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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 ([email protected]).

    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 & I75 Posts: 23,178
    > 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.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • Thank you!
  • 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: 10,053
    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.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 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.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    We are talking about a Super. From my recollection, the Super has the NorthStar Aurora engine V-8 coupled with a 4 speed box. It might be the same tranny used in Impala SS, but definitely in a few Cadillacs.
    I see the fix, replacing the valve body. Again from recollection, the valve body is in the bottom of the tranny so I would consider that a good fortune that they did not have to drop the tranny for the repair. My personal observance is the more they have to take apart the greater the chance of something going wrong resulting in later problems. A bit like Murphy's law.
    Valve body, plate, and valve. The valve I mentioned in earlier post as being a known problem, that would be this valve. Certainly easier than dropping whole tranny to get at, but it requires removing the valve body to get at it.
    I hope that is the end of your trouble. At least from what I've heard, they finally got a rear engine seal that holds on that engine. Third change seems to have worked and that is a blessing. No easy job to change on the Aurora engine. The engine is of a special design and to replace it, you not only had to remove transmission from it but split the block at the crankshaft holes.
    Do make sure that proper oil fill is done at changes. Because of that rear seal blowing out, GM reduced the amount of oil by 1/2 qt to an even 7 qts. They did not change the dipstick, so when at proper level the stick always showed a 1/2 qt low making it easy for some to inadvertantly overfill.
    I am unaware of late changes if they occurred so you might have a bit of digging to find facts. That is they may have changed the fill quantity after they found a seal that holds, or not. They may have eventually changed the dipstick to reflect accurately, or not.
    My opinion of that engine, pretty high tech for its release. Also powerful for then and very smooth. Downsides seem to be that it can be finicky as many Aurora owners found. Many who used aftermarket parts developed further problems and the fix most often was to replace with OE parts. Earlier years of it required premium and to short change that often led to spark knock. The sensor system was likely not as accurate as today's system. Spark knock, very bad for engine. Also it usually led to decreased mileage which offset the price difference and it definitely hurt performance.
    I was saddened slightly by Cadillac's decision to drop the engine instead of updating it for the next generation. That would be moving it from the 32 valve to VVT and changing it to DI (direct injection). At least it would have been a very interesting comparison to the Corvette Mercury Marine V-8.
    Does yours have an oil cooler?
  • Actually no. The Supers have the small block LS4 that are also used in the Gran Prix GXP and Impala/Monte Carlo SS. The Lucerne Super however did come with the Northstar. I'll continue to know on my simulated wood on my dash that the problem is solved.
  • moonclmmoonclm Posts: 1
    I feel your pain. I own a 2005 Buick LaCrosse and it is now in the transmission shop for a repair on the transmission. I had it in 2008 at the dealership with the problem, they could not diagnose the problem. In fact, I had it at TWO GM dealerships and neither could find the problem. I was told by the trans shop they will not find a transmission problem because they don't do transmissions. I will never purchase another GM product. I have been buying Ford products, due to buying on the A, Z plans. I had a 1993 Mercury Sable that performed a heck of a lot better than this Buick. I have never had a vehicle where I had to have the transmission repaired. I have a cousin who bought a brand new Nissan Sentra in 2010, right after the purchase, the transmission went out. So advice to everyone, go online and get reviews before purchasing a new automobile!
  • deanatldeanatl Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 Buick Lacrosse and am get enginer light with codes 716 and 717 input senser. I have checked the wiring and connectors and it is looking like maybe need to change the input senser out. Dealer is telling me that for $600.00 is what it will cost to drop the engine out to get access to the cover to change the senser. The milage is only 40,000; does anyone have any ideas?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Thank you for taking the time to post your concerns. Can you please email me with your VIN, current mileage, and involved dealer? I look forward to hearing from you. I apologize for your inconvenience and frustrations. I look forward to working with you.
    GM Customer Service
    [email protected]
  • jondoe213jondoe213 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Buick Lacrosse CXL with 111,000 miles on it. Like a previous poster I too bought the Brand to avoid disasters like this. Was driving on the freeway felt a (shudder) when stepping on the gas i thought i was going over rumble strips but the car wanted to stall. Managed to get it home luckily i live right behind a dealership so planned on driving it over put it in D and no go. Had to have them come pick it up which was 21/2 hours later! Thats a seperate issue but i live right behind the dealership so i'm sure i'm charged for this!! Get the call and they are saying it's $3500 to replace the transmission. NO WARNING. no lights..nothing..just dead. Emailed Buick on this I find this insane. After 150,000 sure why not but come on i expected better from this brand. I almost vomited on my screen when he told me the cost.
  • does not bode well for my '05 LaCrosse !! I will never buy another one and probably will steer clear of GM period. Your transmission repair: probably get a better deal if you take it to a dedicated/trusted transmission-repair-only shop. The dealership may just drop it and take it to a contract repair shop. Thus you get charged the dealership's middle-man fee on top of normal repair charges.
  • motorcity6motorcity6 Posts: 427
    Good idea..Most GM don't get involved in the rebuilding of trannies for they can outsource the work and save money..Pocket the profit.

