Question about 2001 Hyundai Sonata

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Loses gears when driving

My car drives fine but every once in a while it will shift hard and lose 1st and 4th gears, but if I turn off the car then start it back up its fine again.

Not sure if this has anything to do with it, but my car stumbles when the air conditioning is on too.

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Does the Check Engine light come ON when this happens? Whenever the "Check Engine" light comes on, there is always a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) stored in the ECM (Engine Control Module). You'll need an OBDII (On-Board-Diagnostics) scanner to retrieve any codes recorded/set in ECM. Once you do this and let us know what, if any codes are set, then we can go from there. The problem you describe is difficult to diagnose without a starting point (DTC). Apparently, the problem is in the A/T (automatic transmission) ... when you cycle the ignition key, this drivability issue also gets recycled until it happens again. Possibility exists it could simply be electrical (repairable) without replacing the trans.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

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Sounds like your transmission is in limp mode. This is a fault mode in which the transmission either loses electrical power or the PCM deactivates all of the electronics. The transmission will default to max line pressure. The driver will have Reverse and 3rd, with manual 2nd available by putting the gearshift in 2 or 1 (doesn't matter). 1st, 4th, and TCC lockup will not be available. It will not hurt the car to drive it like this for short periods, but use manual 2nd to get the car moving, and be aware that the trans will generate more heat than normal while operating in limp-home mode due to increased torque converter slippage during 2nd gear starts and no lockup in 3rd gear.

The other from what you described, trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : ShiftA solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

Thank you for using fixya and have your Safari scanned for the DTC codes that would indicate what issues your transmission is having to put you in to limp mode.

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My GMC has 311632 miles on it. I just changed the 4L60E transmission a few months ago and now it wont shift out of first unless I manually put it in second gear. all the gears from park rev. nuetral works...


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What is "limp-home mode" ? This is a fault mode in which the transmission either loses electrical power or the PCM deactivates all of the electronics. The transmission will default to max line pressure. The driver will have Reverse and 3rd, with manual 2nd available by putting the gearshift in 2 or 1 (doesn't matter). 1st, 4th, and TCC lockup will not be available. It will not hurt the car to drive it like this for short periods, but use manual 2nd to get the car moving, and be aware that the trans will generate more heat than normal while operating in limp-home mode due to increased torque converter slippage during 2nd gear starts and no lockup in 3rd gear.

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No 1st or 4th available; trans shifts 2nd to 3rd by itself in D or OD and locks the converter : ShiftA solenoid failed. Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

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Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line
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