I have a sports car that recently started acting up when I change gears from Reverse to drive. I have two main issues that surfaced recently:

  1. When changing gears from park to drive, or when engaging the reverse gear, I have to keep my foot firmly planted on the brake pedal for around 5 seconds until I feel the selected gear has engaged, otherwise if I release the brake pedal before the 5 seconds, the car harshly jerks and engages the said gear.

  2. Especially when engaging the drive gear going from stationary motion, the car jerks and engages the gear in a very aggressive manner, even if my foot is heavily put against the brake pedal as mentioned in point 1 above.

What could be the reason to both points above? The car is a 2009 Cadillac XLR V, and this is the first time that this has happened in my 10 years owning the car. Im not sure if it is a computer problem where the computer is taking time to relay the information to change the gears.

FYI - the parts for this car are extremely rare and a headache to find; Im still yet to find a garage here that will accept to work on it.

Any help would be much appreciated; cheers

  • Does the engine idle correctly, maybe at about 800 RPM?
    – HandyHowie
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 13:49
  • Does holding the brake pedal down actually prevent it from shifting in to gear right away, or does it make it so you just can't feel the jerking motion because the brakes are on? Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 16:01
  • Hi Alex, the latter; I hold down the brake firmly to not feel the jerking motion. Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 9:27
  • @SuperSafari After checking that it is properly filled with the correct fluid, then something inside the transmission has probably happened like a sediment clogged passage, a worn valve part, or failing solenoid valve. I think an automatic transmission specialist needs to see it. Not changing the transmission fluid from time to time has consequences. Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 10:57
  • Gm recommends changing the trans axel fluid in the XLR every 30k which is much more often than a regular trans. So it’s most likely low or old fluid.
    – CouchRider
    Commented Mar 2 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


I suggest that you check the transmission fluid level.

Or, get it checked by someone who knows, as adding too much is not good either.

  • Thanks Mike; so such issues are usually related to transmission fluid? not the ECU? Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 13:22
  • @SuperSafari check the fluid, a lot easier and cheaper than getting the ecu checked or replaced. But you can start with the ecu if you wish.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 13:34
  • Also , some chance the ATF fluid has deteriorated and is causing the delayed shifts. So replacing fluid ( and likely a filter) could make an improvement and would cost much less than transmission work. Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 17:58

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