2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800
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  • 1 Post By X Rolls-Royce
Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800 in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Just replaced my radiator as the transmission line blew. The tranny was only refilled with Dexron III, no filter change. ...
  1. #1
    simkofab is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Just replaced my radiator as the transmission line blew. The tranny was only refilled with Dexron III, no filter change. This shifting problem happened right after the work was done. It does shift but only after the RPM's are way up and it doesn't have the power it should. It felt bogged down. I only drove it a few miles, gingerly home. It has been sitting since. I'm tight on funds so an idea of what I'm in for would help. Thanks.
    Tim

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    X Rolls-Royce is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Number one, depending on who filled the transmission, it may not be completely full. Its not as simple as pouring in the fluid.

    If a Cadillac dealer filled it using the proper proceedure, the outlook is bleak to dismal.

    It does sound like the fluid hasn't been correctly filled and is low.

    How far did you drive after the line blew off ?
    Ikera likes this.

  4. #3
    txbest1980's Avatar
    txbest1980 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    i agree with the above post...sounds like the fluid is not filled completely or they didnt shift through the gears and let the torque converter fill up then top it off again

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    carrnuttdave is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Are you saying even if you let off on the gas it won't shift? cause shifting & 2800 sounds about right but if you were to let off and coast it should shift sooner

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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    2800 rpm sounds about right... mine idles i thinnk just below 1000 rpm
    ill pay attention to my shift patterns on the way home from work tomorrow.


    and very important question.
    are you in sport mode?

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    Teedoe's Avatar
    Teedoe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    My tranny just started shifting very rough. My mechanic couldn't change the fluid so Ima reach out to a GM Tech in the morning. Wish me luck.

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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Try disconnecting the battery and reconnecting. I had a similar issue when I changed out the lines and ran an external trans cooler. I had to disconnect and reconnect battery and it somehow relearned it.

    [2006 CTS-V - "The Vee Baby Seamus"] - 372rwhp / 361rwtq
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    simkofab is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Thanks everyone. I has been driven about 10 miles. All under 40 mph. I'm going to have the fluid level checked & try the battery disconnect / reconnect. Fingers crossed. I'll let you know how things went.

  10. #9
    Teedoe's Avatar
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    No luck on my end. I will try disconnecting the battery and if that doesn't work Stealership it is.

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    carrnuttdave is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    I paid attention to mine on the way in today and under normal acceleration 2800 to 3000 is just about right for when it shifts from 1st gear!
    People just have to realize these engines are not your old school V8's they are built to rev higher than, say a small block chevy.

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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    thanks guys, disconnecting helps!!!!!!!

  13. #12
    luvinMYcaddycts is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    I wrecked my 05 CTS on beach only body damage but put new fenders an bumper on how tranny not shifting properly so dropped pan an everything clean but filter popped out an air bubbles all over valve body ...so replaced filter an added fluid twice I got little over 5 quarts back in it an shifts better but still full throttle first to second is crazy ?? Dunno what to do now maybe run it jacked up through the gears with T/C off??

    ----------

    There was a plastic ring on bottom of factory filter neck an not on O'Riley's filter I installed just two rubber o rings an seemed to fit pretty snug but dunno if correct???

  14. #13
    ztollon's Avatar
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    You have to take that ring off the old one, and put it on the new filter before install. Idk what a difference it makes. Could be the problem.

  15. #14
    Ikera's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 CTS base - Tranny doesn't shift out of 1st gear until RPM's get up to 2800

    Quote Originally Posted by luvinMYcaddycts View Post
    I wrecked my 05 CTS on beach only body damage but put new fenders an bumper on how tranny not shifting properly so dropped pan an everything clean but filter popped out an air bubbles all over valve body ...so replaced filter an added fluid twice I got little over 5 quarts back in it an shifts better but still full throttle first to second is crazy ?? Dunno what to do now maybe run it jacked up through the gears with T/C off??

    ----------

    There was a plastic ring on bottom of factory filter neck an not on O'Riley's filter I installed just two rubber o rings an seemed to fit pretty snug but dunno if correct???

    did you add fluid second time with the engine running? because that's what you need to do.

    First fill the transmission thru the fill hole until it over flows
    Start the engine in Park
    Apply brakes and keep you foot on the brakes
    Shift into Reverse for 10 second
    Shift into Neutral for 10 second
    Shift into Drive for 10 second
    Shift into park, release the brakes, but keep the engine running
    Get under the car with the engine running and start pumping ATF into the transmission.
    try not to get your hand burned by the exhaust
    Once the transmission overflows, close the fill plug before shutting off the engine.
    turn off the engine

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