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Pontiac Grand Prix Transmission Problems



  • Just to let everyone know, I bought a 97 SE 3800 with a transmission going out. I put some Lucas transmission lube in it and got about 6mos of use out of it. I finally replaced the transmission in March. Fortunetaly, I am skilled enough I did this myself and it only cost me the $250 for the Tranny and about 12 hours pulling and 12 hours installing of my time on my back (which sucks when you don't have a lift). Right now my A/C, Heater blower motor quit working actually it only worked from settings 3 to 5, and now finally quit. I am going to replace the resistor pack and hopefully that fixes it. If anyone has any how to questions on replacing a tranny feel free to ask. Thanks,
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020

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  • Hey Justin, I don't know if you saw my posts on my Grand Prix GT 01 but I'm concerned with the shifts hard only sometimes. I can go a few days without it happening but once it starts it won't stop until the car has been shut off for a few hours. I just flushed the tranny myself and it seems to shift smoother, but it still does it every now and then...any suggestions as to the problem??? Thank you,
  • my 02 is doing the same thing, it just started. have you found anything out on what was wrong? i have not dtc's.

  • I've got a 2000 Grand Prix GT with 164K miles. I've got the whining when accelerating and turning at low speeds (power steering fluid???); I've got the tach floating when accelerating at the mid speeds (catalytic converter???); I've got the transmission slips every once in a while where it slams into gear (????).....where do I start?
  • No, I have not fixed it yet. Now that it is colder (and traffic is worse with few opportunities to accelerate) it does not seem to be as bad. I will post it here if I get it fixed.
  • kaciekacie Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Grand Prix SE and when I get in the car in the morning when the engine is cold the transmission slips like I am on a piece of ice. After the car is warmed up there is no problems. What is wrong with my car? I just bought it a month ago and the day after I bought it this started Please Help me.
  • Ok. Add my car to the list of "problem children".

    In reference to messages #43, 44, and 47, I am also having the surging/jerking with the tachometer jumping. It can be induced at any speed, but it especially happens when going up a long hill. If you are holding a consistent speed and then try to accelerate a little bit, the car begins to jerk and the needle does the same. My 1999 Grand Prix GT has a little over 60,000 miles on it and I am the original owner. I have had it do it between 25-30, 35-40, 45-50, 60-65, etc. It is very random. Sometimes it does it; sometimes it doesn't.

    Prior to this problem, the dealership first tried replacing a throttle sensor, then the pressure control solenoid, and finally the torque converter. The car no longer shudders when it shifts between 45-55, but it will do the thing I described in the above paragraph. So, it went back to the dealership for a tune-up - had new spark plugs, fuel filter, had wires checked, and had air intake cleaned. It still jerks when I go up hills. So, today it went back and they cleaned some kind of air sensor (or something like that, can't remember) for the fuel injectors. They didn't charge me ... said to drive it a few days and see what happens. Well, I took it out tonight, drove it up a hill and the jerking began again.

    I also had to have the pressure control solenoid replaced previously at the 30,000 mile mark.

    Any help and suggestions of what to tell the mechanics would be appreciated. :sick:
  • I have a 97 GTP with similar hesitation/jerking while climbing a hill. It feels like the tranny is slipping just a bit. Anyone found the cause of this yet?

    Also-a heavy sputter/lagging occurs during heavy acceleration. Are they related?
  • I went back to the garage last week for the second time. They said my catalytic converter was plugged. So, I had a new one put on (fortunately still under warranty!). The mechanic thought this WAS the problem.

    Well, guess what? It still does the same thing. It is back at the shop today. They are going to keep it a few days and test a bunch of things. (sigh) :confuse:
  • Another follow-up to my earlier message regarding the surging/jerking with the tachometer jumping.