    The plain old 3.8 V-6 is a corporate engine with the same engine and tranny shared with the Low-end Buicks as goes in the base Chevy Impala and base Grand Prix..

    The longer an engine/tranny stays in production, the push by the bean-counters is to cheapen the product---save money to improve the bottom line..Back in the old days the warranty period was short, however with the Govt takeover of GM the warranty period was extended.

    I ran across a 2008 Lacrosse CXL, all options w/12k miles and only 1 yr of warranty left, probability could be bought for 13.5 cash, however after reading the Buick forums, I passed up the bidding process..
  • newbuickownernewbuickowner Posts: 1
    edited November 2012
    We bought a 2005 Buick LaCrosse from a man whose father bought it brand new when he was 83 years old. The father is now in assisted living and the son put the car up for sale. The car is immaculate and had only 42,000 miles on it. So my husband scoffed it up because his 2000 Chevy Impala with 320,000 miles on it was finally having too many issues. During the first long drive, he noticed a skip as he goes to accelerate. It's happened several times and as disheartened as he was he went to a Buick dealer. They put it on the computer and came up with 1811 code. They gave him an appointment for today to "look into it further". He went this morning and for $100 (I think they just put it on a computer again!) they said it's the Pressure Control Solenoid that it would take 5 1/2 hours and approx $900 to replace. I started doing research 2 weeks ago and found alot about the 2005's having this issue. I am worried that we are going to start into a long haul. Isn't there a recall or bulletin on this? I DID call the GM number 2 weeks ago when I found it on this website and spoke to someone there so it's on record that we have the skipping issue and that we had an appointment today. I think we need direction before we dump alot of money and pain and anguish. The thing that gets us is the mileage is so low. If we had bought the car new and had this same issue at this same mileage, the car would have still been under warranty because we drive more miles that the elderly man did. Because he didn't drive far, it took longer to get to this point. Thank you for any assistance.
  • jq2005jq2005 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 lacrosse and I am having the same exact problems you are having buick 55 my wife and baby and 10yr old drive in that car, and just this morning we were turning shut off in a turn and going form a dead stop a woman can control it a man can barely control it! I have been in the car business for a while so I know diff people I've had it scanned multiple times, there are six different codes coming up for fuel, but the same exact things that happen to you happen on a regular basis with this car and NO RECALLS it's So dangerous She has broken down on 95 with my infant in the car at night! and has to wait ten to 15 minutes before she can get it started and have to two-foot it just in case especially in stop n go traffic! but no one seems to be able to find the problem, but somethings gotta give at least put out a bulletin telling consumers what might be the cause of the is absoloutely horrible the way it performs and the check engine light is on n when its off it doesn't happen nearly as much if ever so it might be good for a day or 2 at the most n it scares the life out of me for anyone to be driving it and LIKE TODAY STALL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TURN AND NOT BEING ABLE TO MUSCLE THE STEERING WHEEL TO CONTROL IT! but I'M IN FOR ANY PETITION AND SUPPORT I CAN!
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