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For the last 2 weeks our 97 LS400 with 94000 mile has been making these clunking sounds when shifting gears, especially when first started and moved into reverse or park. The check engine light came on and I urged my husband to take it in asap. He didn't and today when he started the car it made an unusually loud clunk going into reverse. He turned around and headed out only to make about 500 yards when he felt the gears start to slip and the car would not drive. He was able to pull over and put the hazards on and have it towed. (it wouldn't move and inch in drive - but I could hear the engine revving) . So now it's at the garage and we are wondering if our whole transmission is shot? Or could it be something smaller like engine mounts? (e®I'm not car savvy but did a little bit of research)

Help!

Thanks.

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You *may* be lucky and just be low enough on fluid to disallow gear engagement, most automatics have a failsafe that won't engage a drive gear if the fluid is too low. However, running for an extended period with low fluid will do damage and while you might can get away with topping the fluid after fixing the leak, there is internal damage to a degree already. No way to tell how much and how long it will last now without opening it up.

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First thing, you should definetly check the fluid level. I have never heard of one of these tranny's failing unless the wrong fluid was put in them. Has the transmission been flushed or serviced recently? If so go to the shop that did it and ask them what type of fluid they put in it. I will bet it's not toyota type-IV.

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