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Q: How Can I Tell If My Car Isn't Shifting Correctly?

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How can I tell if my car isn't shifting correctly?

The automatic transmission in most vehicles are designed to shift the gears for us rather than use a manual transmission and a clutch with a stick shift to change gears. If you have driven a manual transmission before then you know the challenge of starting off smoothly and knowing when to release the clutch to keep the engine from stalling and have a smooth take-off. When a manual transmission car is moving, you have to change each gear going up and down. There is full control of how and when to shift the car and if we make a mistake then the car jerks or cannot accelerate fast enough.

Now we have automatic transmissions to do most of the gear changes for us. There are specialized transmissions out there that give us some control over the shifting of the forward gears, but for the most part the automatic transmission shifting is done by the transmission control systems. Every vehicle is designed to have a powertrain that can propel the vehicle in the best and most efficient way possible with the most comfortable drive possible.

If you start the vehicle and put the transmission in reverse only to notice the transmission takes longer to engage or the gear engages harshly, the car is not shifting correctly. Another indication of a problem is if you are driving down the road and the transmission has a harsh upshift or downshift. Your engine might also start to get bogged down and stall when you come to a stop.

These are some of the signs you may have when you start to have transmission troubles with shifting. If you feel something is not right then most likely there is a problem and you should not delay getting it looked at. Sometimes getting a problem fixed early can keep a larger problem from happening.

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