Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why does my Nissan Xterra roll backwards on a hill when I release brakes?

asked by on

Why does my Nissan Xterra roll backwards on a hill when I release brakes?
My car has an automatic transmission.

A hill that is more than a 10 or 15 degree slope may be more than what most automatic transmission can handle. It would help to know what type of engine and the year of your car but an automatic transmission is no different than trying to start off on a hill with a manual transmission.

Your transmission still has to engage the first gear clutch and with the proper engine speed held it will keep you from moving backward at the expense of the first gear clutch getting worn. If you do this on a regular occasion then you will wear the first gear clutches to the point that at the lower pressure of idle they will not hold the vehicle on a hill. The vehicle will move backward until you rev the engine up and increase the transmission pump pressure on the first gear pressure plates, then the vehicle will start to move forward.

The problem you have is worn clutch discs or low pump pressure and would need to have the stall speed tested on the transmission. In the mean time, hold your foot on the brake and using the other foot raise the idle when you want to start to move up the hill. I would suggest having a professional technician, such as one available from YourMechanic, diagnose the cause of your issue.

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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Why does my Nissan Xterra roll backwards on a hill when I release brakes?

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 is overheating

The heater not working in some cases may be related to the overheating problem you are also having. This may be due to a faulty heater blower motor or potentially a bad heater core. As you may know, the heater...

Q: Water leak - Nissan Van

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Nissan Van. If water is coming out of the exhaust system when you pour in coolant then you either have a cracked head or a bad head gasket. This can be verified if...

Q: What should I do to care for the tires?

Tire care is an important consideration – without the right care, your tires will wear out quickly, possibly putting you in danger of a blowout. Caring for your tires and wheels isn’t that complicated, though. Here’s what you need to...

Related articles

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...
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.