Transmission suddenly out while driving! No reverse or any drive gears

mychevz71

Member
Hi Im new here but hoping to get some useful information that will shine light on this situation without swapping or rebuilding the transmission.
My wife has a 2004 trailblazer , about 6 months ago I replaced tran fluids and filter. At that time I noticed the fluid was very dark and appeared to be watered down or thinned and had a seperation in it that in my mind I think is moisture infiltrating into the transmission somehow. Yesterday she was driving down the road 40 mph and all the sudden it was as if she shifted to nuetral with foot on the gas and rpm jumped way high. She tried to go through all the gears but no response from any not even reverse. I pulled the pan off and drained fluid today and it is again as it was 6 months ago. No way it should be this bad already and it looks as if water has thinned the viscocity of the fluid and you can see the seperation from the oil. Im hoping im missing something simple here but any info will help. Thanks
 

IllogicTC

Well-Known Member
Might want to check the coolant in the radiator, my thought would be that the transmission cooling lines that lead through there have gone to pot and are allowing the two to mix.

There's also been known problems with the transmission dipstick tube rusting (which could allow water ingress, but not on the level like it seems here).
 

Hatchet

Well-Known Member
Sounds like what happened to me. Mine had no gears. none at all. turns out the fluid pump in the trans grenaded and the trans went into "safe mode" as i was told to prevent further damage.
 

marinegrunt

Well-Known Member
Are you saying he fluid is just as dirty as it was 6 months ago? If so, I'd say there's a good chance there's some internal issues. Although it's a different tranny, the same thing happened to my wife's old venture about 6 years ago. It had the 4t65. She was going down the road and then no gears. I opened it up and found the pump shaft in half. Since it wasn't pumping fluid it ended up toasting the clutches. The fluid was dirty as can be.

You need to get the codes pulled for the tranny.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
yes the fluid is just as dirty as before , no red color in it at all . in fact it looks like oil only not nearly as thick as oil or even tranny fluid should be.


Illogic ...thanks for your input and I have also read about the dipstick but didnt consider the coolant lines.
Hatchet ...Thanks for yopur input as well.

G M T N a t i o n . c o m / f o r u m s
Marinegrunt here are the generic codes I was able to pul;l considering the scanner i have is limited to these generic codes which they want me to subcribe to get the ("in depth detailed codes") another suprise after buying the scanner.

anyhow here they are :

p0106 map sensor/ barometric pressure sensor range / performance

p0756 shift solenoid b performance or stuck off

p0014 exhaust (b) camshaft position timing - over-advanced (bank 1)

p0141 oxygen sensor heater circuit bank 1 sensor 2

p0741 torque converter clutch solenoid circuit performance or stuck off

p0894 transmission component slipping


what do you think ?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Sounds like a series of circuits that have issues. It could be one of those components that's affecting the 5V reference circuit to all of them. There have been similar issues with the EV fan clutch causing similar issues. Maybe disconnect each component one at a time, clear the codes and see if they stay off except for the one disconnected component.
 

marinegrunt

Well-Known Member
Mooseman knows his stuff so be sure to listen to him on this one. Do what he recommended on disconnecting each component one at a time and clear the codes in hopes of narrowing it down.

What worries me is how dirty the fluid got in such a short amount of time. If it looks like engine oil after 6 months I would think there would have to be internal issues. I know there's the dipstick rusting issues but I don't see it causing the fluid to be that contaminated especially only after 6 months. When the wife's tranny went the fluid looked like oil too and was almost like it was watered down. I think I still have some pictures of everything, including the nasty fluid, so I'll try and dig them up and post a pic of the fluid.

First do what others have mentioned. Verify that you don't have a cooler line leaking allowing antifreeze to get into the fluid. Even still, antifreeze would contaminate but I wouldn't think it would make it look as dark as engine oil. I would also try and figure out if you have a sensor bad. Once again though, in my opinion, that wouldn't explain the dirty fluid.

