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Questions and Answers

Pontiac Montana Transmission

Q. Can this vehicle be saved?

  • 1999 Pontiac Montana
  • 4 wheel ABS brakes
  • 3.4 liter 3400 SFI V-6
  • 4 speed automatic transmission
  • Traction control
  • FE2 suspension
  • A/C front and rear
  • Cruise Control
  • Fuel injection
Pontiac Montana Transmission

A month ago it was acting up intermittently: the service engine light would come on and the car was shifting very hard. Then it would go away and drive fine.

I took it to Jiffy lube to check the fluid levels and they used their thingy and gave me the codes stored in the engine. It was the "torque converter clutch circuit stuck on" code.

(When I say intermittently I mean it would shift hard for the duration of a given trip. Then they next day, or even the next trip a few hours later it wouldn't have this problem)

I brought it to the repair shop and they if it wasn't doing anything now that the thing probably unstuck itself and it was okay. When it happened again I brought it to a transmission shop and they kept it for a few days and charged me $550.00 for "transmission R&R replaced torque converter and TCC solenoid" (taken from repair bill).

It ran okay for a few days then kept dying when starting out and making a whirring noise in drive or reverse. It went back to the shop and they said I need to have a rebuilt transmission and charged me the balance of the cost of a rebuilt transmission and supposedly completed the job.

Then it was again intermittently shifting hard. The TCS light was coming on intermittently. I brought it back to the transmission shop and they kept if for two days trying figure out what was wrong, they decided there was a corroded wire and replaced it at no charge.

A week later it is still doing the intermittent hard shifting. I've been trying to bring it over to them when it is doing it so they can drive it then but haven't been able to accomplish that yet. The TCS light has not come back on and the engine is not stalling anymore. SO maybe the wire fixed part of the problem but not all of it. The service engine light has not come on since the first repair and the shifting, while it is hard, is not as hard as it was before the first repair.

I get the feeling that no one really knows what is wrong and they are just trying different things hoping it will solve the problem.

Should a rebuilt transmission shift hard? Any ideas about what could be wrong here?

Thanks for your help!

A. If you had gone to a dealer first it would have probably been fixed by now. I hate to harp on this but the dealer has the know-how and latest info to fix this car. If they didn't fix it they would have gotten you a SERTA remanufacture transmission with a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. You shouldn't have to pay every time you bring it back for the SAME complaint. I would leave it at that transmission shop and tell them to keep it until it's fixed properly. Call them every day and ask what if anything they have found. Ask them if they called a dealer about the problem. See if they will give you your money back if you get it fixed elsewhere and it's not inside the transmission. There may be a couple of service bulletins out that address this problem.

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