Auto-transmission wont downshift

I have a 1995 Mercury Tracer. Small, but good gas mileage and gets me to and from work. Lately, it will not downshift when I slow down. When I stop and then start moving again, it is stuck in a higher gear and I dont move very well. If I mash the gas down, it will sometimes downshift.

Also, if I stop the car and put it into low gear, and then step on the gas, the car wont move. It is like it is in neutral. Then, if I press the gas it will eventually shift into gear and give my whiplash as I launch forward. Also, sometimes it will do the same thing when shifting to reverse.

Have you checked the transmission fluid level?

How many miles on this car, and has the transmission fluid ever been replaced?

Fluid level is good. I was going to have the tranny flushed as well. To my knowledge, the transmission has never been replaced. It has 185000 miles on it.

I would change the fluid and have the filter cleaned at that time. This should be better than a flush for you.

I am not at all sure that will fix the problem, but it needs to be done anyway. In fact it should have been done several times already.

Good Luck

Check your fluid level first, it sounds like you might be getting some air in the system.