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Registered
2004 Deville
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!
I recently (3 weeks ago) purchased a beautiful Deville. The body and frame are flawless, the interior is unmolested and everything works perfectly.......except the transmission, and I'm afraid..........VERY afraid.

This is my first Cadillac, and I don't really know what to expect, or how it should act, but I DO know how MOST transmissions respond.

Searching the forums recently I found an old post about transmission issues in a Deville, and got the feeling of being "saved". The posts were about cold transmission function and the need to warm it considerably. This particullar owners issue was so similar to mine (slipping when cold) and the concensus was to let the transmission fluid get up to temp for 10-15 minutes prior to driving off.

I tried this the very next time I used the car, and it seemed to work, but I guess it was just wishful thinking.

My transmission seems to work fine when I take off VERY slowly, and let it saunter through the gears at a liesurely pace, but in real world driving it acts very odd. When attempting to move up a slight grade about 1/2 mile from my home in the morning (mind you it's below zero most days) the engine revs as though to be going 90 or so MPH, but the vehicle is actually doing about 40.

Please give me your experienced opinions on this as far as what, short of a $2000.00+ rebuild can be done. I have a sinking feeling, and reruns of "The Money Pit" flash through my mind.

Thanks for your time and advice........good or bad. Something has to be done and I'm hoping there's some good news out there.
Frank
 

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Administrator
2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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68,470 Posts
Re: '4 Deville DHS Transmission anxiety.

Study the sticky post on this forum's main page - "How to pull codes". Your car has an extensive diagnostic monitoring system built in. The proper year/model sections of the sticky show you how to use the system using the DIC controls. Write down any found codes and return to the sticky to open the link to definitions of all trouble codes. Decipher your codes and post it all here.

One of the monitored situations is vehicle speed vs. transmission and engine speed. If they don't correlate, codes set.

My transmission is identical to yours except for final drive ratio and powertrain controls - it never experiences your symptoms in temperatures to -3 degrees (exceptional for my location, but - been there, done that.). There is (should be) NO need to "warm it considerably".
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,785 Posts
Re: '4 Deville DHS Transmission anxiety.

How many miles on this car? The trans should NEVER have to be warmed up and should not slip regardless of temperature.

I assume you have checked the fluid level?
 

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Registered
1994 SLS x 2 ---- 1993 Eldorado Sport ----- 1994 Deville 4.9
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1,540 Posts
Re: '4 Deville DHS Transmission anxiety.

Know of any trusted transmission shops?
A good one could diagnose it for you.
If it is gone you are looking at around a 3k repair.
 

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Registered
2004 Deville
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Re: '4 Deville DHS Transmission anxiety.

Thanks guys

The fluid level is sat, measured per the manufacturer's direction.
There are only 80,000 miles on this car, so I'm surprised at this condition.
I should point out that driving 300 miles to my home town, the tranny performs well, except as I said, when I first set-out on the trip in the early AM.
Off the line torque and performance is exceptional.
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
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19,272 Posts
Re: '4 Deville DHS Transmission anxiety.

Thanks guys

The fluid level is sat, measured per the manufacturer's direction.
There are only 80,000 miles on this car, so I'm surprised at this condition.
I should point out that driving 300 miles to my home town, the tranny performs well, except as I said, when I first set-out on the trip in the early AM.
Off the line torque and performance is exceptional.
=============================
like Sub already suggested -
check for Diagnostic Trouble Codes -
if you don't know how - go here and read the ENTIRE post -

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-deville-1985-2005-including-1985/138257-how-pull-codes-dtcs.html

if you have any codes - post them here -
ALONG WITH THEIR DEFINITIONS -
 

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Registered
2001 DHS
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221 Posts
Perhaps if you could take a video of the behavior and upload it to YouTube and share the link here the guys can better understand what you're experiencing
 

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'02 Eldorado ETC 85k miles / Past: '03 Deville; '02 STS
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176 Posts
Sounds to me like 'morning sickness' if this odd behavior is just upon cold start up first thing in the morning. Simply put, morning sickness is when the clutch packs in the tranny are worn beyond maximum specs and 'slip'. Once everything warms up, the metal, clutch packs and fluid all expand a bit sort of 'filling in' the gap caused by wear. Depending on the previous owners driving habits (racing, or constantly towing something) the trans can go at any time. Instead of rebuilding your transmission if you decide that's what it needs, consider just putting in a new unit all togather. That way you have nothing else to worry about and you'll have a warranty on it. It might actually be cheaper to install a whole new unit too depending on your geographic loctaion.
 

