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'92 Es300 Auto Trans Problem

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I have a '92 ES and a peculiar problem occurred that left the car quite disabled. It started when I jumped in after leaving a bank and tried backing out of the parking spot. The car would role a little, but reverse would not fully engage. So I pulled out forward and decided to get straight home. On the way, I noticed that every time I came to a full stop, the car would hesitate to grab gear. About half way, my dumb-*** decides, "hey, I wonder if keeping the car in 2nd or L gear would minimize the problem." After that, it won't grab gear at all. It was a sudden problem that came from nowhere. I managed to get it towed home.

So, I start the car, and put it in gear. I give it throttle little by little, and there is no response until around 3-3.5 grand when the car jumps forward about a foot and stops. The fluid level looks okay and doesn't seem to be the problem. My brother has no clue as he has only built cars with manual transmissions, and I would enjoy any useful information I could get here. Thank you...

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Sounds like a bad torque converter to me, but these usually go bad slowly, first having trouble going up hills w/ some slippage, then eventually not even being able to get it moving w/ out high rpms. Maybe you don't have hills where you live?

However doesn't explain the not getting into reverse. How does the trans fluid smell?

In any event, need major tranny work I bet.


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