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2004 Nissan Altima Base 4dr Sedan 2.5 Manual

2004 Nissan Altima
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Compact
23 mpg city / 30 mpg hwy
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September 2, 2012, 6:16 am

Paul G

Question: What is the likely repair to correct the hard shift from 1st to 2nd gear?

When the engine(2.5L 4 cyl) is cold the automatic transmission hard shifts(grabs) into 2nd gear. Once the transmission is at running temperature(10 min. approx.) the problem goes away. This started several years ago but was limited to the cold winter months. It now does it all year around. It was suggested that it could be an actuator . I am mechanically inclined and want to consider whether this is a straight forward fix that perhaps I can handle. If not then the information may be useful in keeping costs down by helping a mechanic to more quickly/accurately draw down on the remedy.

September 7, 2012, 5:11 pm

Ron W
Expert Mechanic

Lots of things can cause abnormal shifting. You'll have to have a transmission shop diagnose whether it's in the transmission itself, or if the transmission is reacting to a sensor giving it poor data.

Since it is temp related, it could be an actuator in the valvebody, but you should really have a shop look at it before spending any money on parts.

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September 8, 2012, 4:41 am

Paul G

Ron, thank you for your response. In having done some further research on the internet, this problem appears to be a common one to many 2003/4 Altimas. This being the case, it would stand to reason that a mechanic familiar with this car would also be familiar with this problem and the appropriate solution? Does DriverSide have a Nissan Mechanic that could specifically respond to the initial question based on actual exposure to this known problem?

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