My Transmission Won’t Shift

Transmission Won’t Shift

Automatic transmissions used in today’s automobiles and light trucks are computer controlled. Computer-controlled transmissions are nothing new; the trend began in the mid-80’s. Over the years, the computer systems have gotten more sophisticated; largely as a result of more stringent fuel-economy demands. But with this sophistication come a few problems as well; they can be finicky at times and it doesn’t take a lot for them to turn on the check engine or check transmission light.

One simple problem that can cause a range of transmission-related problems is low battery voltage from old, worn out battery. If you car’s battery is more than five years old you may begin to see computer-related problems caused by corroded or loose terminals or the battery itself.

Here are some simple maintenance checks you can make to your battery:

  1. Make sure the terminal connections are clean and tight. If you have a lot of corrosion on the battery posts and terminal connections you can clean them with a solution of baking soda and water. If you have to remove the connections, be careful; some cars have theft-deterrent systems and disconnecting the battery can disable your radio. Always follow the instructions in your owner’s manual for removing the battery connectors.
  2. Measure the voltage of your battery with a digital volt meter. Check the voltage after the engine has been off for at least one hour. The voltage should be a minimum of 12.45 volts. If it’s less, consider replacing the battery. Regular battery maintenance can help you prevent problems with your transmission, keep you out of the shop and save you time and money in the long run.