Question about 1997 Hyundai Elantra

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No reverse, in drive upshift 1st to 2nd very hard,w/not upshift to 3rd
w/not go over 30 mph HELP please! JS

Posted on Mar 12, 2010

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Popular Problems Checks
1. Car will not go into gear:

  • Gear selector cable has failed
  • Brake lock solenoid has failed not allowing the gear selector to move out of "Park"
  • Excessively low transmission fluid (note: if car is operated for an extended amount of time with low fluid level the transmission will fail prematurely)
  • Shorted electrical component not allowing the PCM to control the transmission. Example: shorted fuse
  • Flex plate (flywheel) is broken completely not transferring engine power to the transmission.
2. Car goes into gear but then fades out of gear or is slipping while driving:
  • Transmission fluid is low
  • Transmission clutch discs or bands are worn out or burned
  • Faulty transmission shift solenoid.
3. Car goes into gear but does not shift out of first:
  • Blown fuse to the PCM controller
  • Faulty vehicle speed sensor (VSS)
  • Shorted second gear control solenoid
  • Faulty transmission controller (PCM)
Tips About Common Problems and Fixes

Posted on Jun 22, 2008

  • Kleanthis Mavropoulos
    Kleanthis Mavropoulos Jun 22, 2008

    Tips About Common Problems and Fixes

    • When the vehicle is cold or going around a corners the transmission fades in and out of gear: In most cases this means the transmission fluid is low. The transmission will lose hydraulic pressure causing the transmission to drift in and out of gear. Check your transmission fluid when the car is on flat ground with the engine idling in park (some Chrysler products must be checked in neutral), add fluid as needed and recheck level.

    • Transmission is shifting too late or not at all. On most cars the transmission is controlled by the PCM (powertrain control module) if the vehicle speed sensor fails the PCM has no input so the computer will not shift the transmission properly. The best way to check this sensor is to make sure the speedometer is operating correctly. If it isn't, replace the VSS and recheck. On older cars the transmission shifting is controlled by a vacuum modulator or a throttle control cable. If the vacuum is impaired to the modulator or the throttle position cable has failed the transmission will not shift correctly.

    • The transmission skips second gear, shifts from first gear to third gear and the "service engine soon" MIL is illuminated. Scan the PCM to locate the transmission control solenoid that has malfunctioned, replace the solenoid then clear trouble codes and recheck operation.

  • Kleanthis Mavropoulos
    Kleanthis Mavropoulos Jun 22, 2008

    Fluid Level and Leaks

    One of the most common complaints with an automatic transmission is leaking fluid. Leaks can occur from the driveshaft seals, the input shaft seal, pan gasket, or the ATF (automatic transmission fluid) cooler or line connections. When adding transmission fluid, do not overfill. Doing so could cause the fluid to become aerated, which will affect transmission operation. If there are no visible leaks, check the radiator for ATF in the coolant. The ATF cooler inside the radiator may be leaking and cross-contaminating the radiator coolant. You should also check the condition of the fluid, some discoloration and darkening is normal as the fluid ages, but if the ATF is brown or has a burnt smell, it is badly oxidized and transmission service needs to be performed.

    Most transmission problems can be prevented by changing the ATF and filter according to manufacturer specifications. In extreme conditions installing an aftermarket auxiliary ATF cooler parallel to the OEM ATF cooler is recommended. This prevents fluid overheating on vehicles used for towing or performance applications.



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