Feel Like I?m Hitting A Wall Every Time I Shift Into Gear.

Hi guys, I?m in trouble and I need your combined knowledge to figure out what?s wrong with my car.
I had to leave my car on a side street in front of my friends house
til I can get a tow truck to bring the car home tomorrow morning.
While driving the car this evening I felt a rather harsh thump as I was excelerating from a standing start. As I continued to drive on, I felt a definite loss of power/acceleration. When I approached the next traffic signal, I made a complete stop and the car died suddenly, it felt as if I had hit a brick wall.
Both front wheels locked up tight. I shifted the car into park, it started right up. The moment I shifted into Drive, again the feeling I had hit a brick wall and the car died. The car starts, idles fine until I shift into gear.
The car has been meticulously kept. All service and maintenace always done. This car is extremely clean. Except for normal exterior service, The engine and trans have never been opened. No rebuilds or overhauls here, all factory original.
Possible locked up torque converter?? :?
1993 Buick Century 3300 V-6 3-Speed Automatic Transmission 111,000 original miles, one owner.
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The first thing I would do is look at the underside of the car. Look for signs of a broken half-shaft (axle), and believe it or not, look at the calipers. I have seen, and I have experienced where a broken or a backed out caliper mounting bolt allows the caliper to rotate on the remaining bolt when the brakes are appled, resulting in the caliper locking solid into the inside of the wheel. Very sudden stop.
These problems will not cause the car to die though. I'm a bit confused by that symptom. If you don't see anything obvious underneath, you will probably be best served by a trip to a good tranny shop. Too much guess work to suggest whether it could be a torque converter or an internal tranny problem. I somewhat doubt it is a torque converter though.
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Mike couldnt have said it any better. There are a number of things that can cause this, none of which are probably within your desire to take on a DIY project.
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Yeah, I think you guys are right on that one. Its Sunday morning and there arent any auto facilities open today. The car is in a secure location so I can leave it there another 24 hours.
Ill have the guys at the nearby tranny shop pick it up Monday morning and see whats wrong with it.
Im so curious as to what the cause of this is. Never in all my years have I ever experienced anything like this.
Never even heard of this before. :roll:
"hls" wrote:
> > > Mike couldnt have said it any better. There are a number of > things that can > cause this, none of which are probably > within your desire to take on a DIY project.
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Just fyi, and to know what you should expect, it may be worthwhile to read all your replies carefully. Not saying any one person was right or wrong (certainly, each person has a priviledge to his opinion)--but some have experienced quite a bit of this; and to them it is commonplace/simple to understand and do a get-by or even a fix, whereas you stated" Never even heard of this before. :roll: ". At minimum, it may remove the blindfold and the opened wallet you might otherwise be displaying as you enter the tranny shop. Good luck to you. s
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or
even
and
tranny
Sam is more right in this reply than I was in my earlier one. Chock it up to a predisposed thought in my mind, old age, or just another moment of stupidity, but I completely overlooked the lockup solenoid as a likely suspect. You gave all the symptoms and I even puzzled over what should have been the most telling of them. If you aren't comfortable with DIY stuff on your car then at least take it to a mechanic you can trust and have him check the solenoid out.
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SD may be right. My support to your answer was based in the belief that autotranny work is something that almost no beginners, and not all hobbyist mechanics want to take on.
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up
hobbyist
Agreed.
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Well, at this point my options are very limited. The car stalled out 7 miles from my home. I cant do any work on the car out on the street, Ive already been warned about that. As comfortable as I am working on cars, there are limitations as to what I can do if its not the TCC Solenoid. Makes no sense at this point to tow the car all the way home, only to find that I cant fix in my garage while laying flat on my back on the garage floor. Im getting old.
The trans shop is within walking distance of the car and Ive checked them out thoroughly, they have an excellent reputation in the area. Theyve been in business in the same location for 50 years. I walked thru the shop, very professional.
Ive already asked them to pickup the car and take a look at it.
As far as the value of the car goes, absolutely everything else on this car is brand spanking new, everyone who sees my car mistakes it for a brand new car. Since 1993, this is the one and only time this car has ever failed me. Not a bad track record.
So is it worth the investment, to me yes. I take excellent care of my cars. I keep cars an average of ten years some longer, much longer.
I still have a 1973 Dodge Dart and a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo That I bought when I was a young kid. If you saw them, you might be amazed at their beautiful condition.
Please know that all of your input is greatly appreciated. You guys have been great. Sometimes, no matter how handy you might be, you just have to pay someone else to get you out of a jam. :wink:
"Mike Marlow" wrote:
>
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I don't have a clue, but while waiting to find out what is wrong with the car, do some hard thinking. The repair may be something simple and for $200, off you go again. But it is also very likely that the cost of repair, if it is the trans, may exceed the value of the car by 100% to 200%. Nice as the car may be otherwise, is it worth it to you to spend that much? You may be able to get a used trans installed for about $500 or so. Set a limit on what makes sense to you.
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oldstyle wrote:

It was very common in those years for the Torque Convertor Clutch solenoid to go belly up in the trans. It would cause the same symptoms you describe, basically the engine will stall when you come to a stop, or put it in gear. I think that's the first place I'd start. On the 3 speed trans, if you even slightly mechanically inclined, it's not that big of a deal to remove the trans side cover and replace the solenoid and wiring assembly. Unless you have the wrap-around trans mount, the cover comes right out the left side.
Ian
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Hey oldstyle. Sounds like you've diagnosed your problem right on the head. If so, torque convertor is locking up prematurely. Find out which wire, going to the tranny via a cluster-connector, prolly thru a 3- or 4-wire cluster, controls the t/c lockup and cut it(far enough from cluster that it can be re-connected). Your car should run/drive now if that's what it is. If it's a clunker, go on & get the rest of its useful life as is with wire cut. If it's nice & you wanna spend the $, get it fixed properly. You'll never notice any diff. except on hwy. trips--gas miles may be down a point or 2. The excessive heat it builds up will not harm anything. HTH, s
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sdlomi2 wrote:
Find

Wouldn't it be better to advise someone to "unplug" the connector, instead of just cutting wires?
Ian
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That used to work on the older cars that had just a one-wire connector. If you unplug the 3- or 4-wire connectors, it disables too much stuff--dash lites--check engine, etc--come on. Some disable speedo. IIRC, I had 1 or 2 that wouldn't start, but I can't swear on it. That's why I started cutting the one, correct wire, a distance away from the conn., so I could splice/reconnect it when I wanted. BTW: I think you and I both have heard it makes eng/tranny run hot. In practice, to my knowledge, I've NEVER had one to overheat. Then, I Googled, read, and studied. Consensus, among tranny-techs(not home-theorists) was that the increased heat was NOT an issue. S
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sdlomi2 wrote:

It's been a while, but I don't think that on the 3 speed transmission, any other items go thru that connector. In any case, I think that for the money involved, it will always be worth just replacing this TCC solenoid.

I can see it possibly making the transmission run a bit hotter, but I would view it as a non-issue. What do people think happened when the 3 speeds didn't have lockup?
Ian
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Well, regardless of anything else that may be wrong, right here this tells me torque converter issue. At this point the motor should still be running but with slight drag from the torque converter. The fact that it stalled means it's hard coupling to the tranny.
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