Delayed Shifting When Accelerating: 6 Best Ways To Cure It!

Have you ever experienced the problem of delayed shifting when accelerating? How frustrating! But it’s not simple like that. Not only does this make driving uncomfortable, but it can also cause serious accidents. What causes delayed shifting in your car and how to cure this situation. 

Delayed Shifting: How does it happen?

You start your engine, shift, and you turn it off… or not. Instead of accelerating, your vehicle will pause before actually changing to steering. This delay is called Delayed Shifting and it commonly happens in automatic transmissions that use electronic and hydraulic pressure to shift. It’s a form of the slip where the clutch, used to make the car move, becomes sluggish and unresponsive. When you hit the accelerator, the car won’t accelerate but RPMs go up and your speed doesn’t increase, it will say that the transmission is going into gears but not there. 

Delayed shifting is described as the time delay that happens from when you change gears until having the response from the transmission. The lag can last a few seconds or up to a minute. This problem makes you become anxious and believe that there is a component or some problems that could get worse. Of course, you may be wondering why the delayed shifting happened? We’re here to help you:

car not shifting gears when accelerating
Car not shifting gears when accelerating. You wonder: What are the reasons? Let’s find out! (Photo:

Why has your car delayed shifting when accelerating?

Overfilling transmission fluid

Gear oils are different from engine oils because they do not burn, they play an important role in helping the gearbox run smoothly, reduce friction, prevent wear, and increase the efficiency of the mechanical transmission, as well as support smooth shifting. 

Overfilling fluid can lead to transmission problems. When the transmission fluid is too high, it causes the fluid pressure to change, creating cavitation bubbles. Symptoms of transmission cavitation are erratic shifting internal transmission damage and oil starvation. Many drivers will think that overfilling fluid for the transmission will help it operate smoothly but the fact is not like that it will cause hard shifting and make the fluid lose its lubricating properties. It can also lead to the entire system crashing and not working.

Low transmission oil

Too much oil is not good so how about the low transmission fluid? Of course, it will not be an ideal situation. Once that happens, the torque converter that creates the pressure doesn’t work smoothly. There is no more hydraulic pressure on the solenoid, the result will be the gears not shifting in the car even when accelerating. One of the most common signs with the low transmission fluid is your transmission will make a whining noise and all gears including the park and neutral. Other signs can be slipping when you push the throttle down or when you’re having a steady RPM, your transmission shifts up and down erratically. 

If you find that there is an oil spill or drip under the car, check the transmission to see if there is a problem with the hole. Usually, the oil leak in the gearbox is due to aging rubber seals, buckling seals due to contact, or strong collisions that open the gaskets.

Dirty fluid

The oil transmission can be contaminated with metal flakes. It will be a big problem: the internal of the transmission wears prematurely. If the transmission fluid has a burnt smell to it or stark black, your gearbox will not respond when you push the accelerator. It happened because the transmission hydraulic system can’t build up enough pressure to shift the gear.

Faulty control module

Having a bad transmission control module (or you can call TCM) is like having faulty communication between your brain and the movements of your body. If the brain doesn’t tell the body to do certain things, the body won’t react or it will do things the wrong way. The same goes for the transmission control module. For example, a malfunctioning speed sensor can distort the shift time calculation due to the information that the vehicle speed is lower or higher than the actual speed.

The transmission control module receives input from various sensors such as the vehicle speed sensor and engine sensors to help determine the vehicle speed. Once the speed is determined, the transmission control module will send the signal to the shift solenoids to shift gears. When the shift solenoids are falling, it will cause slipping, delayed shifting, and no response.

>> Related post: What Causes the Hard Shifting Automatic Transmission Problem?

6 Best Ways To Help You Escape From Delayed Engagement

Delayed engagement when accelerating or reversing can be a serious problem If you do not take timely action because as we know, a car’s transmission is a very important part of the entire vehicle’s operating system. If you find any abnormality in the transmission like hard shifting, spend a little time learning about the methods to fix this problem:

Check the transmission fluid

Your transmission fluid is the first problem you should monitor when you notice delayed shifting. This oil will show you the indicators of your transmission like color, level, and smell. You’re able to check the transmission liquid with the dipstick, it will tell you the condition of your fluid whether it’s too high or low so you will know what to do in the next step.

Some other automatic transmissions do not have the dipstick, they have a fill hole, you will pump the transmission until it begins to pour out the fill hole in case your gearbox has the low liquid. Use oil of clear origin, guaranteed quality, and suitable for your vehicle. Besides, it is necessary to suck up the old fluid and clean the gearbox before replacing the new oil.

