Motor/Trans mount causing hard 1st gear shift?


New member
2001 Pontiac Bonneville SE 139,000 miles

Can a bad motor or transmission mount cause a hard 1st gear shift?

Hard shift only occurs at 15-20mph. All other gears shift perfectly. No service lights on and the transmission fluid level appears to be full and clean.

I am fairly confident I do have a motor or transmission bad, perhaps more than one. The car is column shift. Pulling the shifter out of park and into any gear even on the flattest surface causes a unsettling clunk. When the car is started up there even seems to me anyway a unusual rocking from the engine turning over. I had this matter checked when I had a muffler put on the car back in August. They claimed the mounts were fine, though they did not visually inspect them. Both my folks have Chevy Impalas 05 and 06 (though I realize these are different cars than mine) with column shift and neither of those shift hard out of park or any other gears.

I do not have much service history on my car. Which is saddening. What I do know is the last owners have owned the car since early 2002. They purchased it with 20,000 miles from the original elderly couple who purchased it new. I bought it with 138,000 miles in late July 2017 and it now has just over 139,000. So yes, over the years and even now it does not get driven much. For my job I am often behind the wheel of other vehicles so this one does not get much use. The couple that had it before me were in their late 60s. I find hard it hard to believe the car would have any transmission failure unless it be a sensor some sort. The car had new metal lower and upper intake gaskets, new plenum and metal coolant elbows installed at 113,000. Which was one the major reasons I purchased the car given my past experience with GM V6's. The other reason being the car looks like it has been well taken care of for going on 17 years old.



Staff member
with the engine running fully warmed up and the hood open do you observe a large amount of movement of the engine as you shift from reverse to drive and back to reverse?
what is the idle speed in park once the engine is fully warmed up?
the hard shift a 15 to 20 could be a sticking solenoid.
if you do not know the last time the transmission was serviced, have the fluid and filter changed but do NOT flush the transmission.