Q: Automatic gearbox shifting too quickly

asked by on

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Automatic gearbox shifting too quickly

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

Q: Belt or tensioner squeaking.

This issue could be either part or the need to replace both. The belt if worn could cause the noise. The tensioner may not provide enough tension and could be the problem/. If the tensioner is bad then it is...

Q: If my mechanic says I have dark brake fluid, do I need to bleed the brakes?

Hi John. Thanks for sending in your question today. With today's ABS systems, bleeding the brakes or flushing the brake system due to contaminated brake fluid is a very complex process that requires special tools to complete it correctly. If...

Q: P0380

The glow plug wire harness is not the entirety of the circuit. The circuit fault represented by P0380 could arise in the wiring to the harness that you replaced, including the ground connection. To determine the integrity of the remaining...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.