Q: Automatic gearbox shifting too quickly

asked by on September 10, 2017

I think there is something wrong with my car's automatic transmission. Some days my car shifts smoothly but most days it feels like it shifts too quickly and abruptly with a very fast jolt forward. Also, the car's gear shifter often feels quite stiff when moving from P to R or to D, and yes, I do make sure to firmly set the parking break before putting the car into P so there should be no weight on the parking gear. Recently I have noticed that sometimes when cruising towards a red light, if the light turns green right before I reach a complete stop the car might quickly stutter like it is confused which gear to go into but this does not happen that often. The car is a 2013 VW Golf, automatic transmission (NOT A DSG), 32k miles.

Any help would be really appreciated,

Brad

My car has 31000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Brad, What you are describing may be a result of a faulty speed sensor, potentially low transmission fluid or a even a faulty transmission control solenoid. As your vehicle travels down the road, the computer analyzes data being sent by vehicle speed sensors and engine speed sensors. Based on this information, the Engine Control Unit (ECU), or the Transmission Control Unit (TCM), executes the appropriate upshifts and downshifts by sending a signal to one of several shift solenoids. These transmission solenoids have spring-loaded plungers inside them, which are wrapped with wire. When this coil of wire receives an electrical charge from the TCM / ECU, it causes these plungers to open, allowing transmission fluid to flow into the valve body and pressurize the desired clutches and bands. When this happens, the transmission changes gears and you continue down the road. The computer controls the transmission solenoid in several ways. If the vehicle is equipped with a dedicated Transmission Control Unit, it can open or close the hydraulic circuit using a direct 12v signal. In some cases, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) can control the solenoid’s plunger by turning the ground circuit on and off. When this is not working properly, this can cause a jerking reaction, a delay in shifting or in some cases may cause the transmission to hesitate in shifting gears. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your transmission.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Alternator Pulley came off!!

Hello there, many faults will cause the alternator pulley to fail on your 2003 Volkswagen Golf. When the pulley assembly fails on the alternator it is most often due to a seized alternator bearings. To remedy this issue properly the...

My chevy cruze Lt over heats.

You should not continue to drive the vehicle if it is overheating or you may do major engine damage. You will need to have cooling system pressure tested to find where the leak is and then a diagnosis can be...

Key stuck in ignition. Emergency brake light on, but brake is not actually on

It is possible that your shift lock actuator has failed. This could cause your vehicle to think it is in another gear when it is actually in park. I would recommend having this actuator tested and replaced if necessary in...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta
In In the second year of the completely redesigned new Jetta, Volkswagen continued its campaign to bring a more affordable compact car to the market and to further raise the bar on their US sales numbers. The base model 2012...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
The The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta TDI is a great choice for any car enthusiast who needs a practical but fun car for everyday driving. The Jetta TDI (which stands for turbocharged direct injection) has a whole host of features to...
How to Get Volkswagen Dealership Certified
Volkswagen car dealerships offer automotive technician jobs to mechanics who are certified through ASE and specialized Volkswagen programs.