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Car shifts unexpectedly from 2nd to 3rd and car runs high? What could this be? Transmission problem?

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  • Chrysler Master
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Your transmission is bad.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

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My 1999 ford ranger shifts hard from 2nd to 3rd gear what is the problem I recently changed fluid and filter but shifts hard !


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The Pacifica will not shift past 4th gear. It shifts normally through 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gear. Their is no high reeving RPS, no clunking, no lurching. It will just not shift past 4th gear.


is there an OD button that might have been pressed .if it has lots of miles on it it could be needing a flush job . last one I got done was around 100.00 at jiffy lube.

Nov 12, 2015 | 2005 Chrysler Pacifica

1 Answer

Transmision starts out in 1st shifts to 2nd then third but will not shift into overdrive , but once it reaches 3rd gear ,it stays there when you come to a stop . after that it will only shift manually...


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.

Sep 21, 2010 | 1994 GMC Safari

1 Answer

1996 gmc jimmy will not shift to 3rd gear


Hi, It may be in LIMP mode.

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.

Common failures on 4L60E, symptom any possible repair:

Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmission is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the under-hood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.

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.

Car goes into gear but feels very sluggish like the brakes are dragging, but it will roll easily (starts out in 4th gear), you manually shift to 2 to get it moving, once it's moving you put it back in OD and the car shifts 3rd to 4th on its own and locks the converter at the appropriate time: ShiftB solenoid failed: Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

Trans seems noisy when moving in 1st and Reverse, noise goes away instantly if you shift to N or the trans goes into 3rd gear: Reaction planetary is worn out due to high miles or insufficient lubrication. Not a critical failure, but not a good sign either. R&R sooner rather than later.

3rd gear starts, can manually shift through all gears. When car has been turned off for a bit, then back on it will run normally.: VSS dropoff w/ Hi-stall converter. The rpms are too high, but VSS is showing no movement. Happens after a tire burning take-off. Doesn't store a code, will not throw a CEL (I've heard that it will store a code if it happens 3 or more times). Cure: Reprogram PCM for VSS dropoff -- PCMforLess knows about it.

If you can get the Jimmy for no more then $500.00 and the engine sounds good and body is good, you may want to invest in the repair of the jimmy. Also note that to have a close look at the fuel line along the frame on the drivers side just by the back doors, the line is know to corroded there on all the SUV's

Sep 19, 2010 | 1996 GMC Jimmy

1 Answer

Transmission will not shift into high gear


Before guessing at transmission problems, check the fluid level (car warmed up, engine running in Park on level ground) and have the PCM scanned for trouble codes FIRST. This guide is meant for problems that do not show up as PCM codes (like shift A&B solenoid failures, for example).
Also note that many problems that show up as transmission issues are actually PCM or electrical, and may be external to the transmission. Try a different PCM, and check for chafing where the cables come out of the PCM.
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.
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.
Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmision is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the underhood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.
Thank you for using fixya and good luck. Check all your fuses first to ensure it's not a simple as that before you take it to a transmission shop. Call around, most transmission shop will scan free of charge to inspect the condition of your transmission.

Apr 16, 2010 | 1998 Oldsmobile 88

1 Answer

Only runs in 1st and 2nd gear and reverse.


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.

Trans shifts into gear harshly, car feels sluggish off the line
, No 1st, 4th or TCC lockup available, Manual 2nd, 3rd and Reverse are only available gears, CEL is on: Transmission is either in limp-home mode or has lost electrical power. If there are lots of error codes in the PCM, check the under hood fuse that powers the transmission, and if it pops again, look for a short in that circuit like an O2 sensor harness touching exhaust. Otherwise, check PCM codes for a particular fault in the transmission causing the PCM to put it in limp-home mode.

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.

Car goes into gear but feels very sluggish like the brakes are dragging, but it will roll easily (starts out in 4th gear), you manually shift to 2 to get it moving, once it's moving you put it back in OD and the car shifts 3rd to 4th on its own and locks the converter at the appropriate time: ShiftB solenoid failed: Easy fix in the pan. Or a wiring problem from PCM to trans.. or PCM.

Dec 14, 2009 | 2006 Hummer H3

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