Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Transmission slipping

asked by on

My transmission is slipping.

A: The first thing to check is the fluid level...

The first thing to check is the fluid level. Park the car on a level surface with the transmission in Park, and the engine running. The dipstick for the transmission is red. Pull it out, wipe it off and take note where the low and full marks are. Place the dipstick back, fully bottom it, and remove. If it is below the low mark, but still showing on the stick, add fluid until it is about in the middle. Add 1/2 at a time and do not overfill. If it is not indicating on the stick, you are more that 2 quarts low and have a leak. If the level is in the hatch marked area, do not add fluid. It only takes being 1 quart low for the transmission to not function properly. Once the level is ok, you can check the color and smell. It should be red to reddish brown and not have burnt smell. If it is brown or black, you have more serious issues. Is the check engine light on? The computer will detect when a certain gear is slipping and set a code. If a vital sensor to the transmission is not working it can put the transmission in a limp mode. It will shift very hard when placed in drive or reverse. Also, it will stay in 2nd or 3rd gear and not shift at all. The Check Engine light will be on for sure if it is in limp mode. If you’re still having trouble, a qualified mechanic from YourMechanic can help diagnose your transmission slipping issue. The mechanic can also provide a transmission fluid service for your car to get it safely back onto the road.

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: Car losing water, but I don't see the leak.

Hi and thanks for the question - it is a good one. Modern cooling systems work under different pressures and with so many hoses and auxiliary water pumps it can be hard to find a coolant leak. Factor in that...

Q: Axle shaft issue - 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe

Hi there. The dealer can say anything about the vehicle for other vehicles have had this issue, however, this is also a symptom of the transmission clutch grabbing hard when floating in between a gear selection range. Hyundai, Toyota, and...

Q: Muffler extremely loud

If your muffler has a hole or crack in it causing a leak, a patch is not a typical repair. If you are certain that the muffler is the cause of the problem, I would recommend having the muffler replaced...

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 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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...