Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting Issues

Automatic transmission high rpm before shifting is an issue you may come across as a driver. The issue will arise from factors such as transmission timing issues, a failing speed sensor, or a leaking transmission.

Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting

Even though it seems scary, you can address this issue with your car’s automatic transmission. In this post, you will learn the causes and solutions to an automatic transmission’s high RPM before shifting.

What Causes Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting?

The cause of automatic transmission’s high rpm before shifting is transmission fluid issues. For instance, if the transmission fluid is low, it will interfere with the functioning of the transmission. As a result, the transmission will struggle to engage the clutches and bands when shifting gears.

In addition, transmission fluid apart from facilitating the shifting of gears also lubricates various transmission components. Therefore, insufficient fluid can result in inadequate lubrication, which increases friction and heat. Eventually, this negatively affects the transmission with effects such as delays when shifting. The delay will keep the RPMs higher than normal just before the vehicle shifts gears.

Also, if the transmission fluid gets contaminated with debris, it hinders its ability to provide adequate hydraulic pressure. As a result, it can result in inconsistent or delayed shifting that causes high RPMs before shifting.

If your transmission shifts at 3000 rpm, this is within the normal range. Are you wondering – at what rpm should an automatic transmission shift gears? The answer is between 2000 to 3500 rpm.

Transmission Wear and Tear Contributes to Rev-Happy Shifting

Another explanation for the elevated RPMs in your automatic vehicle before shifting is wear and tear in the transmission. Sometimes, when you use automatic transmission for a long time, it experiences wear and tear. In other words, some parts of the transmission wear out. Once this happens, it can result in absurd RPMs before shifting. This could be the reason you are noticing 4l60e revs high before shifting.

For instance, the clutch in the transmission just like in manual transmission can wear out over time. With time, this makes it less effective resulting in issues such as delays when changing gears. It is this delay that results in engine RPMs remaining high before the transmission changes gears. Therefore, if you notice transmission shifting at high rpm, wear and tear of transmission components could be the culprit.

As well, gears in the transmission that transfer power from the engine to the wheel can wear out over time. As a result, the gears will not mesh as smoothly as they should. This will ultimately make the transmission struggle when changing gears resulting in the elevated RPMs as gears struggle to engage properly.

Also, weak springs in the transmission are unable to push the parts together with adequate force. This causes delays when shifting evidenced by the elevated RPMs before shifting. In severe cases, worn clutch plates or bands result in high rpm not shifting.

Malfunctioning Sensors and Solenoids Can Delay Gear Shifts

Automatic transmissions come with sensors and solenoids that when they malfunction can cause elevated RPMs before shifting. These components include throttle position, fluid pressure, and speed sensors. Once these components malfunction, they can provide the transmission control module (TCM) with inaccurate information.

Causes of Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting

Therefore, the TCM may fail to initiate the shift at the correct RPM, which explains the high revs you see before shifting. If your RPMs stay high when shifting, the problem could be the TCM.

Besides, if the solenoids that control the flow of the transmission fluid malfunction, they can cause this issue. When this happens the solenoids may be unable to direct the fluid pressure to engage specific gears and clutches. As a result, the transmission may hold elevated RPMs before shifting.

Also, transmission problems may arise from miscommunication from sensors that cause the TCM to delay shifts as it figures out the appropriate gear to engage. This issue stems from malfunctioning sensors. The erratic behavior of these components contributes to the elevated RPMs before shifting. In some cases, faulty solenoids result in delayed shifting when accelerating.

Idle Control Valve Woes Send Rpms Soaring Before Shifting

Another potential reason why you are seeing elevated RPMs before the automatic transmission in your car shifts is a faulty idle control valve. This valve controls how fast the engine runs when the vehicle is stationary or the transmission is in neutral. When it malfunctions, it may keep the engine running at high speed even when not actively accelerating or moving.

Car Idle Control Valve

Also, when the idle control is malfunctioning it can cause your transmission to take longer before shifting gears. This delay in automatic transmissions causes your car to hesitate before shifting gears resulting in elevated RPMs.

As well, if the idle control valve sends incorrect signals, it can confuse the ECU. This can result in delays when shifting and the higher RPMs as the transmission struggles to synchronize with the engine speed.

In addition, when the idle control valve malfunctions it can interfere with the balance between engine power and transmission. This can make the transmission maintain higher RPMs before changing gears.

Transmission Timing Troubles Leave Your Rpm Revved

If your car’s transmission timing is off, it can cause elevated RPMs before changing gears. When the timing is off, it can cause the transmission to hesitate when changing to the next gear. This delay can cause the RPMs to remain high before shifting gears.

Also, transmission timing issues can make it harder to change gears. As a result, you may witness elevated RPMs as the gears struggle to connect. In addition, when the transmission timing is off, it can make gears slip.

When this happens, you will have an inefficient transfer of your car’s engine power. As a result, it causes elevated RPMs you notice before the transmission finally shifts gears. This could be the reason you are experiencing automatic transmission high rpm low speed.

