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HHR Transmission Questions

PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
Having an issue with your transmission? This is the place to talk about it.


Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles



  • My dealership had to replace the engine in my HHR last month, it kept blowing out the oil seals. Well, I haven't even put 400 miles on the new engine, when I went to leave for work this morning, put it in reverse, and I was startled to hear a horrible grinding noise. No gear would work. Had to call the dealership, they towed it in, and haven't heard from them yet.
    Not too happy about the situation right now.
  • ray80ray80 Posts: 1,183
    I wouldn't be either, hopefully dealer will get it fixed quickly for you. Let us know how you make out.
  • I bought my HHR Oct '07. In Jan the dealer replaced the shift assembly. It would not come out of park after starting the car.

    In August '07 the shifter assembly was replaced again. After starting the engine with the remote, unlocking the car, putting the key in the ignition switch, it would not turn to the on position. Also when starting the engine a loud clunk would come from under the car
    Once again the clunk noise is happening again from time to time. The dealer service manager has no explanation for the shifter problems. Anyone else have these problems?
  • My shift-interlock button got stuck...result was drivable...but it could be moved between gears without the button having to be pushed. Was given a YUKON to drive while part ordered....sucked gas!
  • We just bought our 2006 HHR used with only has 26,000 miles on it. We have not even driven it 3000 miles yet. My wife just got back from shopping and pointed out a big puddle of transmission fluid in our drive way. Upon inspection, fluid is streaming out with no visible signs of having hit anything. Sounds like a similar problem one of you posters had with a "blown seal". Hope not. In 30 years of driving, I have NEVER had a car have this type of problem for no apparent reason. I am waiting for Roadside assistance now. Will update later. :lemon:
  • in fact it just started with me yesterday. the car will not stay in park, and the key will come out of the ignition even though i can not turn the ignition all the way off, the dealership is telling me that it is a now common problem with HHR and the chevy cobalt. keep checking recall list for HHR so that you can get a refund on maintenance parts. its going to cost approximately $600 for the dealership to replace the gear box and the ignition switch. my HHR only has 39,000 miles. I did not get the extended warranty because I am not use to cars majorly breaking down within a 75,000 mile limit. the bad thing is I got 2 HHRs but at least my other is still under factory warranty.
  • Same EXACT issue here; I bought a used '07 in May of 07; had 25,000 mi but also had the 100,000 warranty, so I thought I was safe. About 3 weeks ago, I couldn't get the key out of the ignition! After extensive reading of the owner's manual, I figured out how to jimmy the key out by reaching inside the steering column.
    Yesterday after work, I went out to start the car; the engine turned, but I couldn't get it out of park. It was towed to the nearest dealer, who is trying to tell me it isn't covered by the warranty, even though there's only 37,000 mi on it now! The dealer who sold it to me is willing to make it right, but it has to be towed there, and get this-
    THE FIRST DEALER IS TRYING TO CHARGE ME for juicing the battery and ripping the cover off the gear shift before it leaves his garage (I did not authorize him to do ANYTHING to my car if it wasn't covered under warranty!)
    Can't wait to give this info to him tomorrow; he thinks that because I'm a woman he can intimidate me! He actually had the gall to tell me that it was my fault-that I'd spilled a coke in it (I've never had a soda in the car...) It is OBviously a design flaw!
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I don't know if it is the manufacturer of these ignitions or what, but there are a few new cars with this problem. Even Toyota who sources some of their parts from the same place as GM has had some similar issues but I am not sure how frequent.
  • I have a 2006 LT2 with 53,000 miles. About four weeks ago on my way home from a 600 mile vacation drive, the traction control light came on. With this warning light there also came sudden shifting. Not the smooth progression I was accustomed to, sharp up shifts after a higher than usual rpm before the change in gears. Along with this, the check engine light is coming on. I took it to the dealer and after $100 of mechanic's time I was told there was nothing wrong. I got back into the car and on the way home, the same symptoms showed up. I left it alone and in the morning the next day everything worked well. After a couple of short trips, on my way dropping my wife off to college, the same symptoms showed up again. Now, this is the only hint of a problem I have had over the past almost three years of ownership. Anyone have any insights or suggestions to convey to the next mechanic?
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Transmission sensor likely, torque convertor?
  • Have you ever found out what the problem was? I am having this same problem now about a few weeks ago it came on once and then all of a sudden this week it has been coming on everytime i have been driving only coming on after I have been driving for a few minutes. I would hate to waste 100 dollars for them to tell me they think i have no problem.

