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Buick LaCrosse Transmission Problems



  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    I'm so sorry to read about your transmission, bajaboat32! Hopefully the repair goes well, and if you would like for any further assistance from us please get in touch via email (

    Kind regards,
    GM Customer Service
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    edited April 2012
    It seems automotive industry, at least GM, has wiring issues. Although the percentage is low, it can be potentially deadly. Since cars do not fly, they do not have to meet standards of aircraft. Besides the level of quality parts, they have to meet higher standards of inspection for quality.
    I can also say that many others have had same issue with GM vehicles.
    Certainly a very thorough check of wiring is necessary to insure it is internal to transmission. Locating the connection pins at the transmission disconnect point and reading for resistance of the coil is likely needed.
    I'm not sure how many different designs there are, but the GM I'm familiar with have a small electric generator attached to the input shaft of tranny, under the side cover. The outputs of these spinning magnets is a coil of wire that outputs to the computer and produces those codes during test or faults. Having to pull transmission to replace something so simple is just bad design. Add to that it often has internal wiring connections, adds to the potential for a failure. This should be redesigned so that it is as easy to change as one of those camshaft position sensors that sits on a valve cover.
    Do a bit of research, possibly with reliable local shops, and learn if there is a better replacement part. This is one of those times where I would definitely shop for a different manufacturer. Be wary of Wells, I found durability issues with their replacement parts.
    And since you have to go into it that far, consider other internal updating and renewing.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I hope they find the source, but it is also interesting that the fumes enter vehicle.
    The CAF, cabin air filter, should eliminate odor, it is carbon impregnated. It is also positioned in the system such that it would filter the air in either outside air or recirculate position.
    It seems you have a second defect.
  • ejpoulinejpoulin Posts: 1
    Has anyone ever had a problem with it not shifting into overdrive? It starts out fine but when it gets up to traveling speed, it stays in that gear and doesn't shift into cruise/overdrive to reduce the whine on the transmission.n The tach reads 2 but the transmission is running hard.
  • Yes indeed, all the time. My car sounds like a tractor on the interstate. About 2 weeks ago, my car shut off again on me on the interstate, they changed something with the transmission. Look on GMC forums as well, you will find many other complaints posted there, concerning the same issues with car shutting off & transmission issues.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning,

    I'm sorry that you are having some difficulties with shifting. What year LaCrosse are you driving? Have you had it checked out already?

    GM Customer Service
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    How has everything been running since the incident on the interstate two weeks ago? You state that they changed something in the transmission - just wanted to check in! :)

    GM Customer Service
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    At what speed do you have a tach reading of 2K?
    What do you mean, "running hard?" What model is this?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Actually, from what I've seen, they dropp the tranny enough to get at the side cover.
    Ford did for a few years have a bolted panel as part of the fender body area that could be removed so that side cover on the tranny could be removed without major work. I can't imagine why they stopped that.
  • I have that reading when I'm on the interstate mostly. Around 60-70 mph. I have a 2010 Buick Lacrosse, been having problems since 6 months after I purchased it & it was purchased in 2010 of the truck new.
  • When I say it rides hard. I mean it sounds very loud & seems as though it's straining. It's not a smooth ride like it should be.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning butterfly1123,

    I'm sorry to hear you aren't satisfied with your LaCrosse - have you gotten the transmission looked into already?

    Please let me know if I can be of assistance (looking into warranty/recall information, assisting in working with a dealership, etc).

    GM Customer Service
  • About 6 weeks ago I traded in my 2000 Monte Carlo with 220,000 miles in on a 2008 Buick LaCrosse Super. Partly because I feel in love with the LaCrosse as soon as I saw it but mostly because I didnt feel my Monte was very reliable anymore. Tomorrow I am taking the LaCrosse into the dealership for the second time since I bought it 6 weeks ago. 1st time was because ABS light coming on. This time will be because three times now, when I would start to car and put it in drive, it wont move. Almost like the parking break is on. If I turn it off and then back on it seems fine then. Or I will go thru all of the gears and then its fine. Once I get it going is usually fine. Onece it lagged on the freeway as I was excellerating but thats it. No hard shifts at all. Has anyone else had a similar problem with this generation of LaCrosse? Im starting to think I may have been better off keeping the 200,000 + mile Monte.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964

    I'm sorry that you've had to make a few trips into the dealership already since getting your LaCrosse. I hope that this trip is successful! If you would like for us to follow up with the dealership on your behalf, please let us know!
    GM Customer Service
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,048
    > LaCrosse into the dealership for the second time since I bought it 6 weeks ago. 1st time was because ABS light coming on. This time will be because three times now, when I would start to car and put it in drive, it wont move.

    You say "dealership." If you bought it from a GM dealer or any other dealer, did it come with a short warranty period? I would get the transmission checked. This sounds more like a major problem. They should have known about this, because they would have started it cold when someone moved or a customer wanted to see the car and drive it. This is why salesmen go get the car and bring it around for customer to drive. If the customer were there, and something is not right when the car starts, tapping engine or bad transmission, the customer sees the problem.

    Check into what warranty or rights the purchase has given you. Be sure you have a documentation from the first time you complained to dealer about the trans problem if it was within a 30-day period, e.g., of their warranty even though you are outside now. My uniformed guess would be the pressure control module inside the trans or a major seal that is worn and holds pressure after a little warmup.
  • Luckily it is still covered under the powertrain warranty so no out of pocket expense. From the time I started it and test drove it at the dealership and all the way up till just a week ago, everything was fine. After an initial check out, they believe they know what the problem is but had to order a part so Im dropping it back off in a couple of days and they are giving me a loaner. Hopefully they are correct in what they think the problem is. I'll provide an update once I know for sure.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It would seem irrational for a known type of problem to exist for such a long period of time, but I've seen it happen before in the GM line. That is that the electric control solenoids are part plastic which deteriorates with time and suddenly you get your result.
    But there are many other possibilities with the complexity of an automatic transmission.
    I just looked backed at your first post. A Super. Exactly the transmission I was thinking of. My Aurora was doing exactly that when I decided it was time to say goodbye. That '96 also had an issue with ABS/ABCM, the brake control modules and other electronic parts being eaten by electric spikes created when the cooling fans relays would make and break. Simple fix was a short jumper harness containing diodes to clamp those spikes. I would never believed that the issue would re-surface in an '09 Malibu. Same exact fix and I was having issues related to the ABS/TCS/ESC, along with others and got rid of it.
    Next was an 11 Lacrosse CXS with more problems than I can count from memory. Some of them were electronic and on both the Malibu and it, there were intermittant brake issue which could have been caused by that same control system, the ABS/TCS/ESC. Just before turning it in, as a curiosity, I looked for those diodes in the cooling fan circuit. They were not there. I did not bother to check if there was a bulletin about the Lacrosse concerning this because I was already turning it over.
    I'd definitely check your vehicle for related TSB. That spike can kill many things, not just that particular module. It will eat the first weak spot it comes to. And jump on to data lines. It could even be the source of the reason for having to reboot the system. You know, that pull over, turn vehicle off and restart.
    Good Luck.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 1,744
    I believe the 6-speed autobox used by GM in these cars was co-developed with Ford. So your Lincoln may have the same issues in time. Enjoy.

    2011 Buick Regal Turbo, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • Update....They replaced the control valve body, plate and valve. Its been a few days and so far the problem seems to be gone. Only time will tell I guess.
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