Transmission Stopped working in Drive & Reverse. 1st & 2nd work fine

I have a 95 Olds Ciera 3.1L Auto Transmission 150,000 Miles. While going down the highway as I was accelerating the transmission went out of gear while still in Drive (felt like I was in neutral and coasting). I found that the only gears that work are 1st & 2nd No Drive or Reverse. This happened suddenly without any hint of a problem prior to this. when I got home I checked the fluid (which I changed last summer) It was still clean and did not have any unusual odor, also the fluid level was fine. Can you please give me some suggestions. Thank You Very Much For your Time Gary

Are you saying that the car wont move at all if the gear selector is in “D” or Overdrive but it WILL work if you go from “L1” to “L2” ??


Transman, Yes that is correct.I can only use L1 or L2

I’m sorry but I think that my initial post may have been misleading. This morning I went out to the car to verify if some miracle happened overnight, no luck. But I did realize that it appears the car will move when the shift lever is in “Drive”, L1 & L2 but not in Reverse. So I need to say that my car will work in the first two gears when in “Drive” but will not go to the next higher gear and still no Reverse. I did not realize this yesterday because I was on the freeway when the problem occured and therefore had to shift into L2 to keep the car moving at 35 mph.

I can’t give you anything definitive in terms of exactly what is wrong. If transman comes back through he can give you an expert’s opinion. But in general the lack of reverse is a really bad sign. My guess is that you’re looking at a new transmission.

If you can you need to limp it to your best local transmission shop - not a national chain shop and not a general auto repair place. Just a local, owner-operated shop that specializes in transmissions.

The only ray of hope possibility, though I’m entirely unsure and skeptical about it, is that you blew out something involved with the electronic controls. Having only 1-2 gear is basically “limp mode” where the computer detected a problem and shut down most functions to protect the transmission from further damage. However, if it was only in limp mode you should still have reverse. I’m actually betting that if you dropped the pan you would find ugly things in it.