Transmission Traumas?



  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    Get an oil analysis then you will be able to determine precisely what it is.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    The ghastly truth is that Transmissions used to be much more trouble free. Why?? Because they used whale oil. This oil had magical properties because it would not only lubricate, but would transfer heat at a more rapid rate and attack acids that formed in the transmission.

    Transmission Oil Coolers, or the addition of the additive Lubegard (essentially a synthetic whale oil manufactured from soybeans) can restore the transmission balance back to its pre 1973 state, and be a more stable component of the automobile.
  • bearmerbearmer Member Posts: 37
    This is in a 1999 Chev Lumina with 3.8L engine and 40K mi. I've only owned it since June. When you shift from Neutral to Drive at the curb with the engine running above idle (say, 1500 rpm or so) the transaxle sort of chatters as the clutch takes hold. It's not the abrupt jerk that I would expect. When the engine is at idle the engagement is normal. I've also noticed the same clutch chatter a few times on launch from a red light when it's already in Drive and the transaxle is cold.

    Does anybody know if this means a failure is imminent?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    Has the transmission been serviced? How many miles on it?
  • bearmerbearmer Member Posts: 37
    I haven't changed the fluid and I doubt the first owner did. I don't know if anything else was done before I bought it. The mileage is about 38K mi.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I think that you're describing typical transmission shudders. This is a sign of potential serious problems, but if it is just starting, it need not be terminal.

    The cheapest thing to do is a complete drain/fill of the transmission fluid, and add Lubegard additive in the proper ratios( This product has stopped shudders and shifting problems in three cars in my personal experience. 2 automatics, and one stick. I believe that in one case it avoided a tranny replacement. I put it in all of my vehicles now.

    Lubegard was developed in conjunction with the US government, so it is not a fraud. Reduces heat as well as acids that destroy transmissions.

    Can buy for about 10 bucks a bottle at NAPA stores. If you are doing a complete drain it may need 2 bottles, depending on the capacity.

    With that behavior, in the future, I would consider a regular drain refill arranagement every 15,000 miles. It will get out about 50% of the fluid. My area has specials so it can be done between $35--$50 depending on the cost of the transmission filter. Much cheaper than an overhaul.
  • carpenter7carpenter7 Member Posts: 1
    My 1989 Pontiac GrandAm has a manual 5 speed transmission. I can't get it into 1st or second gears, but all the rest of the gears work. I can even drive, starting out in 3rd. It's my only car and I,m stranded. Any suggestions on what could be wrong?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    When My Pickup did that years ago it was a complete overhaul.
  • bburton1bburton1 Member Posts: 395
    Check out their site-these guys appear to be a little higher on the food chain than some of the snake oil peddlers. Remember one additive ad that said the product would lower engine friction so much it would cause the heater to blow cold air.

    Love these guys-always a laugh a minute.
  • slyfox2slyfox2 Member Posts: 5
    The transmission will shift from1st to 2nd ok but will not shift to 3rd or 4th. It will go into 5th and reverse. The truck has 66k on it. Could it be some other problem other than a synchroniser?
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    The shift mechanism uses one shift rail and shift fork for the 1-2 synchronizer, another for the 3-4, and another for 5th. If 3rd and 4th are both affected it might be a shift mechanism problem.
  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    Sorry but I just don't understand it. Here is my list of shortcomings that auto trannys have in relation to manuals:
    1. Decreased fuel economy
    2. Decreased vehicle performance
    3. Decreased reliability ( a huge variance most manuals from all auto makers are trouble free for hundreds of thousands of miles)
    4. Higher purchase cost
    5. More expensive maintenance and repair

    In Europe most vehicles on the road have manual trannys. For 1 simple reason, economy. They pay for fuel about the same per liter as we pay per gallon. Auto makers are always looking at ways to increase their corporate average fuel economy. This is both the simplest and cheapest way for them to do it.

