No Kick-Down out of Lock-Up - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-06-2013, 10:00 AM   #1
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Default No Kick-Down out of Lock-Up

'94 Olds 88

I know (from doing a search) these transmissions are reluctant to kick down out of O/D Lock-up because I've had two ('96 Bonne SE and this Olds), but it almost borders on dangerous to just have the engine shudder trying to make power at 1500rpm at 65mph or so.

I'm not reluctant to shift using the shift lever if I need to accelerate, but I have a new driver using the car and he just sits there w/ the car shuddering due to too much throttle opening for the low cruise rpm. If you literally kick it to the floor, it will sometimes shift down from O/D w/ T/C lock-up.

Out of the lower gears, or when not locked up, it downshifts normally and smoothly, BTW.

Is there ANY "fix" or work-around to get them to shift out of T/C Lock-up, or down to 3rd gear?

The vehicle has only 60,000mi since new, and otherwise now runs like a Swiss Watch. I know my '96 ate its first tranny at only 72k, but I assumed that was an anomaly.

In the "Old Days" there were vacuum modulators and kick-down rods or cables, but now w/ everything computer controlled, it'* a bit tougher.

I was hoping the new TPS I just installed would help (and it DID stabilize the erratic idle), but it hasn't.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:15 AM   #2
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The transmission is controlled by the computer, so for some reason, the computer doesn't see the need to kick down, even when you nail the gas.

My first guess, throttle position sensor, but just reading again, it hasn't done anything. You may need to get the car scanned with live data to see why it is not giving you a face full of downshift when you command it.

On mine, it is eager to go to second if you let it below 75mph.

Now that you have replaced the TPS, you may want to reset the computer, just to see if it helps also (disconnect the battery for 15 minutes).
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjolly87 View Post
The transmission is controlled by the computer, so for some reason, the computer doesn't see the need to kick down, even when you nail the gas.

My first guess, throttle position sensor, but just reading again, it hasn't done anything. You may need to get the car scanned with live data to see why it is not giving you a face full of downshift when you command it.

On mine, it is eager to go to second if you let it below 75mph.

Now that you have replaced the TPS, you may want to reset the computer, just to see if it helps also (disconnect the battery for 15 minutes).
First, thanks for actually reading the entire post. You wouldn't believe how often I've posted with detail, only to have replies tell me to do exactly what I listed as having done already! I was a tech adviser on a BMW Forum, and the biggest thing was Searches, and Reading the Posting.

Coincidentally, we did reset the computer when changing the starter recently since I had the battery disconnected for a good long time at that point (after the IAC and TPS replacement).

I read the 4-page Sticky on this issue, so I know I'm not alone.

Given this is a '94, scanning is problematic not being OBD II. It'* getting hard to find a state inspection station that can even test pre-'96 cars (they all say they see almost NO non-OBD II cars so have stopped servicing the dynamometer systems). And FORGET even getting a GM key made anywhere but a GM dealer, as no one stocks the resistor-key blanks anymore. The local dealer nailed us for $45 for a duplicate ignition key after I checked every key-shop in 25mi.

Years back, I had a Camaro that was the same way, but after a PROM chip change (they were plug-in then), the car suddenly shifted as perfectly as anyone could wish with just light throttle pressure, and fuel economy actually went UP by 3mpg! But of course now, we have been legislated into political correctness even if it HURTS fuel consumption. I have a friend w/ a recent Corvette w/ the 6 speed manual who sold it because he got mechanically "locked out" of the logical gears by the computer so often, forcing him to try shifts like 2-3, only to find the computer allowed only shifting 2-4 since he was accelerating gently. He sold it and bought a Porsche (and yes, I KNOW he could have just unplugged the lock-out solenoid connector and shifted normally, but he is a "rule follower" and refused to break the "law."

I will teach the young man to shift manually where needed, but unlike the earlier Oldsmobiles, where you could go from D down a gear by just pulling down into "*" with no pulling up against spring pressure (which I guess stood for "Super," the new ones require lifting the up to shift down, and if he moves the shifter too far, he could go down to 2nd or even 1st in his inexperience).
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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It may also be worth a shot to start sourcing a replacement PCM. 94-95 PCM'* have been known to fail on occaision, or go buggy. Also, from what I understand, when the shifter goes down to second, the car will ALWAYS downshift to second, even if it is not safe to do so. Going to first is governed however, and it won't drop until a much lower speed (mine is about 30mph). So as long as your new driver is not doing 80mph (or less, depending on the Final Drive Ratio) the risk of damage is relatively low. And if the car is a column shifter, it is VERY easy to overshoot drive and hit second.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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Yes, it'* a column shifter, and hence my concern.

In the old days, you could shift down from drive ONE gear (into 3rd, or in some just locking out T/C lock-up) by just pushing down. There was no lift-detent. That way you couldn't hurt anything (by over-shooting).

Wish they hadn't deleted that feature.

I've been amazed the difference between my '96 Bonnie "loaded" SE with this '94 Olds 88 w/ regard to features, capabilities, and trim level.

Night and day.
Pontiac had an entirely different design philosophy.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:05 PM   #6
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Yes, a few people here have complained of the "hard to kick down" feature these cars have. Outside the typical TPS issue, I agree with Jolly about the PCM issues also....and getting the car scanned for codes. Though, your car being a 94, do you have the 16pin OBD1.5 connector or the older OBD1.0 connector?
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:41 PM   #7
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I will take a look around tomorrow and see.

I hadn't bothered to look since it is 2 model years before OBD II (I know most had a connector in '95), but maybe, though not sure if an OBD II scanner like I have will show anything useful.

We just took the car through TX Inspection and they are pretty strict, and plug into whatever is present, and do a full dyno test as well on all vehicles less than 25yrs old (I think CA does to 40 years old or something).
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:59 AM   #8
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I suspect it is likely going to be the OBD 1.5, which is an OBD 1 computer, with an OBD 2 plug. It requires that scanners be specifically compatible with that system.
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