Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Bad transmission?

Hello all,

I have a 1995 mustang with about 200,000 miles. When I shift into gear from park, it has been kicking back or forward harder than usual. Could this be a sign that my transmission is about to go out? Also sometimes hear a clunking after stopping, then begin accelerating. Does that mean there’s slack in my UV joint? I took it on the interstate and went up to 80mph and no shuddering or wobbling. Driving 300 miles and back and want to make sure I won’t be stranded somewhere. Thank you!!

I’d have a mechanic put it up on a lift to check out the drive shaft u-joints, the transmission mounts, and the engine mounts. If they’re good then it might be the transmission.

1 Like

any idea how much that will cost me? I’m a poor college student lol

$50-100 for the inspection, but make sure it’s a reputable shop, not a chain. But first, have you checked the atf level?

1 Like

No I haven’t checked it. Had it changed a year ago. Fairly sure it doesn’t leak. Need two people to check it right? One to shift through all the gears and one to check it?
How do I know if a shop is reputable?

The owners manual will say how to check it, google it it you don’t have one. As for a mechanic you can use Yelp or the “mechanics file” on this web site.

1 Like

Thanks a bunch for your help!!!

Pull the transmission dipstick out, and check the color and smell of the fluid.

If the fluid smells burnt, the tranny’s done.



These are normal symptoms of worn out U-joints. If you grab the driveshaft in the middle and try to rotate the shaft back and forth, you should not hear any clunking or see any play in a good u-joint.

As far as your transmission goes listen to tester, and if your fluid is not burnt, get it changed with the exactly right fluid. Do not go to a chain transmission or oil change shop. I personally avoid chain shops altogether.


Is the engine idle speed normal or abnormally high? A high idle speed will cause a harsh engagement.

1 Like

Maybe that’s a factor, it only seems to do it when its cold. Guess I didn’t think of that. Thank you all for all of your wonderful help and advice :slight_smile: