Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car isn't shifting when pedal is all the way down and is slow.

asked by on

When I'm at a stand still, my car will go fast and all the way to 8k rpm's, sometimes even triggering the check engine light, at which point the car will limp and feel as if it's slowly shutting down or grasping at life. It's a simple fix, turn on and off.

Now, at other times while driving and wanting to accelerate, my car will seem very slow and not pick up speed enough, what could be the problem?
My car has an automatic transmission.

Your engine management system is going into "limp mode" when the Check Engine light is illuminated, reducing engine power, and quite likely, leaving your automatic transmission in 2nd gear. This is why you are experiencing greatly diminished performance. Turning your engine off, then back on, is clearing a temporary problem code in the engine, returning it to full performance.

Running your engine past the 8200 RPM rev limit is likely the cause of the Check Engine light, but this should be confirmed in case other issues threaten the performance and longevity of your engine.

I would suggest you have the problem codes read to determine what is causing the Check Engine light to come on. Many auto parts stores offer this as a free service. A YourMechanic mobile, professional mechanic can also come to your location and perform a diagnosis of your Check Engine Light and make needed repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Car jerks when shifting gears, check engine light

There are more tests that need to be done before the speed sensor module is replaced. There are about 20 tests that need to be done to verify the number turbine speed sensor is not working properly. These tests are...

Q: Black smoke coming from exhaust and smell petrol

Hello, This may be related to a faulty throttle position sensor or potentially a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into...

Q: How do I set the park driver’s door unlock mode?

When your car is set to park driver’s door unlock mode, then the driver’s door will automatically unlock when the shift lever is placed in P and the brake pedal is depressed. To set the park driver’s door unlock mode,...

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 Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.