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Chevrolet Impala Transmission Problems



  • I own a 2006 Impala LT with all but 10K of 155K miles being mine. I have been plagued by intermittent performance and transmission slippage issues for quite some time. Before getting soaked for an unnecessary tune-up (factory plugs lasted well over 100K) or transmission repair you may want to try this:
    1)The air intake comes in from behind the drive’s headlight into the engine via the throttle body at the top-drive’s side of the motor. The air filter is located in the area of the intake in front of the drives’ side wheel well under the body support bar which is bolted on top between the front bumper and fender (one on each side of engine compartment). While having a clean air filter is important, I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure the “air box” is properly sealed once it has been opened to inspect/replace the air filter. With the air filter in place you MUST angle the bottom of the box in first so the two plastic feet are locked in place before tohe top is swiveled into place and secured with the two latches at the top. If the bottom is not locked in place your car will not, can not, run properly.
    Why? The sensors are located where the air initially enters the intake behind the driver’s headlight. Any air sucked in after these sensors ( i.e.: air filter location if not sealed properly) is not seen by the sensors, causing the modules to ultimately provide incorrect information related to air temp and volume, resulting in awful performance.

    2) There seems to be “drift” issues with sensor and motor control sub-systems in many cars, and the 2006 Impala LT is no exception. What this means to you is your car has been lead to believe, via input from the easily over 50 sensors and feedback circuits, that it is running properly…. and this is wrong. With nothing to reset this this status the car will continue to run like garbage… like mine did.
    With the car off (works best after car is been driven or warmed up for a few minutes), keys out, doors closed (so dome light is out) and security not enabled (doors not locked), lift the hood. Along the passenger side behind the battery is the fuse box. Remove the cover inside you will see a fuse locator. About one-third of the way down on the right side and directly below the STRTR relay are two fuses. These are the (yellow) 15A ECM/TCM and (red) 10A TRANS.
    Removing the 15A ECM/TCM fuse for a minute and then reinserting resets the engine performance to default, allowing the engine to “retrain” itself from an acceptable (powerful) level.
    Removing the 10A TRANS fuse for a minute and then reinserting will reset transmission values and, unbelievably, the slip disappears/ diminishes drastically.
    I have done this periodically for well over 50k miles and have never hurt/blown a body, engine, or transmission control module. Replace the fuse box cover, start it up, and take it on a test drive.
  • Hello people, its me again. I traded for 2006 impala & so sorry I did this. It blew the original tranny I replaced that with a auto wrecker tranny was ok for bout a yr or so. I parked it for 4-5 months the tranny was ok but wen I started using it again the car was really sluggish on take off. I thought might work itself out after being parked for bit but no it didn't. I found out it would only manual shift 1-2-3-4 I would have to do this every time I stopped. Then I lost 1st gear and wen shifting it would make loud clunking noise. So people is this tranny worth rebuilding or should I jus go out find another tranny to rebuild, I read an article of one owner who modified his tranny I'm thinking of doin the same. any advice plz help me....
  • notchevynotchevy Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    My 2006 Impala is approaching 115K miles and it is starting to fall apart. The most significant issue is the transmission is slipping and the vehicle is no longer safe to drive. I'm in Afghanistan and my wife was almost hit by another vehicle as the transmission slipped in the middle of an intersection. The mechanic wants to charge $4000 to replace the transmission. Along with the transmission other issues are starting to show up. An oil leak was just fixed. The air door actuators are bad and clicking horribly. I've lost faith in Chevy and the car I once enjoyed owning. Now my Impala is an unsafe money pit. Time to find a new car brand...might have to try Toyota or Honda. Anybody have luck with Ford?
  • sickofgm2sickofgm2 Posts: 1
    I'm sorry to tell you, but within a year they will tell you that you need a new transmission for $3000....We had transmission work done on our Impala after the first yr and then again at 4 yrs.....they replaced the selenoid on ours and our transmission is bad again....I am now arguing with GM and the dealership. I contacted a transmission person that has been in business for 35 yrs in our area and he said he has never seen a yr/model of car have as many problems....he also said last yr he replaced more transmissions on Impalas than on any other car......last wk i paid the dealership $150 to diagnose the problem and they didn't come up with anything and are now saying to properly diagnose it they want another $500 minimum.
