Automatic transmission is all about effortless driving. Once you get behind the wheel, the driver experiences a hassle-free gear transition journey. But since no machinery is immune to malfunctioning, the driver may face some challenges with automatic transmission. One such issue the driver could face is the automatic transmission not shifting into high gear. To determine why the transmission won’t shift gears, let’s first understand how automatic transmission works.
How Does Automatic Transmission Work
Automatic transmission is a unique combination of electrical, hydraulic and mechanical systems. When these systems work together seamlessly, your car effortlessly glides through gears. The automatic transmission system is often confused with electric car gears which is a completely separate system.
The electrical system takes charge of monitoring gear selection, throttle position and speed. Meanwhile, the electronic control module works as the car’s internal computer and coordinates with automatic gear shifts. The hydraulic system regulates the pressure of transmission fluid. Simultaneously, the mechanical system comes into play during high-speed manoeuvres for a smoother ride.
Signs of Automatic Transmission Not Shifting Into High Gear
There are several warning signs and symptoms of automatic transmission not shifting into high gear. Here are some common warning signs to look out for.
High RPM at High Speeds
If you observe that your engine’s RPM continues to be particularly high even as you are driving at higher speeds, it may be a sign that the gearbox is not upshifting to the higher gears. This indicates that your automatic transmission service is immediately required.
Especially on roads or inclines, an automatic transmission that doesn’t shift into high gear may result in slow acceleration, giving the impression that your car is straining to gain speed.
Poor Fuel Economy
You may experience poor fuel economy as one of the symptoms of automatic transmission not shifting into high gear. If the engine is not performing up to the mark as the automatic transmission does not shift into high gear.
A stressed gearbox can generate more heat, which could overheat the car engine and result in other performance problems for your car.
Engine Braking at High Speeds
Engine braking is one of the common symptoms of automatic transmission not shifting into high gear. It occurs when the engine more abruptly slows the car down when you release the accelerator pedal rather than gently shifting into a higher gear.
When you expect the gearbox to shift higher, there may be a delay in the transmission of gears that you may perceive as a pause or hesitation. This is a common sign of automatic transmission not shifting into high gear.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is essential to have your vehicle inspected by an auto expert to nip the issue in the bud. If left unattended, transmission issues can lead to more severe problems and costly repairs in future.
High Gear Shifting Problems in Automatic Transmission: Reasons & Fixes
A functioning automatic gearbox should shift gears up, down and into neutral as needed. However, if it fails to do so, there might be an internal problem affecting its performance. Some common reasons for an automatic transmission not shifting into high gear are detailed below along with their resolution methods.
Low Transmission Fluid
Insufficient car transmission fluid can disrupt the proper functioning of the transmission. As a result, the car won’t go into gear or automatic transmission won’t shift into high gear swiftly.
How to fix it
Keeping a keen eye on the level of transmission fluid can help enhance its performance and life. You can easily check the transmission fluid level using the dipstick method. If you are not comfortable using a dipstick, read out this guide on checking transmission fluid without a dipstick.
Transmission Fluid Leaks
Leaks in the transmission system can cause a drop in fluid levels, affecting hydraulic pressure and causing high gear shifting problems in automatic transmission.
How to fix it
As part of automatic transmission maintenance, it is important to change the transmission fluid timely. This prevents the buildup of debris and dirt leading to fluid leaks due to cracks in the transmission system.
Faulty Shift Solenoid
Shift solenoids are responsible for controlling the flow of transmission fluid to engage particular gears. If these solenoids malfunction, the driver can experience delayed gear shifting or the car gets stuck in park mode.
How to fix it
To fix a stuck gear shift, try overriding the shift interlock solenoid. The method of overriding the shift interlock solenoid is explained in this guide for car gear stuck in park mode.
Malfunctioning Transmission Control Module (TCM)
The TCM is the electronic control module that is responsible for transmission performance. It manages the transmission’s shifting based on sensor inputs. A malfunctioning TCM is one of the common reasons for high gear shifting problems in automatic transmission.
How to fix it
Try identifying the error code for a faulty TCM using an OBD scanner. Also, make sure that wiring harnesses and connectors related to the TCM are securely connected and free from damage or corrosion.
Faulty Torque Converter
The torque converter is essential for transmitting engine power to the gearbox through a hydraulic system. If it fails to function correctly, gear shifting can be affected drastically.
How to fix it
Fixing a faulty torque converter is a complex task that often requires professional expertise and specialised equipment. Therefore, it is advised to get this issue fixed by an auto expert.
With this, we conclude the causes and fixes of why an automatic transmission does not shift into high gear. To determine the exact cause of the problem and find the right repairs, it is better to seek help from an auto expert. Addressing transmission problems promptly can prevent potential car damage and ensure a seamless driving experience.
However, if your car is posing recurring issues which are beyond repair, it is better to buy yourself another car. Browse these used cars for sale in the UAE and find your ideal one.
For more information on car parts and accessories, stay tuned to dubizzle’s car blog.