View Full Version : Transmission "misshifting" any advice?

10-08-09, 02:45 PM
My catera just turned 103K. At 78K I had to replace the transmission due to the Sport shifter light flashing and it was an internal problem.

Is there a way to tell on these transmissions if my fluid level is low? There isn't a direct way via the engine compartment. Also could this be the torque converter failing to lockup after I brake to a stop?

I've noticed that if I completely stop, sometimes when I go to take off again, the engine will rev when I push the gas but not go anywhere until I wait a few seconds.

Thanks in advance,

- Josh

10-08-09, 08:05 PM
The sport shifter light flashing is usually caused by the neutral safety switch. Cost of replacement from autozone was $100.00. No need to replace the transmission in these cars, they rarely fail. There is a way to check the fluid level, there is a fill plug on the rear oil pan on the transmission. There are 2 oil pans on the transmission, one is small towards the bell housing and the other is right behind that one which is larger which contains the fill plug on the right side. When the vehicle is up to operating temperature and on a level surface, WHILE the engine is running remove this plug which I believe is a 13 or 14mm bolt and see if any fluid comes out.. this is easier done on a lift but it could be accomplished if you feel ok jacking the car up on ramps and keeping the car level. If no fluid comes out of that plug hole pour in approved transmission fluid until fluid starts to drip out slowly, Then the trans will be full. I believe these trannies take up to 7 or 8 quarts to be full. Check for leaks in any of the cooler lines. If the tranny is already full, your next bet is to remove the both oil pans off the trans and inspect the filter assembly to be sure there is no excessive metal or clutch debris clogging the filter, while your at it, replace the filter and flush out as much old fluid as you can and fill it up with fresh fluid. If all that still does not help... your looking at another transmission. Be sure before you do anything at all and check for DTC's in trans control module... Good luck

10-08-09, 10:14 PM
Damn range selector ran me 250 from GM...No Autozone in Canada....:(

10-12-09, 04:15 PM
You can get one from Parts Source in Barrie, You will have to ask for the Common Nuetral Switch from Opel. The guy took some time and found it in his book. The cost of the new unit is $57. It took about an hour and half to change. The mounting is exactly the same and it is weather proof not like the original which is open to the eliments'
Hope this helps

10-18-09, 09:16 PM
Just checked my fluid level and 1/2 a qt made a difference in how the transmission shifted. I have a 98. About a year ago I had the fluid and filter changed.

I bought a large syringe type unit made for measuring 2-cycle oil called The Miser at Pep Boys. It come with a plastic tube that worked well for pumping fluid up into the level hole.

The problem for the home garage is you have to jack up all four wheels evenly, then start the vehicle, turn on the a/c, shift the gears, and check the level with the engine running. The exhaust is right next to the level hole too.

I used ramps on two wheels and jack stands on the other two. If I were to do it again I would put two wheels on a curb and two on the ramps for stability.

The 13 mm bolt is on the right rear of the rear pan. Take it out. Pump the fluid in till it runs over. Put the bolt back. It would be so easy if you had a lift. I don't think a garage would charge very much to do it.

BTW the hoses for the trans are accessable at the front of the trans so one of those pump deals to change the fluid looks easy to do also.