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Transmission Slipping?


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Several weeks ago I noticed a hard clunking when driving the vehicle at highway speeds and under load (i.e. up a hill). This is a severe clunking/slipping and causes a noticeable loss of speed. However, it does not seem to do this around town and shifts fine the rest of the time. Could this be a problem with the lockup torque convertor? The car has 139K on it and the transmission fluid is black and smells burnt. I know it is going to need a new tranmsiion I just don't want to put several thousand dollars into it now. Any alternatives to look at? Thanks in advance.

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Are you certain it is not a misfire ? Will be most noticable in the 45-55 range (low RPM/high load). Had a bad coilpack that did that and the engine would stutter on a hill at 50 mph.

If you are pushing down on pedal to keep up speed, you might also be unlocking the TCC which will jump the rpm by about 500.

Would suggest a transmission oil change and filter also before sinking a lot of money into it.

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Flushing usually prolongs transmission lives, but black and smells burnt worries me.

see previous post

Before draining or flushing you should pull the dip stick and look at the fluid. If it is dark, burnt smelling, and you see little flakes or speck in it, DO NOT FLUSH IT. The fluid and transmission is TOAST, but the transmission just has not figured out it should die yet. In these cases for reasons no one has figured out yet, if you flush a transmission in this condition it will fail right away. Real strange, but that is what seems to happen. If your trans is in this condition just drive it while you save for a replacement transmission. There is no way of telling when it will fail. It might be today, next week, or next year, but it is doomed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just and update..I went ahead and replaced the coil pack. I ordered the Jacobs Unit ($99.00 + 10 shipping) and it did the trick. No more shudder on the highway when under load, it also has smoothed out the idle. I would recommend this route to anyone with similar problems. Beats paying several thousand for a new transmission. Thanks for all the replies.

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Congratulations, you dodged a <span style="font-weight: bold">BIG ONE!</span>

I also have the Jacobs coil pack on my Reatta and 96 S/C Riv and love them.

Don't know whether you would want to flush your transmission given the description.

Thanks for the feed back it is always good to know how a situation was resolved.

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Had a similar thing happen to me in a 93 Lesabre. First noticed it during emissions testing while reving and holding the engine rpm at 2500 in nuetral. The tranny would "snap." At frist I thought it was a backfire, but the noise was coming from the transmission. A year or so later, it did it under load on hills, then it started slipping from a stop. I got rid if it after I got an estimate for $2500. I was afraid it was going to strand me on some mountain pass! I had about the same mileage, 133 K or so. See if it does the same thing in nuetral. Maybe you have the same problem.

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