  • joe2thecjoe2thec Posts: 3
    Thank you for the write up. I found lots of value here. My 2008 SS also suffers from the intermittent jerk from 0 mph. Did you remove the fuses simultaneously or did you start with either the ECM or trans?
  • rvantuinenrvantuinen Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 chevy impala, 3.8 v6, automatic. At approx 160k miles the transmission produced a "jump"/hard hit when leaving from a dead stop, like it has a hot rod stall speed trans and was trying to engage for a second or two. This problem was very inconsistant & sometimes would not hit hard from a stop.Problem started to get worse and would hit hard as it shifted auto gears. Researched and took to trans mechanic who took readings from the trans but could not reproduce the hard hit from a dead stop. The increased problem of shiftitng hard between gears was corrected with new shift kit (springs, etc). The trans continued to hit hard when taking off from a dead stop. No trans nor engine check light for codes ever came up. Colder weather the trans would rarely hit hard when taking off from a stop. As warmer weather is here, the hit hard from a stop problem increases. I know the trans has many selonoids, torque converter, and TCM...again no codes to run this problem thru. I found other blogs with people and the same car/trans problem, but no one could offer a pinpoint answer. Even a person had the whole trans rebuilt and the problem persisted. I have always maintained trans fluid/filter changes. Never has there been metal shavings in the trans pan. Today the car has 195,000 miles and still ahs the trans sometimes hitting hard when leaving from a dead stop. Otherwise, the trans operates great.There has to be something that is the source of the problem. Suggestions?
  • My main concern was making sure none of the BCM circuits were energized (door open, internal lights still on, rear trunk open, ...) when I pulled fuses... although I always pulled ECM first and replaced last for no particular reason.
  • blackssblackss Posts: 2
    6/13/2013 Update: took me a year, and multiple dealers, finally found one willing to dive into intermittent trans slip...and guess what...dah, yes valve body reconditioning, replacing all selinoids etc...I knew via all these posts what the problem is, so why does GM blow us off...know one wants to deal with it....well for now, I'm happy all is fixed, under warranty...Will I buy GM again...boy I don't will be tough to regain any conifidence in their products...
  • joe2thecjoe2thec Posts: 3
    Good find. This troubled transmission should be recalled. Can you elaborate on exactly what parts are going to be replaced? This will be helpful to those of us not under warranty. What city/dealer did you find willing to jump in?
    Thanks gor the info.
  • cobcob Posts: 210
    Take it to a reputable transmission shop and have the valve body repaired. They will be aware of the gm transmission issues and know exactly what needs to be repaired/replaced. Should run around $1000
  • sheldon7sheldon7 Posts: 2
    Most answers to this issue are the PCS solenoid, but here is another. If the idle is too low for any reason the pressure will not be high enough. Once the transmission senses this it is having slow shifts it fixes it. So if it is the first shift to 1st gear, and only the first time check the idle. I had to replace the idle air controller. IAC.
  • jenmar11jenmar11 Posts: 1
    I have a 2008 impala ss. The transmission went out and was replaced with a certified chevy trans. Now; The transmission begins to slightly surge at 40 to 45mph. I can feel it and can see the tac jump. I have taken it back to Brown & Brown Chevrolet in Bourbonnais who told me that nothing shows up on their machine, they cannot drive it and duplicate it and that it is going into overdrive. I am not a kid so I have driven MANY cars equiped with overdrive and have never had this occur. I have had others difficulties with this dealership so I have no faith that my car is safe to drive. Can anyone offer a suggestion??
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hello jennar11,

    I'm sorry to see that you're experiencing this issue with your vehicle. May I be of assistance to you in finding a resolution for this concern? If you would send your full name, address, current mileage and VIN number to [email protected], I would be glad to research some options that may be available to you. I look forward to working with you.

    Marlea Wilson
    GM Customer Service
  • dgallowdgallow Posts: 1
    I was driving my car on my lunch break at work when it started to slow down and eventually stopped moving. The engine kept running and I could hear myself pressing on the accelerator but the car wouldn't move. After leaving it off for a few hours it started up and started to move but didn't go far at all. I had to tow it back home. It is a 2001 Chevrolet Impala 3.8 4dr sedan.

    Next few days I had the transmission filter change and it drove okay for like 2 days. I got on the highway to head back to work and after almost 40 minutes of driving it stopped again. If I turn it off it will start to go but not for long. the engine will keep running but it won't move.

