Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Intermittently, the transmission will start shifting poorly, and the gauges will start to behave erratically.

asked by on

Shortly after purchasing the car the above mentioned issues began happening. First a warning chime would sound, then the vehicle security light would come on, followed by a power steering warning message being shown. Immediately at this point the speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge all began to bounce around.at first this was all that would happen. Then the power steering started go out intermittently, and finally the transmission would shift poorly if at all. I took the vehicle to the dealership where I was told by their mechanic that a new TCM was needed to resolve the issue. After paying for them to replace and program the TCM the car seemed to run fine, floral one day. Now the issues have begun again just as described above. And the dealership wants to charge me 50 dollars an hour to attempt to diagnose the problem. If you could give me an idea of anything else that could be causing this issue I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Problems like these can be tough to diagnose as it seems several systems that share communication are acting up at once. If the vehicle history shows it was in a accident or maybe a flood, there may be a circuit shared by all of these components that has some corrosion and is causing voltage to show up in places it does not belong. The system wiring diagrams must be looked over to see if there is anything common they communicate with that may cause the issues and start there. There dealership is the best equipped place to diagnose these types of problems as they usually have parts in stock that they can swap out with old ones to see if the vehicles behavior changes. Unfortunately the diagnosis will take time and you may find different rates at different repair facilities, but you will have to pay the technician for their time looking over the vehicle.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Intermittently, the transmission will start shifting poorly, and the gauges will start to behave erratically.

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: Car only starts when it's cold. Sounds like starter, but reading book says there is a lever on it and it may be that.

If you suspect a failed starter on your vehicle, I would recommend a car will not start inspection to be performed by a qualified professional. Consider YourMechanic as this can be done at your home or office.

Q: Problems with shifting.

Transmissions can be totally destroyed inside and not shift or it could be something simple such as a speed sensor if reading erratic. The only way to tell is to have the system thoroughly checked by a certified transmission technician,...

Q: One of my cylinders is gone out.

Generally, your car will still run well enough to move, however it will not perform well and may potentially get worse along the way depending on what is causing the first cylinder to misfire. In the event the same issue...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.