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Your transmission fluid is dangerously low (tranny is dry). The pops & jerks are the transmission internal components trying not to seize onto each other due to lack of lubrication and/or overheating. Low transmission fluid leads not only to loss of lubrication but lots of overheating (of the tranny). The loss of Elantra performance (speed tops out at 55), is caused by power loss due to friction inside the transmission. All your power is lost overheating the transmission (toward destruction), instead of being transmitted through the transmission to the wheels.
The 2004 Elantra takes Hyundai SP-III Automatic Transmission Fluid, with 8.4 quarts used in a total refill - but just 5 quarts at a fluid change. For How-to transmission fluid change instructions:
www.autozone.com claims that 2004 Hyundai Elantra can take these non-Hyundai ATF's: Lucas Semi-Synthetic Multivehicle ATF Pennzoil Muilt Vehicle ATF Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF Castrol High Mileage ATF
Some vehicles had filters and some didn't. If you have a filter it will be inside the transmission pan, and in that case there won't be a drain plug. You just take the pan off and try to get as little on you as possible when all the fluid comes out. MUCH easier if you have a lift.
If you don't have a pan then the drain plug is on the bottom. Manual transmissions don't have a pan, but sometimes the automatics didn't either.
Fluid: Hyundai Manual Transmission fluid if it's a 5 speed, and Hyundai ATF or Mitsubishi Triple Diamond ATF only if it's an automatic. Dexron and generic ATF does not fair well in these transmissions.
Call a dealership parts department with the VIN number and see if there is a filter kit available for your vehicle if it has an automatic transmission.
Yes Mistydogg, the solution posted here is absolutely correct. And be sure to remove (as much as possible) of the factory power steering fluid from the reservoir and replace with automatic transmission fluid (ATF). Do this a few times during regular oil changing intervals to cycle-out the original factory fluid. The 1995 Camry was shipped from the factory with clear/typical power steering fluid, however (strangely) the factory service manual calls for replacing with automatic steering fluid. Well, it's actually not so strange. ATF has a seal swelling effect that will stop the leaking within your entire power steering system - fast. I ran into the same problem in a big way. The dealer wanted to replace my pump and rack at 50k miles at the remanufactured parts plus labor price of $1,200. I am leak-free today on my same pump and rack at 241k miles having switched over to ATF. Enjoy your great car!
8.2 Quarts Application: With automatic transmission Total refill (includes torque converter
Transmission Fluid Type
Application: With automatic transmission Note : Castrol Import Multi Vehicle ATF Castrol High Mileage ATF Maxlife ATF Dex/Merc
Transmission Fluid Type
GL-4,GL-5 Application: With manual transmission
The fluid for your car is the new Dexron 6, this replaced Dexron 3 (D111), this is the best fluid for the trans, Toyota ATF-WS (World Standard) Automatic Transmission Fluid used in certain 2004-2008 vehicles is NOT compatible with Toyota T-IV or Dexron ATF