    I was told it could be a sensor; it could be a bad transmission; it could be my fuel pump; the torque converter needs to be cleaned or flush. Can anybody help me please? I lost my job because of no transportation and I really need to get my car fixed. Thanks!!
  • Similar thing happened to my mothers 06 impala. the transmission stopped working would only move half block then nothing. I made mistake of trading her the impala for my 04 chev venture, the most reliable vehicle I ever owned. I took the impala replaced the transmission from the auto wreckers and that one lasted for about 8-9 months, now the impala has been parked for several months. Theres an impala same as mine 3 doors down parked behind their house, I asked wats wrong with it & just as I thought blown transmission. I'm going to try rebuild the one in mine following the instructions from youtube for rebuilding a 4T65-e transmission they make it look simple so will try that see how that goes. save myself $2500-$3000.
  • aboscoabosco Posts: 1
    I would like some guidance as well. I have a 2005 Impala and my car feels like its going to stop or not go!
  • joe2thecjoe2thec Posts: 3
    Is she still working correctly? Any issues?

    What symptoms was your trans producing? I can't find your previous communications.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hi abosco,

    We'll do our best to try and help you with your concerns. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] [Attn Amber], and we will happily address any issues you are experiencing.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    I am sorry to read that you are having this issue with your vehicle. If you could please send me your full name, address, phone number, the VIN for the vehicle, and current mileage to [email protected] (attn: Marlea). I will be able to look into your vehicle history and research some options that may be available to you.

    Marlea Wilson
    GM Customer Service
  • adistudadistud Posts: 1
    My girls friends 2004 3.8 V6 chevy impala LS 4 door is having trans issues i believe. Automatic Trans by the way. When i take the the shifter and move it from D to R, then R to D, and so on..., Each time you change from one gear to the other there is a cluck that is pretty loud. Also when accelerating, shifting through the lower gears(1st gear - 3rd or 4th gear) you can feel a rough delayed shift and really feel it hesitate. Another example of its issue, for instance, In front of me on the road there was a traffic light signaling red to
    stop. The red light still a bit ahead, so id coast into it and while i coast in to intersection where the light is, the light turns green before i stop completely. Coasting at about 10 - 15mph Approximately, i then began to accelerate since the light signaled green and when first applying the gas to accel you can instantly feel the hesitation. Nothing reacts or engages for a quick second or two after you apply the gas. Then, it just grabs something and sticks making a pretty good loud unhealthy clunk.
    I really need help pinpointing this issue, and diagnosing it. I need to fix it ASAP.
    The research iv come across, i keep hearing to drain the trans fluid and replace the filter.
    I can get used trans for about 250-300 with ranging around 100,000miles
    Im hoping someone has some trick up thier sleeve for me, or some suggestion. Help me give the trans i got a little TLC and keep her operating till it just wont anymore.

    atleast till i can shop for around.
    SOME ONE HELP. Lets put our minds together my friends.
    Keep it simple for me, where do i start?
    and where do i go from there? ect.
    I appriciate your time. PLEASE HELP. Illl return the favor happily.
  • My transmission started slipping badly (once again) after a very long bout of stop and go traffic while returning home during July 4th weekend. The slip was evident each time I started moving and between each gear. This was only(?) the second time it had been this bad and I was sure it could not be revived. I was wrong.

    So, the following is worth repeating... and it costs nothing to try.
    -With the car off (works best after the car has been driven and warmed up), keys out, doors closed (so dome light is out) and security not enabled (doors not locked), lift the hood.
    -In the engine compartment, along the passenger side behind the battery, locate the fuse box.
    -Remove the cover, and inside the cover you will see a fuse locator. About one-third of the way down on the right side and directly below the STRTR relay is the (red) 10A TRANS.
    -Removing the 10A TRANS fuse for a minute and then reinsert.
    -Replace the cover, shut the hood, start the car, let it sit for a minute or two. and take it for a drive.
    -Removing/replacing the fuse reset transmission values and, unbelievably, the slip disappears/ diminishes drastically.
    -It may work best on your car as bit differently. May need to do it while tranny is cold, maybe while warm but don't drive again untli cooled down, maybe manually shift through gears with foot on brake while sitting and waiting for car to warm up (before inital test drive only) ... but it will NEVER run worse and ALWAYS runs (shifts) better... and its free.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    Sounds like you need a transmission rebuild or new transmission. I wouldn't waste my time putting in a used transmission with 100k miles because it could fail soon after installing it with that high mileage. If the car has been well cared for with regular oil changes, other fluid changes, etc. and has less than 100k miles, then I would go to a reputable transmission shop and get a rebuilt transmission with a warranty. The 3.8 v6 is a durable engine (even with the intake gasket problems) and could go 200k miles without a major overhaul. Good luck.
  • edgar24edgar24 Posts: 1
    Good afternoon Amber N.