    I took my GP-GT with 79,000 miles into the dealer and asked them to check the catalytic converter. They called me a few hours later and said the converter was fine but the ignition test showed problems and the vacuum test failed. They said I needed new ignition coils and wires and a replacment intake plentum because the old one was warped (it's plastic). Total cost about $1,200. I said no and paid the $70 minimum. I am not sure a they knew what the problem really was and I was not going to dump that kind of money in when I know it needs brakes, tires, and so on. I am seriously considering trading it in.
  • Justin, I am having the same problem with my A/C, Heater blower. The blower will only work on setting 4. Did you find a solution? Also my tranny will only shift from 3rd to 4th when I get the RPM's to 3,500 or speed to 45 mph. Other gears shift okay. I changed the tranny fluid and filter, but no change. Any suggestions?
  • 1) I have a 97 pontiac gtp, and I had your same problem with the a/c, heater blower. On mine it turned out to be the "blower motor resistor". This is located inside the passenger compartment on the passenger side of the car at your feet. There is a small fabric covered piece held on by 2 plastic christmas tree clips. Once that is off you should be able to see the blower motor. There are 2 wires that plug into the blower motor (mine were black and red I think)and these run back to the resistor. There is also a plug from the car harness that has about 5 wires that plugs into the resistor. To get the resistor out (after unplugging the electrical connections) there are 3 or 4 small bolts that hold it in place. I believe that I used a 5/16 wobble socket. It will be EXTREMELY hard to get the bolt or bolts closest to the firewall without a wobble socket. Once those are out, you should be able to pull it out and replace with a new one from your favorite parts store, should be around $20. If you have any questions let me know. I am going to try and attach some pictures, If it doesn't work, email me and I will send them to you.">
  • Thank you very much for the tip. I will try this. I have another problem which you may or may not have had experience with. My ABS, Tire Pressure, and Trac lights come on and stay on in my dash. I think this has to do with one of the sensors located by the rotor. Is there a good way to test to find out which one is bad?
  • Sorry, I have not had any issues with my ABS,Tire pressure or trac lights. I really don't know how to test them.
  • No problem. I figured out what was wrong. While rotating the tires today I checked all four speed sensons that are attached to the wheel hub assembly. On the front driver side the wire that comes from the hub assembly to the connector split because it somehow disloged from the metal bracket. Two options to fix. One is to replace the wheel hub assembly, quite costly and timely, or attempt to soder the wire. I am going to try optoin two.
  • Add my car to the list too. It has exactly the symptoms of msg #51. It is a 2000 with 100K miles. My garage has changed the pressure solenoid (twice), the torque converter (temporary improvement), and this week after the transmission stopped working totally they changed the transmission. Put in a used one with 36K miles. Pressure solenoid and torque converter kept as they were recently new. There is improvement but still has the symptoms occasionally. Has anyone found a solution to this problem???
  • In reply to message #60 (and others), this is the poster of message #51.

    My car has been to the dealership twice more since my last post. In trip #9 (in three months), they had it for two days checking everything over and cleaned the fuel injectors. There was some improvement, but my car still surges on some hills.

    I called the service manager, and he said they would do it again (trip #10 in three months). So, they did it again, keeping it two more days - leaving the injector cleaner in overnight and changing the fuel injector regulator(?).

    I got the same results, a little more improvement, but still no solution. The service manager has been on vacation this past week, but I am calling him Tuesday morning.

    On the positive side, my gas mileage has improved by 3-4 mpg, and my car doesn't feel like it is trying to pull a dead elephant up a hill, but it still has fits.

    This is as annoying as all get-out. I love my car, but I have been considering trading it in more and more. :confuse:
  • This is an update on my two earlier posts. I just traded my 2000 Grand Prix GT primarily because of the problem with surging & loss of power. This would only occur when the engine was warmed up. I attribute the problem to the warped plenum (plastic intake manifold) that the dealer wanted to fix for big bucks. The plastic gaskets and intake manifold seems to leak on all of the 3800 series engines at about the 75,000 mile range. I also had a problem with the Tachometer dropping to zero and the “Track Off” light turning on from time to time. This would only happen when the engine was hot and then more frequently on very hot days. Sometimes the engine would stall. When restarted, the tack would work again and the “Track Off” light would go back off. One final irritating item was that water would leak on to the floor of the passenger floor area whenever it rained hard. Given that I have all my work done at the GM dealer, I knew this was going to cost me thousands. And who knows what is next? The transmission? So, I traded it in on a new vehicle. I did not get much for it in trade but I could not sell it privately given all the problems. Hopefully whoever does eventually buy it will be more mechanically inclined than I am and will be able to fix it without too much expense.
  • Ref msg 51
    I have a 1997 GT with 342k miles.
    I had the same problem. I had my PMC software updated $75 at the dealer.
    The old software in the PMS was disengaging the lockup in the torque converter late.
    The PMC update was a fix.
    (Note) Most trans only lockup in 4 gear, ours can lockup in 3 & 4 gear, which is why it may jerk at different speeds.
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