    It frustates me to no end that some of the vehicles made today that I would like to own are not even offered with a manual tranny.
    Why do people pay more for an inferior product?
    I realize there are some people out there who do not know how to drive a manual. To those people I say grow up and learn. If they can't because of some physical ailment then I can accept that.
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    I think a manual tranny should be available on every vehicle sold. Trucks, cars, minivans, SUV's, it shouldn't matter.

    I could care less about Navigation, Automatic headlights, automatic climate control and so forth.

    I wanna shift it myself.

  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    Being 55 years old, I have driven hundreds of thousands of miles on both auto's and manuals. There are many reasons to choose automatics the primary one of course is ease of driving. When you think of it its pretty ridiculous to go through all of the motions to get a car up to speed-Performing 4 manipulations with clutch and gas. Pretty stupid-really. As far as reliability. With reasonable care an automatic will last longer than most people keep their car withoutany problem. Economy?? Not much of a real issue here. If you accelerate carefully and get the torque converter to "lock up" quickly there is zero slippage. 99% of people are ignorant of that fact. Low gas milage is caused by careless driving. Most people probably get better milage with auto because of less temptation to "go thru the gears" The cost of an automatic is small compared to the overall cost of a vehicle. Repairs??Most people I know wind up replacing a clutch. Its not cheap. Also its not cheap to replace synchronizers in a transmission. Oh, by the way- Engines last longer with automatic transmissions because there is less shock to the engine.

    Performance?? Not really a big issue. If you need the extra performance of a 5 or 6 speed you probably need to be on the dragstrip or track.

    Don't get me wrong-for 40 years there has always been a manual in my driveway. But as you get older, driving is more about getting to where you are going than fun.
    Finally, I think your Hypothesis is incorrect. Most Americans don't "love" automatics. Its really just another part of a vehicle. Forinstance- do I really love my cars drive shaft?? Again-jus another part of the car.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    We have 2 manuals and one automatic. Always had at least one manual even when the family was small. Only had to get one clutch on a car that I had just purchased. Never had to replace on any other. Wife and I just don't seem to be hard on clutches.

    I would have to say for those, unlike me, who drive in heavy traffic regularly that an auto is favored for stop and go driving. But a manual can avoid a lot of the problem by simply driving slower continually rather than rabbit starts and stops.

    Gas Mileage? Doubt if there is any difference now a days especially if we like to drive the cars at a lively level. Many manual tranny drivers tend to push the car more. But it is more fun. In the USA not a significant consideration right now.

    Power? Oh, yeah. No matter what they do automatics still drain off power. I drive 4 cyl cars. I get into the same model and year with an auto tranny and I wonder what happened to the power. These models feel dead.

    More satisfying driving experience. Manual hands down. More total driver involvement is required.

    Custom tailoring of gearing to terrain, again a manual. With Europe's windy roads and many mountains this may very well be a reason why manuals are still preferred.
  • joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    I started driving before automatics were in production,in 1969 went automatic and never looked back.Have you ever replaced a clutch,i have yet to have automatic fail.I went through New York city back in the 60's and my clutch leg almost fell off,oh i'm also lazy.
  • sureshkrsureshkr Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 3.2TL. But one of my friend who bought a 2002 TL. He mentioned about transmission problems in his 2002 Acura TL-S and he had to take the car to the dealer. It will take 15 days for them to fix this. The car would suddenly jump at lower speeds and at higher speeds the car would slow down. SOmetimes the RPM would rev up high even though the car slows down. Does anyone else have the same problem..I havent had any problems with mine so far but I want to be aware of any such problems inherent...
  • tboner1965tboner1965 Member Posts: 647
    Have had 3 automatic transmissions rebuilt. To be fair, I had an infant mortality in one manual transmission.

    I just want the choice. I'm not saying do away with the automatic.

    Just do away with automatic ONLY offerings.

