5 Signs Your Car Isn't Shifting Correctly

If your car is not shifting properly, you could end up with very expensive transmission repairs. So, how do you know if your car isn’t shifting the way it should? Watch for these signs to avoid serious transmission trouble.

  1. Warning light comes on: A warning light alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a shifting problem, but if you notice it along with any of the symptoms that follow, you should get it checked out.

  2. Car is shifting hard: The car feels as if it’s reluctant to shift gears the way it usually does, or isn’t shifting smoothly. You might notice a clunking or thudding sound when the car shifts gears, or has difficulty reaching the proper speed.

  3. Gear changes for no reason: If you’re driving a manual transmission in a certain gear, and the car suddenly changes gear with no action on your part, or if it suddenly slides into neutral in an automatic, you have a shifting problem. You might notice a whining sound or a change in the usual sound from your engine when this happens.

  4. Fluid leak: If you’re having trouble shifting, it could be something as simple as a transmission fluid leak. Usually, transmission fluid shouldn’t leak, and if you see a puddle of fluid under your car, that can be a sign of a clogged filter or a loose plug. Transmission fluid is clear red, and has a slightly sweet smell.

  5. Delayed engagement: Your car waits for a bit before going into drive and moving forward. You’ve pushed the clutch pedal down, brought it up to the point where the gears should engage and move your car forward, but there’s a pause before the vehicle moves. Even if you rev the engine, there’s still a delay.

Any indication that your car is not shifting properly should be dealt with immediately. You might have a simple issue that can be repaired inexpensively, but if you wait too long you could end up with serious transmission trouble and have to pay to repair or even replace your transmission. Be sure to contact a mechanic to check your transmission fluid and other parts of the transmission system as soon as you experience any shifting problems.


Next Step

Schedule Transmission fluid is leaking Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Transmission fluid is leaking Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Transmission fluid is leaking Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(184)

Rating Summary
174
5
0
1
4
174
5
0
1
4

Zachary

9 years of experience
43 reviews
Zachary
9 years of experience
Cadillac DeVille - Transmission fluid is leaking - Houston, Texas
Hey after a few bad experiences with automotive mechanics, I can definitely say Zachary is the epitome of one of the good guys. Not only did he share his knowledge with me step by step as he worked , it was very impressive and comforting, how honest and straightforward he was with what he seen during his inspection of my vehicle. I’d definitely ask for him again and recommend him to all!!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Chrysler 200 - Transmission fluid is leaking - Houston, Texas
On time for my appointment, was very informative as to problems with my car. Also addressed concerns I had with repairs. Well recommended I would prefer his work again.

Jermaine

24 years of experience
136 reviews
Jermaine
24 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Transmission fluid is leaking - Savage, Maryland
Jermaine arrived early, and is very knowledgeable of his trade. Jermaine will be my mechanic from now on. Great Personality

Dameron

17 years of experience
99 reviews
Dameron
17 years of experience
Chrysler Town & Country - Transmission fluid is leaking - Carmel, Indiana
Dameron was super healthy in explaining what was going on and recommendations. He arrived on time and finished his work quickly. Would definitely have him back.

Mario

7 years of experience
106 reviews
Mario
7 years of experience
Nissan Versa - Transmission fluid is leaking - Richmond, Virginia
Very professional and quick. Explained what was needed to get the car repaired and offered recommendations since he would not be able to do the repairs (closed CVT transmission system).

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How a Cable Clutch System Works
If If you drive a car with a manual transmission, you know that to get your car moving, you depress the clutch pedal, choose a gear, and then give the vehicle a bit of gas. But have you ever wondered...
How Long Does an Axle Shaft Seal Last?
The The axle shaft seal in your car is a gasket that keeps fluid from leaking out of the vehicle’s differential. The differential itself is what sends power from the engine of your car to its transmission, and finally to...
How Long Does a Transmission Filter Last?
Your Your transmission filter is a very important component in your vehicle, because it’s the front line of defense when it comes to keeping contaminants out of your transmission fluid. Most automobile manufacturers recommend a transmission filter change every 2...

Related questions

Check Engine Light on; car stays at one speed

Hello. It sounds like you have a transmission problem. If the transmission is staying in one gear, I would have your transmissions inspected by a certified mechanic. Since the other control units are missing, information provided by the transmission control...

What Are the Top Transmission Problems That Should Never Be Ignored?

Ignoring problems with cars is like ignoring problems with teeth. Waiting longer usually just results in more pain and expense. Seeing transmission fluid on the ground under your vehicle should get your attention right away. Transmission fluid is usually reddish-brown....

My transmission is sticking in 3rd gear.

Hello, thanks for writing in to YourMechanic. This behavior is a known problem with your Hyundai Elantra, and involves a transmission control solenoid that is malfunctioning. Check with your Hyundai dealer for Technical Service Bulletin 286947. If you'd like a...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com