Trouble Shifting into 4th Gear, Automatic transmission

Tiny
RLBUTTA16
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 MAZDA PROTEGE
  • 115,000 MILES
My shifting is generally not the greatest and I feel every gear as it makes a little bit of a clunk, but lately I've been having trouble getting my car to shift up once I reach about 40mph. Applying more pressure to the accelerator makes the car drive faster still, but instead of shifting the rpms just continue to rise, easily to over 3k if I were to try to get to say 60mph. This has happened a few times before and shifting into neutral and back into drive has been working. Today it did not. Neither did stopping and going into Park, then Neutral, then D. I tried it 2 times (2 stop lights) and still couldn't shift up.

I got this car used and the transmission rebuilt and installed. Would the ATF have been replaced when the trans was put back in? Are there possible causes that could be fixed without removing or replacing the whole transmission? Any advice or checks to do would be helpful.
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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 AT 10:32 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
Check the fluid level in the tranmission. While you're at it notice the color of the fluid, it should be red. If it is some other color (grayish or dark) then this means that the clutches inside the transmission are wearing.

How many miles have you put on the vehicle since the transmission was put in?

Are you shifting the transmission by hand or are you putting it in DRIVE and allowing it the shift automatically?

Does the transmission have a warranty?
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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 AT 11:24 AM
Tiny
RLBUTTA16
  • MEMBER
No dice on the warranty. I've put under 10k miles since I got it. I took it to the shop that rebuilt the transmission, they wouldn't work on it without payment because they said they weren't the ones who installed it, since I had a relative put it in. I'm not making it shift, I have it in drive from the time that I leave my parking lot. I do have to shift to drive or neutral then back up to reverse to get it in reverse, thats why I think its how it got put in not the transmission itself. I sometimes help it shift by laying off the gas a little when its about to shift but other than that I drive pretty normally. No fast acceleration or braking.

Sometimes I hear a humming kind of sound from the back left side when its struggling like going up a steep hill. That only happens on hills and goes away whenever driving downhill or flat. Not sure if thats related or not. I'll be back to let you know what the trans fluid color is.

Thanks again, I'm so happy you guys made this site!
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Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 AT 11:41 AM
Tiny
RLBUTTA16
  • MEMBER
Update: Today after driving around for 30 minutes and shifting through the gears (I'll get to that) I checked my ATF and it is a red color with no burning smell to it. Now, the way I got my car to shift at/over 40 MPH was to put it in NEUTRAL. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems my shifter and my transmission aren't on the same page. I still have a neutral gear if I need to by doing some careful movement, but for now by placing the car in drive, then pushing up the shifter to neutral (without pressing in the button on the shifter, as it goes with no little/no resistance) I am able to shift past 40 mph, Now I'm not sure if that means where the transmission connects is misaligned, damaged, or whatever the case, or if the problem could be resolved with some adjustment to the shifter and its underlying parts. I don't know this system too well, I am used to generally "exposed" repairs such as brakes, gas line, oil system.

Not sure what this means or where to begin checking so again any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Thursday, June 20th, 2013 AT 6:08 AM
Tiny
FREEMBA
  • EXPERT
Try adjusting the shifter cable on the transmission.

Most of them (you didn't mention what model you have) have a slot at the end of the cable that is held in place on a stud. The slot allows adjustment in the cable. Have someone move the shift lever so you can see what direction park is in on the lever coming out of the transmission. Loosen the nut and push the lever as far into park as it will go to be sure it is in park all the way. Make sure the shift lever is in the park position. Do not let anyone touch the shifter now and make sure it is fully in park. Tighten the nut on the lever now. It should be adjusted properly at this point. Go though all the gears and make sure they work properly to verify the adjustment.
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Thursday, June 20th, 2013 AT 6:15 AM
Tiny
RLBUTTA16
  • MEMBER
That is the best answer I could have asked for!
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Thursday, June 20th, 2013 AT 7:12 AM

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