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Got bit by the transmission bug?
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overlordspock
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:54 pm    Post subject:  Got bit by the transmission bug? Reply with quote

Well, it looks like I've finally been bitten by the transmission bug. My wife's '05 LS (with 91k miles) has started intermittently started slamming into 1st gear.

The problem only happens every once in a while, but when it happens, it's VERY noticeable. When accelerating from a stop, it's like the car wasn't in gear or was in too high a gear and the car hesitates for just a moment. Then, there is a definite slam as the car shifts to 1st gear. From there, the car shifts smoothly and I have no other issues with it.

And, the problem being intermittent, there are times the car accelerates normally.

Anyone with any ideas? Has the transmission grenaded? Of course, the car is just about paid off and we are closing on a house tomorrow, so if it is a dead transmission, this couldn't have happened at a worse time.

Anyone know of a good transmission shop in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area?

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billy101
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 10:59 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I drove with my 2001 doing that for a good 5k miles. Sure, it was annoying but a way to get around it for now is to put the car into "1" when starting from a stop and then switching it to D once you get going.

Never figured out what was wrong with it as shortly then after it started shuddering to the point where it wouldn't move anymore.

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00impala123
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

You probably have the P1811 code going on. Which would most likely be the PCS (or the trans is so far along its just done...but more likely the PCS)

If you drop the fluid and its in decent color, you can probably just change out the PCS (or have a shop do it for roughly ~$400) and be good to go. Another trick I learned with my trans doing that, was to accelerate faster. Like make the car shift above 1800 rpms. You have to drive a little more like a jack ass, but itll work lol

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

00impala123 wrote:
You probably have the P1811 code going on. Which would most likely be the PCS (or the trans is so far along its just done...but more likely the PCS)

If you drop the fluid and its in decent color, you can probably just change out the PCS (or have a shop do it for roughly ~$400) and be good to go. Another trick I learned with my trans doing that, was to accelerate faster. Like make the car shift above 1800 rpms. You have to drive a little more like a jack ass, but itll work lol


I know the pan was dropped about two months ago. The fluid was pretty black, I'm told. The drained and re-filled with new fluid. They said at the time there was no evidence of anything else in the bottom of the pan.

I haven't tried accelerating harder. I don't really want to do that on a consistent basis. My wife drive's the car pretty gently and I don't think she'd take being told (just give it more gas). Very Happy

As soon as I figure out a decent transmission shop around the Twin Cities area, I'll take it there to have it looked at.

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00impala123
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Yeah, if the fluid is black, you're probably in need of a rebuild not just the PCS replaced.

Haha yeah you don't have to accelerate really hard, just enough to make it shift from 1-2 over 1600 or 1700 rpms...that worked for a long time for me, without fixing the PCS, but I also didn't have money to rebuild..rebuild is obviously the better solution lol

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

wifeys '03 has been doing that on and off for 2 years now. Last week I had it in for an emissions test and the mech scanned it and it had the p1811 code ( I could never pick that up with my scanner ). Took it to the driveline shop around the corner from work ( they only do transmissions axles ) $290 later its had a fluid swap and the shift kit below installed. Been working great since. Its a well know problem with these trans. The shift kit is a band-aid but may help limp it along a little further before the trans grenades

http://www.tripleedgeperforman.....P1811.html
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billy101
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:14 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

With 91k miles, it's hard to think that it's toast. I would try replacing the solenoids & installing a shift kit and see how it does.
Maybe start thinking of an external cooler to add onto the factory cooler in the radiator. I know I sound like a broken record but I can now see why these transmissions are weak, and it's usually because of heat. The external cooler on my 02 keeps my transmission under 170*F even lately when we have been 90+ degrees, with the air conditioning on. It runs great and I don't think I'll have any issues with the transmission for a long time to come.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

billy101 wrote:
With 91k miles, it's hard to think that it's toast. I would try replacing the solenoids & installing a shift kit and see how it does.
Maybe start thinking of an external cooler to add onto the factory cooler in the radiator. I know I sound like a broken record but I can now see why these transmissions are weak, and it's usually because of heat. The external cooler on my 02 keeps my transmission under 170*F even lately when we have been 90+ degrees, with the air conditioning on. It runs great and I don't think I'll have any issues with the transmission for a long time to come.


