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Q: Hard shifting, worse with lower gears

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I have recently encountered a problem with the transmission (automatic) in my 2009 Toyota Corolla. It worked well for the first 95,000 miles, but now the shifting between the lower gears is really slow. It started out just happening when accelerating uphill, but has gotten worse to the point where it nearly can’t shift from 2nd to 3rd. Is the only solution to replace the whole transmission? I would like to keep the car on the road as much as possible, so I don’t want it in the shop for weeks.

A: There should be no need for you to have to ...

There should be no need for you to have to replace your transmission yet. You should get a full diagnostic check from YourMechanic first before any part or component replacement. The problem you describe can be caused by a few different problems. For example, the throttle position sensor may be out of adjustment causing it to not follow throttle movement properly, which would not allow the engine to develop its power at the correct throttle position. Another issue may be a solenoid in the transmission that is causing the lack of or a delayed shift. I would first recommend having YourMechanic come to you to do a computer diagnostic check to verify the proper operation of the engine, the engine’s sensors, the transmission, the transmission’s sensors and its solenoids. The technician can determine your transmission shift problem causes and quote the needed repairs for you.

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