Q: High rpm at low speeds first 5-10 minutes of driving

asked by on February 10, 2018

Hello, I have a 2003 Nissan Frontier. I believe there’s a problem with the automatic transmission. Every time I start up the car, the first 5-10 minutes of driving the RPM goes from 3,000-4,000 at low speeds such as 25-35 mph (the engine sounds like I’m going 60mph when going 25-30) then it will finally shift gear but with a hard pull/jerk forward.. But this is only when driving for the first 5-10 minutes, after that the car runs perfectly normal. It’s just really annoying driving it the first 5-10 minutes and I really want to know what the issue is so I can get it fixed, thank you.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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There are some engine controls that affect transmission shift points, such as the throttle position sensor. Those have to be ruled out. If it does turn out to be a transmission issue, check the fluid level and condition. Beyond simple checks such as that, the only way to resolve these issues is with the factory service manual in hand which has a diagnostic decision tree that if followed assiduously will yield a solution. Obviously, the decision tree is too lengthy to recount here but among the issues to check are the shift solenoids and the integrity of the wiring to the shift solenoids. In addition, an automotive scanner that reports transmission operating parameters is needed in the diagnostic. To pinpoint the issue in your circumstance, the recommended service is a transmission shift diagnostic. If you request that service, the responding certified mechanic will determine the root cause of the delayed and abrupt shifting and let you know your repair options. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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