Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Transmission slow to engage into 1st from stop

asked by on

My car hesitates to engage into first gear from a complete stop. This usually occurs when I am at a stop for an extended time. If im just stopping and going it will not happen. The previous owner had not serviced the fluid. I ran a drain and fill twice. Could the tranny be bad? What electrical components can I diagnose? TPS? PNP?

Thank you, Frank R.

My car has 124000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. This may be a sign of a faulty transmission control solenoid. Modern automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear.

When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. This may also be related to a faulty transmission control module. The transmission control module (TCM) helps regulate fuel efficiency and power while storing information about the transmission system in its memory.

A faulty transmission control module may cause a delay in acceleration or erratic shifting of gears. The transmission control module has various sensors such as vehicle speed sensors, wheel speed sensors, throttle position sensors, turbine speed sensor, and transmission fluid temperature sensors that all direct information to it in order for it to perform it’s function. If you would like to have this scoped out by a professional, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the shifting problem.

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: I have a Mozda that will cut out completly when i put it in Park.

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your vehicle's erratic idle, will need to be properly diagnosed. Assuming, the check engine light is not on, leads me to believe the vehicle's computer is not recognizing the fault. It could...

Q: Starter problem

This suggests you may have a faulty starter solenoid. The starter solenoid is located on the starter and has internal electrical contacts that transmit electricity to the starter. When this fails, it may cause a clicking sound and will not...

Q: I have a '95 cavalier I recently unplugged the TCC sensor and I was driving then the car just stopped but engine was still running.

Hi and thanks for contacting YourMechanic. The torque converter clutch (TCC) solenoid is located in the transmission control module (valve body). The solenoid should be easy to remove without taking off the valve body. Remove the side oil pan to...

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...