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Altima automatic shifting problem

I have a 2003 Altima 2.5 with about 53k on it. (as an aside: the engine was completely replaced at 25k due to a factory recall). This morning I backed down the driveway and then tried to pull forward in 3rd gear but the car wouldn’t move. I had to down-shift to 1st to get it to go, then return to 3rd as soon as I hit the road. It seemed to be okay for the rest of the drive but I am concerned that I need a new transmission or other expensive repair. Help.

Why try to pull away in 3rd gear? This just puts extra strain and wear on the clutch, which is probably ready to be replaced now, if this was a normal practice. A clutch replacement is not as bad as a transmission, but, at only 53K miles, is way early. And, will still cost you a bunch.

It’s an automatic, 3rd gear is “drive” 1st and 2nd are for power. - at least that’s the way it reads on the console plate for the gear shift pattern. D3, D2, D1. Tried to find an image online but they’ve changed it since.

I did have a couple of instances recently where I had to downshift to get through icy conditions (out of a parking spot, up an icy driveway), maybe this has something to do with it…?

Have you checked the transmission fluid level and the condition of the transmission fluid?