2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

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Thread: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

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    2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    i've been having an issue with my malibu classic recently. It just hit 65000 miles and the transmission started acting up. i've lost power on low speed turns, the RPMs have dropped so low coming to a stop that it actually stalled, at higher speeds the tachometer will literally jump 1000 RPMs and drop right back down. at low speeds, around 5 to 10 MPH, my engine revs up to around 4500 to 5000 RPMs. add to that, my check engine light came on and when i went to AAP to get it plugged in, the code came back saying the torque converter circuit was stuck on. could all those problems be caused by just the torque converter going out?
    Last edited by Steemaww; 10-07-2010 at 10:38 PM.

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    May not be the torque converter at all, but a wiring or sensor problem related to torque converter.

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    hadn't thought of that, simple stuff like that just slips right through my head for some reason
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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    Sounds like a torque converter lockup solenoid failure, fairly common from what I understand.

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ab348 View Post
    Sounds like a torque converter lockup solenoid failure, fairly common from what I understand.
    to be completely honest, that was all gibberish to me. i'm very new to working on cars and don't know all the talk yet. someone care to translate that into layman's terms for me, please?
    Old friends, come and gone:
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    1996 Chrysler Concorde (First Car)
    2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic (Current Ride)

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Steemaww View Post
    to be completely honest, that was all gibberish to me. i'm very new to working on cars and don't know all the talk yet. someone care to translate that into layman's terms for me, please?
    I'm not sure whether this is your whole problem, but here's what it means. Back in the old days everybody had a manual transmission, and you had to either take it out of gear or disengage the clutch when coming to a stop, or the engine would stall. That's because with the trans in gear and the clutch engaged, the engine is linked to the wheels, so when the wheels stop the engine stops too.

    When automatic transmissions came out, they needed to design something that would let the driver stop the car without having to take it out of gear or disengage a clutch. What they developed was the "torque converter", which is basically a clutch that always slips a little bit. So when you stop the car, the engine keeps running and its energy is used to slip that clutch rather than to turn the wheels.

    In about 1980, the automakers realized that it would be nice if that torque converter could act like a traditional clutch at highway speeds -- so it would "lock up" and stop slipping for better fuel economy. So they developed the lockup torque converter, which is controlled by a solenoid (electric switch) linked to the car's computer. The computer triggers the solenoid at higher speeds, which causes the pieces of the torque convertor to mechanically lock together and stop slipping. When you hit the brake, the computer de-activates the solenoid, which unlock the torque converter and lets it start slipping again.

    It sounds like at least part of your problem may be that the torque converter is locking and unlocking at the wrong times.

    -Andrew L

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    going on the assumption right know that it is the lockup solenoid failure. hoping to find someone around me willing to teach me how to fix that first.
    Old friends, come and gone:
    1992 Plymouth Voyager (Parent's minivan)
    1996 Chrysler Concorde (First Car)
    2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic (Current Ride)

    Evil spelled backwards is Live

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    thanks for all your help. turns out that a transmission will start acting up when its missing 2 and a half quarts of fluid...
    Old friends, come and gone:
    1992 Plymouth Voyager (Parent's minivan)
    1996 Chrysler Concorde (First Car)
    2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic (Current Ride)

    Evil spelled backwards is Live

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    How did you check the level? My Malibu doesn't have a dipstick on the transmission.

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    Re: 2004 Malibu Classic with transmission problems

    there's a check plug located about 3 inches from the bottom of the transmission, facing the passenger side tire. i just took that out and added 1/2 a quart at a time until some came out the check plug hole. 2 and a half quarts later some came out. pretty simple, though i'll admit you need a lift or a pit like they have at wal-mart or valvoline because the car absolutely has to remain level to get an accurate measuremeant
    Old friends, come and gone:
    1992 Plymouth Voyager (Parent's minivan)
    1996 Chrysler Concorde (First Car)
    2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic (Current Ride)

    Evil spelled backwards is Live

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