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Chevrolet Impala Transmission Problems

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  • My transmission started slipping badly (once again) after a very long bout of stop and go traffic while returning home during July 4th weekend. The slip was evident each time I started moving and between each gear. This was only(?) the second time it had been this bad and I was sure it could not be revived. I was wrong.

    So, the following is worth repeating... and it costs nothing to try.
    -With the car off (works best after the car has been driven and warmed up), keys out, doors closed (so dome light is out) and security not enabled (doors not locked), lift the hood.
    -In the engine compartment, along the passenger side behind the battery, locate the fuse box.
    -Remove the cover, and inside the cover you will see a fuse locator. About one-third of the way down on the right side and directly below the STRTR relay is the (red) 10A TRANS.
    -Removing the 10A TRANS fuse for a minute and then reinsert.
    -Replace the cover, shut the hood, start the car, let it sit for a minute or two. and take it for a drive.
    -Removing/replacing the fuse reset transmission values and, unbelievably, the slip disappears/ diminishes drastically.
    -It may work best on your car as bit differently. May need to do it while tranny is cold, maybe while warm but don't drive again untli cooled down, maybe manually shift through gears with foot on brake while sitting and waiting for car to warm up (before inital test drive only) ... but it will NEVER run worse and ALWAYS runs (shifts) better... and its free.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Sounds like you need a transmission rebuild or new transmission. I wouldn't waste my time putting in a used transmission with 100k miles because it could fail soon after installing it with that high mileage. If the car has been well cared for with regular oil changes, other fluid changes, etc. and has less than 100k miles, then I would go to a reputable transmission shop and get a rebuilt transmission with a warranty. The 3.8 v6 is a durable engine (even with the intake gasket problems) and could go 200k miles without a major overhaul. Good luck.
  • edgar24edgar24 Posts: 1
    Good afternoon Amber N.

    After reading all of the posts I see that my vehicle (2004 Chevy Impala) has the same transmission problem as the others. I bought my vehicle brand new and take very good care of it more the reason why I was surprised that I started having problems with it.

    I have been a loyal GM customer since 2004, I hope you would be able to direct me to someone who may assist me?

    Thanks,

    Edgar
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,003
    Hi Edgar,

    Thank you for making me aware of your transmission problems. I can definitely do more research on your concerns to see what can be done to address the issue you are experiencing. If you could please email me your VIN, exact mileage, contact information, and dealership to socialmedia@gm.com [Attn Amber], we can try to work towards resolving your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,003
    Hi Edgar,

