Q: Hard shifting between lower gears

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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.

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