    After reading all of the posts I see that my vehicle (2004 Chevy Impala) has the same transmission problem as the others. I bought my vehicle brand new and take very good care of it more the reason why I was surprised that I started having problems with it.

    I have been a loyal GM customer since 2004, I hope you would be able to direct me to someone who may assist me?


  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hi Edgar,

    Thank you for making me aware of your transmission problems. I can definitely do more research on your concerns to see what can be done to address the issue you are experiencing. If you could please email me your VIN, exact mileage, contact information, and dealership to [email protected] [Attn Amber], we can try to work towards resolving your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Hi Edgar,

    Thank you for making me aware of your transmission problems. I can definitely do more research on your concerns to see what can be done to address the issue you are experiencing. If you could please email me your VIN, exact mileage, contact information, and dealership to [email protected] [Attn Amber], we can try to work towards resolving your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Amber N.
    GM Customer Care
  • Hi, I know that there is a major problem with this cars tranny. Mine just died like every ones elses. Question, my mechanic will pull my tranny and my boyfriend who builds street race cars will rebuild the tranny, problem he has never worked on American tranny. Where can I find a manual/directions so he can rebuild it. Also, where can I find the required parts list to know what we need to change. I know torque converter and bands but what else do we need to buy?
    I was toying with the idea to by a Camaro, but after this and GM's none assistance with this problem that their tranny's fail I need to rethink buying a Camaro. I might need to answer the call of the Mustang calling me. Any help would be wonderful.
  • You have issues and in order to get the longest life possible the transmission needs to be serviced regularly. The screen replaced every 30K to 40K miles. I got about 135K miles on my original transmission in my 2001 Impala 3.4L. I had a rebuilt transmission installed in Arizona as I had moved to Henderson, NV. That lasted only 38K miles it was a low price rebuild and the weather (really HOT) there is hard on transmissions. I replaced the 2nd transmission with a GM rebuild that had a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty. So now I have 221,500 miles. Making sure the associated parts like the torque converter and the electrical solenoids are well maintained. The front wheel drive must have extra hard duty as the wheels are both driven and turning..the tires in the rear last 2X as long as the ones on the front. Each rebuild costs a little under $3 grand. If you started with a good tranny and serviced properly and didn't drive it in Death Valley you could get 200K miles out of it I am certain...
  • I own a 2004 Century and have the same issue but not as severe. The cause may be the transmission input shaft seal. In speaking to a transmission mechanic as well as a general mechanic the seal "flips" out of place and then corrects itself causing a sudden jerk. My experience is not to drive in OD in the city it started after changing out the transmission fluid. The condition happened when the engine was hot (after a highway run or during stop and go traffic). Adding a trans. cooler and a quality trans. fluid additive seem to have helped. It is an expensive repair as the transmission needs to be disconnected from the engine to be repaired, in my case anyway.
  • You explained my problem perfectly. I have taken it back to dealer and they couldn't replicate the problem. It is indeed an unhealthy clunk...Please let me know if you have found answer to issue.
  • I have a 2009 Chevy Impala LT. The tranny had 118K on it when it was rebuilt and it cost me about $2400. That was in April.
    Now, at 129K miles on the car, 11,633 on the rebuilt tranny, it's parked.
    A couple of weeks ago I noticed that while on cruise, on the highway, the tax would jump and I could feel the car's engine rev up a bit. Friday, it did it a lot more than average. Then, while pulling out of a driveway - slowly - after putting it in drive, suddenly I felt (and my family sitting outside HEARD) a very loud POP!! I put it in park, got out to check if I hit anything. Nada. Then I tried to drive. Pushed the gas pedal, nothing. Not even a change on the RPMs. I put it in reverse, then back in drive, it went forward a few feet and then out of nowhere, POP!!!! And boom - unable to drive again. Hubby checked/changed CV joints, which were fine. The tranny is now making a loud winding/grinding noise.
    My concern is - am I going to have to keep investing in this transmission over and over? I mean, could there be something CAUSING the transmission to mess up, if that's what's going on? Like a domino effect? And if not, what could this be? Am I looking at a steep hill to climb here? Anyone know what this could be?
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