeper. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • profile image

      Thomas Joseph Wood 

      2 months ago

      2006 corolla. Replaced transmission cooling lines as they were rusted, Put 3 quarts of new fluid in the tranny. When car starts, it goes into gear and then once it heats up, it slows to a stop while engine still runs. I turn off car and then start it back up and then car goes into gear and then after a short distance it slows to a stop. What is causing this?

    • profile image

      Tom 

      2 months ago

      2006 corolla. Replaced tranny cooling lines as they rusted causing me to lose fluid. Replace with 5 quarts of fluid. When car starts and goes into gear but as it warms up it slows to a stop while engine still runs but car wont goo. Turn off the car, start it back up and then it goes again until it slows down to a stop. What could be the problem?

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      2 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Lorraine,

      Do you hear any abnormal noises like a loud exhaust or hissing noise?

    • profile image

      Lorraine 

      2 months ago

      My 07 Impala drives fine for 20-30 minutes then looses acceleration and wont go over 40 mph motor just revs when I try to speed up

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      3 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Jason,

      First, check the transmission fluid condition and level according to the owners manual, if the level is ok it's possible there is an electronic solenoid or valve that is failing that is causing the issue.

    • profile image

      Jason chastain 

      3 months ago

      My lexus drives for few min. Slips and stop pulling i can cut car off start right back up and goes again whats my ppromble

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Peewee,

      Have you checked the fluid level and condition yet? I recommend you start there and if everything looks ok you can take the diagnosis to the next step.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Kerry,

      Have you checked the fluid level yet? If not, check that first and be sure to follow the proper procedure recommended from the owner's manual and let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      4 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Chris,

      It sounds like either you have a solenoid not working properly or there is an intermittent clog in the transmission. If the transmission fluid is dirty and smells burnt I recommend you start with a transmission fluid change or flush and see if it improves the performance. Let me know if this helps and keep me posted on what you do.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      4 months ago

      My son has a 2011 gmc Denali while driving the transmission slips out of gear he checked the fluid level shows good the temperature reads 172 degrees. He sits for awhile with it off and then it will go back into gear can drive about 2 miles and does it again. Any ideas

    • profile image

      Kerry Kinambaka 

      5 months ago

      I have a Toyota Corolla Auto, with a 3zz-fe engine. My proplem is that when i angage a gear be it revears or frond gear, there is a slip but after severel accereration the gear picks but with a jack, what might be the problem?

    • profile image

      Peewee 

      5 months ago

      I have a 1992 Silverado 1500 I just brought 6 months ago.when driving 1,2gear works fine.3gear won't get I would have to put it on low

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Rick,

      It sounds like pressure loss under heavy acceleration which can be caused by a worn pump, leaking o-rings, or contaminated fluid. You may want to have a transmission expert diagnose the problem before you cause more damage just in case it's an easy fix. Keep me posted on what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Tom,

      It sounds like the fluid pick-up screen is becoming clogged while driving causing the transmission to lose pressure but without properly diagnosing it this is only a guess. If the fluid is dark you may want to start with a transmission fluid service. Let me know what you find, thanks.

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Sonya,

      You could start by checking the transmission fluid level but without a check engine light and without seeing the vehicle I have no idea what is causing your issue. There are a lot of things that can cause this problem so if the transmission fluid is good you'll need to have a mechanic diagnose it.

    • profile image

      Sonya Decembly 

      5 months ago

      Hello , I have a 2003 volkswagon pssat, I startit up and it in drive but it sounds like its on the wrong geat and it dont have alot of speed

      R0isthe highest it will go., could it need transmission fluid or major problems. No light came on. HELP!

    • eddiecarrara profile imageAUTHOR

      Eddie Carrara 

      5 months 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

      Thomas Kelly 

      5 months ago

      98 lincoln town car drives and shifts normally fluid is full.. Can be traveling at 65 to 75 and transmission stops pulling let it coast down to 55 to 60 and it will start pulling again. This happened back in the summer and then stopped then Friday started to doing it again. Any help would be appreciated

    • profile image

      Rick 

      5 months ago

      2002 ford explorer transmission slipping. No other problems or warnings. Baby it never slips. Gives po codes 733 and po745.

    • profile image

      Chris wasden 

      5 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      6 months 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 

      7 months 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 

      7 months 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 

      7 months 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 

      7 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 months 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      7 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 

      8 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Bernard F. Foryasen 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 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 

      8 months ago from New Hampshire

      Hi Scott,

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

    • profile image

      Scott 

      8 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 

      8 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.

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