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 trans starts in 3rd gear

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mudbuny76
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PostSubject: trans starts in 3rd gear   Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:05 pm

I have a 95 sc that takes off in 3rd gear when it is cold. It did not start this until the weather turned colder here the past week or so. It shifts and runs out fine after I stop at the stop sign down our block. The fluid does not smell burnt and is up to operating level. I only gave $300 for the car so its no biggie if the tranny is shot, but I guess I am just hoping there is a possibility it could be something else.
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:19 pm

After you stop down the block. will the transmission start off in first when you start up?

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mudbuny76
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:22 pm

yes, after that it will start out normally and shift through all the gears fine
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:18 pm

Has the car sat for a while before you started driving it? A shift solenoid may be sticking and may work properly after driving a bit. Try starting the car, then shut it off and restart. Does it function properly then?

For a $300 car, as long as it runs well otherwise, I would drive it and see what happens. It may clear up on its own.

I will still check with my tranny guy on Monday for you though.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:03 pm

mudbuny76 wrote:
I have a 95 sc that takes off in 3rd gear when it is cold. It did not start this until the weather turned colder here the past week or so. It shifts and runs out fine after I stop at the stop sign down our block. The fluid does not smell burnt and is up to operating level.  I only gave $300 for the car so its no biggie if the tranny is shot, but I guess I am just hoping there is a possibility it could be something else.  
Do you know when fluid and filter were most recently changed?
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mudbuny76
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Mon Oct 28, 2013 7:45 am

bigdave wrote:
Has the car sat for a while before you started driving it? A shift solenoid may be sticking and may work properly after driving a bit. Try starting the car, then shut it off and restart. Does it function  properly then?

For a $300 car, as long as it runs well otherwise, I would drive it and see what happens. It may clear up on its own.

I will still check with my tranny guy on Monday for you though.
I have no idea how long the vehicle had been sitting before I bought it. According to our service history it was probably driven regularly. It was brought in for service in January of this year and the egr valve was replaced. (That is the last service visit until I purchased it.) The guy then traded it in in June. It sat at my house until the beginning of September when I started driving it.

Service history goes back to 2004 in our system at the dealership. In 2006, at 111,000 miles it had the pwm solenoid and tcc regulator replaced. I am assuming that tranny fluid and filter was changed at that point.

Yesterday morning I put the gear shift down in first when I took off instead of drive. It did take off in first then, once I got to the end of the driveway I put it up in drive and it took off normally (in first gear instead of third).
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:12 am

As Albert suggested, a fluid and filter change may be a good idea. Also check electrical connection at trans for corrosion and looseness.

Reading in our FSM, your problem seems to be with the "B" shift solenoid or its circuit. Being that your car is only affected on first start up, I would try the above suggestions and drive it for a while.
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:47 pm

I talked to my tranny guy, and he says a solenoid is week or sticking. I checked factory srvice manual and it points to solenoid B. My guy also said that a tranny additive may have thickened fluid and caused this. He recommended starting with a fluid and filter change also.

I take it you work at a dealership. Do they have scanner to test solenoid or check tranny codes? If they will do it for you, it might be worth doing.
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:41 am

A few years ago I had a sticking solenoid/valve in my Turbo 400 and I added a can of trans additive and it fixed it. You know the stuff... they claim it frees sticking valve and solenoids... available at all auto parts stores. Worth a shot. Won't do any more harm and may just be the cure. Afterwards, then I'd change the fluid.
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:47 am

A THD 400 is mechanically different than the electronic 4T60/65E. If the trans is not actually damaged, a fresh filter change and fill with Dex 6 will put off problems for a long time. That additive may help free the solenoid... And at the same time make the lockup clutch slip and burn up. Suggest you start with the change, not the mech-in-a-can.
Yardley wrote:
A few years ago I had a sticking solenoid/valve in my Turbo 400 and I added a can of trans additive and it fixed it. You know the stuff... they claim it frees sticking valve and solenoids... available at all auto parts stores. Worth a shot. Won't do any more harm and may just be the cure. Afterwards, then I'd change the fluid.
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mudbuny76
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:46 am

bigdave wrote:
I talked to my tranny guy, and he says a solenoid is week or sticking. I checked factory srvice manual and it points to solenoid B. My guy also said that a tranny additive may have thickened fluid and caused this. He recommended starting with a fluid and filter change also.

I take it you work at a dealership. Do they have scanner to test solenoid or check tranny codes? If they will do it for you, it might be worth doing.
Yes, I do work at a Buick/GMC dealership. I have always been a stickler about regular maintenance, and fixing things before they are broke. I guess my opinion on tranny fluid/filter changes has been that if there is already a problem, that is not going to fix it. Just like changing the engine oil isn't going to fix a motor issue. However, that has been my experience on older rear wheel drive gm's.

It does have a check engine light that is on most of time, I was hoping the fact that it needs a bcm had something to do with it. I will try to get it in next week and have one of the guys check for codes and see what comes up and do the filter and fluid. Hopefully that does the trick.

Thank you guys so much for all your input!!
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:30 am

The fluid might be thick enough to be getting "stuck" in the valve body until it warms up. Like everyone has suggested, get the fluid/filter changed first and see if it helps....
Also, have that SES light checked out. Chances are, there's a trans code or 5 stored. If there aren't any trans codes, then a fluid/filter change will probably cure things up after awhile.

This may not pertain to your problem, but who knows. Have your guys look up GM Bulletin #01-07-30-002E. If your recently bought Riv has a Remote Start or something on it wired incorrectly, the condition you're having will happen. That Bulletin has some info on it, and other issues.
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mudbuny76
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:28 am

Abaddon wrote:
The fluid might be thick enough to be getting "stuck" in the valve body until it warms up. Like everyone has suggested, get the fluid/filter changed first and see if it helps....
Also, have that SES light checked out. Chances are, there's a trans code or 5 stored. If there aren't any trans codes, then a fluid/filter change will probably cure things up after awhile.

This may not pertain to your problem, but who knows. Have your guys look up GM Bulletin #01-07-30-002E. If your recently bought Riv has a Remote Start or something on it wired incorrectly, the condition you're having will happen. That Bulletin has some info on it, and other issues.  
yes, it does have an aftermarket remote start that worked fine until a few weeks ago. Now it doesn't work. Someone has mentioned to me that it may be in "valet mode". Hmmm. I can go in our system and pull that bulletin and look into that as well.
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:26 pm

Good call on the remote start Abaddon!
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bigdave
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:27 pm

Good call on the remote start Abaddon!clap 
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: trans starts in 3rd gear   Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:10 am

Well, hopefully it's something as easy as that. Nobody wants a broken tranny. I know that the PCM has to see trans values before it can drive properly, and if the Remote Start is malfunctioning in just the right way, it will stay powered down until it's overridden. We had this problem a lot on different vehicles in the same year ranges. Ignition switches can/will cause this particular problem as well. That Bulletin I mentioned has some decent info on it.

Just throwing out some "what ifs"
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