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95 Hyundai Elantra transmission problems?

I have recently aquired a 1995 Hyundai Elantra. I know none of the previous history of the car. It is an automatic with 102750 miles. The car runs good and drives okay, it handles like a shopping cart, but after it warms up a little the transmission seems to get stuck between shifting and goes into a neutral feeling. I wouldn’t call it slipping but maybe that is what it is. It goes into gear eventually and drives fine. Once it is in gear it doesn’t slip, only shifting between gears. I checked the fluid and it appears over filled. Would changing the fluid help or just empty my wallet? Any suggestions?

Overfilling an automatic is just as bad as underfilling. When overfilled, the internals of the transmission will churn up the fluid causing air bubbles in it. An automatic transmission operates on hydraulics, like your brake system. Think about this, if your brake lines get air in them what happens?? The brake pedal drops farther and feels spongy and your braking is affected. Same with an automatic transmission. The clutches and bands start slipping. Now would be the perfect time to change the fluid. Drop the pan, examine it real good for debris, clean it out real good, change the filter, reinstall pan and refill to the proper level.


The air bubble idea works for me but I am assuming someone over filled because they thought perhaps more fluid would do the trick. Is there any additives I could use to clean the valvebody of the transmission. I am not a transmission specialist but I have a good understanding how they work. I’ve rebuilt several manual transmissions and one hydrostatic transmission on a backhoe. I know it is exremely important to use the right fluid and to be very clean. Is there such a product to clean the internals of the transmission? Like running kerosene in it for a few minutes?

Dont run kerosene through it!! Drop the pan, change the filter, refill and use this:

I get this at Wal Mart, Auto Zone, and Pep Boys. Pour 1 can of this in every 3k or so and it will keep it clean. I use this on many transmissions, my own included.


I am not sure about this maybe I am reaching out on a limb. The car seems to idle high 1300-1500 rpms. My first thought vacuum leak. If there is one I didn’t find it yet. Could a possible vacuum leak cause problems with the transmission shifting in a 1995 Elantra?

wagon or sedan,i ask because theres a huge difference in TCM strategy.

and dont put the goop listed above ,just a quick death.

what codes,loop the cooler output hoses ,does it change the shifting?

post back.

It is a sedan

Jus tgot the car yesterday I haven’t got much time to work on it yet. I have a newer scanner for cars 96 and up. I don’t have an obd1 scanner. The check engine light is not on when the car is running. so maybe it just idles high? I noticed when I drive the car hard it shifts ok, jack rabbit starts. If I ease in to acceleration and it acts up.

this model will not turn on the ses light,and yet in the TCM could be a few codes,sounds to me as if the solenoids are lazy,or the TCM,but codes need pulled and proper pressure checks made depending on the gear or gears it has issues with,that model needs the cooler for proper flow there is no bypass system as on domestic cars,the cooler is an integral part of the power flow,so put a piece of hose u shaped on the trans with hoses removed,then drive it,and see what happens.

First of all what you need to do is get the fluid to the proper level. Overfilling will cause EXACTLY what you describe once the trans has operated and created air in the system. Like I said, now is the proper time to do the fluid and filter change and get the level right. From what you describe, it sounds like you have two different issues. The idling issues sounds like a drivability problem and should be addressed because drivability problems CAN affect transmission performance. In your case though, from what you describe I doubt it. You describe the classic symptoms of “Neutraling” or loss of hydraulic pressure. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with TCM strategy. Dont waste your time looping cooler lines, it will take less time to disconnect one line, start the engine and measure cooler output that way. Also, there is NOTHING wrong with using Chemtool in the trans. I have used it for many years along with many other trans techs I know. I used it in my own trans for the past 40k miles. Many of my customers use it with no ill effects. Another guy who posts here who is a professional also uses it. It is not quick death.

A common mistake made by a lot of techs is to assume the worst right away. These are the ones who throw parts at the problem hoping for a cure. This can get very expensive. One thing I have learned after 25 years rebuilding automatics is to step back and do one thing at a time, and troubleshoot. Start out by getting the fluid level right, and get a drivability guy to look at engine performance. DONT CONDEMN THE TRANSMISSION JUST YET.

Let me know what happens,


I know it has been a while since this was asked but in case some one else reads it: Most 95 Elantras transmission fluid level has to be checked with the vehicle idling in NEUTRAL, NOT IN PARK. Check the owners manual as well as service buletins to make sure.