Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Transmission doesn't work when it's cold

asked by on

My transmission doesn't work when it is cold. I have to heat up my car first. The Service Engine light is on. The car is still driveable, I just have to turn it on, pump the gas a little, and it works normally.

A: Sounds like its almost time for a transmiss...

Sounds like its almost time for a transmission rebuild. An automatic transmission has rubber seals inside similar to o-rings. These seals get hard over time and no longer do their job. Letting the car heat up also heats up the transmission fluid. This makes the rubber seals pliable again and they start working. Eventually the transmission will fail completely. The usual repair is a rebuild. There are two types of builds. A soft build that just includes seals, band, and clutches. This is done if there is no hard part damage. If it is determined that hard part damage did occur, then a hard build is necessary. This is usually more expensive because of the hard parts that need to be replaced during the build. The torque converter is also replaced during any build as it houses fluid that cannot be removed. The last thing you want is old fluid and debris in your newly build transmission. I would have this repair performed by a qualified mechanic that specializes on transmission rebuilds.

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

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 do you correctly install a child car seat in the front?

First and foremost, never put your child in the front passenger seat of your Altima unless there is no other option. Children under the age of 13 should be in the back for the best safety. However, if you absolutely...

Q: How do I trigger the panic alarm with the remote keyless entry system?

The panic alarm is an important safety feature. If you signal the alarm, the headlights will flash and an alarm will sound, which draws attention to you if you feel threatened or unsafe. To use the alarm, press and hold...

Q: What would keep a service engine soon light on? 2001 BMW 330

Hi - quite often, a Service Engine Soon (SES) light is programmed by the manufacturer to alert you to possible service needs at a given mileage. At your mileage, checking the oxygen sensors and catalytic converter might be appropriate. Check...

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 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...
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.