Have to shift into neutral to get automatic car in gear

My 1992 Chevrolet Lumina won’t shift down into the lowest gear unless I put it in neutral at stop lights.

If I don’t do that, when I push on the gas to go, it sounds like, “rrrrrrrrrr,” then it goes, “bump” and eventually gets into gear.

It works fine though, without the “rrrrr… bump,” just so when I come to a stop, I put it in neutral, and then back into drive, and then the car goes like normal.

The gas station guy said sometimes this is not a transmission problem, but instead some other less expensive part that shifts the car into the lowest gear.

He suggested getting it “diagnosed.”

I expect to get a new car this spring, but until then, want to drive this one.

Does anybody know if this makes sense on getting it diagnosed to see if it is this other part? Thank you for any views or opinions.

Agree, go to a reputable independent transmission shop for a checkup. You may just need a fluid, filter change and an adjustment. What you don’t want to do is keep driving it. You can’t sell the car with a defective transmission, so you have to fix it anyway.