  • I am sorry to say that I have not found a resolution yet. And yes, my intuition leads me to believe the problem lies in a sensor, or maybe even a computer chip/program problem. I've been searching technical service bulletins and paying closer attention to the onset of the TC shutdown. I can drive for about 10-15 minutes and the TC Off dashboard light comes on. I get to my destination where I shut the engine off. When I restart, the TC Off light is off. Then another period of normal operation until the TC Off goes off and the shifting between gears is sudden. The symptoms suggest it is heat related. With the AC off, there is a longer time elaps before the problem reoccurs. Any suggestions will be very appreciated so that I have some direction for the next mechanic.
  • I've had a similar problem on 2 cars that took forever to find. Have them check the speed sensors at each wheel. If 1 goes bad it "thinks" there's a traction problem tries to compensate but other input to the computer just confuses it because you are not losing traction. Also, have they tried to re-flash the computer?
  • butchrbutchr Posts: 1
    Rooscow - I had the same problem at 49500 miles with my 2006 LT2. I read the error codes and it popped up several areas to check, O2 sensor bank A, mass air flow sensor, fuel injectors and fuel delivery (pump). I first tried the O2 sensor and it worked for about a week and then the problems came back. I then decided to go to my local Chevy dealer for help. The had the same codes and replaced the mass air flow sensor and the other O2 sensor with no luck. They then decided the problem was my fuel injectors. They ended up replacing all four injectors and to my suprise they covered it under warranty. All was well until I hit 53000 miles and now I have an issue with the RPM's while under load jumping up and down and the car missing. There are no inactive or active errors codes and they said until it pops a code they can not help me.
  • I was starting to think I was the only one having a problem like this. I had an '06 LT2 I purchased new in October '05 (one of the first ones made) with basically the same problem that started around 2100 miles. My TC Off light came on while the car was running and sitting in Park for a few mins. When I started driving I also had rough shifting for about 10 mins. The problem would seem to stop and when I restarted the car, the light was off. Mine would only happen about once every month to month and a half. The dealer could never find it. The day I finally get it into the dealer with the light ON, they finally pulled codes and scheduled me for the next day to start getting to the bottom of it. The next morning, the service manager called me to say the district service manager would no longer authorize them to work on my car since I didn't buy it in that district. The next day I called a Lemon Law Attorney and took it from there. I loved the car, but was completely tired of the electrical problems. With 11,000 miles, I won a partial refund under Lemon Law and got an extended electrical warranty plus part of the law suite said the local dealer MUST work on my car. Needless to say that after about 8 months of dealing with this problem and a stereo that had quit working twice and remote start that rarely worked, I was completely ready to give it up. The day after the deal was done with the Attorney, I traded it in. Moral of the story is: if you can get it into your dealer while the TC OFF light is on, they should be able to finally pull codes. My dealer pulled 4 codes that day before the attempts stopped there by demands of the district service manger. Best of luck to you all ... the HHR is a nice car, but the headaches weren't worth it for me. Mine was a total electrical :lemon: :(
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    That is crazy that they said they couldn't work on it because it wasn't in their district. It doesn't matter what district it is, a dealer would still get reimbursed by GM Corp. I know if it was purchased in Canada and brought over here that would be different and they don't have to service the vehicle but that is a different story.

    Hopefully you still stayed with an American brand auto.
  • just bought an 2008 hhr 18000 miles on it drove it home then went to go out and now the IGNITION KEY WON'T TURN. key just goes in and out. the 800 service people no help just said jiggle keys and keep turning the steering wheel to get the key to turn... any answers out there??? think they need a recall after reading so many problems the HHR INGITION SWITCH has...
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The selling dealer had to of known about the issue.
  • Does anyone out there know where I can buy "Blue Dot" tail light lens? :confuse:
  • Does anyone have an idea where I can find a front stabilizer bar for HHR LS 2006? Do the pads for the stabilizer bar can be bought separately?
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