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Q: while selector is in "D" position the transmission starts out in and stays in second gear

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Transmission seems to be 'mechanically' stuck in second gear. In "D" it starts off in second gear & It will not up shift at all at road speed. I tried starting off in "L" and still stays in second gear. Reverse works and it doesn't seem to slip at all. I put jumper wire in diagnose slots and CEL blinks steady on-off. No codes as I can tell. ECM? or linkage issues outside or inside the transmission? Fluid is dark but no burnt smell... going to change fluid and filter next. I'm stumped. thx Bill

My car has 20000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Poor or low fluid condition may contribute to this. If the transmission has not been serviced in the last 3-4 years or 60,000 miles, the issue may be mechanical/hydraulic inside the transmission. If the clutches inside the transmission are badly worn, the 2nd gear clutch set may be the only one making contact. When the fluid is dark, that is generally worn material from the clutches and the fluid getting too hot. The front pump and/or valve body may be clogged with clutch material. Changing the fluid and filter MAY help or it may not. It would be best to have a local transmission shop check the transmission for you to get an accurate diagnosis.

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