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1992 Cutlass Ciera Transmission Problem
01-13-2012, 11:58 AM
Post: #1
1992 Cutlass Ciera Transmission Problem
Hi, I'm back again. My 92 cutlass ciera has developed a transmission problem. Sometimes when I go from park to overdrive the transmission doesn't engage. You can then shift to 1 and it goes right into gear. It will also drop out of gear occassionally when coming to a stop. The trans shifts fine manually, 1-3 and then into overdrive. Reverse has no issues. I changed the fluid and filter and this didn't help the problem. I was wondering if this could be a trans vacuum modulator or trans control solenoid problem. The car has 186,000 highway miles on it. I know the end is near but I'm hoping to drive it a bit longer. I appreciate any advise you can give.

Dave (Maryland)
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01-13-2012, 08:58 PM
Post: #2
RE: 1992 Cutlass Ciera Transmission Problem
What Engine & Transmission? Is it front or rear drive?

Some generic advice would be to make absolutely sure that you have the proper fluid level. Low fluid level can cause all kinds of problems. If you check the owner's manual it will tell you the proper procedure to check it. Most GMs require warm to hot fluid, sitting level, in park, and running. If you check it any way other than what the owners manual calls for the fluid level could be to low.

The Modulator helps control shifts so it shouldn't be the problem.
Knowing the engine and transmission may help us to provide better advice for you. Please get back to us.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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01-13-2012, 09:35 PM (This post was last modified: 01-13-2012 09:36 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #3
RE: 1992 Cutlass Ciera Transmission Problem
That came with either a 2.5 / 4 or a 3.3 / 6 and both were auto with OD and FWD. I don't believe that's got a vac modulator so would go on the hunch that either the fluid is low or possibly an air leak in the valve body that causes it to be slow going into gear via the normal shift position. Pulling it into low gear manually works the valve body differently so that may be something to look at. OTOH, I just had a thought that enough slack in the linkage due to old age might cause it to be just a tad off the detent so really still in neutral as far as the trany is concerned. If pulling it to low then going back up to drive seems to help then scope out the shifter parts real close. There may be a broken bushing or an adjustment you can play with to get it into a better position when the selector says it's in drive. If it's a solid rod linkage (not a cable) you may have a worn motor mount causing the geometry to be skewed because the engine / trany is leaning to one side.

Let us know what you find.
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01-14-2012, 02:50 AM
Post: #4
RE: 1992 Cutlass Ciera Transmission Problem
My Ciera has the 3.3 motor, and it is front wheel drive. The fluid level in the transmission is full, and it's been checked multiple times while the fluid is warm, car running, and on level ground. It does give you the feeling of being low on fluid. When it drops out of gear, you can gently rev the motor and the trans will engage. Also I'm not experiencing any slippage while getting up to speed, and once the converter locks at speed in Overdrive, it drives just fine...
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