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Chevy Tracker Transmission Problems

My 90 Tracker has an auto tranny. I goes into low gears fine and pulls well, but when driving it on the highway it trys to shift into 3rd gear and there is nothing. Almost like shifting to neutral. Any suggestions appreciated. The previous owner drove it through high water and I believe that some of the water go in the tranny. Could that have burned up the fiber clutches?


  • entrailentrail Posts: 2
    Hi folks,
    I am looking at buying my first Tracker, a 2001 5 speed std with 138,000 klm on it. It runs well but I find it very hard to shift into first. Are they normally hard to get into gear?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    To get feedback from other Tracker owners you should post your message in the existing Chevy Tracker discussion where they are more likely to read it!

    tidester, host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Maybe if we rename this to Transmission Problems more owners will find it. Worth a shot. ;)

    Steve, Host
  • I just bought a cherry, low-mileage soft top, that for the most part, was a good buy. But, the gears want to grind a little. I replaced the gear oil with the recommended synthetic, but it didn't make a difference. The chevy repair shop foreman says there's no "customer complaint" issue, but I don't believe him. There's too many similar complaints about this particular model. I want to have this problem repaired, but would like some guidance first. Please help. Thanks
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    actually if i remember correctly from reading this forum the 1999 5 speeds had alot of trany Issues! If you want to really know about it you could research old posts I know about it b4 i bought my 1999 tracker with the 4 speed automatic. i had a chance to buy the 5 speed but after reading about the problems with the 1999's i went with the automatic.
  • How do you research old posts? I scheduled a transmission rebuild with a mechanic I trust, but would still like to know what's wrong, or better yet, if there's a cheaper solution. This rebuild will be $500-700. I've a week to change my mind. Happy Holidays.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I suggest using the search feature in the Chevy Tracker discussion.

    tidester, host
  • captjcaptj Posts: 8
    The 99 5-speed Trackers had a problem that some folks called "soft synchros." I believe the actual problem was that the springs were inadequate in some of the synchros in the early transmission builds. It was not a safety problem, so no recall; just a driveability problem that Chevy addressed with a TSB that called for a replacement synchro spring kit if the owner brought the car in with the problem. We noticed the gears clashing during shifts fairly soon after we bought the car, and tried a number of different synthetic tranny lubes to try to cure it without surgery. Eventually, we let Chevy install the kit. They did the job neatly and correctly in one day. I believe I put the kit part number in one of the early Tracker posts on this site. The problem went away for the most part, although we still shift gently for the first couple of miles in cold weather because you can feel some slight drag as the gears engage under those conditions. You are probably on the right track to seek a tranny rebuild, and might help your own cause by mentioning the history of the synchros to your mech. Other than that one issue, our Tracker has provided flawless reliability for 50K miles with just annual synthetic oil changes and lube. We wanted inexpensive, all-weather transport for commuting, and have not been disappointed. Good luck with yours and Merry Christmas.
  • In reference to the Transmission re-build on a 1999 Tracker. 5 speed, 2.0 engine. My Tracker shifts fine, but has a noise, which the mechanic said was the clutch, because when the clutch was in, the noise would stop, let the clutch out the noise is there. So, I have had a complete Clutch replacement, and still have the same noise. It really sounds like the throw-out bearing, even though it has a complete new clutch now. This is getting expensive, and now, the mechanic says,since I have a new clutch, it must be a bearing in the transmission. The strange thing is, the tracker drives and shifts fine, just that noise. I would like to pay to have my Tracker fixed, but not pay for more guess-work! Does this sound like Transmission problems? And what is the going price to have the Transmission re-built? And where would be the best place to order parts, if the Transmission has to be re-built? THANKS! :sick:
  • hi i have a 2000 tracker automatic transmission and it seems to not want to shift into overdrive..also my oil was recently changed and they told me my transmission fluid was black but should not service it as i could have further problems...any advice??
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    black trany fluid is a bad sign. did they give you a reason why Not to change trany fluid that is in bad/burnt condition? when i had my 99 tracker i changed my trany fluid every other year, it was easy. and with my recent 2004 tracker zr-2 i did the samething. i changed all the fluids.. engine, trany, front & rear axles transfer case. if you dont remove the filter and you just want a quick change. there is a drain plug on the trany pan. just buy 3 qts of trany fluid and drain and refill to 2.5-2.7qts. in the past i replaced the transmission filter and each time i did the filter was clean.. but if your trany fluid is black that is very bad and Needs changed. if you want more info look at this link