How mechanically inclined are you? I have the 4l60e rebuild manual so could try and walk you through a teardown if it comes to that. I'm no professional but could probably offer some help. I was nervous about doing my first tranny rebuild but it wasn't nearly as difficult as what I had expected. It was fun too. Don't jump the gun though. If anything you could always take it to a tranny shop for a diagnosis. My local GM dealership diagnoses issues for $45. Of course, they try and talk you into having them do the work but they don't push the issue. If it does end up being the tranny you could always pickup a used one and toss it in. Then you could rebuild the old and sell it. I think I spent about $300 rebuilding that 4t65. That price includes a new oil pump, oil pump shaft, sun gear, and 2nd clutch hub, bearings, and the rebuild kit with gaskets, clutch plates, steels, etc. Some of those parts were used off of ebay though. Not bad for pretty much a new tranny.

Like I mentioned though, start small before jumping the gun. The key is diagnosing before doing the work. It can save a lot of time and effort in the long run.
 

Einst-Hawk

Well-Known Member
I've been reading this thread any have been wondering - Did you flush the entire tranny and refill with 11.2 quarts of fluid? Or did you just drop the pan add about 5 quarts?

It it was the latter, I could see why the fluid failed was dirty again in 6 mos. Just wanted you to clarify.
I also would go with Mooseman's recommendations for solving the code problems.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
iI only dropped the pan and replaced fluid I never flushed the system. Somewhere on the forum I had read where someone posted to disconnect the trans cooler line on passenger side of radiator and turn the truck on to pump as much fluid out as possible and reduce the mess of dropping the pan. I tried this today and only a very minimal amount of fluid dripped out of the line I mean only tablespoon or 2 at most. Does this indicate the pump is not working at all?
 

Mooseman

Moderator
If no fluid is pumping out, your pump could be dead. It doesn't look good.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
Thats what I suspected. I have found a really good deal on a used replacement from a tb that was wrecked in the front end engine and tranny doesnt look as if it would have sustained damage and assuming the tranny was working when the wreck occured then I cant pass it up for only $250.00, Bad timing financially for me but I know the alternative comes with a much healthier price tag. My onlyt question now is are there any differences between the 02 and 04 transmissions?
 

Einst-Hawk

Well-Known Member
mychevz71 said:
so basically I just mixed 5 quarts of new fluid with 6 quarts of old?
Yes


Hatchet said:
Sounds like what happened to me. Mine had no gears. none at all. turns out the fluid pump in the trans grenaded and the trans went into "safe mode" as i was told to prevent further damage.
Were you able to just replace the pump and and save the tranny? Or was it beyond repair?

mychevz71 said:
I have found a really good deal on a used replacement from a tb... for only $250.00 ....



My onlyt question now is are there any differences between the 02 and 04 transmissions?
I would grab that deal if your tranny is not salvageable.

My Hanyes manual isn't very specific about it, but it is a 2002-2006 book and doesn't mention differences in years
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I did a quick search on car-part.com and it gave me only 2002 trucks but that's not a true interchange result. My gut instinct says they're the same but there could be a difference electrically, either with the wiring, connectors or internally.

Edit: Just tried with 2004, same thing, only 2004 came up.
 

marinegrunt

Well-Known Member
Einst-Hawk brought up a great point about only dropping the pan and mixing old fluid with new. That didn't even cross my mind.

This is probably a stupid question but you did have it running while having the cooler line disconnected, correct? If not, you wouldn't get much fluid coming out. If you did, like mentioned above, the problem probably lies in the pump. You can pickup a used pump on ebay for about $80. But, for $250, I'd probably go that route because you don't know what else could be messed up. You could then try and possibly fix the old or sell individual parts and recoup some money. Who knows what else could be wrong with it though. You'd have to tear into it to know for sure.

Looking at how the pump is on the 4l60e I don't see how the shaft could break like it did on that 4t65 of mine. I could see the splines being stripped or possibly a pump vane breaking and jamming up the pump.

