Question about 1995 Chevrolet Cavalier

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Hard shifting when braking automatic transmission

My 95 cavalier has started to try to pull forward when i brake. i don't believe it is the brakes, as they catch , fine.it sounds like something slipping very hard under the car on the driver's side, almost directly floor area. does anyone have any idea what may be causing this? thank you very much

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Hello;
Sounds as though your motor mounts are bad allowing the engine to shift.
Hope this helps;
Thanks;
Rich
RPM Northwest

Posted on Feb 04, 2009

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When you do this, you're usually putting the weight of the car onto a small lever engaging notches on the drive shaft in the transmission, not the hand brake. The hand brake's designed to hold the car, the lever isn't, it's there just-in-case.
Take a look at http://auto.howstuffworks.com/automatic-transmission5.htm to see how flimsy this part is.
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  • To fix what caused the problem, you need your hand brake / park brake adjusted at the handle. You'll probably find that it adjusts at the other end (inside the rear wheel hubs) whenever you reverse.

For what it's worth, to avoid doing this damage to automatic transmissions whenever I'm stuck in one, I shift to Neutral then take my foot off the foot brake, then the car moves as it's weight shifts from the foot brake to the park brake which I often haven't pulled hard enough. Only when, in neutral, the car is stationary without the foot brake do I put it in park.
In Australia, it became illegal a couple of years ago to not be in the driver's seat when the engine's running. My understanding is that this was because, when the engine's running, sometimes older Automatic transmissions damaged in this way can shift out of Park. This is believed to be what has happened when you see unoccupied cars reversing in circles on "wildest police video" programs on TV. I also heard of some Borg-Warner automatic transmissions fitted to 80s model Ford Falcons (common in Australia), 70s model German saloons, which were particularly prone to Park failing to hold the car on a slope. I drove one for many years in a '75 BMW 528 in which some of it's other drivers developed the same habit.
Similarly, in my own car, I don't take my foot off the clutch until I've taken it off the brake without the car moving. Though the local Road & Traffic Authority regulation states "First gear if you're facing uphill, Reverse if you're facing downhill" I do the opposite because whatever damage might be done to panels will be cheaper than what would be done to the engine if the hand brake failed and it's not going to make much difference in slowing down a rolling car, especially with this one.
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