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I have encounted a pretty serious problem with my 05 Forenza. Today I was driving and the tranny basically completly went and got stuck in 5th gear (even though it's an automatic transmission.) I tried to manual shift it down to first but no joy. Shortly after I noticed the gears not changing at all, the check engine light came on. So I checked some things out, fluids etc etc, and about an hour later I tried to start my car again and see if it'll run through the gears or not, and it did, but the check engine light is still on. This makes me think that it's probably the fluid, and it just settled for that hour and it's probably going to happen again if I go drive long distance. Sooo, please help me out!! Thank you in advance!!

-PhiL
 

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I've never heard of an auto getting stuck in 5th when it only has 4 gears. Get it to the dealer for a warranty check and let them fix it. with a problem like that i'm pretty sure they're gonna keep it so make them get you a rental.
 

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What you experienced is the "Limp Home" mode of the transmission. When something wrong is detected by the computer, it will default to remove the faulty gear. But if it can't shift properly, it has no other choices than locking into 4th gear to let you get somewhere safe.

Sometimes, like you experienced, with a cooldown, things get to work ok at the next start. Beware that it will surely comeback later.

Take the time to get you car computer scanned promptly for that check engine light. That might be just a sensor going bad.
 

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I thought most auto trannies defaulted to second or third gear, not fourth. Fourth gear is a terrible idea because you can't really do anything with it but cruise at freeway speeds. Are you sure it's getting stuck in max gear, or could it be third...?

When an auto gets stuck in the max gear, it could be the torque converter clutch getting stuck. The check engine light comes on because this is acknowledged as a problem effecting emissions. While this problem is occuring, have you had any problems with the car stalling or lugging at low speeds or at a stop?
 
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