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Have the oil changed and the filter checked . I have a Mitsubishi lancer and it is in good nick but If I apply power before the shift happens it chirps the tyres . have the bands and clutch pack adjusted Run fault codes to check for faulty solenoids and servos.
It could be a sign of bad transmission solenoid. If so, your vehicle has trouble shifting into drive or reverse. Normally, when you start your car, you're able to shift into drive or reverse right away. With a bad transmission solenoid, the vehicle could have a delay of a few seconds, or even take several minutes to warm up and operate properly. During this delay, the vehicle will act similar to how it behaves in neutral. It won't stay in park, and when you press the gas pedal, the vehicle will make an engine revving noise but not move.
Low transmission fluid, clogged transmission filter etc. Check the fluid level, check for leaks if low. Repair any leaks, if leaking from the transmission pan gasket you'll have to replace it. It'll be a good time for a transmission tune-up.
Hi ray_c_brown, This pause is determined by a time lag test, and you can check this yourself with a stop watch.Engagement time in "D" range should be a maximum of 1.2 seconds and the engagement time for reverse should be a maximum of 1.5 seconds. So with your vehicle warmed up and assuming curb idle speed is correct set the park brake,make sure ac is off (air cond) shift transfer case to 2H or if it is a NP249 transfer case leave in 4H,put your vehicle into neutral and set your stop watch shift to Drive and record time repeat this a couple of times and do the same with reverse,as you said the delay is with reverse so if it takes longer than 1.5 seconds here are a few things it could be:shift cable adjustment,low line pressure,worn direct clutch, first/reverse brake worn or a worn or damaged overdrive clutch.Hope this helps you good luck :)