Pontiac having trouble shifting. Probably same problem/reason with any car anyways..?

'02 Grand Am coupe. When I hit the gas it accelerates perfectly but fails to shift on time. It revs up, right as its supposed to shift it loses RPMs, then it shifts. Any ideas?

I’ve topped off the transmission fluid.

This only happens if I gun it really hard and the engine is trying to accelerate very fast. Normal driving does not give me any problems.

Still owe $8000 on the car, which is more than its worth lol, but NEED the car to last!

Please take the car to a good transmission shop before more damage occurs. They will be able to determine what’s wrong and what it takes to fix it.

How many miles on the car and what transmission maintenance has been done to date? Most posters here will recommend a transmission fluid and filter change very 30,000 miles or so for long transmission life.

When you opped off the fluid, how far was it down? Did you do it with the engine warmed up and idling in neutral or park?

Well, it’s my parents car so some maintenance may have been done without me knowing. It has about 70,000 miles on it. Only transmission maintenance that I know of is when we filled the transmission fluid holder. I think we used the whole bottle. It was quite a hassle to get down there, too. Engine was off so we wouldn’t burn ourselves, then drove around the rest of the day doing what we needed to do.

Was this a model that does not have a dipstick to measure the fluid level? How did you determine how much to add? Was it a quart or a pint bottle? Transmissions normally don’t have fluid “reservoirs”, do you mean the transmission case?

At 70,000 miles the transmission should still function well with proper care.

Your description doesn’t make any sense. When you “gun” the throttle, the engine will rev higher before it shifts into the next gear. When it shifts, the rpms will drop. Maybe instead of thinking there is a problem, you should stop driving your parents car abusively. You say you and your parents want the car last, so stop driving like a maniac. Also take it in to a shop and have the fluid level checked, it sounds like you don’t know exactly how, or how much fluid to add.

Sorry, I’m very much a noob when it comes to cars despite my passion for them. According to my Mom, when we did it, we actually didn’t use the entire supply of transmission fluid. And yes, I’m assuming that’s why it didn’t have a dipstick for measurement because of the model.

Sometimes I don’t know how they expect you to properly maintain your car yourself when they put the “transmission case” nearly out of reach. And no dipstick? The whole process was extended two hours when the red cap was dropped down in to the engine. Butterfingers. We drove to see if we could buy a replacement, turns out its a dealership part, and then after having not found it where the car was originally parked, we found it settled neatly in the very bottom most part of the engine area out of reach. Had to prop the whole car up to get to it.

My mom’s boyfriend’s educated opinion is it’s just in need of a flush and filter change and whatnot.

No. If I rapidly accelerate while already in 3rd gear (as I never gun it at, say, a light), the car will gain speed and RPMs as built, and when it is supposed to shift, it doesn’t, loses RPMs, and then shifts in to the next gear. Very abnormal.

You’re in no place to criticize when you know nothing about who I am. I’m going to be a police officer and I already represent my department, if you think I’m going around driving recklessly then you are profoundly wrong, pal. Getting pulled over is the last thing I would want to happen. Much trouble would be headed my way.

Please revisit the thought that it is sometimes necessary to accelerate faster than normal?

Your mom’s boyfriend should stay away from the Pontiac. A FLUSH would probably make the situation worse at this stage and could cause tranmission failure. Agree the fluid should be DRAINED and the filter changed, but other work will likely be needed. A good independent transmission shop will quickly determine what is needed.

Ask the boyfriend why the Camaro’s engine needed rebuilding.

Will do. Not sure it was a need, so much as a project. The vehicle has been retired, to say the least.

I’m against doing any at home car work besides an oil change and whatever else is at least acceptable and necessary. And a theorists beliefs about what they think is supposed to happen is another thing. I’m not very supportive of his decisions. Personally I’d just let the professionals handle everything. What you ‘think’ is the appropriate solution is probably far from it if you have no formal training. I’m not sure what he’s certified of, but his profession is home wiring, and not car mechanics.

I’m sure he also thinks he’s fully knowledgeable because his Dad has the same year Grand Am.

Appreciate your response; you are writing to an automotive engineer who specializes in maintenance and life cycle asset management. That’s why I recommend you take the car to a good shop and let the experts determine what it needs. Since 1965 I have had automatic cars and only once had a problem, similar to to yours. It was a Ford with slipping gears and the transmissions needed some internal work which cost $185. That’s the only transmission repairs I’ve ever had to do.

Your mom should follow the owner’s manual carefully for other maintenance the car may require.

P.S. I also do home wiring when the need arises.

I have to say that one of my thoughts when I read your post was also that the car might be behaving normally but that you maybe tend to drive like you’re at a drag strip.

It was this part: This only happens if I gun it really hard and the engine is trying to accelerate very fast. Normal driving does not give me any problems.

I don’t think I’d jump on Xebadaih - maybe just be clearer about your description (though obviously many of these things can be hard to describe).

I would go all the way back to Docnick’s original post and just say that I’d have it evaluated by a good, local, non-corporate chain transmission shop.

Thanks so much for the help, and not wrongly criticizing my actions. I trust your word.
As well, changing of fuses, windshield wiper fluid filling and oil filling is about all someone should do to their car at home.

Also, he works for a company called ADVent, which stand for Audio Digital Video Enterprises, I’m pretty sure. So I’d trust him to set up my surround sound but no where near my car.

If you read my replies to his posts, you will know that I would do nothing other than take it to a pro.

I’m purely curious and believe education is the best thing. I can’t stand not knowing something, even if I have no use knowing it.

If someone responded and said “Sounds like you’ll need a new transmission which is several thousand dollars” then I’d be more worried. However everyone has so far mentioned under $500 in repairs which leaves me a bit more content.