General Question

eadinad's avatar

What does it mean if you start rolling down a hill while in drive?

Asked by eadinad (1278points) July 14th, 2009

Okay… there’s a problem with my car. I think. And yes, I’m taking it to a mechanic, but I’m curious in the meantime, plus I like to be informed.

Today when I started driving my transmission, which is an automatic, seemed to be acting funny. When I put it in drive, and then pressed down on the gas, it took 2–3 seconds where it did nothing (as if I was in neutral) before shooting forward with a little lurch. This happened about 3 more times, while at lights. The light would turn green, I would step on the gas and… nothing for a few seconds, then a lurch and off we go. Once, while at a stoplight on a hill, I actually started rolling backwards while I was pressing on the gas.
The only thing that seemed to help was pressing down on the gas very slowly and gently as I started. And I already checked the transmission fluid, so I know it’s not that.

Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.

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11 Answers

msright1981's avatar

I am not sure, but could it be your gas pump not doing well. As it seems your gas are not flowing well in a timely fashion, but this is nothing more than my guess. I am not a mechanic :)

robmandu's avatar

It’s not the gas.

I’ll hazard a guess that the problem is with your automatic transmission’s torque converter.

cak's avatar

It could still have something to do with the transmission. It may be slipping. The fluid isn’t the only sign of a “healthy” transmission.

Kayak8's avatar

Your foot is off the brake?

Lupin's avatar

How old is the car? Make?
Did you check the transmission oil level? You’ll get that kind of response if you are down about 2 quarts (or more). Check that first. If that is ok you might have a plugged filter.

eadinad's avatar

Yes, my foot was off the brake. I stepped on the gas, and it rolled backwards for about a second before i pushed on the brake again, then when i tried the gas again it went.

I took it to the mechanic and he checked the transmission fluid and it was completely out. I didn’t realize the car had to be running when you checked it… silly me. We added more fluid and if it keeps having problems I will check the filter and oil. Actually, I will do that anyway.

Oh, and it’s a 2000 plymouth breeze.

nexstar5's avatar

Do u notice any leaks on the ground in your driveway.
Most likely the transmission pan gasket is getting worn, or the bolts may just need to be tightened. Checking to see if the bolts are tight would be an easy free fix. If that doesn’t work and it needs a new gasket, it shouldn’t be that expensive either.

Lupin's avatar

I’m glad to see it was something easy. I hate to say this, but your manual tells you to check it hot with the engine running and transmission in Park. It even says it on the dipstick.
But now you know. Is is leaking at all? Sometimes the lines that go from the tranny to the radiator get rusted out. You’ll get leaking when the car is running but minimal drips when stopped.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Torque converter wasn’t coupling because of the loss of fluid. My guess is some leaking seals. Check it daily to see how fast you’re losing fluid. You probably don’t want the cost of a tranny overhaul on a car that’s only worth a grand or so. If it isn’t hemorrhaging fluid, just buy a case of ATF and keep it in the trunk.

msright1981's avatar

Maybe its the time to replace the car :P.

RocketGuy's avatar

I have seen these symptoms in a car with low transmission fluid. Check the level, then fill as required. If that doesn’t help, it might be an expensive repair :(

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