Oppopinions solicted: coworker's vehicle woes

Let’s say he drives a Splinkin Travelgator of the above vintage, with the 6-speed ZF 6HP26 automatic transmission. It’s got over 130k miles.

Anyway, the latest problem he has is that, going uphill at a steep grade at residential speeds, the motor will not upshift automatically at all. It will rev all the way to redline, specifically when in 2nd or 3rd gear. It will shift if he uses the console shifter to upshift. As of now, it doesn’t have shifting problems in any other conditions, or freeway speeds, etc.

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He is taking it in for a transmission flush and new filter... It’s a sealed transmission, of course.

I also squeezed out of him that... SOMETIMES... he feels the transmission “clunks” into reverse when cold. “Just a little bit,” he says. Uh oh...

Anyway, I feel he’s a little too optimistic that this transmission service will fix it. I mean to me, if the vehicle isn’t shifting under certain circumstances like this, I typically assume the automatic transmission is starting to go out, and it’s only a matter of time before it starts not shifting properly in other driving conditions.

But what do I know, except how to be cynical.

What do you all think?

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