View Full Version : ubody transmission quirk

04-04-2014, 03:10 AM
every once in a while (maybe 3 or 4 times a year) the transmission in my 93 APV acts like the clutch doesn't disengage. if i have to stop at a light the engine dies if i can't get it into neutral quickly enough. apart from the fact that it seems to run a little rough while this goes on, there don't seem to be any other symptoms. it's kind of embarassing at red lights.
this will go on for anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes, and goes away by itself.
i noted this problem about a month after i got it, informed my mechanic, who says to bring the van to him while it's doing it, but it knows when we're near the shop and behaves properly. i had him change the tranny fluid and filter (dirty dluid? sticky valve?) hoping that would clear it up, but no luck. i'm out of ideas. anyone?
when this happens it revives my foolish masochistic fantasy to swap in a manual gearbox. someone please save me from myself!

04-04-2014, 11:58 AM
could it be your tc solenoid?

04-04-2014, 04:54 PM
could it be your tc solenoid?
that would be the torque converter solenoid? what are the symptoms of a bad one? maybe a loose connection? i know next to nothing about automatics.

Duke George V
04-05-2014, 03:47 AM
A malfunctioning torque converter clutch solenoid will lock normally, but not unlock when it's supposed to, such as when you take your foot off the gas pedal. It will stay locked until the engine revs drop to a point that it stalls. When you restart it, it will be unlocked as if nothing happened. I had this happen in my old Century with a three speed. The solenoid must be replaced. It's inside the side cover somewhere. As a bandaid, you can unhook the wiring harness from the transmission and the solenoid will not function at all, but you will have a check engine light.

Keep in mind that this is only for the three speed that came with the 3.1L V6. If you have the 3.8L V6, you have an electronically-controlled four speed, and unhooking that harness will cause the transmission not to go into gear at all.

04-07-2014, 11:25 PM
If its a 3.1 then its the TC solenoid failing... This is a common problem with the 3T40's.. In the van there should be enough room to get the side pan off to replace the TCC solenoid.. Parts should be found for less than $50

04-08-2014, 09:28 PM
wemt to my local AZ to price the part but they don't stock it. i'll look elsewhere.
meanwhile, there's one little thing that doesn't fit the above description. after it dies, it will continue to misbehave for a minute or so, apparently not resetting. maybe i'm not turning the key all the way off between restarts or something. meanwhile, thank you all very much, i'll see if i can hunt down the part around town, then online. since this only happens a couple of times a year, it may be a while before i know if it fixed the problem.

Duke George V
04-09-2014, 01:42 AM
What engine do you have?

04-09-2014, 05:44 AM

Duke George V
04-11-2014, 12:01 AM
Right, I just saw your other thread. You can unhook the wiring harness from the transmission and see if that changes anything. Like I said, it will probably give you a check engine light, and you'll lose a mile per gallon or two on the highway, but for a van rated 18 city/21 hwy, you probably won't even notice.

04-11-2014, 03:57 PM
thanks, y'all. advance and AZ don't have the solenoid. i'll look at NAPA monday!

04-23-2014, 07:21 PM
I know I'm a little late to the show here, But look on amazon as they have the AC Delco solenoid for 34-36 bucks..

as stated you can unplug it and see if this solves the problem, if it does then you most likely need a new TCC solenoid, very common on the 3T40

07-18-2015, 03:44 AM
hi, guys
it's been a while. in late may the van finally started failing regularly, so i disconnected the TCC solenoid.
drove to north carolina and back in june, about 600 miles each way.
the first part was nearly all interstate, got 29 point something mpg.
spent a couple of days doing local driving, then returned via interstate, overall trip mpg was 24 point something.

08-14-2016, 01:09 AM
yes, i'm still here.
since the van has been pretty much trouble-free, nothing much to say. i pop in about once a month to look around. i've moved from tn to nc, which has meant many trips back and forth over the mountains, heavily laden on the eastbound leg, sometimes towing a trailer. again, no problems except a flat tire. haven't done anything about the tcc solenoid since i disconnected it. and yes, i see a couple of other plastic vans around town.