My transmission has been acting up – occasionally declining to transmit. I first noticed the problem while on long uphill grades. The van would seem to drop between gears, and not engage until I cancelled the cruise control and let the engine speed drop to a lower speed.
It has lately started losing the gear during routine driving.
I decided, while I had my tax refund in the bank, I'd go ahead and get the thing looked at.
The dealership took the car out for a test drive, and hooked the transmission up to the diagnostic computer. Fluid levels were fine, and the fluid looked good, and there were no diagnostic codes in the computer. And the car behaved just fine.
Next stop, the people who had installed the transmission a couple of years ago. Same thing. They suggested I leave the car with them, and a technician would drive it home to see if it would act up then.
A technician wound up driving the car to their shop in Thousand Oaks, over the exact same road that had provoked the misbehavior in the first place.
(Yay! I'm not crazy!)
Well, now it sits at the branch of Leon's Transmissions in Thousand Oaks, so they set to work diagnosing it. It's losing pressure somewhere in its innards, and they'll have to open it up to see where. If it's just the pump and some seals that need replacing, we're looking at $750. If the rest of the transmission is bad, the price goes up to $1800.
Well, the rest of the transmission was bad. And in addition, there's another part, the engine throttle sensor, which is supposed to tell the transmission when to shift gears. It's acting up, and apparently causing the transmission to shift up and down at the wrong times. It would also explain a problem, seen in two different transmissions. I could start the van up at LASFS, get on the freeway, and drive a full mile or more before the highest gear would kick in.
I had asked, the day I brought the car in, if there was anything outside the transmission unit that might be affecting pressure inside it. This fills the bill, and fixing it may well solve that issue.
Well, new transmission, new throttle sensor, and new mounting parts, and the bill is a little over $2000.
I had decided I was going to expect it to come to that amount, so while I'm not as pleased as I could be, I'm not shocked by the cost either.
And spread out over the year, it's still less than a car payment. (Though how long it'll be less than a tank of gas is another issue.)