My 'O5 Ranger has an inline 4 and an automatic transmission shifter. It sort of like unlocks and there is briefly no drive. Sometimes there is an abrupt whack between second and third gear. What is it?
I hate to be the one breaking this to you, but your transmission is just flat wearing out. And on those, if you like the vehicle, they can last quite some time on those.
I would say to have a factory rebuilt one installed. You may need to call the transmission shop and ask them how much they charge to install one of those factory rebuilds because there are good rebuilt transmissions out there and they can last a really long time. From my experience, having them rebuilt often doesn’t work out as well but I think a factory rebuild is the way to go in this particular case. If you want to have this verified in person, I would have a certified technician from YourMechanic inspect your transmission and determine what fixes would help.
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