CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Transmission problem

Intermittent sluggish automatic transmission problem, jerking sensation when it shifts into 2nd and 3rd gear. Does not happen everyday and appears to occur more often in heavy stop and go traffic such as when dealing with many traffic stops.

I can actually “correct” the problem by turning off the car and then re-starting. In addition, the problem never gets worst. It has been doing this for well over a year. I have had the transmission flushed twice and no one saw a problem with the transmission. It is a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix SE, 6 cyl, 195,000 miles. I presented this problem in another web site and they never heard of this problem before, especially that it does not get worse and I can correct the problem by shutting the car off and re-starting it.

Your transmission fluid should have been drained and refilled (not flushed) something like 6 or 7 times at this point. Have it changed by a good mom & pop mechanic with the correct fluid (your owner’s manual will tell you what to use, I don’t know if Pontiacs need their own special fluid like my Honda does). See if that helps.

I fear the damage has been done.  You should have changed (not flushed) the transmission fluid at say 30-40,000 miles and you might not have the problem you now have.

I recommend not flushing as it can cause as many problems as it may resolve and it is not needed.  It is a good profit center for a fast lube place however. 

A proper fluid change includes cleaning the filter and a flush does not get that done.

When you had the trans flushed two times, did they drop the pan, examine it real well for debris, and replace the filter before they flushed each time or did they just flush it without opening the pan?? If they didnt drop the pan (like most places who do flushes) they cant see any problems because they never did a proper service. Who did the flushes?? Was it a certified transmission shop or one of those fast lube places?? Next, have you had the computer scanned for codes?? This would be my next move since it sounds like the computer is commanding the harsh shifting through the PCS. These transmissions had issues with faulty PCS’s (Pressure Control Solenoid).

transman