If the car is in "Drive" it stays in 3rd gear. This means that when you are at a stop light, then begin to accelerate, you have VERY little torque and accelerate extremely slowly, as oppose to being in first gear like the transmission is SUPPOSE to be in giving you MUCH more torque to get the car up to speed more quikly.
2nd gear DOES work, but only if you manually shift into 2nd.
Reverse works just fine and the torque converter seems to be working just fine aswell. I'm assuming this is a sensor failer of some sort and not a dead/dying trans.
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could be input output sensors but the fact that its sliping means theres a problem it gos in to second gear ans stays there to protect its sekf from ferther dmage AKA limp mode check engin light is probably on have it scaned
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.