Trans starts in 2nd - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-18-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
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Exclamation Trans starts in 2nd

Hello everyone,

I just took my bonne to the dr'*, and got some things straightened out. The car seems to run great now except they tell me to visit a trans shop, as my trans seems to want to start (in drive) in 2nd gear.
When I manually shift from 1st through to D, all seems well, very responsive etc etc.
We have a new trans filter and gasket kit, so that will probably be step one. What else could I, would I, should I look at?
Also, on acceleration from a stop, it will sometimes (usually when its on the colder side) chime 3 times long steady chimes. I assume that'* my trans being angry, but no dash lights come on.

Thanks for your time
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:24 PM   #2
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Is the "check engine" light on? Drop the pan and see if it is clean.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:37 PM   #3
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Yes, check the codes, even if you don't have a SES light.

Also, do you have 4th gear? If all you have is 2nd and 3rd then you may have lose the 1-2 shift solenoid.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:38 PM   #4
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I seem to have all gears when done manually. When I start in D, the car acts much like a stick starting in 2nd. The shop it was at said it has a neutral safety switch error code, but told me I had it lined up perfectly. I had that code a while back, and think it might just still be there.
He said something about the points maybe being bad?
I hope to get the chance this weekend to drop the pan, and see what is going on in there. I don't think its a problem with the trans itself. The car is running like a top now, as long as I avoid starting in D.
Dan is that solenoid inside the tranny? aka a shop job. Or is it easy to at least take a peek at?
Could a "bad" neutral safety switch cause things like this?

Thx again.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #5
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That'* inside the side pan. Could be a stuck on torque converter.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
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Good to know Dan.
I know very little about transmissions.
I was quite grouchy to find out there was a problem with it. My problems with my car for the last 6 or 7 months was 2 bad coil packs, and two high resistance plug wires. The coils were testing well with a multi meter, and I used a spare (only one) good coil pack to test for a bad one. Doesn't work when two are the problem, heh.
I hope to get the car in the garage on Saturday to check out the pan, and replace the gasket and filter. (We bought it two years ago, and never got the car running well enough to bother with the tranny'* welfare).
I'll post back with my findings when I get in there.

In the mean time, any advice on things to look for or check while I am there etc would be very welcome.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Anything that looks out of place in the pan, magnet full, sediment, chunks.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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How would I go about inspecting the solenoid? Is it check able, or is it better to get a proper diagnosis, and then replace parts?
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:10 AM   #9
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The solenoid is behind the side trans pan. And that only comes off with the trans out of the car. So hard to inspect. You may need to go to a trans shop and have them scan it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:30 AM   #10
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Technically you can drop the drivetrain enough to pull the side cover. I've done it a few times now and it'* a decent amount of work. Being that you are having an odd issue of starting in 2nd, I'm not convinced that the soleniod is bad. If it were bad, you'd never be able to get 1st when holding manual first.

This makes me wonder what the pcm is seeing for a request from the shifter position.

Please try starting the car in neutral. If it does, then the PNP is registering the proper position for P and N. And when the car starts in 2nd, does it automatically go into 3rd and 4th on it'* own?
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