Slipping Transmission

My 1996 Buick LaSabre has 102000 miles and the transmission slips occasionally. How serious is this; how long can I go without fixing; and what is it going to set me back?

How serious is it?
We can’t examine the car from this distance, but it has the potential to be very serious. Or it could be just a low level of fluid in the transmission. Have you checked the level, the color, and the smell of the fluid?

How long can you go without fixing it?
Without being able to open up the transmission, nobody–either in this forum or at a shop–can say. The transmission has to be examined. Do you like to gamble? If so, you are gambling on a breakdown on a busy highway that has no shoulder, but lots of 18 wheelers.

How much is it going to set you back?
This could be as simple as a transmission fluid/filter change (although that is not likely), or it could be as extensive as requiring a rebuilt transmission.

My best advice, unless you really are a gambler, is to take the car to an independent transmission shop that has been in business for at least 3 years, and have them give you a diagnosis.

DO NOT go to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation unless you want to be told that you need a new transmission whether you really do or not. And, you can also count on the crooks at those chain operations to overcharge for whatever work they do.

Incidentally, people who faithfully change their transmission fluid and filter every 30,000 miles rarely have problems like this.

Can you be a little more specific?? Do you know what gear it is in when it slips?? Does it only slip when its cold? Hot? Going up a hill?? Like what VDC said, have you checked the fluid level/condition?? Check the fluid level with the vehicle on a level surface, trans hot, with gear selector in “P”. Does the fluid look pink in color? How does it smell?? Cant really tell you much without more details.