- designer1962 wrote:
- Well my car has been sitting at the garage for months now, and they still haven't figured out what is wrong. (They insist it is the transmission needing a rebuild) They haven't replaced the neutral safety switch because they don't think that will fix things. (Meanwhile of course the tires are losing air and the battery is dead!) This is extremely frustrating as I am still paying the insurance on the car!
Anyway has anyone ever had a similar issue with their 1995 Riv. While driving, the car suddenly slips into what seems to be neutral but is in gear. All gears act that way. If car is turned off and restarted, all shifts fine again but then it reverts back to no gear engagement in any gear. If turned off completely and restarted, gears work fine for a short time then the "neutral" situation returns.
Any ideas out there? It seems to me it is some sort of electrical reset situation. Just a guess though.
I assume you've checked the obvious (transmission fluid level, transmission filter). If so then it's time to quit assuming.
My transmission did that sort of thing once; I had switched to Dex 6. On a maintenance flush/fill a new tech at a transmission shop put an additive into it along with Dex III - I specifically told him not
to do that and specifically said I'd pay the diff between Dex III and Dex VI. He did it anyway and told me he put in Dex III (he later admitted the mis-fill, "Dex III with the additive is the same as Dex VI" he claimed. "Not" I responded. The backfill with Dex III and additive (eventually) damaged the torque converter. They rebuilt the transmission.
In your case I wonder if it's a problem with the filter. Also, I have heard of sometimes on some cars the filter ATF strainer will clog up with (normal) debris from the transmission. When you shut it down the debris will fall from the strainer or filter inlet. Then you can start it up and drive it until it clogs up again. This is why I asked, has the obvious been checked yet.
Back to your transmission. An at-home fix might be to disconnect the transmission lines that run to the radiator and install an in-line oil filter, similar to what's used on racecars, and temporarily mount it on a frame rail or shock tower under the hood. Also, drop the pan and change the fluid and filter. Take a good look at the drained fluid to see the type and quantity of debris. Metal particles? If the transmission has not been opened since new this is not unusual. Clutch mud? Not unusual either. Broken parts in the pan? Bad news, but you needed to know now not later.
While you are at it, jump the battery and run it, and puff up those tires. In some places, some mechanics thrive on repairing and driving interesting cars that they get the owners to abandon. If that is the case here, you don't want to be a victim.
If it's not accumulated crap in the filter, then it isn't likely that you'll fix it by guessing. With all the labor to get the transmission out/in the time for a shop repair/rebuild isn't much. Point is, it could be something clogged an oil passage to the torque converter (hence no fwd or rev). Transmission might work fine once that is correct but you're still going to have to remove/replace it. Only exception is if the problem is just in the valve body, that can be R&R through a wheel well if you really want to get at it that way. The thing is, once the transmission is pulled the difference between the labor to just clean it out versus the labor to replace the frictions and steels, install a Transgo or Sonnax kit to deal with known issues, and put it back together is nearly zero IF the tech knows what he's doing in the first place.
If you have a junkyard in your area that does transmission swaps, what you might want to do is tow your car there and have them swap in a known good used transmission. For all we know you might be able to pick up a GM, Jasper, or other quality rebuild (they are stickered/marked for warranty purposes and the yardmen can tell) for short money. (shorter money than a dealer GM rebuild or a transmission shop, anyway). Using a Tech II or similar your powertrain control module can be reset to factory specs, and as long as they are at it a line gauge can be attached and the line pressures in the replacement transmission checked/set to baseline factory spec. Then after a few days of driving (for adaptation) you should be all set.
Bottom line I'd try changing the filter and perhaps installing an auxiliary filter temporarily and see if that keeps it going. If so then after 1000 miles or so I'd pull the auxiliary filter and change the main filter again. I would also change the fluid over to Dex VI either now or after ~20,000 miles on the clean Dex III. If the fluid/filter change and aux filter don't work (you will know quickly) then I would swap the transmission for a known good used one.