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Q: Transmission problems

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I haven't had any problems with my transmission no slips or nothing in my van. The other day I was driving on a busy road and was in traffic. We slowed down and then traffic started to pick back up and I put my foot on the gas and nothing the car would not go. So I coasted into a near by business and put the car in Park then turned the car off. The car started back up and proceeded to put the car in drive and still nothing. I had the car towed to my house and when you start the vehicle it sounds great but when you put the car in drive and then back to park it makes a noise (almost like when you have a stick shift vehicle and you forget to push in the clutch all the way to change gears). I was surprised to find that my transmission fluid was low even when the car was warmed up- so my husband added more. Still no movement. So the next step my husband is going to fully change out the filter and fluid this weekend- Do you believe that still will help?? Or is the car done? Thank you for your time.

My car has 265000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Changing the fluid and filter at this point will be a real hit or miss proposition. If the transmission has been driven with a low fluid level for some time, there is most likely internal damage - as the noise indicates. As the fluid level decreases over time, heat and friction increase inside the transmission. Since it’s a gradual process, odds are that the added heat and friction have been happening for some time. Eventually, internal parts reached the point of failure due to that prolonged use with a low fluid level. In my 30 years of working on cars, I’ve never found a transmission to function properly after a situation like this, or function at all in most cases.

Have a local transmission specialist inspect the transmission for an accurate diagnosis.

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