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Chevy Forum: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:00 AM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Did a search but could find the info...

Just picked up this 02 Cav, with 40K original miles and automatic transmission, intended for my daughter to use in grad school (she wore out her grand cherokee). It's a 10 for everything else, but it has a challenge going from 2nd to 3rd gear. Unless you are aggressively accelerating, the shift from 2nd to 3rd is not smooth. Especially during neighborhood driving speeds (45 mph or less), from a standing stop, as it goes through from 2nd to 3rd, it seems to "hunt" for 3rd gear, then shifts. It doesn't seem like a "transmission flare" or "slipping". It feels like a it bounces between 3 and 2 a couple of times before it stays on 3. There is no issue with going from 3 into 4 (over drive).

There is no Check Engine light on and it is not throwing any codes. With only 40K miles on the clock, I don't expect that it's a major transmission gear issue, but and electronic one.

Any ideas on what's going on and how to solve this?

thanks,

AL
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:04 AM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

have you checked the fluid level?
even with only 40K miles the fluid is 16 years old. I would replace the filter and fluid, do not flush.
if that doesnt correct the issue the next thought would be a shift solenoid problem.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:06 PM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Good question. As I do with all my used cars when I first get them, I brought the car to the dealer to have all the fluids changed: oil, coolant, and transmission. As part of this they get to do the full multi-point inspection of the car. Other than old tires (original) they didn't see anything that was of concern. As required in CA when transferring ownership, a smog test was done within the last 90 days. No issues with the car except for this shifting issue. Even the paint is in excellent condition.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:17 PM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Update.

Because the dealer couldn't have a tech diagnose at the transmission issue until next week, I decided to drive down first thing in the morning to an independent garage to see what they say.

Started on the drive at 8am and Low and behold, NO shifting issues. About 10 minutes into the drive I decided to turn around and go home. By the time I got to a block from the house... it started shifting strangely again.

The car appears to have to be warmed up and driving for about 10 mins before the issue comes up. This would explain why I didn't detect this during my test drive and evaluation (no water in the oil, OBD II reader, external inspection, then test drive) of the car prior to buying it.

This leads me to believe that I have an electronic and not mechanical issue that needs heat to cause the problem.

Could the Vehicle Speed Sensor be an issue without it throwing a Code and having the Check Engine Light come on?
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Old 07-24-2018, 03:36 PM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

your first response concerning the dealer changing all fluids, how do you know the dealer didnt overfill the transmission, back to recheck the fluid level. Trying to look for the easiest and cheapest possibility first. I assume the detail on the bill shows transmission fluid and filter?
The VSS usually throws a code.
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Old 07-24-2018, 07:07 PM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Thanks for the response.

The fluid level is fine.

Installing the Input Transmission speed sensor this evening and will report back. I'm told by some pro's that this part doesn't fail completely all at once. It can be intermittent enough to not throw a code, yet confuse the engine computer. Hope this $25 part does the trick. I'm also changing the outpput sensor ($12) as an abundance of caution.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:05 AM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Update 2...
Replaced Output Transmission Speed Sensor and now it shifts funny between 1st and 2nd, fine between 2nd and 3rd. I believe I'm on the right track- an electrical issue. I'm going to replace the input sensor (toward the read end of the tranny and hope the $12 part fixes it). The next step after is to replace the connector pigtail for the Output sensor. There must be a reason why the pigtail by itself is available at Autozone for replacement.

Still open for any other ideas.

Thanks,
AL
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:25 AM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

did you buy OE parts?
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:36 PM
benzmondi benzmondi is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by zora View Post
did you buy OE parts?
I bought Autozone parts. For these simple parts, is that bad?
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:06 AM
zora zora is offline
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Default Re: 02 Cavalier, 40K miles, 2nd to 3rd gear shift issue

You are the one who installed the part from Autozone and now you have a new problem, I would suspect the part.
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