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Transmission (AT) shifts into neutral while driving

My 1995 1.8L Corolla wagon (230K original) automatic transmission will shift to neutral while I am drivng. It will do this at any speed. It lasts for one to five seconds. Otherwise it runs and shifts perfectly . It does it on level or graded roads, maybe one to five times per week. I no longer feel confident to drive it. At first I would be driving along and the speedometer would go to zero. This would last for one to three miles. Then, after this, the speedometer would go to zero and the overdrive light would go on/off, and the transmission would shift back and forth. I changed the VSS but it did not fix the problem. Now it does the same again, only the trasnmission shifts to neutral.(The lever stays in Drive) This lasts for one to five seconds. Moving the shift lever during this time has no effect. Has anyone experienced this before. ?

Are you prepared to spend the money necessary to replace the transmission on this 18 year old car?
I would be very surprised if you did not need a trans overhaul.
Then, the question arises of whether the book value and overall condition of the car warrant the “investment” of that much money.

However, if the trans has been faithfully maintained with fluid and filter changes every 3 years/30k miles, it is possible that only some more minor repairs are necessary.

I would suggest a visit to a well-reputed independent transmission shop in your area for diagnosis.
Don’t go to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other “chain” operation unless you want to be told that you need a new/overhauled transmission–whether you really do or not.

When is the last time the trans fluid and filter were changed?

When was the last time you checked your transmission fluid level?

Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about. I had that problem crop up in my Riviera. It had been some time and maybe a 100K miles or so after an overhaul. It started at a stop light and then was random. Drove me nuts because you never knew when and in 5 seconds it would go again. I talked to the trans shop and did some research and I think basically it amounted to a worn hard part that would have required a disassembly to repair.

So I think yes check the fluid level and if it hasn’t been changed in a while you can try that but otherwise I think its time for an overhaul. Maybe Transman will be along with some other advice.

Transmission fluid was changed 10K miles ago, Fluid level is OK.