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Cadillac 94 SLS
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 94 Seville with 106,000 miles on it. It's basically pristine, a beautiful car. Earlier this weak I took it into the shop for a very small oil leak. While there I had them run diagnostics and was told that my torque converter is going out.

First of all, I must plead ignorance and say that I don't even know what a torque converter is, could some one please explain.

Second, I've had no issues what so ever with the car. It's been running perfectly, with the exception of the oil leak.

They're telling me it's going to be $2500 for a rebuilt or $3600 for a new one, including installation. I kinda feel like I'm being reamed. I recently moved and have never dealt with the dealership before. Does this sound right? Wouldn't you think it would be something I noticed before they did?

Any input is greatly appreciated, Thanks.
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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You're being reamed. I have my whole trans rebuilt with a new torque converter for $3000 and that's including more hardware than a standard rebuild kit.

A rebuilt torque converter is about $400. It's a lot of labor to install, maybe $1000 on the high side.

If there were a problem with the converter you would be getting codes and you would have driveability issues.

Without getting technical, look at a torque converter as a fluid clutch. It essential does the same thing a clutch would do in a manual transmission but in a more elegant way.
 

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Cadillac 94 SLS
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response, Pemberton Inc. won't be doing the work, if it is needed.

There are absolutely no drivability issues. It drives perfectly.

About 3 or 4 weeks ago I did get a "Service Vehicle Soon" message on the display a couple of times but the only code it through was for the suspension, I think. After that it never came back on. As a matter of fact I had forgotten about it 'till right now.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Have you pulled the codes? Did they explain WHY they think the torque converter is "going out"?
 

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1997 SLS
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Scott, have you ever had "deep" transmission service done on your car? Essentially, every 4 years, a deep service requires that the torque converter be purged and new tranny fluid be put in it. It's much cheaper PM than what you are describing. If your tranny has been neglected (do you know the maintenance history?), it's possible after 13 years you may have a problem. You mentioned an oil leak...when you rub it between your fingers, what color is it and does it seem burnt? To check your tranny fluid, remove the air filter box and there is a twist-off cap beneath it. You can look at the condition of the fluid on the dipstick. If it's red, it may be OK. If it's dark and burnt...possible trouble. Do as Ranger suggests and pull your history codes too.
 

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Cadillac 94 SLS
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Discussion Starter #6
I have pulled the codes, when the "Servie Engine Soon" Light came on a couple times about a month ago and a few times again sense then, but I don't remember what they were off hand and the dealership currently has the car. I don't remember anything coming up on the codes other than something about the suspinsion system. The car was owned by my best friends grandmother originaly and she always kept everything serviced regularly, have the record to prove it. I just had the transmission flushed and serviced two or three months ago when I hit 100,000 miles. The old dealership didn't say anything about dark colored tranny fluid and when I check it, which I haven't for about a month now, it has always been red not brown at rust colored at all.

The dealership said when they ran the diagnostic, I requested, they found the problem. As I said before, the car drives perfectly and I've had no issues with anything other than the small oil leak (engine oil, not transmission oil).

Again thanks to everyone for your help.
 

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1997 SLS
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Scott, it sounds like your car was well maintained...if you think you are having a problem shifting, or there is "clunking" between gears, get a second opinion. Those dealers love to take advantage of us!
 

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Cadillac 94 SLS
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Discussion Starter #8
It shifts and takes off smoothly. I told them not to touch it. I plan on driving back to the original dealership when these guys have the oil leak fixed and have them look at it and see if there really is a problem. I'm sorry now that I told them to even fix the leak.

Thanks everybody, you all have been a great help.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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Read the Technical Archives at the top left of this page regarding trans flushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Damn! I wish I had found this site earlier. I never even noticed the Technical Archives before. Looks like I've got a lot of reading to do.

Thanks
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham / 01 DTS / 11 CTS Lux / 11 DTS Platinum
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I agree with Ranger. I think he's trying to get at the fact that trans flushing is a hoax and does way more harm than it ever could do any good.

I don't think your TC is bad form what you're saying but don't do any more flushing. All you need to do is have the trans serviced. There's 3 filters and the fluid, that's it. No flushing.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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3 filters? To the best of my recollection, there is only 1 filter that is only serviceable at tear down and 2 reusable screens in the pan.
 

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Hmm according to my transmission guy there's a main filter in the bottom. A filter in the side cover and a filter somewhere in the top. They all have magnets on them too.

I don't know if or how serviceable they are but that's what he said, unless he was referring to the screens?

and 16.5 quarts of fluid on a full rebuild.
3 filters? To the best of my recollection, there is only 1 filter that is only serviceable at tear down and 2 reusable screens in the pan.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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We are talking about the 4T80E right? All I found when I changed fluid on my '97 Deville at 100K was 2 reusable screens in the pan. One magnet in the pan, but not associated with the screens. FSM makes mention of a filter at tear down.
 

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Hmmm interesting. Yes the 4T80E. There are definitely magnets ON the filter(s), I saw them. Actually I guess I only did get 1 filter back, I asked for all the parts he replaced, so maybe there is only one but he did verbally say 3.

We are talking about the 4T80E right? All I found when I changed fluid on my '97 Deville at 100K was 2 reusable screens in the pan. One magnet in the pan, but not associated with the screens. FSM makes mention of a filter at tear down.
 

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I know this thread is old but Its helpful. I have a 1991 FWD 4.9L and My tranny is shifting like butter. but Ive got an E39 code that just started coming on.

about 1 year ago I took down my tranny pan, cleaned it and the magnet. replaced it with new filter and put about 3000 miles on it since then. about a week ago is when I got the codes. The car has been sitting in the garage for the year. But its not hesitating and city/hwy Im getting between 21.9 and 22.0 mpg. When driving, I notice the shifts are quite and seamless. (I dont notice the shifts at all) so were could my code be coming from. I have two E39 and E52.
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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P039 (E039) ..... Torque Converter Clutch/Viscous Converter Clutch Engagement Problem
P052 (E052) ....................................................... PCM Memory Reset

P052 is probably from pulling battery power.
Do a search for P039, TCC or VCC for a better understanding.
 

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2013 XTS
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I have read elswhere there is a filter on the side but havn't heard about on top. and there is another drain screw on the side that will drain about all the fluid but what's in the pump and torque converter.
 
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