Doesn't it seem like something major happens only when money is tight. It never fails.

I attached a pic of what my fluid looked like in that 4t65e that failed. I put a bottle of new tranny fluid next to it when I took the picture. Mine had quite a few damaged parts after it went.
 

Attachments

Hatchet

Well-Known Member
the pump ring most likly broken. I have pics of the 2 pumps i broke somewhere. But a pump rebuild can be done, but still gotta tear apart alot of the trans to get the pump out.
 

Hatchet

Well-Known Member
Found a pic of my trans pump.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
Well I got the $250 transmission , it has good red fluid in it, as it should. I realize the seller could have poured fresh fluid in it before I got there but the truck was wrecked in the front end and slightly twisted the frame so had to be salvaged. It was obviously working at the time it was wrecked so hoping I got lucky and this one is good! Now if it were not for this cold weather! I never mentioned this swap is taking place in my driveway, in the hazards of this artic weather! I have the cross members out, driveshafts pulled, jacks supporting the tranny and transfer case. Just a few more bolts at the top of transfer case and I will be ready to drop it. Still need to drop the tranny down a little to get to the fluid cooler lines and bolts at topp of tranny and disconnect wire harnesses but I can only work 10 - 20 min and fingers are frozen and thats with 2 pair of gloves lol. I guess im getting this experience the good ole "hard way"!
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
marinegrunt said:
Einst-Hawk brought up a great point about only dropping the pan and mixing old fluid with new. That didn't even cross my mind.

This is probably a stupid question but you did have it running while having the cooler line disconnected, correct? If not, you wouldn't get much fluid coming out. If you did, like mentioned above, the problem probably lies in the pump. You can pickup a used pump on ebay for about $80. But, for $250, I'd probably go that route because you don't know what else could be messed up. You could then try and possibly fix the old or sell individual parts and recoup some money. Who knows what else could be wrong with it though. You'd have to tear into it to know for sure.

Looking at how the pump is on the 4l60e I don't see how the shaft could break like it did on that 4t65 of mine. I could see the splines being stripped or possibly a pump vane breaking and jamming up the pump.

Doesn't it seem like something major happens only when money is tight. It never fails.

I attached a pic of what my fluid looked like in that 4t65e that failed. I put a bottle of new tranny fluid next to it when I took the picture. Mine had quite a few damaged parts after it went.
Thanks marine that is exactly as mine looked as well.
 

marinegrunt

Well-Known Member
You really can't beat $250. I'm sure that tranny is just fine too.

I did that one tranny out in the driveway in winter too. It was before we moved and had a small one stall and there just wasn't much room. I took a big tarp and angled off of the hood down to the ground and staked it in with tent stakes. I then took some old carpet and rigged it up along the bottom sides and in the back to keep wind from blowing in. One of those Mr. Heaters on a propane tank kept it like 60 degrees in there. It took probably an hour to setup but was time well spent. That was probably 5 years ago and wasn't nearly as cold as it was yesterday and today though. Heck, they cancelled school for Wednesday at 6:00 pm Tuesday night due to -35 wind chills we're expecting. One thing I do when splitting wood is put those hand warmers in my gloves. I can stay outside a lot longer because my fingertips don't get as cold as fast.

Are you going to tear apart the old to see what failed? It would be kind of cool to find out what the cause of failure was. Plus, it might just be that pump, which you could replace and recoup at least the $250 if not more. Throw in some new clutches, seals, and gaskets and you could probably get 3 times that.

I have the rebuild manual and the update handbook. I'd be more than happy to mail it to you as long as you get it back to me once you're done.

Good luck with it all.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
marinegrunt said:
You really can't beat $250. I'm sure that tranny is just fine too.

