Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: My car is hesitating and shifts hard - could that be a sensor or is the transmission going out?

asked by on

it will slip a little when we start out then on streight out out doing 70 its fine fluid is fine but needs to be changed.woould changing the fluid help sense its dirty?

My car has 2007700 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: If the transmission has over 200,000 miles,...

If the transmission has over 200,000 miles, there might be a benefit to changing the filter and fluid in response to the shifting issues you are describing. Before you do that, though, have a professional carefully check the fluid level (hot and cold) because too little or too much transmission fluid will cause shifting problems. You want to rule out "wrong fluid level" before you try other fixes.

If the fluid level is OK, but it is very old and the filter has never been changed, and you are only experiencing hard shifts, I would go ahead and change it on the small chance that it will resolve the issue. If it doesn't resolve it, you likely have issues internal to the transmission that will necessitate looking at the valve body and solenoids at minimum and, in the worst case, possibly a rebuild of the whole transmission. If you are also experiencing engine hesitation, that would be due to an ignition, fuel, air induction and/or engine management problem that would require a pretty standard diagnostic routine.

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!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My truck bogs down when I accelerate going down the road

This may be a sign of a dirty or failing mass air flow sensor. The mass air flow sensor is a unit in the intake system that monitors air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected...

Q: No acceleration in drive

Hello - first task is to check to see if there are any problem codes set, whether the Check Engine light is on or not. It is possible that the transmission speed sensor is malfunctioning as you mention, and not...

Q: Fuel gauge issue and weak battery

The fuel gauge issue is a relatively simple concept, but a bit involved in terms of the work to fix it. Your fuel tank has a small float device sending unit inside it that monitors the fuel level inside the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
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.