Question about 2004 Isuzu Ascender

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Uncertain if it's really a transmission problem

I have been experiencing sporadic vibration in the accelerator for over three weeks. This periodically happens when I'm driving uphill or when the vehicle starts to change gears. Once I lift my foot off the accelerator the vibration disappears. I took my vehicle to several repair shops to perform diagnostic tests and no codes could be found. One place said it was the drive shaft and another the transmission since metal shavings were found in the transmission. I had the transmission fluid flushed to no avail. I do have over 200K miles (all highway miles) on the vehicle. I have always kept up with the maintenance. Could it be bad gasoline causing the problem or a clogged filter? Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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Being as it's over 200,000 miles, I'd definitely check into these things before assuming it's a transmission. As it very well could be a transmission problem such as, bad torque converter or a problem in the gears. It also could be as simple as a poorly balanced tire, or a wheel bearing going out. Check these before assuming it's a transmission as it could turn what you might think of over $1000 problem into a $30 fix.

As you Said, Air filter, or fuel filter.
New tank of name brand fuel... BP, Shell, Citgo, etc...
Tire Balancing
Wheel Bearings
Even check the brakes, a bad rotor or dragging pad may cause a vibration.

Now in the case that it's something else, here's a couple ways to check the transmission yourself to see if it's causing a problem.

1 : Find a steep hill and stop on it. Accelerate throughout first gear, see if it vibrates there at all. Make sure to put it into first gear so it won't shift out. If there's no vibration, try it in second, third, so forth.

2 : Many actual transmission problems are more notable in reverse as the gearing is actually turned backwards and made more evident. So try it in reverse, see if anything abnormal is experienced.

3 : Find a parking lot and make sure you have some space. Turn the wheel all the way to one side, left or right. Lay into the throttle and listen carefully. A clicking sound will denote a bad pivot joint in an axle or a bad wheel bearing. Try this in both directions as well. As a lot of times only one side will make noise and only if you're turning in that direction.

4 : Another good way to check for transmission problems is by engine braking. Use first or second gear to keep the vehicle slow while traveling downhill. Not at high speed, but enough where you can feel the vehicle being held back. Any slipping or vibration can denote a problem with the transmission.

Try these steps and see if you can narrow the problem down. Once you get it narrowed down; it's time to search for the right remedy whether it be a $20 air filter or a $700 transmission rebuild. I hope this helps you out bud!

Posted on Sep 24, 2008


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