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Registered
2004 Deville
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41 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your input everybody!
I am in the process of having a proffesional diagnosis performed, and will let you all know how it turns out!
Frank
 

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Registered
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15 Posts
It is unfortunate that most of the time we are forced to use the same people/businesses that do diagnostics and repairs, that causes imo a huge conflict of interest on their part to find the most expensive repair possible under the circumstances.
I really wish there were independent diagnostic facilities that would have no "skin in the game" of fixing you car other than diagnosing it correctly.
If you transmission is found to be a toast :( I'd suggest trying the "snake oil" additive, specifically the AutoRx for trannys. Don't care to look if I am allowed to post links, but googling the above name should return viable result.
I am not in any way associated with the company making the stuff, but used it few times in both engine and transmission of my, now parted with Saturn SW2. It did not fix the problems because I suspect they were design and maintenance related, but it helped the problems a lot, even if only temporary.
Good luck,
 

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Master of the Dark Art of Diagnostics
2003 DHS - two-2002 DHS, 2003 SLS, 1995 Sedan DeVille, 1989 Coupe DeVille
Joined
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19,272 Posts
It is unfortunate that most of the time we are forced to use the same people/businesses that do diagnostics and repairs, that causes imo a huge conflict of interest on their part to find the most expensive repair possible under the circumstances.
I really wish there were independent diagnostic facilities that would have no "skin in the game" of fixing you car other than diagnosing it correctly.
If you transmission is found to be a toast :( I'd suggest trying the "snake oil" additive, specifically the AutoRx for trannys. Don't care to look if I am allowed to post links, but googling the above name should return viable result.
I am not in any way associated with the company making the stuff, but used it few times in both engine and transmission of my, now parted with Saturn SW2. It did not fix the problems because I suspect they were design and maintenance related, but it helped the problems a lot, even if only temporary.
Good luck,
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I really wish there were independent diagnostic facilities
that would have no "skin in the game" of fixing you car
other than diagnosing it correctly.


you need to put a little more thought into this -

so - you want to pay one shop for diagnostics -
and pay a different - unrelated shop - to change parts -

how much more would you be willing to pay to fix a problem -
50% - 75% - double?
remember - you now have two - unrelated businesses -
both trying to scratch out a living -
working on the same problem - on the same car -

who transports the car between these two unrelated shops -
maybe a third - unrelated transport business -

how long are you willing to wait between diagnosis and repair -
days - weeks?

what about a "regular" tune-up -
should that be "diagnosed" before any parts are replaced?

if not - what parts - besides spark plugs -
should be automatically included - as part of the tune-up -

what if several parts must be removed to properly diagnose a problem -
should the "diagnostic shop" remove - diagnose - then reinstall those faulty parts -
and then the "repair shop" remove those same parts - and replace them?

can the "diagnostic shop" actually replace any obviously bad parts
as part of the diagnosis process -

what if the "repair shop" sees an additional problem -
unrelated to the original diagnosis/problem -
can they "diagnose" and replace that part -
or would they be required to "refer" the car back to a "diagnostic shop" -

sounds like this will require GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT -
maybe a couple new presidential appointments -
an AUTOMOTIVE DIAGNOSTICS CZAR -
and an AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR CZAR -

-------------------

If you transmission is found to be a toast
I'd suggest trying the "snake oil" additive,

I see you are new here -
that explains it -
 

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Super Moderator
White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,785 Posts
And most of all, who takes responsibility when the "diagnosed" repair is performed and doesn't solve the problem?
 
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