Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Why is my auto transmission down shifting to the wrong gear when decelerating?

asked by on

When decelerating through 20 mph the automatic transmission shifts into a lower gear that causes the car to lurch/jerk. It only happens when passing downward through 20 mph and it feels like the car drops into first gear at a speed to high for that gear.

My car has 115000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Improper shifting, either up or down, can be caused by a few different issues. If the transmission fluid condition or level are not correct, this can cause erratic shifting. Servicing the transmission may resolve the issue. Other causes can be the transmission fluid pressure sensor. If the pressure sensor is faulty, the engine/transmission control unit can cause erratic shifting, even skip gears when up or down shifting. Also, the transmission temperature sensor can also be at fault which is a common issue with this vehicle and transmission. I owned the exact same vehicle for several years. Have a certified technician look into the transmission shifting issues to isolate the correct cause.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Why is my auto transmission down shifting to the wrong gear when decelerating?

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: How do I fast forward or rewind using the steering wheel?

When listening to a CD, a USB device, or an iPod, you can fast forward or rewind with your steering wheel buttons. To fast forward, press and hold the Up button on the Seek/Preset switch for at least 0.8 seconds....

Q: My car keeps jerking, almost like when a stick shift switches gears but I have an automatic 2012 Hyundai Sonata

Hello, thank you for writing in. The first possibility that comes to mind is the air intake sensors. Start by making sure idle air control valve, throttle, and EGR systems are all working well. These types of components can be...

Q: Flashing green light next to "D" and check engine light on.

For this particular issue, I would start by checking the continuity of the cruise control switch buttons. You will need to check these with a volt meter to determine if they are getting power. If you need assistance with getting...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
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.