1997 Chevy Cavalier Needing help

Tiny
DBCOOPER1961
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET CAVALIER
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 110,000 MILES
I have a 1997 cavalier that starts fine but when you put it in drive it stalls instantly, it will stay running if I have it in park, reverse or neutral. I have changed the neutral safety switch but with no luck. I'm suspecting its something to do with the transmission or maybe the converter. Any ideas? Any way to know for sure?
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Monday, September 13th, 2010 AT 10:04 PM

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Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
If the engine stalls abruptly as if some one clamped it, then I would suspect that the 'lock-up' function on the torque converter of the transmission is in the lock-up position. That means it is the same as popping the clutch on a conventional transmission car, which cause the same stall. If you can't drive the car, I would call around to several independent transmission shops to find one that is familiar with the transmission and that appears to be honest. Ask if they have a diagnostic readout box to communicate with the transmission control computer. If they do then have the car towed there and let them try a readout. If they get a code 38 or 0740 (depending upon what year model you have there) then that would show that the lock-up is the problem. If you are lucky the problem will be with a solenoid switch or valve in the box on the side of the transmission which can be corrected easily without removing the transmission. Because this possibility (along with about 6 other causes) is worth pursuing, I would want a shop that is not going to talk you into a "rebuild" without first looking into all the possible reasons for the lock-up condition so you aren't "taken for a ride".
So ask friends if they know a good honest shop and check them out as to how well they understand the transmission. You may end up at a dealer, but insist on their trying all the other possible causes before authorizing removal of the transmission which is a very expensive repair and may not be necessary.
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Monday, September 13th, 2010 AT 10:08 PM

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