  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    Actually on the car I currently own, also done several others on friends and family vehicles. The one in my car cost me $135 for the parts and about 5 hours out of one Saturday. However If you have to replace an auto tranny, it'll cost at least $1500-$3000 just for parts, and about the same 5 hours in labor.
    I agree with others auto trannys don't need to be eliminated, but manuals certainly need to be offered on every vehicle.
    As far as fuel economy goes, I don't care how carefully you drive an auto tranny, it is still not as efficient as a manual tranny if it is driven with similar care. Look at the window sticker on 2 identical vehicles in any dealers lot, one with an auto and one with a manual. I guarantee the EPA will have the manual rated for better fuel economy for both city and highway. I realize autos have become much more efficient over the years, but due to the nature of the torque converter even with lock up, they can never be as efficient as a manual. Remember lock up on most vehicles will only engage in drive or overdive gears and only under specific circumstances.
    Also in stop and go traffic, I frequently skip gears when shifting, that both improves economy and cuts down on shifting. I couldn't make an auto tranny skip gears even if I tried. That's part of the beauty of manuals the driver is in control.
    Another question, do you have any evidence to support your statement, "Engines last longer with automatic transmissions because there is less shock to the engine." Seems to me that engines in front of auto trannys are subject to a lot of unnecessary wear for 3 reasons:
    First they need to turn at higher RPMS at all times to maintain the same speed as a manual except when the torque converter is locked up,
    Second in an effort to obtain reasonable performance out of the auto you have to push just a little harder on the gas, and force the shift points further up the RPM band.
    Third when cruising on the highway, if you decide to change speeds or come upon a hill, the auto tranny will often downshift even if the driver didn't want to.
    I recently own a minivan (needless to say it came with an auto tranny, I didn't havee a choice) and when cruising down the highway I notice the torque converter lock and unloc, and experience many unwanted downshifts. I live in a mountain area.
    However, when I drive my car with the manual tranny I just cruise over the same terrain in 5th gear.

    One last thing performance is not just about the drag strip, in hilly terrain when the grade of the hill changes sometimes you need a different gear ratio to climb the hill effectively without really pushing the engine. Nearly all manual trannys come with 5 speeds, however, most autos have only 4.
    This is not such a big deal in my little car, but I've also done some heavy duty towing, and believe me the proper gear ratios are king when climbing mountains.
  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    The problem is with your shift linkage. There are generally 3 separate actuators on top of your tranny which engage the gears. One for 1st 2nd, one ofr 3rd 4th, and one for 5th reverse.
    In a 93 vehicle these should be actuated either by a direct rod type connection or possibly a cable type connection. My guess would be the the pin that holds this cable or rod in place either broke or came off, and the actuator slipped off. At any rate it should be a relatively easy fix as long as you can reach it and see it. Put your truck up on a lift or some drive on ramps and look on top or possibly the upper section of either side. If its is the pin you may need to buy a replacemnt, but in some applications an appropriately sized cotter pin will work just as well.
    Sorry I can't be more specific about exact location and style, the only Toyota manual I've worked on is a FWD car. Good luck, and don't let any shop tell you you need a new tranny, I can 99% guarantee you don't.
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Toyota rear wheel drive transmissions use internal rail linkage. The shift forks are secured to the rails with roll pins. Shift mechanism servicing requires transmission removal and disassembly. No adjustment is provided.
  • joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    Catam you say you replaced a clutch then why not overhaul an auto transmission,its not rocket science.Parts are cheap,its the labor that costs.Some kits are less than $100 and some are $250.Get a manual and go at it.I would rather overhaul an automatic transmission than an engine any day,a lots cleaner job.
  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    Most auto trannys have a list of specialized tools required for an overhaul. I don't own a repair garage, hence it would cost me more to buy all the necessary tools to do the job than the job itself.
    You are right tranny rebuilds are not rocket science, neither are engine rebuilds.
    But neither one is nearly as easy as a clutch replacement. Only specialized tool you need is the clutch alignment tool, and they cost about $5.
    BTW never had to do an engine overhaul out of necessity, only done them for performance improvement, to me its more enjoyable to do a job when you plan for it well in advance, and doing it because you want to not have to.
    Auto tranny rebuilds are a have to, whether it is convenient or not. Clutches are a have to also, but you always get sufficient warning that they have worn out, that you can plan for the repair.
  • gmlover1gmlover1 Member Posts: 60
    Wow much ado about nothing.
  • ob11ob11 Member Posts: 28
    Someone here hit it right on the head. Laziness. Most folks are to busy dialing cell phones, fiddling with tunes, yelling at the kids, looking at maps, drinking coffee...generally doing all sorts of other stuff rather than paying attention to driving. Manual transmissions kind of force you to pay attention. Doesn't always work though. I have been a passenger in my wife's many times cars when she is cruising down the highway at 65 -70 mph and the engine is wound up tight to 5000-5500 rpm in third gear, and she has no clue. I am working hard to teach my teenage daughter how these magic cars work so she doesn't become another clueless cruiser. I hope it works.
  • joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    Not needed,they claim that just to scare you away.What you do need you can make.I have never overhauled my own auto i just change fluid & filter every 30 K also i have only owned GM.
  • kmiddlebrooks1kmiddlebrooks1 Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced problem with rough upshifts on the 91 F-150? The problem only occurs after coming to a complete stop after driving for a while. The upshift is so harsh that it feels like another car just hit you in the rear-end. The problem is corrected by coming to a complete stop and shifting down to 1st and then back up to "D". This has been going on for several years but the truck only has 97000 miles on it (used as 2nd vehicle only). Any ideas??
  • mralanmralan Member Posts: 174
    I just purchased a 01 Taurus with 26k miles. Should I replace the trans fluid with synthetic?
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    on how soon you want to pay for a rebuild. Quite simple do nothing and hope or spend money dropping the pan, cleaning magnet, screen filter, exchanging ATF.