As well, since automatic transmissions rely on timing to shift gears, when the timing is incorrect it can confuse the transmission. This leaves it unsure of when to shift which can cause the transmission to hesitate before shifting. As a result, it can result in elevated RPMs.

What Fixes Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting?

The fixes for automatic transmission high RPM before shifting involve carrying out transmission repairs. To carry out these repairs, you will need a qualified mechanic to examine the transmission for the root cause of elevated RPMs. In most cases, repairing the transmission requires you to replace worn or damaged components.

This includes carrying out repairs on faulty components such as gears, seals, bands, or clutches causing this issue. Replacing the worn components allows the transmission to function properly making it possible to change gears smoothly.

As well, repairs include flushing old gear oil and replacing it with new transmission fluid. Doing this provides lubrication and decreases the strain on the engine. As a result, it prevents elevated RPMs. As well, you may have to repair the valve body to restore its proper function and eliminate the RPM issue.

Rebuilding or Replacing the Transmission Tames Elevated Rpms

Another way you can restore normal rpm is by rebuilding or replacing the transmission. For instance, when you rebuild the transmission you address the underlying issues making it work efficiently. This allows it to transfer power from the engine to the wheels smoothly. It results in proper gear shifts eliminating the elevated RPMs you witness before your automatic transmission changes gears.


If the transmission has significant damage, replacing it entirely is the best solution. With a new transmission, you get a new unit without wear and tear damage. This is going to eliminate existing issues ensuring the transmission works optimally without the elevated RPMs.

Refilling Transmission Fluid Tackles Elevated RPM Challenge

If a low level of transmission fluid is causing this issue, refilling it can help solve the issue of elevated RPMs before shifting. When you refill the fluid, you make sure the transmission has the necessary lubrication. As a result, you decrease the friction between moving parts, which allows smooth gear shifts eliminating the elevated RPM problem.

Fixing Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting

As well, refilling with fresh fluid helps improve the cooling capabilities. This hinders overheating making the transmission function as it should without the elevated RPMs. Also, refilling restores the proper hydraulic pressure which facilitates smooth shifts, which eliminates this issue.

Replace Worn Speed Sensor To Fight Against Elevated Rpm

Replacing a faulty speed sensor is another way of addressing elevated RPMs before shifting in your vehicle. Doing this allows the sensor to accurately measure the rotational speed of the shafts to provide correct information to the transmission control unit.

With the new speed sensor, the transmission can accurately determine when to change gears depending on the actual speed of the vehicle. Also, installing a new speed sensor lets the transmission shift gears properly. A properly functioning speed sensor allows the transmission to choose the right gear at the right time, eliminating the elevated RPMs before shifting.

Replace Flawed Throttle Position Sensor To Solve RPM Dilemma

Another solution to the elevated RPMs when shifting in your automatic car requires you to replace a flawed throttle position sensor. To replace this sensor, you will have to get a qualified mechanic to do it for you.

By replacing the flawed sensor, you restore the ECU’s ability to make the right adjustments for fuel delivery. Replacing a bad throttle position sensor restores signal accuracy and prevents elevated RPMs before shifting.

Take Car to a Professional Mechanic To Solve RPM Woes

Arguably, taking your car to a professional mechanic is one of the best solutions to this problem. The mechanic has the skills to diagnose complex issues causing elevated RPMs before shifting in your automatic vehicle. Once the mechanic finds the cause of this issue, they can perform the necessary repair.

A professional mechanic has access to special tools that make it possible to carry out the necessary repairs correctly. Also, the professional knows where to source genuine parts to install and solve this issue. In addition, taking your car to a professional lets you avoid costly mistakes that can potentially worsen the problem with your transmission if you try to DIY.

Automatic Transmission High RPM Before Shifting Details

Can the P0017 Error in a Chevy Traverse Cause High RPM Before Shifting Issues?

The P0017 error in a Chevy Traverse can indeed cause high RPM before shifting issues. This error indicates a problem with the camshaft position sensor or its circuit, which can disrupt the timing of the engine. To resolve this issue, you should have the sensor inspected and replaced if necessary. Seeking professional help is recommended for chevy traverse error causes and solutions.

What Could Cause High RPM Before Shifting in an Automatic Transmission?

High RPM before shifting in an automatic transmission can be attributed to several factors including cylinder 2 misfire causes and fixes. A misfire can occur due to issues like a faulty ignition coil or spark plug, resulting in an uneven power delivery. Fixing this problem involves diagnosing and resolving the root cause to ensure smooth gear shifting and optimal performance of the transmission system.


Experiencing high RPMs before shifting your automatic transmission can be a frustrating and concerning issue. In this post, you learned the underlying causes and solutions.

Here is a quick recap:

  • Causes of high RPM in automatic transmission before shifting are malfunctioning sensors and solenoids, idle control valve issues, or transmission wear and tear.
  • Other causes are transmission timing problems, leaking transmission, or a faulty speed sensor.
  • The top solutions are repairing or replacing the transmission, or refilling the transmission fluid.
  • Others are replacing a flawed throttle position sensor, or seeking professional help from a qualified mechanic.

With this knowledge, you are now in a better position to address this issue whenever it arises.

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