  • hi thanks for the response...they told me that if i serviced the trani changed the fluid i could be doing more damage "the chunks in the fluid could be whats holding the transmission together" does this sound plausible..donnabelle
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    could you tell me again . what year and engine size along with what transmission you have? im going to look for more info. im just wondering how it got to this point in the first place...
  • jgh803jgh803 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 98 Tracker that had identical symptoms. The mechanic was initially pretty sure it was the throw out bearing, but turns out the gear oil was very low. After changing the gear oil there is still a slight whine, but I guess that's pretty much normal. Could your mechanic have failed to check this first?
  • slick007slick007 Posts: 1
    hi fellows, can someone please tell me were the clutch bleeder valve is located on a '98 chevy tracker(4 cyl)
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    Today i was on napa's website looking up filters for my 2004 tracker Zr-2, well under transmissions it Lists the tracker 2.5 v-6 as having a toyota transmission. Can anyone confirm this? I know the engine is Suzuki as the name is all over it.
  • I'm almost buying a 1999 Tracker with 90k miles and the owner just told me he had to replace the car's manual transmission 6 months ago. Is it a bad thing?? Did any of you have to replace the manual transmission? Does it work ok now??
    Thank you
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    If he replaced it that might be a good thing as the 99's had a transmission problem with grinding.
  • meadowmeadow Posts: 2
    Can you tell me what kind of transmission problems they have? I have a 99 tracker and the transmission fluid has been low twice now, so I assume I have a leak.
  • staujstauj Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 chevy tracker, 2.0 with a automatic, when your going down the road and left off the gas the engine will pull you down untill you reach 40mph, at which time the transmission will unlock/free wheel and the rpm will drop down to an idle.
    Is this normal for this vehicle, or do I have a problem with it.
    If so what may be causing it??
  • I am looking at a 93 Tracker 4X4 auto that owner says stays in first gear. So before I consider buying, I am researching a transmission for it, in case I need to replace complete tranny. Might only need some small repair, but preparing for worst case scenario. From what I can find, it takes a 400-59024A tranny, but I found a used 400-59024B out of a 95 used at a great price. Dealer says tranny will fit, but shows the difference is a different final drive ratio. Would this be a problem or not, if anyone knows? Is the ratio geared higher or lower, in all gears or just high? Looking for suggestions and answers, and thanks for responding.
  • karonakarona Posts: 2

    I have a 99 chevy tracker soft top. Automatic trans. 96000 miles.

    Problem #1: When I hit anywhere from 35 to 45 mph (exactly) it does a weird jolt/ jarring thing, like it can't quite shift gears or something. (Obviously I am not a car expert!)
    As soon as I go above 45, it's fine. Below 35, it's fine. Just at 35-45mph. Any ideas?

    Problem# 2: when idle (like at a stoplight, sitting in traffic) it shakes a bit every once in a while. Sometimes it trembles all over, sometimes just a little kick, then nothing, then a few seconds later, a kick, then nothing. Is this a timing issue? WHen in neutral it's fine. In park it is also fine. What can I do to fix?

    Thank you!!
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    do something. when you have your #2 problem notice what the tach is doing. is the tach dipping up and down when this happens? My 99 tracker did this and i replaced the PCV valve. (very cheap to replace) and then i made sure the fuel filter was replaced and i ran Seafoam in the gas tank and cleaned the throttle plate. all easy to do. when was the last time your tracker had a tune up?
  • windctchrwindctchr Posts: 2
  • my transmission just went out in my 1990 geo tracker.i want to find a used transmission w/ lower gears for not looking to put alot of money in it thats why i want to find a used one.
  • snicholsnichol Posts: 28
    I don't know a lot about the transmissions, but when my Tracker broke down and I had to tow it to a garage (towed it myself), I found out that an Automatic transmission can't be towed! (Not reccommended by Chevy.) They suggest towing with the rear wheels on a dolly, so the transmission isn't turning.
    The reason is that the transmission is only lubricated when the engine is running. As I was told, the automatic transmission can be burned-up, towing for a long distance, as the fluid is not being circulated in it.
    Now, I don't know about the manual transmissions, they are probably OK to tow, but I would check with an authorized mechanic that knows more about it.
    (It's mentioned in my owner's manual.)
    Hope this helps and saves you a new transmission again.
  • to add a little more to my prior message my 1990 tracker is 4 wheel drive it towed my boat well but not well enough i guess the tranny went out.i want to find another tranny that is geared lower for better towing.i want a used tranny because i am not looking to put a lot of money into itso if i could get some ldeas about some other transmissions that will fit my tracker and help it pull my boat better.

    thanks for your help.
  • windctchrwindctchr Posts: 2
  • I've had a similar problem with my 1994 Geo Tracker (2wd, automatic) and saw another one similar listed on here too. At first I got a new transmission cable put in and this fixed the problem for the time being – at the time I wasn't driving the car much, only like 3 miles a day with occasional weekend highway trips. Then I took a 1,000 mile trip and after that the problem came back and kept getting worse. My problem was that the car wouldn't shift out of first gears until it was warmed up. Once warmed up it was fine. At first, the car only had to be a little warm to be fine, then pretty warm, then completely warmed up, now I'm scared to drive it because it seems to get worse each time and I can't imagine what is next. Finally I took it into a locally trusted mechanic, who referred me to a locally trusted tranny guy. The tranny guy inspected and said it needs a full tranny rebuild. I took my time deciding whether or not to go with it because it's expensive, but am moving forward with it. It's estimated between $450 and $1150. Just wanted to let you know what happened with mine.

    I'm wondering if this car is a keeper though. Overall, how do you like yours? Any weaknesses to warn me about?
  • I have a 2000 Chevy Tracker 4x4 with 2.0l, automatic & 95,000 miles on it. We pulled into the driveway and parked it until the next morning. When we went to use it the next day, the engine would'nt even crank over. Replaced the battery, because it was due. The engine still would not turn over. Now i'm thinking starter, but before i would replace it, i took a breaker bar to the crank pully just to make sure the engine will turn over by hand. IT WONT! I pulled the starter. Tried to turn over with breaker bar again. IT WONT! My next thought was to disconnect the flywheel from the torque converter. I CAN'T!....because crankshaft/flywheel cannot be turned over since the engine or trans is locked. I have the Tracker jacked up just to make sure the transfer case is not locked up in neutral...its fine. Has anybody ever experienced a torque converter locking up in this vehicle?
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