I’ve tried ignoring my problem in the hopes it will go away. My philosophy usually works, but hasn’t with my car this time. I have a 2005 Nissan Altima. It is an automatic. My car has had a hard time shifting from 4th to 5th gear for a while, maybe a couple of months. Recently it has been having more trouble shifting to any gear. It sounds like it takes way more effort than it should and it doesn’t always shift at the right time. It has 108,000 miles. The transmission fluid looks good. The check engine light comes on and off. Last time I had the check engine light looked at they said that it was nothing important. I’m hoping that it could be something cheap because I’m a poor school teacher. Thanks!

Unfortunately, cars are not usually known for fixing themselves, and in the case of transmissions, continuing to drive with shifting problems can frequently lead to a much bigger repair bill.

From a distance, all I can suggest is that you have the car’s OBD system checked for trouble codes, and then come back to this same thread (bookmark it so that you can find it again!) to post them. An auto parts retailer like Auto Zone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly, and possibly some others, will do this free-of-charge.

Trust me, there are no codes that indicate, “nothing important”, so we need to know the exact codes. The code(s) will be in a format similar to “P0123”.

Thanks. If it comes back on I will take it to Auto Zone. Right now it’s not on though.

Some code readers will read “history” codes - ones that were there when the light was on. You can call around to a few auto parts stores, and if they do read codes ask if their code readers can pick up the history codes. If they say anything like “duh…” just assure them that there is such a thing, that some code readers pick them up and maybe ask if they can check the manual for the readers they use.

The fluid may look good but the fiction modifiers are dead. I would consider changing fluid if i has 108k it is time. Refer to your manual.



When was the last time the tranny fluid was changed?
Have you owned this car since brand new?
Is the level ok?
Did you check the level following the exact steps in the Owner’s Manual and on a level surface?