I did that one tranny out in the driveway in winter too. It was before we moved and had a small one stall and there just wasn't much room. I took a big tarp and angled off of the hood down to the ground and staked it in with tent stakes. I then took some old carpet and rigged it up along the bottom sides and in the back to keep wind from blowing in. One of those Mr. Heaters on a propane tank kept it like 60 degrees in there. It took probably an hour to setup but was time well spent. That was probably 5 years ago and wasn't nearly as cold as it was yesterday and today though. Heck, they cancelled school for Wednesday at 6:00 pm Tuesday night due to -35 wind chills we're expecting. One thing I do when splitting wood is put those hand warmers in my gloves. I can stay outside a lot longer because my fingertips don't get as cold as fast.

Are you going to tear apart the old to see what failed? It would be kind of cool to find out what the cause of failure was. Plus, it might just be that pump, which you could replace and recoup at least the $250 if not more. Throw in some new clutches, seals, and gaskets and you could probably get 3 times that.

I have the rebuild manual and the update handbook. I'd be more than happy to mail it to you as long as you get it back to me once you're done.

Good luck with it all.
{Yeah that would be great since Money is an issue for me right mow I would appreciate it and would be sure to return them as I got them. I cant see throwing the money away I think a rebuild is def, in the near future. Ill keep you posted on the swap and when I get it done if you could do that for me it would be greatly appreciated. Thats an idea about the tarp and I do have a mr heater already as well. My salamander is down right now or would use it . Thanks for the input.
 

marinegrunt

Well-Known Member
I sure will. Just pm me your address and I'll get them in the mail so you'll have them when you're ready. I got them last year because my Sierra had the hard 1-2 shift. It stopped doing it one day and hasn't done it since.
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
ok guys im ready to stick this transmission in so i decided to look them over a little closer for descrepencies and right away the park-nuetral-safety switch has 2 plugs instead of the 1 larger plug harness the old one had. Im hoping I can just swap the switches and reuse my one plug but i want to be sure im not leaving out any key component that may have been changed im not sure what year the used one I bought is for sure so I need some help.

I have some numbers I took down from each transmission.

The used replacements numbers are :​

Top Rear of Bell Housing stamp - 24209836​
Sticker on backbone left side - 2TDD​
24209919 Toledo 612TDDY33011722​
Left side stamped - 35​
Right side stamped - GMPT 4L60E 35​
The old transmission numbers are :​
Top Rear of Bell Housing stamp - 24220855​
Right side stamped on top of case above rear output shaft - 140653 47 stamped below other number​
Right side stamp - GMPT 4L60E 98​
Stamp on Left side of Tranny Case - 98​
any input will help but mainly need to know if I can swap the safety switches and everything still function as it should.​
 
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mychevz71

mychevz71

Member
New tranny is in and works great I guess this shows 2004 is a compatible application with the other years the trailblazer was made. The only difference was the upgraded pns switch plug had 1 large plug instead of the older 2 small plug connections. So unless you have a 2004 style pns switch you will need to upgrade the switch if swapping for any previous years model.

Thanks fellas for helping me along the way
 

mntegra01

Well-Known Member
I know Im late to the party here, but one should fix engine codes forst before trying to figure out what's wrong with transmission. The trans goes off data from engine through the PCM. Just noting this because OP had many codes stored.
 

shovenose

Well-Known Member
I know Im late to the party here, but one should fix engine codes forst before trying to figure out what's wrong with transmission. The trans goes off data from engine through the PCM. Just noting this because OP had many codes stored.
You aren't wrong but in this case clearly there was a mechanical failure inside the transmission...
 
