Automatic Trans Delayed shifting during fast acceleration


I’m having issues with my vehicle shifting if I try to accelerate quickly. If I accelerate slowly, it’s fine. During a quick acceleration, the shifting is delayed.

I know that’s pretty general, but has anyone experienced this issue?

Year, engine size of this Cutlas Ciera. 3 or 4 speed??


1994 6 cyl and I believe it’s 3 speed.

Did you just buy this car recently?
Or, are you telling us that this is a new phenomenon with a car that you have driven for a long time?

When you are accelerating rapidly, the shifts are supposed to be “delayed”, or more accurately, the transmission is supposed to shift at higher RPMs than when you are driving in a leisurely fashion. If the transmission did not function this way, you would not be able to safely merge onto an Interstate highway.

For instance, when you are driving in a very leisurely fashion, your 3-speed transmission might do the 1-2 shift at 10 mph, and it might do the 2-3 shift at 25 mph, but when you floor the gas pedal, those same shifts might take place at 20 mph and at 45 mph.

Please clarify exactly how long you have had this car and please try to give some examples of the speeds at which your transmission shifts, both when driving slowly and when accelerating quickly.

I’ve driven the car for about 7 - 8 years. It has never functioned this way before. The best way to explain it is, when excelerating quickly, it “revs” up really really high and letting off of the gas just a little will cause it to shift. I understand that it is normal for it to be delayed a little.

Another thing I noticed just a few min ago, it doesnt seem to have the overall “pick up and go” that it used to.

Have you checked the level, the color, and the smell of the transmission fluid?
When was the last time that the transmission fluid and filter were changed?
When was the last time that the spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filter were changed?

I would strongly suggest that you get this car to an independent transmission shop (NOT AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, or any other chain operation) for an evaluation. It sounds to me like you have transmission problems and possibly it is also in need of engine maintenance.

And, just to prepare yourself for some possibilities–if you are told that it needs a new/overhauled transmission, start thinking about whether you want to sink perhaps $3,000 into this 15 year old car. You may conclude that it is better to just buy another car if the news is particularly bad.

Thanks for all of your feedback VDCdriver. I looked at the speed during the 2nd shift (3rd gear) when accelerating quickly and it seems to fall into about 45 mph range. That seems fairly normal to me but it seemed to happen when i let off the gas and seemed like the rpms were fairly high (my car doesnt display them). I think i will take your advice and just have it looked at.