Q: Automatic gearbox shifting too quickly

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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.

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