2007 Chevy Malibu Will not shift first thing in the morning

I have a 2007 Chevy Malibu with around 190000 miles on it. Recently, first thing in the morning then I start driving, that car will not shift into 2nd gear for a bit. The engine will rev up the 2000 RPM and stay there. After a while it will finally shift. The fact that the engine stays reved that high for that long makes me nervous. Any advice?

Forgot to mention that I had the transmission fluid replaced about 15,000 miles ago.

No Check Engine light on?


Is the OP absolutely certain that the correct specification trans fluid was used?
In any event, at 190k miles, the transmission has likely reached the end of its design life.

No Check Engine Light, nor any messages on the dash-board computer. Nor am I 100% sure on the specs on the fluid used, I went to local shop that I have been using for my oil changes for a few years.

If I owned your vehicle…I would drain the fluid and replace the filter. Add fresh trans fluid and keep your fingers crossed.

As an update: it suddenly got worse, in fact the transmission would slip when the car was running at highway speed. I would have to pull the car over to the side of the road and shift the car into park then drive again to get it moving.

Took it to a dealership to get it looked at and they discovered that it was toast, but in the course of looking at the transmission they found that it was a quart low on fluid but not leaking, so that leaves me wondering if it had been incorrectly serviced. Not sure if it was being low on fluid that killed it or age/mileage.

Thanks for the update. 15k miles on a tranny seems very low. Was it rebuilt or new?

The transmission apparently has 190000 on it and 15000 on fluid change. Yes it needs replacing because of mileage, things do wear out.

I really suspect running it one quart low was the cause of your problem. When the transmission is cold the fluid thicker. When it’s thicker it doesn’t drain back to the oil pan as quickly thereby lowering the level a tad and you were probably at the threshhold level. As the fluid heated up it flowed back to the pan more quickly and the fluid expanded from heating the level rose up just enough maintain oil pressure. Then when you lost more fluid things just got worse. Has anybody tried just simply adding a quart?