    In theory annual cleanups will let the transmission live for 200,000 miles or more. Doing nothing will allow a failure sometime under 100,000 [whether it's a day after the warranty expires or not is a function of your local condition-temperature, driving style etc].
  • imborn2winimborn2win Member Posts: 1
    I purchased my car less than 3 months ago, last week I started to have problems getting past third gear. I had it towed to the dealer and they said I had 'internal transmission problems.' The car has 107K miles. I contacted the shop where I purchased the car and after much arguing they agreed to fix it 'at cost' Question: How much does a new transmission cost? Is it possible that I might not need a new transmission? Frankly I don't trust these guys any more although they specialize in Mercedes and seem to sell and repair a lot of them.
  • slyfox2slyfox2 Member Posts: 5
    Catam. My transmission shift is on the floor. Does this have a linkage like the one you told me about in your message. Thanks for the information you sent.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    Check with the dealer, it may already be synthetic. When I shopped for one earlier this year the service manager said that they are already using synthetic.

    I would however, replace the fluid ASAP, and thereafter every 15,000 miles. My folks had a 1991. Tranny fixed under recall, never worked right, was going out again when they traded it in on a 1995. No tranny problems at 100K with regular maintenence.
  • kcannkcann Member Posts: 1
    I am experiencing exactly the same upshift problem with the same vehicle. I am going to take it into a couple of transmission shops tomorrow or wednesday and get a "free road test" and see where I go from there.
  • acuraowneracuraowner Member Posts: 57
    Automatics are starting to turn the corner as far as efficiency goes. Take a look at the MPG estimates for a 2002 Honda Civic EX and 2002 Honda CR-V. They are as follows.

    2002 Civic EX
    5spd Manual City 32MPG Hwy 37MPG
    4spd Auto City 31MPG Hwy 38MPG

    2002 Honda CR-V with Real Time 4WD
    5spd Manual City 21MPG Hwy 25MPG
    4spd Auto City 22MPG Hwy 26MPG

    I do agree that automatics will never match the performance or control of a manual.

