Q: Experiencing a "rough shift" from 2nd to 3rd gear

asked by on February 25, 2017

Right now this only occurs when engine is cold and only on the very first time of the day that it has to shift from 2nd to 3rd gear. It feels like it doesn't want to change gears and it has some difficulty getting up to speed from 30 to 40 mph. When it does, it kind of jerks into 3rd. Once it gets to 3rd gear, smooth and normal shifting into all gears returns and it's fine the rest of the day. This issue began a week ago and there's been no CEL during this time and no other symptoms that I've noticed.

My car has 77300 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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This kind of reaction is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. This type of problem is amplified any time the transmission is low on fluid creating a drop in hydraulic pressure. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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