Change the transmission oil periodically according to the maintenance time or according to the number of kilometers of the vehicle. Normally, you should change the liquid every 50,000Km for conventional automatic transmissions. However, for vehicles with CVT continuously variable transmission, you should change the oil for the first time at 40,000 Km and then periodically change it every 25,000km.

Bands and clutches

delayed shifting automatic transmission problems
Your clutches should be replaced when delayed shifting automatic transmission problems (Photo:

Transmission bands are metal straps containing friction material that is used to tighten around the gear train. When the transmission shifts gears, it will perform a different action. When your car has a band issue, you will notice the delayed shifting when you push the pedal. Over time, the band easily becomes worn out or broken. Obviously, in this situation, adjusting or replacing the band is a necessary thing to help you avoid further damage being done to the car transmission.

Whether your vehicle has a manual or automatic transmission, the clutch also plays a crucial role in your transmission. The clutch is a part of the car engine, responsible for transmitting or disconnecting the torque from the engine to the transmission. This is one of the factors affecting the fast and smooth acceleration of a car. Like a “bridge” to transmit torque between the engine and the gearbox, the car clutch can be closed or opened, helping the car move forward, backward, or stop under the driver’s control. 

When the clutches are old or worn out, they no longer can hold friction. In your car, the clutch acts as a brake pad – use the friction to grip the flywheels of your engine. If the friction material or the ball bearing (the piece of metal that moves the clutch when you hit on the pedal) is broken, you will not be able to fully engage the clutch and the gears. And your clutches should be replaced to make sure the transmission operates smoothly.

Don’t ignore the solenoid

The transmission solenoid’s job is to direct the hydraulic fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. Common signs of the bad solenoid are erratic shifting and the car not shifting gears when accelerating. When you meet this problem, you certainly think to call the mechanic but we recommend you check the trouble codes to understand exactly what’s exactly faulty of your transmission? After that, you can check the shift solenoid for loose connection and also check the damaged wire. The solenoid can be mounted externally or internally on the transmission. 

According to the expert, the solenoids issue can be easily fixed by replacing the transmission fluid or completely flushing it. Whether you decide to change the solenoid fluid or flush it, it’s always worth it and does not cost too much.

automatic late shifting
Having a bad solenoid can cause erratic shifting and automatic late shifting (Photo:

Check the transmission filter

A filter is a device that helps you remove impurities from the fluid in an automatic transmission. Having the features like other types of filters, the transmission filter will eventually become clogged with dirt, metal debris, and other factors if it is never replaced. When this component is disabled. It can no longer pull the required transmission fluid consistently through the oil pump to keep the solenoids working properly. And it’s also the reason that the transmission fluid is contaminated. 

To prevent filter problems, you should keep your car in a good condition, which means you can clean and check the vehicle frequently. Don’t overload your vehicle because it can cause the transmission filter to be clogged. Replacing the filter regularly is the way to cure your filter to avoid the debris or any dirt that can pervade the fluid and don’t have a chance to cause a problem.

>> Read more: When to Change Transmission Filter of Your Vehicle?

 Avoid Revving The Engine

We are sure that many drivers revived at least once or more in their lives. Revving is the action when you step on the pedal while your car is still parked. It will force your engine to operate in the same way as if you are driving your car. The engine RPM will increase as you hit the gas pedal. And you will hear the roar from your engine until you take your foot off the accelerator.

Rev engine is not a great action you should do if you don’t really have to because it can damage your clutch. When RPM rises too suddenly in a short time, it sometimes leads to too much tension and heat. This can make your clutch wear out. And delayed shifting is an inevitable thing that will happen when the clutch fails.

Protect the transmission pump

The function of the oil pump is to provide lubrication to the transmission components. And it also pumps the fluid to the valve where the valve body controls the clutch and band. When the transmission pump fails, it will cause a series of transmission issues. Some of the common symptoms of the failing transmission are whining noise, hard shift when accelerating…One of the methods you can do to protect the oil pump is to keep the transmission fluid topped off and clean. Besides, you shouldn’t tow the heavier load for your car because it will put stress on the system.


We cannot deny the important role of the transmission in your car. It is responsible for transmitting torque from the engine to the wheels and also acts as a reducer. During use, the driver must sometimes encounter a phenomenon that is delayed shifting when accelerating or shifting gears is not smooth. And it is certainly not a good experience. Hopefully, the reasons and how to check and fix them in this article will help you gain some useful knowledge about the phenomenon of delayed shifting!