Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Hard shifting between lower gears

asked by on

My car has gone close to 250,000 miles and it started having transmission problems. Upon hard acceleration, it has trouble shifting between first and second gear, as well as second and third. This is very pronounced if the engine is cold. Shifting between third and fourth gears is fine and so is the downshifting. But, during shifting between lower gears, the engine starts revving too high until it finally catches and goes into the next gear. I was told this might be caused by a bad pressure control solenoid. What do you think? Or is it a more serious problem?

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2000 Saturn LS2. This sounds like a common symptom of a transmission valve body not working correctly. The valve body of a transmission directs traffic when it comes to hydraulic fluid in the transmission. It’s function is to shift fluid to certain areas inside the transmission, which then activates the different clutches to move to the next gear. When the valve body loses pressure or is not functioning correctly, the shifting from one gear to the next may become erratic or irregular. This can be a difficult problem to detect. I recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to you in order to diagnose and repair the hard shifting issue.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Hard shifting between lower gears

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: Engine swap? Have both VIN numbers don't want to buy if not compatible 2000 saturn LS2

Hi there - since the engine type is "R" for both VINs (position 8 in the VIN), yes, these engines should be compatible. I would recommend using the engine management (computer) and engine wiring harness from the donor vehicle, just...

Q: Tapping noise at high rpm only.

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Ford E-150. The noise may be the engine is pinging from pre-ignition. This can be due to ignition timing that is too far advanced. Another possibility is that the EGR valve is not...

Q: Using the 3 2 1 Gears in an automatic.

They are there for a reason. The transmission is controlled by a computer. It will not let you cause damage. You have to look at it from a perspective that it's there to prevent shifts, and not to force a...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
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.