Tranny problems - torque converter lock out - Canadian Mid East Region Forum

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Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Thursday, February 10, 2011 8:20 AM
Already searched the site...couldn't find anything.

98 Cavy 2.2 Auto -170K

I think my fluid is done....probably the original stuff. 4th lockout in the bitter cold takes awhile....rev's stay high too long. Also, car won't move period til its warmed up....just rev's ..when its -15 or colder so that not that big a deal. Car shifts perfect during moderate weather.

I can see the red filler cap in the engine bay but no dipstick. I assume you have to check from below. (Car didn't come with a manual )

What side of the tranny is the bolt/hole and can you do it with jackstands or will it need to be lifted up at a garage?

I know if its burnt to replace it and low to add....Any other tips or things to watch out for would be appreciated.

Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Thursday, February 10, 2011 2:58 PM
At this point, if the fluid is that old...don't change it. It's actually holding everything together. New fluid will dislodge a crapload of dirt and worn clutch material, and could even make it worse.

To check the fluid you CAN use jackstands, but the car has to be level. The hole is on the passenger side of the trans, near where the axle is. Car has to be running to properly check the level. Basically, have it running, pull the bolt out (11mm) and fill til it spills.

Flush at your own peril!



14.330 @ 96.37mph
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Friday, February 11, 2011 1:05 PM
Thanks for tips..... sliding under the car while its running on jackstands is a little scary. Wouldn't getting everything up to operating temp and then quickly jacking it up suffice? Why does it need to be running? Once the fluid is hot and circulated I should get an accurate reading no?

Is this a common occurence with J-body's where after a full flush, filter change and refill people get problems?

I'm all for saving money and topping up if I'm low is a no-brainer, however I'm worried its not low...I'm worried its burnt and needs to be replaced.
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Friday, February 11, 2011 2:50 PM
Matt Couture wrote:

Thanks for tips..... sliding under the car while its running on jackstands is a little scary. Wouldn't getting everything up to operating temp and then quickly jacking it up suffice? Why does it need to be running? Once the fluid is hot and circulated I should get an accurate reading no?

Is this a common occurence with J-body's where after a full flush, filter change and refill people get problems?

I'm all for saving money and topping up if I'm low is a no-brainer, however I'm worried its not low...I'm worried its burnt and needs to be replaced.


It's not scary if it's jacked up properly. First time working on a car? People do it all the time.

Generally it's a problem when the fluids are low, or the wrong fluid was used. Sounds like it's freezing. Like ^^ said, don't flush it, it will make things MUCH worse.



M62, 42's, ZZP 3", ZZP S3 H/E
214whp 190wtq
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:13 PM
slvrblit wrote:

It's not scary if it's jacked up properly. First time working on a car? People do it all the time.


Just because ppl do it all the time, doesn't make it safe. I've done it, and it's very nerve wracking. If he's apprehensive the WORST thing you can do is go a head with something you're not comfortable with. Accidents happen that way.





Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Monday, February 14, 2011 6:47 AM
I've worked on (and below) plenty of cars for many years. As Brocklanders pointed out, I am little apprehensive about sliding under a car thats RUNNING on four jackstands. Vibrations from starting it, idling, etc could cause it shift on the jack stands. (Especially this old beater..lol)

To be honest, I've never heard of anyone doing this, nor do I think its necessary...and its definitely dangerous. I doubt there's a manual anywhere thats recommends this a safe way to check your tranny fluid at home. As I suggested before, I feel that achieving full operating temp first then quickly jacking and checking will give me an accurate reading.

I might use ramps on the front and jack the back end....ramps are more stable and less likely to slip off or topple over IMO.
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 6:54 AM
Manual tells you to use a hoist.

1, MUST be level or you will not get correct level reading (you will actually loose some fluid and be even lower)
2, Must be running at Op temp. When running the fluid is cycling through different section of the Trans. Thus needing it RUNNing @ Operating Temp when checking.

If you feel uncomfortable doing this, then I recommend getting someone to do it for you.
If you are nervous, you may end up making a dangerous mistake that you would not normally make.

Intent on doing it yourself?

Get a couple CLEAN pans.
Warm engine/trans to Operation temp.
Remove lower pan, saving fluid (just in case)
replace filter, inspect Pan and fluid.
If a lot of material in pan, I would suggest reusing the old fluid and look for a replacement trans (or get rebuilt)

If not a lot of debris in pan, replace with 7 litres of Dextron and roadtest.


<a href="http://www.planethax.com/j-body">
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http://www.weatherallsautomotive.com
http://www.planethax.com/j-body
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 7:51 AM
Alright, I get it, car must be running to check level and going to Oil-Changers for a flush and fill will probably cause more problems. So, I guess I will check level and add if necessary...(not gonna bother dropping pan for now although thanks for the step by step instructions)

It never leaked so unless some has burned off over time I should be good. Its probably just old and cold.

I really thought the fluid could be so old if was no good anymore.....it sounds like new fluid will cause more problems. Does the owner's manual state a service life for tranny fluid (I know it's not the bible..just asking)

Thanks everyone. (keep an eye out for the news story about the dude crushed by his car in his garage....lol)
Re: Tranny problems - torque converter lock out
Monday, March 21, 2011 1:32 PM
Matt Couture wrote:

Alright, I get it, car must be running to check level and going to Oil-Changers for a flush and fill will probably cause more problems. So, I guess I will check level and add if necessary...(not gonna bother dropping pan for now although thanks for the step by step instructions)

It never leaked so unless some has burned off over time I should be good. Its probably just old and cold.

I really thought the fluid could be so old if was no good anymore.....it sounds like new fluid will cause more problems. Does the owner's manual state a service life for tranny fluid (I know it's not the bible..just asking)

Thanks everyone. (keep an eye out for the news story about the dude crushed by his car in his garage....lol)


i would suggest dropping the pan to replace the filter. even if you reuse the old fluid i would get that old filter off. unless you dont have a in lbs torque wrench to put the pan back on
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