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Taking Long To Get In Gear On Cold Start


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Hey, I have a 1996 Lexus Es300. Every morning when I get in my car, I have to wait for the rev to drop to 1000 rpm or lower before the car goes in gear. I usually have to sit and wait a few minutes before it finally goes in gear. But once it goes in gear it shift smooth with no issues whatsoever. Would a sensor cause this? or do i have serious transmission problems?


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The first thing that comes to mind is to ask whether you checked to see if your automatic transmission fluid level is at the proper level. If not, using the correct fluid, get it corrected and see if the tranny starts to behave as it should.

If the fluid level is correct, you need to have a service tech check it out before it stops working altogether. Good luck!

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I agree, check the level. If this is correct and problem still occurs, suggest changing the transmission fluid (cold "old" atf thicker than cold "new"). If this doesn't work, consider swapping in a new coolant temp sensor (about $20, 5 minutes).

After these, other solutions prolly become more difficult/expensive.


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  • 1 year later...

I have this same problem. I was told that it "sounds" like my transmission seals are leaking. And it needs to be warm to expand in order to go into gear. I can drive off in first gear but it wont go into second unless im completely warmed up. Could this also be the problem?

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