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No Fourth Gear In Accent- OK?

Hi, I have a 2000 Accent with about 170,000 on it. A few years ago the OD button got “stuck” in the “on” position, so it won’t go into fourth gear. It’s an automatic tranny. I’ve been babying it by keeping rpm’s low and changing to Pennzoil. I suspect the problem is a broken wire somewhere in the shifter. (I checked and it’s not at the top, where the actual OD button is). My question is, would it be worth while to take the gear shifter apart to see if I can find the trouble, or just keep driving it the way it is? It’s our “second” car, I just take it to the hardware store and so forth now and then. I keep it off the turnpike, and try to keep the speed around 45, so as not to strain the engine. But I wouldn’t mind having all four gears again. I should also say, it has never had any tranny service, not even an oil change, unless you count the time the pan rusted out, and Mighty Putty wouldn’t fix it, and I took it to AAMCO and they told me that at this point, it’s best to just replace the oil that it leaked. Which actually impressed me, I thought for sure they would try to sell me a big tyranny job, but they didn’t.

Thanks, Mike in Maine

I would for sure try…at least until it was too involved of a job for you or just wasn’t worth the work or hastle…buy I’d say it’s worth a shot to lessen the strain on ur motor,an better mpgs. .might be a stupid question,but is there a fuse for that?? Or a celanoid or something that might be beat?? Must be some kinda switch to turn it on and off…

16 yrs of driving that POS? Any time spent fixing it is a waste of time. U can buy a nicer car.

By the switch being stuck “on” I assume you mean that it is stuck in “overdrive off” position.

I’m not sure what your comment about Penzoil is supposed to mean. It’s certainly a good enough brand, but there is nothing magical about its protective powers.

No harm in pulling the shifter apart (unless you can’t get it back together). It might be something simple, like the wire being shorted or broken. I’m not sure how the switch works, i.e. whether it opens a circuit to disable overdrive or closes it (morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet). I’m sure someone here can clarify so you can just bypass the switch.

Open it up and check the switch with an ohmmeter or continuity tester.

Thanks for the replies, guys. Subieforester: I did check the fuses. I should have mentioned, before it went out for good, there was a period where I would play with the shifter to get it drop into OD. The light would flicker on and off. Then, it just got “stuck.” I realize this could mean a tranny problem rather than an electrical one, but I’m being optimistic.

Cavell: That POS has got me through many a Maine winter, driving 26 miles each way to work, often through blizzard conditions, at night, and up some pretty scary hills. Also, a tranny that has lasted that long, without any work, has to be pretty good now, wouldn’t you say?

NYBo: Yes, I hope someone can help me figure out exactly how that all works. At this point, I’m just not confident in my own abilities to dive into this.

circuitsmith: That’s a good idea. I do have a circuit tester. Maybe I’ll give that a try. (After staining the deck, replacing the rotting house and garage panels, etc…).

I should also say, it has never had any tranny service,

Suggest you schedule a proper transmission service. Drop the pan, replace the filter, and renew with fresh fluid. It can only help. Automatic transmissions really shouldn’t go beyond 60K without doing this, and you’re up to 170 K, so long overdue.

Your OD problem could also be due to a problematic transmission solenoid, so that would be a good time to inspect those too.

Friend drove his new 5spd manual trans car in 4 th for 1st yr since he did not realize it had 5th. Shifter did not have hi contrast markings. Never had issues. I still think a 2000 accent is crap.

Try rubbing a bar of soap on the leak in the pan, not a permanent fix but sounds like you might not mind a repeat as necessary.

Cavell, insulting people is not helping them.

He can’t help it. His mother was scared by an Accent when she was pregnant with him, and that generated a deep seated dislike of Hyundai Accents.

My #2 Son’s 1999 Ford 350 pickup would not shift into 4th gear OD (this was about 5 years ago). He took it to AAMCO and got the usual $3,000+ total rebuild estimate. He was freaking out. I suggested he ask his friends and co-workers to recommend a local independent transmission shop. They did. A semi retired dealership A/T specialist had a nice shop and continued doing transmissions more as a hobby than a business. He took his truck there. Two hours later he had a solenoid replaced and a proper transmission service for $190. The truck is still 100% reliable today. As a parody of Nancy Regan’s anti drug program “AAMCO just say no”!


George: I would think a tranny service would be a good idea. But when AAMCO tells me to just leave it, because it might make it worse, what’s a poor, confused Accent driver to do? Actually, it may be too old to spend the money. Like I said, It just runs down to the store now and then.

Barkydog: I’ll keep that in mind, but the new pan will easily outlast the car.

mountainbike: He’s only insulting my car, which being an Accent has heard it all before.

sanders: Thank god it wasn’t a Studebaker! We might have a psychopath on our hands!

sgtrock21, that is encouraging news. It would be nice to be able to take it on the turnpike again. you never know when you might need it in an emergency. It’s just a backup, but, like the current goalies for the Penguins and Lightening, it should be able to perform!

Figure out what’s going on (or off, as the case may be) in the shifter before going for transmission service so no bogus symptoms mislead the shop.

Good advice, NYBo.