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automatic car seems to take ages to change gear, and car feels 'dead'...?

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joko | 22:11 Thu 04th Mar 2010 | Motoring
8 Answers
my automatic car (VW passat estate, diesel) seems to feel like it takes ages to change gear, and car feels 'dead', like its cut out for a second or two while it does this.. its particluarly noticeable at lower speeds.
any idea why this is an what i can do about it??
it feels very unnerving sometimes when i've 'timed' my manouvre only to find the cars not moving properly.

the car was previously owned by a mechanics brother so i think it is mostly in good condition

thanks

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Sounds like it could be your rear end but i dont like to think so its not like a transmition slip.or what.
Sounds like the mechanic and/or his brother knew when to get rid of it.
Check the gearbox oil. Make sure its clean and there's enough of it. Drive is usually transmitted through a fluid torque converter, this is what negates the need for a manual clutch. If there's not enough oil check for signs of leakage. If there are then you need to have the seals, or whatever is leaking, replaced and start again. If not then top up the oil and monitor the situation.
Might be a selector fault. Sometimes the selector cable can stretch or be mis-adjusted. However, this normally results in general gear selection problems and some starting problems.
Could also be a sensor fault so a diagnostic check is usually helpful.
Thinking about the simple things first...it almost sounds like fuel starvation..!
-- answer removed --
As alavahalf says, check the simple things first.
Sounds like it could be choking to me. Check/remove the air filter and see if this improves things.
Also, kick-down may need adjustment.
Question Author
thanks all

could you tell me where id find the gearbox oil?...is it the same as the normal oil check?
there are no starting up problems at all - the car feels great in every other way.
is the selector fault and the diagnostic check somehting i can check...or a garage job?

do you mean fuel starvation as in not enough in the tank? if so, no thats not a problem...i have monitored when this happens and its definiately when the gauge is on the right speed mark and its changing gear

well basically my old car never felt like this ...an that was a bit of a banger (though it did have strangely good pick up)
and by dead i mean...it feels as if ive just turned the key off...but only for a split second...it loses power

can i sort the kick down and air filter myself?
i am quite 'handy' and happy to give it a go - i think its time to buy a hayne manual...
By fuel starvation ... I mean the fuel is struggling to get past the filter...even if your tank is full... a blocked fuel filter will starve the pump of fuel. While the engine is revving you may not notice any problem. But as soon as the revs drop, it would then be noticeable...(like when you change gear).
As Graham said...remove your air filter and make sure it's not grunged up.Run the car with the air filter removed to check if there's an improvement ... Then try your fuel filter.
Good luck.
Question Author
thanks all i'll work through your suggestions

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