Question about 1996 Chevrolet Suburban

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Auto transmission violently shifts after running at highway speeds

1996 c1500 with 126xxx miles on it. Runs well around town but after highway running for about 20 min, the tranny begins to violently shift into second and third. Check engine light is on, but its always on. Any thoughts?

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  • james_neuman May 24, 2009

    I read something that said this issue could possibly be caused by the transmission solenoid having issues. Also read that getting a power transmission flush and band tuning could resolve this issue. what do you think?

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You should have a P1870 error code stored, which is telling you the transmission is slipping. Reason for it is there's a bore inside the valve body that gets worn out; repair involves either replacing the valve body, or using a kit to **** the bore out to sleeve it. Either is acceptable and honestly the kit seems more like a long-term fix to me.

Any HONEST transmission shop will only charge you a few hundred bucks at most for this.

The problem isn't correcting because the transmission cools off; the code is cleared out when you're turning off the engine, and it takes a little while for it to set again. This is consistent with the behavior for the P1870 code. In a nutshell what is happening is the computer detects the transmission slipping a little due to loss of pressure from the internal leak, and boosts the line pressure in an event to save the transmission. This results in the harsh 1-2 shift. The other shifts are firmer too but they're softer by design than 1-2 so you don't notice it nearly as much, if at all.

Posted on Jun 24, 2009

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Sounds like a possible accumulator spring problem. Many are externally accessible. don't know for sure on yours. Also check if you have a vacuum modulator on unit. that can do much the same thing ((small pot mounted on left side with vacuum hose attached)

Posted on May 24, 2009

  • Richard Scordino May 24, 2009

    don't rate this,,,was supposed to be a suggestion/comment not a definite fix!!!

  • Richard Scordino May 24, 2009

    At this point, anything is possible...been in this business too long not to know that. That's why a good shop is a valuable asset...they know what they are doing and have the right equipment to do it. (problem always has been finding one) Good ideas are one thing. with electronics in the mix, it is very important to do testing before making expensive decisions.

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This maybe an cheap fix.

The 1996 Chevy Sub has a Transmission speed sensor. If you can take a look at this link http://www.1aauto.com/1A/SpeedSensor/Chevrolet/Suburban/1ATRS00012/1073324?utm_source=google_base&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_base

In my experience I see this go out more than a transmission. and not to hard to replace.

Posted on May 24, 2009

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If you like go ahead and let someone sell and replace your transmission but here is my suggestion! Check around and see if you can find a minor vacuum leak! This can simply be the big round hose that goes from the fuel injection to the power brake hub! This is normally a push in connector which has about a 1/2 inch hose clamped on it! If there is any kink or the connector is not in correctly a leak will occur and the transmission will shift rough as though you will be thrown out of the vehicle! Try unplugging this connector and plug it back in hard and straight and maybe you will be lucky and fix your problem. If the vacuum is correct your transmission will shift better than you have ever experienced!

Posted on Aug 16, 2009

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This is an intermittent problem that only occurs while highway driving. Most of my driving is in town. I can't see any leaks and am worried I may major transmission trouble. I hope you can help!! Thank You


Hi and welcome to FixYa!

During short trips transmission troubles are hardly noticeable. This can be noticed during highway runs. As a first course of action I strongly suggest that you replace the automatic transmission fluid. If the fluid is burnt the transmission tends to shift slow or simply just stuck in gear.

Once the transmission is replaced, a smooth run and shifting will be noticeable.

Hope this helps and thank you for using FixYa! Have a good one!

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