Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My 04 Nissan Altima sometimes when putting in drive will roll backwards instead of moving forward when I give it gas .. sometimes

asked by on

My 04 Nissan Altima sometimes when putting in drive will roll backwards instead of moving forward when I give it gas .. sometimes there is no check engine lights or anything to go I sometimes have to switch to hear one then two then three then DRIVE and it will work just fine it only happens every once in a while . What could be wrong ? Is it something simple?

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

What you are describing may be a result of a faulty speed sensor, potentially low transmission fluid or a even a faulty transmission control solenoid. As your vehicle travels down the road, the computer analyzes data being sent by vehicle speed sensors and engine speed sensors. Based on this information, the Engine Control Unit (ECU), or the Transmission Control Unit (TCM), executes the appropriate upshifts and downshifts by sending a signal to one of several shift solenoids. These transmission solenoids have spring-loaded plungers inside them, which are wrapped with wire. When this coil of wire receives an electrical charge from the TCM / ECU, it causes these plungers to open, allowing transmission fluid to flow into the valve body and pressurize the desired clutches and bands. When this happens, the transmission changes gears and you continue down the road. The computer controls the transmission solenoid in several ways. If the vehicle is equipped with a dedicated Transmission Control Unit, it can open or close the hydraulic circuit using a direct 12v signal. In some cases, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) can control the solenoid’s plunger by turning the ground circuit on and off. When this is not working properly, this can cause a jerking reaction, a delay in shifting or in some cases may cause the transmission to hesitate in shifting gears. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your transmission.

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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • My 04 Nissan Altima sometimes when putting in drive will roll backwards instead of moving forward when I give it gas .. sometimes

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: how many Catalytic converters are on my car?

Claimed by Jeff Engstrom

Q: Oil leaking into spark plug valve.

Hi, this comes up often on this car. The spark pug tubes go through the valve covers on this engine due to the placement of the spark plugs. The seals that go on the valve cover to seal the tubes...

Q: I replaced the tailight assembly but the the brake light still won't turn on.

You will need to do some further testing to figure out where the issue is. This is going to require you trace the power supply from the brake pedal to the bulb. All of the following can be the cause...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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 Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.