    Thank you for making me aware of your transmission problems. I can definitely do more research on your concerns to see what can be done to address the issue you are experiencing. If you could please email me your VIN, exact mileage, contact information, and dealership to socialmedia@gm.com [Attn Amber], we can try to work towards resolving your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Hi, I know that there is a major problem with this cars tranny. Mine just died like every ones elses. Question, my mechanic will pull my tranny and my boyfriend who builds street race cars will rebuild the tranny, problem he has never worked on American tranny. Where can I find a manual/directions so he can rebuild it. Also, where can I find the required parts list to know what we need to change. I know torque converter and bands but what else do we need to buy?
    I was toying with the idea to by a Camaro, but after this and GM's none assistance with this problem that their tranny's fail I need to rethink buying a Camaro. I might need to answer the call of the Mustang calling me. Any help would be wonderful.
  • You have issues and in order to get the longest life possible the transmission needs to be serviced regularly. The screen replaced every 30K to 40K miles. I got about 135K miles on my original transmission in my 2001 Impala 3.4L. I had a rebuilt transmission installed in Arizona as I had moved to Henderson, NV. That lasted only 38K miles it was a low price rebuild and the weather (really HOT) there is hard on transmissions. I replaced the 2nd transmission with a GM rebuild that had a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. So now I have 221,500 miles. Making sure the associated parts like the torque converter and the electrical solenoids are well maintained. The front wheel drive must have extra hard duty as the wheels are both driven and turning..the tires in the rear last 2X as long as the ones on the front. Each rebuild costs a little under $3 grand. If you started with a good tranny and serviced properly and didn't drive it in Death Valley you could get 200K miles out of it I am certain...
  • I own a 2004 Century and have the same issue but not as severe. The cause may be the transmission input shaft seal. In speaking to a transmission mechanic as well as a general mechanic the seal "flips" out of place and then corrects itself causing a sudden jerk. My experience is not to drive in OD in the city it started after changing out the transmission fluid. The condition happened when the engine was hot (after a highway run or during stop and go traffic). Adding a trans. cooler and a quality trans. fluid additive seem to have helped. It is an expensive repair as the transmission needs to be disconnected from the engine to be repaired, in my case anyway.
  • You explained my problem perfectly. I have taken it back to dealer and they couldn't replicate the problem. It is indeed an unhealthy clunk...Please let me know if you have found answer to issue.
  • I have a 2009 Chevy Impala LT. The tranny had 118K on it when it was rebuilt and it cost me about $2400. That was in April.
    Now, at 129K miles on the car, 11,633 on the rebuilt tranny, it's parked.
    A couple of weeks ago I noticed that while on cruise, on the highway, the tax would jump and I could feel the car's engine rev up a bit. Friday, it did it a lot more than average. Then, while pulling out of a driveway - slowly - after putting it in drive, suddenly I felt (and my family sitting outside HEARD) a very loud POP!! I put it in park, got out to check if I hit anything. Nada. Then I tried to drive. Pushed the gas pedal, nothing. Not even a change on the RPMs. I put it in reverse, then back in drive, it went forward a few feet and then out of nowhere, POP!!!! And boom - unable to drive again. Hubby checked/changed CV joints, which were fine. The tranny is now making a loud winding/grinding noise.
    My concern is - am I going to have to keep investing in this transmission over and over? I mean, could there be something CAUSING the transmission to mess up, if that's what's going on? Like a domino effect? And if not, what could this be? Am I looking at a steep hill to climb here? Anyone know what this could be?
  • Well I guess I am joining the not so exclusive club - the Chevy transmission failure club! Impala turned on us today w/o much notice - surging & then no power. Limped to Chevy dealer in Okomos, MI. w/ diagnostic & complete rehaul/replace/rebuilt for the tune of $4K! We are sitting at 73,000 miles & does not make sense to invest that kind of $$ w/ all the other potential failures I have read about on this forum.
    So it sounds like a class action lawsuit is in order for all of us vs GM . . . . Who's in?? And GM wonders why Obama had to bail them out.
    Miserable in Michigan w/ my Chevy lemon :-(
  • kul85skul85s Posts: 1
    i also have have a 2007 impala ss i purchased the car from a dealer the car was 15000.00 and i offered 10.000.00 cash they said no way 2 months later i get a call from them saying they would accept my money i thought that was strange a few months later i see why ttrans starting acting funny and i am a transmisson tech so it happens to everyone i pulled the tranny and noticed it was just rebuilt by dealer what i come to notice is that first of all vehicle gets way to hot and the exhaust runs right over the trans not smart and noticed 2nd clutch burnt and support housing rings are plastic bad design so i droped the engine temp by 10 degrees heat rapped the exhaust replaced rings and seals in the 4th cluch and pressure boost valve and tourque converter for around 400.00 good luck to all ss owners
  • I have the same problem on my impala. Did replacing the solenoids work?
  • dee222dee222 Posts: 1
    Ask them to check the Throttle Body. I have had the same exact thing happen to me. Good Luck
  • hello, i would like to get some info on what tools i would need to change a gear/shift cable on a 2003 chevy impala. please respond to my email at brobeck76@gmail.com thank you very much--Rob
  • I experienced a similar problem, but was while in overdrive then down shifting to passing gear and back up or down again. It started out sporadically, shifting like it had a shift kit installed. I would pull over and turn the car off for a minute or so. (making sure key was in the off position and not on accessory and dome light and radio quit playing), fire it back up and problem would go away for a day or two. Then it started progressively getting worse and more annoying. Took it to a trans shop and problem was a one of the servos/solenoids. He replaced it and at that problem went away. The repair was done for around $400.00.
  • 2004 impala trans would slip then hard hit starting out. Used a kit to replace some springs and spacer in accumulator in trans, and it fixed the problem.
    Transco SK 4t65 E shift kit.
  • Everyone who has the Pressure Control Solenoid issue, please make sure you don't have too much transmission fluid -- it will cause the transmission to get clunky and give off the Pressure Control Solenoid code (GM even issued a TSB on it). If there is any possibility more fluid was added, suck some out and try driving it. If it still clunks, suck a little more out. There is likely nothing wrong with the solenoid.

    Twice, mechanics have put too much fluid in and it caused clunking. Both times I fixed it by sucking a little out. My original 4T65E 2001 transmission now has 176,000 miles on it and is still going strong.

    I used a car wash vacuum and aquarium tubing to suck some out the first time. Since then, I have purchased an oil extractor pump which I also use to change the transmission fluid. 
  • Everyone who has the Pressure Control Solenoid issue, please make sure you don't have too much transmission fluid -- it will cause the transmission to get clunky and give off the Pressure Control Solenoid code (GM even issued a TSB on it). If there is any possibility more fluid was added, suck some out and try driving it. If it still clunks, suck a little more out. There is likely nothing wrong with the solenoid. DO NOT RELY ON A MECHANIC TO CHECK FLUID LEVEL. THEY HAVE TO WARM IT UP PROPERLY FIRST AND VERY FEW WILL TAKE THE TIME TO DO THAT.

    Twice, mechanics have put too much fluid in and it caused clunking. Both times I fixed it by sucking a little out. My original 4T65E 2001 transmission now has 176,000 miles on it and is still going strong.

    I used a car wash vacuum and aquarium tubing to suck some out the first time. Since then, I have purchased an oil extractor pump which I also use to change the transmission fluid. 
  • Bought this car almost 2.5 years ago and began experiencing some surging in the transmission recently. Took it to the local GM Dealer and had them run test since I was nearing the end of my warranty and wanted it taken care of since i knew there was a transmission issue. As expected no codes popped up so they had a kid drive the thing around couldn't replicate. So instead of addressing the issue they tried to sell me more transmission services (flush, etc.) insisting this was the issue. Turns out according to Service Bulletin 10023432 this problem is well documented. Now three months later I am out of warranty and looking at a $4,000 dollar fix. How convenient for GM and the dealership, right. You would think GM certified techs would look at bulletins but why do it for free when you can tell the customer he is crazy and charged him 4,000 in a few months.
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