1998 Olds 88 with delayed hard 1-2 upshifts - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-31-2015, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default 1998 Olds 88 with delayed hard 1-2 upshifts

A friend of mine has a 1998 Olds 88 with the 3800 V6 and 4T65E transmission. The car has 307000 miles on it, so it is getting up there in age, however it has been meticulously maintained thus far and has shown no signs of transmission problems at all, basically the engine and transmission functioned as good as new. A few days ago my friend took the car to a quick lube place for a transmission fluid change, they don't drop the pan or change the filter, just cycled in new fluid via the dipstick. This is something he'* done before, I think his interval was every 30K miles (much sooner than necessary IMHO). The main problem is, after this most recent fluid change, the transmission started acting up. I took it for a drive and here'* what I noticed: The 1-2 upshift could take anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds, and lets the RPMs get higher than they should. Once it does shift its a very hard shift if you're not careful to keep the RPMs down during the delay. 2-3 and 3-4 shifts are consistently normal, as is downshift under hard acceleration and normal decelerating downshifts. The computer also stored a code P1811 which I understand can be a pretty common thing for these transmissions and could be caused by several different factors. A secondary concern I had was the quick lube place said they used synthetic fluid even though the transmission calls for standard Dex III, although since this isn't the first time this has been done I'm guessing its been running synthetic for a while already.

What I've done so far is dropped the trans pan and replaced the filter since I have no idea how long since that'* been replaced. I also wanted to make sure the accumulator lines were still in place and checked in the pan for any chunks or other signs of total failure. The pan looked good, just normal material on the magnet and the accumulator lines were good.

Given the scenario here, could this be as simple as a 1-2 accumulator problem or am I going to be looking at accessing the valve body to replace the PCS and other components as well? Also, am I on the right track in thinking the transmission is not toast and this is just a simple component issue? Thoughts, suggestions... thank you!
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:34 PM   #2
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This is a rarity. Trans on 300K+ without a rebuild? Must have been babied.

Clutch material does NOT last FOREVER. No matter how its driven, or what "mechanic in a bottle" you put in it.

Rebuild time.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:26 PM   #3
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Agree with Mike....for a tranny to go 300K without problems or rebuild, just consider yourself lucky.....this could be the beginning of many problems....rather than fix one, and face another, and then another, if you truly want to keep the car, you are talking a rebuild or getting a used one.....and a used one could have it'* own problems......with a used one with low mileage, I would still replace the valve body and all solenoids, along with all seals and a complete flush and new filter....question is, is the car worth this?
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Old 11-01-2015, 03:19 PM   #4
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You may try looking in to installing a shift kit that has been known to be a bandaid fix for the P1811 code and general PCS irritability. I am curious what fluid has been used, if they are using Dex/Merc (or Dexron III) or Dexron VI.

It'* possible the clutch material that was suspended in the fluid before that'* now gone was the last thread the tranny was hanging on by.

Maybe try some Lucas Tranny goop, but if it does anything, it would probably be short lived.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:35 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the info and suggestions. I think I may go the route of trying to replace a few parts and see if that solves it... 1-2 accumulator piston, PCS, possibly even going with the TransGo kit to solve the issue. Looking at the big picture, there'* really nothing else wrong with the car and that'* a relatively small amount of money for the parts compared to a different car which would almost certainly introduce multiple unknowns and more costs. It will probably be a while before I have time to replace the parts, but when I get to it I'll post the results back here.

Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:44 AM   #6
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I believe you are just wasting your time.
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