Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Hesitation of the transmission before downshifting

asked by on

I've been having problems with the transmission in my car, for which I went to the dealer but he said that was normal. So, I'd like another opinion. When I'm bringing the car to a halt, like at traffic lights, and then accelerate, there is some hesitation of the transmission before it downshifts. This doesn't last long but I would like to know if there is something to worry about. Please give me some advice. Thanks.

A: The transmissions in older vehicles have a ...

The transmissions in older vehicles have a cable hooked to the transmission and the throttle and when you stepped down on the throttle, you manually moved a valve in the transmission and the downshift happened pretty quickly.

Now, the computerized transmissions rely on sensor input, programming of the computer, and time to process the information, then operate a solenoid to downshift the transmission for you.

The problem is with the programming; when the engineer programs the computer, they have to think of all the possible times you may want to downshift. You may be asking for the transmission to downshift when there is no programming in place to downshift at that speed or throttle opening, and there are many other things it looks at.

The bottom line is that the transmission is shifting normally for its year, make and model, and it cannot be changed, except by the engineers.

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: My car will start but won't accelerate when I push the gas pedal. What would cause this problem?

I would first check to see if your Check Engine Light is illuminated. If so, there are likely trouble codes that have been stored in your vehicle's PCM that may indicate what the problem is. In order to pull these...

Q: Every morning or when I use my truck i put it on drive I press on the gas and the engine will rev up but the truck goes very slow

Hello. I have a couple of ideas. You mentioned it happens in the morning and this indicates the truck is cold. When the seals in a transmission get old and hard, they allow ATF to leak internally and the transmission...

Q: Bad acceleration, not when I expect it

Hello! Thank you for writing in about this problem. Unintended acceleration concerns for these vehicles are well documented. Toyota recall 09V-388 specifically addresses your concern. You should schedule an appointment with your local Toyota dealer as soon as possible, so...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...