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2 days ago, coming home on city streets: when starting to move from a stoplight, it *felt like* at about a few miles an hour, the car jerked (I grew up on manuals, have driven automatics now for 10-15 yrs) like it was shifting. It even propelled the car forward a bit. Once I got going, it was driving fine, but everytime after stopping at a light, when it was time to go, I had to start REAL SLOW and it still would do that jerk thing. (When I was young I did do a LOT of helping on working on cars, not a tranny however. And now, at 62 I have only those distant memories, lol.)

I 'assumed' an automatic would be in 'first' or 'drive' or whatever at a stop because if your foot is not on the brake it wants to go forward. But this seems to be 'shifting' ever-so-slightly-violently.

I have not driven for 2 days. Today I got in, started going (it gave that jerk) got to the stop sign at the end of my road, and it would not move at all when I took my foot off the brake. Luckily my street is not travelled much, I was able to put it in reverse and 'back it' all the way home. Later, I went out, WARMED IT UP for 15 minutes, then drove to the end of the block and back. I did not have to stop, there is a cul-de-sac but when I slowed it did that jerk.

I do not believe the trans. fluid has ever been changed. It has about 117,000 miles. Someone told me to get the fluid FLUSHED. I am about to call the dealership to do that and will try to drive it there Monday. Sadly, no activities for me this weekend :-(

Questions: do you think it's the fluid (I have no idea where the 'dipstick' might be)?

Is a drain + refill better to do than a flush?

Does this sound expensive????
I just spent $2500 to get the A/C fixed (dealership said "compressor was shot and metal pieces all over") and the cruise fixed--my first 'major repair' --I plan to call this same dealership.

Any other thoughts or recommendations?

Thank you to anyone and everyone for your time in reading or responding!
 

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I would go with a drain and fill myself...
 

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I wouldn't jump to conclusions that this is a transmission issue, first. Dirty transmission fluid generally won't cause the symptom you're describing. I would invest in a quality, modern OBDII scanner (many can be had for $150 now) and do some home diagnostics: for example, what gear is the transmission reporting, what is the VSS outputting, etc. Keep us posted here and folks will be happy to help interpret things and narrow down causes. A good OBD II scanner is a vital tool that will pay for itself the first time you use it, and keep paying many years to come.

I hate to see you go back to the dealership and end up with them convincing you to buy a new/rebuilt transmission without ever knowing for certain what is wrong. It could just be a driveability problem with the engine controls.
 

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I hate to disagree with the others, but I have had the same issue when I had my '99 vulcan sedan. The car was driving fine, even in stop and go driving. I left home to take my wife to work, about a 5 mile round trip. I took her to work, having to stop at 5 stop signs and 4 traffic lights to get to her work. After dropping her off, I made it to the 3rd light on the way home and was stopped. When the light turned green, the engine RPM's jumped to about 2000 / 2500 RPM and slammed into gear. I was able to make it back home by rolling through the last traffic light and the stop signs without actually stopping. When I checked the fluid, it smelled burnt and you could see metal flakes in the fluid as well. I was able to then get it to the only trans shop open on a saturday around here and they said a flush / fill would be a waste of money. Tuesday afternoon they called with the bad news. The main pump had trashed itself and in turn taken out part of the actual transmission body itself from the inside (the flakes I was in the fluid). They showed me all the parts that needed replaced as well as the damage to the inside of the trans. When everything was said & done, it was just under $2000.00 for them to re-build the trand and get it running again.

My recomendation, get that car to a qualified / highly recomended trans shop and let them take a look at it, my guess will be its time for a re-build / replacement trans.
 

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If someone can do this at home or on the side for cheap, i would do a tranny pan drop to change the atf (mercon v) and filter. And then, change out the oss sensor (tranny output shaft speed sensor).
 
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