Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2002 Nissian Maxima

Automatic Transmission is intermitently having trouble moving from first to second gear. Check engine,Slip and TCS dashboard lights are lit. My mechanic can’t find a problem.

Read the codes and see what they say.

Well, he obviously hasn’t looked for codes since none of those lights would be on without them.

Maybe a new mechanic. He may be OK at cars but did not relay the information to you. Anyway he should have checked for stored error codes.

BTW when was the last time you changed the transmission fluid and cleaned the filter? This maintenance is one of the few things I suggest doing more than listed in the owner’s manual. I suggest every 30 - 40,000 miles.

Note: do not go to a national transmission chain and do not use a transmission flush.

Note #2: If you have not been doing transmission fluid changes it may be too late. Many people don’t change the transmission fluid until they already are having problems and the damage is done, they blame the fluid change for the problem when in reality it was the lack of a preemptive fluid change that was the problem.

I appreciate the quick feedback and what I’m gleening from your responses is without knowledge of the error codes a diagnosis of the problem would only be a SWAG. None of you have known anyone with this issue?? What I’m attemping is to educate myself prior to having a dealer or an unknown business look for the cause and before I spend too much cash I’d feel a bit more secure if what I’m being told comes close to or matches your expert opinions. Please advise, thanks

It would be really foolhardy for anyone to venture a diagnosis without knowing what trouble codes have veen stored by the car’s OBD system.

I want to echo Mr. Meehan’s post, as it is exactly what I would have said if I had logged on earlier. Go to an independent trans shop that has been in business for at least 3 years, and ask them to diagnose your problem. It will probably not be good news, but at least their repairs will probably be cheaper and more expertly done, as compared to a chain transmission shop.

Then again, it is possible that you have a problem related solely to the TCS, or an emissions problem that has triggered the CEL. When an emissions-related problem is detected by the OBD system, it triggers a shutdown of any traction control and/or anti-skid systems. Only good diagnostic skills (which your current mechanic apparently lacks) will get to the root of the problem.

Incidentally, I would give the same advice for a Toyotia, a Subariu, a Chevroliet, a Dodgie, or a Forid as I did for your “Nissian”.