I would have argued the same point, but he said the trans fluid was black. If it was a little burnt, Id def try saving it, but when its that bad, who know you may throw 500 into it in solenoids, shift kit, and labor, and have it crap out in another 4 months. If you have the money to rebuild, its better to rebuild and do a shift kit in the new trans rather than try the band aid.

also, there's been a few people who have had it crap out in 60k to 70k miles and have to get a trans replaced, so getting close to 100k wouldn't surprise me too much

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:40 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

00impala123 wrote:
...he said the trans fluid was black. If it was a little burnt, Id def try saving it, but when its that bad, who know you may throw 500 into it in solenoids, shift kit, and labor, and have it crap out in another 4 months. If you have the money to rebuild, its better to rebuild and do a shift kit in the new trans rather than try the band aid.

also, there's been a few people who have had it crap out in 60k to 70k miles and have to get a trans replaced, so getting close to 100k wouldn't surprise me too much


I may have the money for a rebuild. Closing on the house didn't cost me as much as expected, so I may go that route. I want to hold onto the car for a good while, so I want to make sure the tranny lasts as long as possible.

Once I get through a few other things over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to try a local transmission shop and see what they say. Just need to research some local shops to see if I can find one that I don't think I'll get ripped off at.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:14 am    Post subject:   Reply with quote

I changed my fluid for the first time in my 2001 at 100k. It was absolutely disgusting, but nothing abnormal in the transmission pan. I installed the shift kit and closed it up. I wasn't having any problems at all, but I wanted to firm it up a bit. Lasted 22k miles until I got into the wreck with it and we had to replace the radiator because the OEM one cracked. Which if you're familiar with my swap to the 2002, you'd know that my replacement radiator (transmission cooler in the radiator) killed 3 transmissions due to overheating the fluid and destroying the trans. If I hadn't gotten in the accident & didn't have to replace the radiator, I would probably still be driving the 2001 on the original transmission.

If you feel confident on dropping the driver side subframe & replacing the solenoids yourself you could save yourself the labor and possibly buy a bit of time on that current transmission. But if you do have the money for a rebuilt, I would certainly go that route as you know it wouldn't act up for anytime soon.

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:39 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Mines going to a local transmission shop on Monday. Sonnax sure-cure kit in the valve body up to a full rebuild if necessary.

Yea me. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:17 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Clean your MAF and new air filter or clean it you have a K&N...I have a K&N on mine and I found that mine only does it when its really dirty and the maf is all full of oil from it..my 3.4 still has the stock air box so it just gets all black where the hose is closest to it, so i just flip it so the cleaner part is in that location..Always works for me..
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Sounds like your 1-2 accum could be hanging up. If you can do the work yourself when the pan is dropped pull the 1&2 accumulators down and run a scotchbrite thru the accumulator bores. The only problem that I have had is finding just the accumulator gasket.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Well, the tranny had to be rebuilt. The slamming into 1st symptoms got much worse over the last few months to the point where it was happening about half the time the car accelerated from a stop. My wife got to the point she told me she wasn't going to drive the car anymore.

Took it to a shop recommended to me by some guys I work with and (of course, it wouldn't do the slamming thing when I went on the test drive with him—twice). He said there were no codes recorded for the transmission either, which he found odd. However, the third time I went on a test drive with him, it did slam into first a few times.

He did said it might be the PCS, but wanted to look into it further. When he opened it up though, he let me know that it could use a rebuild. He said just replacing the PCS might help delay the inevitable, but the tranny was on its way to being toast. I decided to do the full rebuild as I'd like to hold onto the car for a good while. He says he's worked on many of this transmissions before and rebuilds them with better parts than what they came with stock to help deal with some of the weaknesses inherent in these transmissions. Comes with a three year, 36,000 mile warranty as well.

Just got the car back today and it is actually impressive how differently it shifts. Pretty firm, but not jerky. I did have him install a shift kit along with the full rebuild and he put on a new trans cooler.

I thought about a TEP transmission, but when I asked a few shops what they would charge to install, many said they wouldn't install an tranny they didn't provide for liability purposes (whatever... Sad ) and a few others said they would, but installation charges plus the costs from TEP would have been more than having this guy simply rebuild (that being said, if/when the tranny goes on my SS, it will be TEP all the way).

We'll see how it goes now. Hopefully I don't have to worry about this transmission again and my wife is initially very happy to have her car back and not have to worry about it slamming into first gear anymore—and that's worth a lot to me anyway. Big Thumbs Up

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2014 Impala 2LT - Black, No Mods
2008 Silverado LTZ Z71 - Black, Extended Cab, Spray-on Bedliner
2008 Impala SS - Precision Red, Magnaflow, Cold Air Inductions CAI, Overkill Tune, Front/Rear STBs w/ Don Rome Brackets — SOLD
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote

Good luck to you. I hope you have better luck with rebuilt transmissions than I do!

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2002 Impala LS 3.8 -121,749 miles 11/13/2011
2001 Impala LS 3.8 - 118,510 miles. 9/2/2011. RIP - 11/12/2011
2010 Malibu LTZ 3.6 - 16,014miles. 8/20/2011.
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