Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Transmission lurches when car shifts from 1st to 2nd and 3rd gear

asked by on

I have a dangerous problem when I'm in traffic. My car has mileage of 187,000. After it has been driven a while, the transmission jerks and moans when I shift gears (in-between any gear), and even though the engine sounds like it is accelerating, it doesn't move! Very scary in traffic. What causes this?

There are two possibilities. This could be caused by internal wear in the transmission. Fluid level and condition should be checked. If the fluid level is low or smells burnt it may be an indication of an overhaul needing to be performed on the transmission.

Another possibility is oil or fluid contamination in the connectors to the transmission. Oil or fluid contamination can cause the control area network (CAN) system faults which can throw the transmission into failsafe mode. This will often be accompanied by faults in the transmission control unit. Reading out faults and unclipping and inspecting the connectors for oil intrusion need to be carried out. You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who can read out the faults, diagnose your shifting issue, and recommend the proper course of repair.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: 06 ford freestylye is slow and has high rpm what is that

Hi there. There are several things that could be going on with your Ford Freestyle. If the transmission fluid is low, you might have this problem; but it's also possible that your vehicle is locked in what's called a "limp...

Q: Car slips and grinds

The fluid level in the transmission may be low. The fluid level needs to be checked and topped off. If the fluid level is correct, then the CVT transmission may need to be replaced. You may want to enlist the...

Q: Transmission slipping

Sounds like you are having two issues. The differential making noise is usually due to the gears wearing irregularly. This can be caused by low fluid levels or worn bearings in the unit itself. A check of the wear pattern...

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...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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.