Question about 2004 Buick LeSabre

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''04 Buick LaSabre, Transmission rough shifting. Are pressure control solenoid and shift solenoids internal to transmission?

This is a GM 4T65E transmission. I have been told that these solenoids most likely will cause rough shifting and are poorly designed by GM. Am hoping that they are external to the trans and can be serviced without a complete tear-down. Bill

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The solenoids are internal ! But if it were a solenoid problem the check engine light would come on . There are a lot of variables involved in the shifting of electroniclly controlled transmissions , it's all part of the engine management strategy programmed into the PCM - engine computer . I would take and have it checked before guessing about parts problems . A good qualified repair shop would hook up a professional grade diagnostic tool and road test the vehicle . With-in a few miles they would know for certain .

Posted on Dec 14, 2016

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Where is the shift solenoid located on a 4t65E transmision


All of the shift solenoids are located on the driver side behind the front wheel under the side cover on the transmission. It is not a easy job!

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My 2001 buick regal ls, will no longer shift into overdrive. all other gears are perfect.tune up, fluid and filter changed and still the same.


I believe that the solenoid that controls the overdrive is accessable from the transmission pan area. The solenoids that control the shifting are located in the side. The 4t65e transaxle has been known to have problems with overdrive for more than one reason though, so start with that solenoid. If that doesn't work, you may have luck with a shift kit. My car used to shift rapidly in and out of overdrive, after I installed a shift kit, I have had no further issues. I used the '4t65e sk' kit from TransGO.

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1 Answer

I have a 99 camaro V-6. when cold it shifts smoothly, after it is warmed up it shifts very abruptly. if you let it cool down for 20 minutes it is smooooth again. the fluid has been changed...


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Transmission occasionaly hesitates and I can feel it when it shifts, more than I should.


There are diagnostic tools that could help detect what your problem is. The Snap-On Modis, or preferably a "Tech-2" GM scanner. Any reputable transmission shop, or GM dealer should have at least one of the two. It sounds to me like it could be the transmissions "EPC" (Electronic Pressure Control solenoid) The EPC controls main line pressure, in an effort to keep shift firmness, and shift duration at one specific level. This is to compinsate for the natural wear a transmission encounters, and to keep emissions as low as possable, by keeping shift duration low. When the EPC malfunctions (and thats somthing that they like to do in the 4t65E), it typically starts to shift harder than normal. They typically throw a P1811 code. (P1811 is a "max adapt-long shift" code) And the malfunction can be intermittent. Hope this helps, and good luck.
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Onandoffjerkyshifting,startedat40000miles .onlywhenhot.turnoffandrestartafter30secondsrunsperfect


probably your pressure control solenoid. very common issue with the 4t65e transmission . usually the hard shifting becomes more apparent after car warms up. solenoid can go bad at any milage. upgrade to a borg warner pressure control solenoid and you will get more life out of the solenoid and transmission. wait to long to repair, and you will end up having to do a complete overhaul. pressure control solenoid part is about 50 dollars. about 4 hours labor

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1 Answer

Transmission sometimes shifts hard into next gear.


Typiclly this is caused by a failing Pressure Control Solenoid. Now in some cases, since you are in the 1996 model year you may have a vacuum modulator that controls the shift firmness that can be replaced as it is externally mounted. I dont know how best to describe what it looks like, but look down on your transmission, on the front side facing the radiator and if you see a canister like device that has a vacuum line running to it, that is the vacuum modulator and you could start by replacing that and see if it helps.

If you do not have the vacuum modulator and have instead the electronically controlled version of your transmission then you will have a Pressure Control Solenoid and it, unfortunately, is located on the inside of the transmission and cannot be easily replaced without dropping the whole transmission.

The pressure control solenoid is a common issue with your transmission (4T65) and Im leaning more towards you have the electronically controlled version (4T65E).

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