View Full Version : Transmission Shift Quality

01-29-08, 03:42 PM
My 4L30E in my 2001 Catera Sport shifts a bit rough on the very last gear change (3rd to 4th). It's not as smooth as the other shifts. It's mostly noticable when lightly accelerating from a stop. I wouldn't call it a slip, since the RPM doesnt fly up or lag while accelerating. I can only describe the feel as being similar to when the torque converter locks up on 3 speed transmission cars (making it feel like it has a 4th gear). It's not as noticable when accelerating hard (not full throttle, but 3/4th) on the other hand.

Temperature doesn't play a role in this since it's consistent cold or hot. It's also NOT showing the transmission light so there are no codes relating to a malfunctioning transmission.

It shifts crisp and smooth on all gears when in SPORT mode. It's been doing this since I bought her used in Novermber.

Is this normal for the Catera to shift like this when in ECONO mode?

She's got 135,000KM on her now. I will eventually be changing the fluid when it gets a bit warmer outside.

01-29-08, 09:06 PM
Well, it's something to look into. I would like to comment on the transmission fluid; it has no dipstick if you haven't noticed already, went to the shop and guy said he can't even get his hand back to open up the pouring hole [forgot name...]. This dude is good 'cause he does whatever my wants to his '01 Volvo S60 2.4 Turbo.

There's a way but with this beast it's not easy. Had the previous owner driven it hard? If not i would suggest getting to 5500RPM without Sport mode. My car was driven slow in the North and when i got it I red lined it and it made a small pop. After about 1,000miles or 1609KM it was great. Had all basic maintenance done like serpentine belt, radiator flush, alignment, fuel system cleaner, and rear axle fluid. Hope that helps.

01-29-08, 09:15 PM
Low fluid can affect performance of shifts and smoothness I had a few tranny issues and added a bottle of lucas tranmission fix it renews the bands and really helped my tranny

07-09-09, 12:15 AM
Is this normal for the Catera to shift like this when in ECONO mode?

Mine does the same damn thing. Usually I'll be driving along in Non-Sport mode, feel it go into third, as I give it a little bit more gas it abruptly upshifts into 4th. At this point I usually give it even more gas at which point it double downshifts of course... so irritating.

Econo mode sucks, it upshifts too early, never reaches redline. IMO any car, whether in a sport mode or not, should peg the limiter if its floored.
Sport mode sucks too because its too downshift happy in relation to the pedal position. I am happy it actually downshifts nearly as low as it can go, but most often I will be between 1/2-3/4 throttle, it downshifts making nothing but noise and then I feel like a tool to those around me.

My driving technique is to leave it in Econo mode almost all the time, and then plan out when I'm going to pass someone. Hit the Sport button a second or two before I start gassing to go around someone and then return to Econo mode so that I'm not holding a cruising speed while the engine tachs out for 8 solid seconds before upshifting.

I wish I had a manual and not an auto... at least most of the time.

And yes, I know I dug this thread up from the grave, somehow the lovely search function brought me a transmission thread when I was searching for what kind of power steering fluid the car takes. (The answer is Dexron III ATF)

07-10-09, 09:42 PM
I thought the ATF in Dexron III ATF was for Automatic Transmission Fluid...meh

08-02-09, 02:24 PM
Hello I am Peter from Holland and new here.
I own an Opel Omega 2.5 V6 same as the Cadillac Catera.
I had the same problem and took almost 2 years trouble shooting.
Revision of Gearbox, changed Slector Switch and Throttle pos sensor did not work
Finally they found 2 sollenoids lokated in the hydraulic brain worn
The computer sends a signal to this sollenoids when to shift gears this sollenoids received the signals but dit not always open or close resulting in clunks and sometimes limp mode
The car senses the speed and so on but the gear will sometimes not shift only with accelerating.
Changed this sollenoids and now it works smooth in all gears.
I hope this will give you the solution.