I get what is like driving over the rumble strips on the side of a high way
with my Buick LaSabre. It only happens at speeds above 65 mph and if I speed
up or slow down it stops. I took it to a shop and was told the left side
inter or lower ball joint was loose and needs to be replace. I was not real
comfortable that was the problem so I took it to another shop and was told
the front end is tight and he felt the problem was the transmission shifting
in and out of overdrive. He said that will cause vibration much like going
over the rumble strips.
I took it to a local transmission shop and they did a computer scan. The car
shows no codes. They said the transmission fluid needed to be flushed and
that should take care of the problem. Cost is $120 and when I asked if that
included filter and gasket I was told yes. On the way home I checked with
another shop about the price of a flush and was told the same amount but
they said its just a flush no filter or gasket they just flush the old oil
out with new.
I feel if the oil needs to be changed then I should have a new filter also.
This car has 106,000 miles and I don't know if the transmission has ever
However I still am not convinced the transmission is the problem. I had the
tires checked and was told they were fine. I will rotate the tires and see
if that helps.
I guess my question(s) are,
Has anyone had experience with a transmission causing this problem?
And is a flush without changing the filter a dumb thing to do?
I'll delurk and take a stab at this one. I had an '86 Ford Aerostar van
that had a vibration similar to yours, I think, anytime the TCC was engaged
and going up a slight hill or at higher speeds. I could feel it in my feet
and the rear view mirror would shake to the point of becoming blurry. Tried
wheel balance, checked driveshaft weights for being slung off, etc. etc.
Finally changed the trans fluid and it stopped. The TCC was slightly
slipping under load due to what I guess was contaminated fluid. If I
remember it right, I only had about 40,000 miles on it at the time. Hope
Where do you feel the vibration?
If you feel it in the wheel, chances are it is a tire or front end problem.
If you feel it in the seat, it is more likely a drivetrain related problem.
Both scenarios you describe are possibilities, although the transmission is
more rare. Given the age and miles, why not change the fluid anyway?
Front wheel drive Toyota's are famous for cupping the rear tires. They make
a rumbling sound, and a vibration. It changes if you go over a rise or drop
in the road. You can feel the tread of the tire and it's obvious.
Thanks but I don't think it is the tires. They look and feel good, and I
would think if it was the tires they shake would not stop if I speed up or
let off the gas. The shake would continue until speed is lowered.
It may not be the tires in this case but tires will indeed cause this kind
of problem Tim. Out of balance tires, low air pressure, will both react
this way. Out of balance in particular, will act up at specific speeds or
Rotated tires and went for a drive. The vibration is still there and found
it to be more when going up a hill. At this point I am thinking it is the
transmission and will try to get it flushed tomorrow.
Took it in for a transmission flush. Was told they found shavings in the pan
and it needs to be rebuilt. They did the flush. My question to them was why
did you flush it and charge me $120 if it needs to be rebuilt? Seems like a
waste of money. They will refund my money if I have it rebuilt by them. Like
that is going to happen. I will drive it and see if the flush helped and
maybe by spring I can have it repaired.
They had to do the flush to find the shavings. They did labor and supplied
fluid, so some charge is fair.
The fact that they found shavings though, may or may not mean that the
transmission has to be rebuild. They came from someplace, or course, but it
may be a simpler fix. Ask around about reputable shops just in case.
A lot is in the definition of things. How big are the shavings? All
transmissions collect shavings in the base pan. That's why there is a
magnet glued to the pan of a tranny. How big those shavings are makes a lot
of difference in determining if there's a problem or not. This is not the
kind of thing that can be explained in a forum like this, to the point of
properly interpreting what's appearing in your pan. You really need to get
a second opinion if you don't trust the shop you took your car to. One
might ask why you took your car there in the first place, if you don't trust
what they tell you.
In short though, 106,000 miles would not be out of line with the need for
tranny work. ATF (not oil) should be changed between 30,000 and 50,000
miles on most cars. I'm guessing this is your first tranny service on this
car (?). What kind of driving is the car subject to? I'm sorry to have to
ask - don't recall from earlier in the thread - what year and model car is
I just purchased this car last summer so I have no idea what service was or
was not done. This is a transmission shop. Only experience with them is this
issue and my daughter took her Jimmy there. Her tranny was shot no question
about that. So I trusted them because of that. Now I question them. Sure it
needed a flush but I question why they did not call me when they found the
shavings on the magnet but they continued with the flush and put the pan
back on. Why put all that new oil in it?
I agree they had labor in it and should be paid for it but to continue it my
concern. Labor could of been $30 with no parts instead of the $120 with
labor and parts.
The basic rule of thumb is that servicing a tranny on a regular basis is
good for the tranny and extends tranny life. Having said that, another
basic rule of thumb is that when experiencing tranny problems, about the
worst thing you can do in most cases, is flush the tranny. It all starts
with the idea that most tranny problems are well enough advanced by the time
you feel them, that flushing only serves to exacerbate the problem. Yet -
the first thing most people think to do when they have a tranny problem is
to flush the tranny. It makes sense in a certain way, but it doesn't work.
A decent tranny shop will advise you of that up front. They won't suggest
to you that your type of problem can easily be remedied by a flush. Simply
put - flushes do not remedy most tranny problems.
In another reply, you say...
It's disconcerting that this tranny shop told you this. But... if that's
what they told you, then I believe you have every right to be upset. As to
the second shop and the TSB they reference - as you imply, it's for a Ford
tranny. There is no - absolutely no correlation between Ford trannys and GM
trannys. Don't even waste the brain cells thinking "if it works on a Ford
automatic, maybe it will work on a GM automatic - after all, they're both
Going forward, given the age of your car I think if I were you I'd be
looking for a salvage tranny with reasonable mileage. Depending on where
you are in the country, you should find one with under 60K on it for
probably around $600. I have not invested any time to research this so
don't hold me to that price, but you can certainly put one in cheaper than
you can get yours rebuilt. This car isn't going to last forever and it's
not worth investing $2000 plus into for a tranny overhaul.
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