    To the guy with the 2000 3.2TL asking about the transmission. The Acura 3.2TL/CL, Honda Odyssey, Acura MDX and to a lesser extent Honda Accord V6 are prone to early transmission failure and repeated transmission failures.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    What is early tranny failure? It lasted to the warranty right. Somewhere Americans got the idea that transmissions should last as long as engines which get their fluids changed at least 2-3 times per year.
    When you buy a used car with 100k [even an MB S500] you have to budget a tranny replacement sometime [a week later or 2 years later] it all depends on the maintenance level and driving style of the previous owner [owners].
    The more powerful the engine and the heavier the car is the more robust [expensive] the tranny has to be.
    Lux cars [BMW, MB, Audi use ZF; Lexus and Infiniti there own] the older 4 speeds run around $1500-$2500 [dealer cost for partially remanned units] 5 speed AT are 25% more plus the usual 5-8-10 hours to exchange so $3,000-$4,000 is a good range.
    Why do you think 3 year old car are half new price and 100k cars may be only 25-12% of new somebody owes the car some money as 50%-75% of its life may be gone but you won't have to spend much more than $15,000 [for MB S500, BMW 540-740, Q45 older, Audi A8, etc.] to get another 100,000 miles out of it that's less than half what the previous owner expended in depreciation and maintenance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Exactly---if you want to drive a car like an MB 500, a 4,700 lbs car with over 300HP and 350 ft lbs of torque, you are going to have to expect a hard working transmission that will need attention as the miles pile up.
  • acuraowneracuraowner Member Posts: 57
    Early transmission for the vehicles I have pointed out means well before 100,000 miles and as early as 15,000 miles.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'd guess about 125K is an acceptable lifetime for an automatic transmission. I wouldn't feel too bad if mine gave up after that much service, although I would hope for more because I service them regularly and don't do silly things with them (like ramming it into reverse while the car is still moving forward).
  • mralanmralan Member Posts: 174
    Change trans fluid every 15k miles? Isn't that a little extreme?
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    based on the car/ engine they are used in.

    Generally one should examine the ATF for discoloration [not sparkling shinny red as new] and take appropriate measures to make it looks and smells like new.

    The change in color is the result of overheating and or failure of clutch material [the glue gets over heated and fails allowing material to be washed off the bands and clutches].

    A few Premium transmissions have both a metal screen filter [to stop metal particles] and a paper cartridge filter to absorb clutch material these plus the magnet keep wear down but can do nothing to rehabilitate wornout overheated ATF.

    Each of you will have to monitor your transmissions for the color change this will tell you when to change ATF....use a white paper towel to compare your color to new ATF! Simple.

    "According to the Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association, 90% of ALL transmission failures are caused by overheating. And most of these can be blamed on worn out fluid that should have been replaced. "

  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I am following the recommendation of my Transmission specialists over the years. I readily admit to having cars that are prone to transmission failures, Ford, Mazda, Dodge, and Plymouth. Over the years multiple transmission problems were solved by changes of fluid. The one car that I took to the dealer annually, and just said do the regular maintenence schedule had to have the tranny replaced at 100K. Not one of the cars I normally service at the 15K interval have been replaced, or seriously malfunctioned.

    I have a tranny repairman that runs a special several times a year where from $35 -- 50 dollars they will drain out the fluid, replace the filter and replace the transmission seal. It's cheap insurance.

