Chevrolet Uplander Transmission Issues

uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,372
Since new, my van has sporadically had a few-second lag between reverse and drive when cold, but of course was told that this was 'normal operating procedure'. At 59K miles, I had the trans serviced only as a maintenance item. The dealer flushes, not only drains and refills, the fluid. Within a couple months, I had to add about half a pint of ATF, and noticed that every once in a while, pulling away from a stop, I got a sensation like someone had bumped me from behind. Also, lately, if the van has been driven on the highway for a number of miles, then you get off and drive in stop-and-go traffic, upshifts all of a sudden become hard. If you then stop for gas, or whatever, turning the car off, then back on, the shifting is as smooth as butter, just like when you start in the morning. This indicates to me it's something electronic, but I'm not getting a Service Engine Soon light on. Anybody else having this?



  • thekorsthekors Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone done work on their transfer case &/or rear diff? My TC is so loud & when up on blocks with the wheels off I can make it clunk around inside the case by rotating the rotors/axles back & forth. I changed the fluid, it was opaque & metalic, looked like liquid pewter & only filled the bottom inch of a 4litre ice cream pail. How screw'd am I with this? I also get a nauseating groan from the rear, which so far, I'm assuming is the diff. I'm at 115k kms, only 14k kms put on in the last year.
  • 05chevupl05chevupl Member Posts: 1
    Having the same with my 05 uplander.
    I realized it is something electronic as well since when I turn off the engine and starting again it disappears.
    any advise?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,372
    Without getting a Service Engine Soon light, I'm not sure if any codes are being stored. No advice yet.
  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    Here's a thought: The Venture also used the 4T65E trans and would have problems with sporatic hard upshifts when the PCS (pressure control solenoid) in the trans was failing. Same symptoms as you describe. It also wouldn't throw codes when it was doing it.

    Another symptom was that the trans would whine when it was doing the hard upshift thing...

    Hope this helps...
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,372
    Thanks. How huge of a repair bill is that?
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,372
    I had a new battery put in my vehicle the other day, and my harsh upshifts seem to have been replaced with a soft, slow, mushy 2-3 shift. Does that make any sense?

  • 442dude442dude Member Posts: 373
    I'm not a transmission expert but it seems weird to me.

    Since you replaced the battery, you powered everything down b/c it had no juice...maybe it reset the PCM?

    I'm no help here...

    BTW - to answer your question (sorry so late) a PCS replacement is about $ 700-800 repair if that's what it turns out to be...
  • crkeehncrkeehn Member Posts: 513
    As 442dude suggested, most likely you had reset the computer.

    We were having a problem with the eject button of our DVD player in our Saturn Relay. It was suggested that pulling the fuse for the player would reset the player and correct the problem. I couldn't find the fuse panel, however the battery needed to be replaced with the same result. The DVD player seems to be functioning properly again.
  • upset15upset15 Member Posts: 1
    I was told that my transmission needs to be replaced in my 06 uplander by the Chevrolet dealership. ($3350) Are they serious? They said the clutches are worn internally causing vehicle hard shifts. Anyone else having this problem?
  • spike99spike99 Member Posts: 239
    edited February 2011
    For "specialized" items like transmissons, I would NOT listen to GM. Take your vehicle to a transmission specialist shop and ask them to investigate. And ask them about installing a rebuilt kit - if it needs a rebuild (instead of a full replacement). If wondering, I got a transmission for RWD GM vehicle rebuilt (with standard rebuilt kit) approx 4 years ago and it only cost me $900. Rebuilds are often much less cost then a "brand new" replacement task.

    Also... I was told the 4T65-E transmission in many GM FWD vehicles tend to run hot. Too hot. Especially during hot temp day and stuck within stop/go traffic - while loaded down. My transmission specialist told me to install an aux transmission cooler - rated to pull 5,000 lbs trailer (for my '09 Montana van). Thus, creating more "cooling" then factory. Cooler transmission (even if van only used as local "run about" vehicle) means longer life in the long run. The transmission cooler I installed is Hayden 1678, and its been working great since day one. re: - - - - - - Code=OC-1678&Category_Code=hayden-transaver

    re: - - - - - ooler-UpperSupport-1.jpg

    After you get the transmission fixed (sensor change or rebuilt with new kit), do install an aux transmission cooler as well. The Hayden 1678 for attached 5,000 lbs trailer works great in my wife's van. Especially on "hot blistering" summer days.


    Also... Do ask your transmission specialist if the new Dexron VI ATF fluid should be used in your older GM vehicle. My one buddy installed this "much better" ATF fluid in his older GM vehicle and feels it's much better (better then its older ATF fluid). re: - - - - - - uper_Dexron-VI_ATF.pdf

    Hope this helps as well...
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,372
    I'll tell you, I had hard upshifts when the vehicle was really warmed up (like after a long highway drive, then returning to stop-and-go traffic). I just had them replace the pressure control solenoid, which GM and my dealer did under warranty even though I was past the regular warranty. That did the trick for me. I had my dealer flush and refill the trans at 59K miles just as a precaution, and within three months started having the hard-shift issue. I would recommend not having a flush but instead a drain and filter change, then refill, too. I had been told by a local trans. guy that's reputable, that the cost of a pressure control solenoid replacement was about $500.

    Sadly, I think the Uplander and its sibling vans have probably done more to hurt GM's image in owner's minds in the past five years than any single GM product in the twenty years before that. Add to that, that the Pontiac version was discontinued here after only two seasons, and the Saturn after three, and you've got awful resale value to deal with too. I truly cannot remember when GM bailed on a product so quickly as these.
  • uplander5uplander5 Member Posts: 1
    Hi thekors- a few years after you made your post, here I am looking for info. on changing out the diff fluid on an uplander. How did it turn out for you, if you don't mind sharing;) Thanks
  • alchipalchip Member Posts: 18
    Today I'm bringing in my Uplander for a BG transmission service at 222,300 miles. Any thoughts on the value of BG services? I'm all for anything to keep my transmission on the road.
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