Question about 2000 Chevrolet Malibu

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Extended shift time when hard on the throttle.

This is a 2000 Chevy Malibu, 3.1 V6 with Auto Trans. The problem I'm having is something with shifting. A long time ago it got to the point where even granny driving it, it did not want to shift. Rpm would go up and up with no shift. My mom took it to the dealer and all she told me was it was something with the fuel and air. That was when it was under warranty. Well now the car has about 94,000 miles and it will still happen a little bit. With the A/C off the car doesnt want to shift when you get on the throttle, I've learned to ease off the gas when its about to shift and it works good. Without the A/C on it runs a lot better and has more power. Maybe its just a quark to the car or transmission but its really annoying. I've changed the fluid in the trans at like 85,000, and it was not burned. I put 75k Plus fluid with the extras in it. The car is well maintained. I use only synthetic oil, it has a K&N Air filter. No leaks. I changed all the vacuum hoses, even the ones only by the dealer. It has new plugs, wires, and pcv valve. Cleaned the MAF sensor. No codes, even when it acts up. Do all malibus act like this ?

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I have read numurous things on the throttle position sensor, and if the tps is bad or out of adjustment it makes a big effect on how the transmission shifts.i am having the same problem with my 3.1. also the map sensor controls the fuel delivery and ignition timing!!

Posted on Sep 20, 2009


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My 2006 chevy malibu doesn't want to shift gears codes P0121 & P0101 & P0420 transmission place said it's not the transmission.

P0101....Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0121 - Throttle Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range/Performance Problem.
P0420 - Catalyst System Low Efficiency
there is criteria that enable trans shift
solve codes problems then transmission will shift normaly

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If the van shifts ok when cold but hard when hot then the pressure control valve in the trans is bad. When the fluid temp climbs past a certain point the PCS sensor shorts out and stops controlling fluid pressure. This usually causes a whine from the trans (pump) and hard shifting. This is because the PCS can no longer control the pump pressure so the pump now runs at full pressure and shifts as if you were using full thottle all the time - the opposite of what your doing, which is to feather the throttle trying to ease the shift. So now the trans calls for a full pressure shift when your using part throttle and it slams. The (PCS) part is cheap enough but the trans has to be removed to replace it and that's not cheap.

Give this a shot, it often works and it's cheap enough to try.

First, have a good mech carefully check the rediator trans cooler section to be sure there's no leakage of coolant from the enging to the trans coller section of the radiato. This is important!, if antifreeze is leaking into the trans fluid via the cooler it'll cause problems that are otherwise impossible to diagnose and eventually complete trans/torque converter failure.

If there's no radiator problem then power flush the trans and change the filter, then install an aftermarket trans cooler in series with the built in cooler (the instructions with the cooler detail this). It's about $60 for the cooler and maybe one hour to install it.

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