    But if I had extended drain oil, I would replace it at half of the recommended interval. Don't want another $2,000 repair again.
  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    I believe a poster named Alcan stated that Toyota RWD manual trannys use interal rail linkage. This is most likely the case for your situation. An easy way to tell for sure would be to pull up the boot over the bottom of your shift lever. If the shift lever shaft goes right into the tranny housing then the linkage is internal, it the shift lever is connected to another rod(s), then your linkage is external. My guess is that it is probably internal, the RWD trucks with manual trannys that I have done were that way.
    That means it will require removal of the tranny and opening the housing. Probably just a matter of replacing the roll pin after that, (make sure you find the old one and get it out), however it is a good day of work to remove and replace the tranny.
    Some things I would suggest, I believe you said your truck has about 60,000 mi. If you are going to do all of this work anyway, I would replace the clutch as well. You can get away with just replacing the friction disc for less than $40, however if I was doing it I would replace the pressure plate and throw-out bearing as well. It will probably cost you about $150 in parts for the full clutch, however, it will only add about 20-30 minutes to the job you have to do, and will prevent the need for this job in the near future. Your clutch should last significant longer than 60,000 mi, but I have seen them wear out around this number in some vehicles, especially depending on driving habits. My sister owned a 76 Camaro that I had to replace the clutch in about every 30-40,000 mi.
    Get a decent manual on your vehicle before you do the work, you can get them for about $12 from Auto Zone, and it will give you step by step instructions as well as pictures, and exploded views, for the whole proceedure.
    An alternative if you are afraid to tear into your tranny is to remove it and take it to a trusted shop and tell them what is wrong, although this is still a job that you can probably do yourself.
    Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    I am following the recommendation of my Transmission specialists over the years. I readily admit to having cars that are prone to transmission failures, Ford, Mazda, Dodge, and Plymouth. Over the years multiple transmission problems were solved by changes of fluid. The one car that I took to the dealer annually, and just said do the regular maintenence schedule had to have the tranny replaced at 100K. Not one of the cars I normally service at the 15K interval have been replaced, or seriously malfunctioned.

    I have a tranny repairman that runs a special several times a year where from $35 -- 50 dollars they will drain out the fluid, replace the filter and replace the transmission seal. It's cheap insurance.

    But if I had extended drain oil, I would replace it at half of the recommended interval. Don't want another $2,000 repair again.
  • q45manq45man Member Posts: 416
    Modern 4-5 speed electronic controlled transmissions coupled to V8 engines run $3,000 to $4,000 to rebuild/replace with a remaned unit.
    Easy to see that a $120 total flush every year or two and an ocassional pan drop, clean, refilter [$150] is quite cost effective even if it only prolongs the life a single year. GOOD frequent maintenance can usually double the tranny life.

    Easy for me since we get paid either way a little at a time or all at once.
  • michelef2michelef2 Member Posts: 1
    Had to put a new tranny in my 1997 Sunfire (78K)this sunmmer. A little too soon to be replacing in my opinion, but anyways.... Now, I've never had to put a transmission in a car before, but from what I've heard, it's expensive. I was exspecting to spend a couple thousand $$. My dad found me a used tranny outta a 99 Sunfire for only $130. Might there be something wrong??? Why is this piece of metal so inexpensive? (not that I'm complaining)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    sounds like you should be asking Dad that question. Sounds too good to be true, but maybe he knows a guy who knows a guy..........
  • joe3891joe3891 Member Posts: 759
    hot.What happened to the 4T40E if it was an auto,was the oil ever changed?
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Member Posts: 1,118
    It usually is. Remember that Labor is a large part of transmission repair, so I would get a good one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Personally, I wouldn't put in a used transmission unless I knew a) the history of the car it came out of, OR b) it carried a warranty from a wrecker (but you still lose the labor regardless) AND c) I had popped it open and looked around.
  • sinjin_dogsinjin_dog Member Posts: 84
    Have 96 Previa Auto (96K miles).
    Lately, when the engine is cold, the van seems feel like getting hit from behind whenever I release the brake from stop. It feels like someone is grabbing from behind. It usually disappers after car gets warmed up. Also, trying to accerelate back to say 45 mph, I can sense the lag or just spinning then grabs onto the gear.
    Before I take it to a local tranny shop, I want to get some idea of what is going on. Also, can I damage the tranny if continue to drive without fixing the problem.
    I checked the fluid level and had a flush job done at the Toyota dealer about 10k miles ago.
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