Will not Move forward or reverse but recovers briefly if stopped and restarted

  • 2WD
  • 210,000 MILES
The vehicle had not had any problem with shifting but suddenly would not move forward or reverse when put in those gears. The shift indicator shows it moving to each position correctly. Transmission fluid level good, no leaks. When first started it can be driven in forward, reverse, third or second and gears changed for a short time, few minutes. Eventually changing gears stops working and it does not move at all. If I turn off engine and wait only five or so minutes I can restart the car and back it out, change to forward and drive it around the house at normal speed and acceleration, but once I stop it will not move forward or reverse until I turn the engine off and restart it. I noticed that I can read the transmission dipstick okay immediately after starting the engine (top of xxx area, second hole), but when it is in "no go" mode the fluid shows it is way overfilled, the way it looks if the engine is not running when you check it. The fluid and filter have not been changed in years. Fluid is dark but not burnt smelling as far as I can tell. Can anyone tell me whether this is a fixable problem? I did a scan and the stored errors were engine knock, water temperature issue and a cam timing error. I work on my cars but not a transmission guy at all. Any help much appreciated.
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Saturday, November 17th, 2018 AT 8:28 PM

1 Reply

Hi and thanks for using 2CarPros. Com.

I have to be honest. It sounds like the transmission filter is plugging. Think about it. At first it works. If there is a lot of dirt in the pan, it sucks it up and replugs the filter resulting in low pressure and lack of circulation. Hence, the fluid looks over full because it is no longer circulating. Then, you turn the engine off, the pump stops, and the dirt drops back into the pan until the cycle starts all over again.

That is the first thing I would suggest checking. I do not know if you need them, but here are the directions for replacing the filter.


Pan and Filter Assembly Removal

1. Remove the transmission oil pan screws (76).
2. Remove the transmission oil pan (75) and the transmission oil pan gasket (73).
3. Remove the transmission oil filter assembly (72).
4. The filter may help in diagnosis. Cut away the top portion of the plastic filter housing and remove. Inspect the filter for the presence of the following items which may indicate wear or corrosion:
Clutch material
Bronze slivers indicating bushing wear
Steel particles
5. Remove the oil filter seal (71).



1. Lubricate the filter seal (71) with transmission fluid.
2. Use a socket the same size diameter as the filter seal (71) and install the seal.
3. Install the transmission oil filter assembly (72).


Let me know if this helps.

Take care,
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Saturday, November 17th, 2018 AT 9:13 PM

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