Top 10 models with transmission problems (1)

Posted by HJL_ADMIN 1 on

Which transmissions have the most problems? What cars have the most transmission problems?


Whether you're buying a new or used vehicle, doing some research can help prevent purchasing a car with major mechanical problems. With the advent of the automotive age, drivers are naturally concerned about the reliability of their cars, because the risk of inconvenience and unexpected expenses rises while the miles rack up.


In some models, these problems occurred with surprising frequency at specific ages and mileage. So, if you're planning to buy a car, avoid these used cars with a specific model year at all costs.

Which transmission has the most problems?


2012-2013 Chevrolet Traverse

Photo: Chevrolet


First, the 2013 Chevrolet traverse suffered from transmission problems that present themselves as shifting delays, shaking, noises, or a burning smell, and these problems occurred at around 110,000 and 135,000 miles.


One of the reasons is the torque converter clutch solenoid gets stuck due to debris in the transmission. As the vehicle is coming to stop, a stuck solenoid will fail to release the torque converter clutch. This affected the engine which connected to the driven wheels and cause the speed to be slowed down.


We suggest that the valve control solenoid should be replaced, and the transmission control module will have to be reprogrammed in order to correct the problem.


2016 Nissan Altima

Photo: Nissan


Another vehicle from Nissan suffering transmission problems is the 2016 Nissan Altima. The vehicle has a defective trend of CVT transmission failure commonly appearing at around the 42,000 to 77,000 miles. According to a writeup of the 2013-2015 Altima transmission problems by,


“Affected Nissan Altima vehicles may exhibit a whining or grinding noise while driving at highway speeds; the noise level may increase with vehicle speed. This condition may be due to a faulty bearing inside the constantly variable transmission, or a faulty CVT itself”.

Because it uses belts and pulleys to drive instead of regular gears. However, these belts and pulleys wear much faster than conventional transmissions.


2011 Nissan Rogue

Photo: Nissan

The 2011 Nissan Rogue also had suffering transmission issues. Drivers reported various issues with transmission including leaks, ramp shifting, slipping transmission gears and overheating which happens around 94,000 miles.


The Nissan service bulletin AT16-013 for the 2011-2013 Rogue describes a problem where the CVT might enter the fail-safe mode which reduced vehicle speed (yes, you know that already, that’s so called Limp Home Mode). Possible solutions include replacing the control valve assembly and or installing the external CVT fluid cooler kit.


2014 Infiniti QX60

Photo: Infiniti Canada

Yes, you didn’t misread.
Even the luxury vehicle, the 2014 Infiniti QX60 is another common vehicle that tends to have major transmission issues that may occur at 92,000 miles to 95,000 miles. Affected vehicles may exhibit a shudder or vibration while in gear. This may be due to a faulty continuous variable automatic transmission, drive chain or valve body inside the transmission.

If you’re looking for a mid-size SUV, you'd better avoid this old model.


2011-2014 Ford Fiesta

Photo: Ford


If you plan to buy a used Ford Fiesta, you may be better avoiding the 2011-2014 model years which had the most complaints.
According to the Ford Fiesta Technical Service Bulletins (TSB), certain 2011-2014 Fiesta’s that are equipped with the Ford DPS6 automatic transmission, may experience excessive transmission clutch shudder during light acceleration or fluid leaks from the clutch housing. This is due to fluid contamination of the clutch, caused by failed input shaft seals.


Depending on the severity of the damage, the clutch can be cleaned and the both input shaft seals replaced. However, the clutch itself may need to be replaced as well.


Transmission problems can lead to a range of issues that can lead to catastrophic failures that make the car undrivable. More reliable options according to Consumer Reports include the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent.

Other Common Transmission Problems You Must Have Heard

0AM/DSG7 transmission

We’ve spent several chapters to discuss the 0AM mechatronic headaches.

The 0AM DQ200 DCT mechatronic unit suffers from various faults which will cause the driver to experience symptoms like harsh or incorrect gear changes, or even a completed loss of driving power, this will cause the EPC light to remain illuminated and the gear symbols will continually flash on the instrument panel.


A faulty DSG mechatronic unit can cause gear damage and shorten the life of the dual clutch pack.

If you’re the owner of VW with this famous transmission computer, the regular maintenance schedule is a must.



42RLE transmission


Drivers may experience 42RLE transmission problems that include loud noises, leaking fluid and harsh shifts. But the most common problem is limp home mode and stuck in 2nd Stage. When the vehicle gets into this situation, your car will be stuck in 2nd gear and unable to gear to higher speeds.
If you notice any of the signs here, you should get to a mechanic as soon as possible.

You can also check out our previous articles about 42RLE transmission for more detailed information or solutions.


Read more:


In conclusion, this article came up with a list of all brands of vehicles expected to have major transmission problems. But that's not all, we will share other cars that more susceptible to transmission damages in the next post.


Remember, it's not the end of the world if you own one of these vehicles we've mentioned on the list, as you may still have time to fix or maintain it as soon as possible before these major problems occur.


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