What is causing my '02 Grand Prix to shift so hard?


Asked by Feb 24, 2015 at 10:35 AM about the 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an '02 Grand Prix, just bought it about 6 months ago for $2450 and has about
140,000 miles on it. I've noticed lately really hard shifts in the trans, really high RPM's.
I'll be coming out of a stop light and before the car has even reached 25mph the car is
already at 3000 RPM's.

It only gets worse when I have to get myself into traffic, the worst I've seen it get to is
almost 5000 RPM's and I thought it was about to stall out.

Anyway, I've been told it may be as minor as trans fluid needs replacing or the entire
transmission itself if I let it go like this for too long. From what I am guessing from the
research, it's something along the lines of a vacuum but I need some more insight.

Thanks again everyone

4 Answers


You've already let it go too long. If the transmission is slipping you've pretty much finished it off. Check the fluid. Is it full? Does it smell burnt? If its down fill it up and it may go a few more weeks. There are also some electronic components that can fail so take it to a shop and have that checked out, but prepare for the worst.


@munron It isn't too common of a thing, I notice it does this when I don't let it warm up enough in the morning. Even then, it only does weird shifts only once or twice. When I first got the car my stepdad (who's a mechanic) checked the trans fluid and said it was overfull and that helped a bit. I have another exhaust problem, the flex pipe, and I got the parts to fix that


Sounds like the transmission might not be as far gone as I thought then. Still it sounds like its on its way out an these things always get worse, never better. Start looking for a used one you can put in. It's not worth the expense of getting it rebuilt.


@munron Thanks a lot, my step-dad is a mechanic and does all of the work on my car. He's been pretty busy lately with others trying to get their cars ready for spring but I want a good idea of what needs to be done so I know what expenses I need to put aside.

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