Q: My car has a high idle when in park and doesn't shift properly

asked by on

When I start up my car in the morning the RPM is at 1500. It goes down when I put it into drive, but it runs really crappy. Doesn't get up to speed fast at all even when I have it floored. And it's weird when I go over speed bumps, it doesn't down shift properly. In fact, all the shifting feels pretty off. It was intermittent but now it's happening almost all the time.

My car has 115000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. Cold idle can be as high as 1500 RPM, but should lower to around 750 RPM for this vehicle once warmed up. This could be an air leak into the intake area of the engine; an auditory check for a "hissing" noise may reveal the air leak.

This could also be a sticking idle air control valve. This valve is located under the throttle body and can be prone to sticking. A good cleaning or replacement may be necessary to help this. As for the vehicle not downshifting properly when going over bumps: the transmission doesn’t downshift when going over bumps, but transmission will downshift when slowing/braking. If the transmission is not downshifting normally and the gear changes seem off, inspect the fluid for proper level and color; it should be red in color and between the hatch marks with the engine running on a level surface.

A qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can assist you with an idle speed inspection and a transmission shifting inspection to make sure you get the right diagnosis and don’t have unnecessary repairs made.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. My car has a high idle when in park and doesn't shift properly

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 vehicle was hotwired and vandalized

There will be a few things that will need to be addressed. A qualified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, will need to drain all the gas/sugar from the gas tank and all lines. And the ignition switch and wiring will...

Q: Idling problems and difficult startup

There are many different items that can cause the vehicle to idle poorly. The most common would be the spark plugs and wires, MAF sensor, vacuum leak, IAC valve, exhaust leak, or oxygen sensor failure. I recommend having the vehicle...

Q: Oil pressure repair cost, Oil Light comes on, and Check Engine Light is on - code P0022

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...
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...