I have kind of a very similar experience going on right now. I have a 2002 Chevy Impala LS 3800 series 2 with a 4t65e transmission. Going down the road all the sudden I have no forward or reverse gears exactly like mychevz71. It's exactly like it was in neutral. Never noticed any slipping. Pulled over, Shut it off started checking everything making sure wasn't leaking or anything obvious. For shits and giggles after 5 minutes or so I turned it back on and all the gears were back. About a mile down the road heading back home all gears lost again. Why is it when I shut it off for 2 minutes or so, they come back after restarting vehicle. I did notice that if you shut it off and turn it right back on the gears still aren't there you have to wait about a minute or two. Today I went out to check it and noticed it took longer to malfunction while transmission was cold but as it warmed up the malfunctioning intervals got slightly shorter. Fluid is pretty decent looking. Two years ago I didn't have 1st or 4th, ended up being a bad solenoid, so while I had it apart I replaced the bad solenoid along with the four other solenoids. Someone please help me, like always money is tight at the moment and I can't even get to work making things even worse. Any help would be greatly appreciated
 
Only thing my buddy and I could possibly think is a worn trans pump with excessive clearance inside it. My auto trans teacher from Kirkwood Auto Tech said something about maybe the filter is clogging but buddy and I don't agree with that opinion, Since that would cause slipping right? I do plan on removing trans cooler line and then starting car to see if I have a significant amount of fluid coming out. I'm also going to borrow scan tool and check for codes and possibly do as mooseman suggested, disconnecting each component one at a time, reset codes and see if they stay off. I'll try to check every hour or so tomorrow to see if anyone replies. Thank you for your time.
 

mntegra01

Well-Known Member
I'm also going to borrow scan tool and check for codes and possibly do as mooseman suggested, disconnecting each component one at a time, reset codes and see if they stay off.
At least write the code numbers down. Its actually telling you a direction to go as in whats wrong.

Does it move in D 3 2 or 1/L ?? Not sure what the PRNDL displays on Impala.
 
It moves in Reverse, Drive, 3rd, 2nd and 1st but only for about two minutes and then without warning, it's like im in neutral. I did forget to mention that when I go into manual 2nd I hear a light growling like a rrrrrr and when I put it in manual 1st it's louder. Once I lose all gears and put it in manual 2nd and 1st the growling is no longer there
 
Sorry I don't know if this is necessarily all good or bad information I just know the more information the better. Hopefully it's not to confusing
 

mntegra01

Well-Known Member
Sounds heat related or electrical since It will work for at least a few minutes, unles the fluid is hotter and slips past seals. What are codes you are getting? The pump either works or its busted. No point in replacing filter and new fluid, something inside sounds messed up. Internal harness or solenoids or seals.
 

mntegra01

Well-Known Member
Actually dropping the pan wouldn't be a bad idea and you can inspect the pan for metal debris or chunks of broken parts.
 
Actually dropping the pan wouldn't be a bad idea and you can inspect the pan for metal debris or chunks of broken parts.
I would like to drop pan tomorrow after getting codes and seeing if disconnecting components, clearing codes and see if they don't return. Only concern is I'd like to replace filter if i don't see anything but atm i don't even have enough money for trans fluid and its about to rain for about 5 days off and on here in iowa. Will the moisture and condensation hurt it if I leave tranny pan off for a few days until I can get filter, trans pan gasket and fluid.
 
I will be working on it from the comfort of my cozy driveway. I wouldn't think 3 or 4 days would cause any problems but as Murphy law says anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
 

mntegra01

Well-Known Member
Pan gasket should be reusable, instead of leaving pan off, just put it back on, change filter if you want. Trans fluid is very good at resisting rust and corrosion, but its better idea to just put pan back on, at least bolts in the corners, or all of them to keep track of the hardware.
 
I don't know what codes it's reading yet. Im getting scan tool tomorrow around noonish from a good buddy i went to auto tech with. My initial thought was electrical as well since it's able to reset itself. Installing pan and hardware is a good idea. Auto trans is a engineering marvel. Its the only A.S.E. I didn't pass, missed it by one darn point. I understand manual trans very well but automatics still throw me for a loop half the time.
 
Found a p1811 maximum adaptive and long term shift. Also have a p0741 tcc performance or stuck off. Wanting to drop trans pan but hoping to try diagnosing before I do such since I won't have money for a few more days
 

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