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05 Cavalier Transmission Mystery

Okay… 05 Chevy Cavalier, Automatic Transmission, with 60,000 miles on it

I bought it from the shop where my dad works–it’s a rebuilt. The check engine light was on indicating a TCC issue when they got it, so they replaced the solenoid. Did not fix the issue.

30,000 miles later (and me not knowing this…) I start to experience some slipping in reverse when the engine isn’t warm and when making sharp turns, with service engine and ABS lights. Seems intermittent. Progresses a bit to happen while in drive. Read the codes on a home reader, get the following two:

P0741= tcc stuck off

P2761=Torque Converter Clutch Pressure Control Solenoid Control Circuit/Open

Take it into a transmission shop to have the codes looked at more in depth. Doesn’t tell him anything more. Pulls the fluid pan, doesn’t see much metal in the fluid. Finds no apparent issue in the electrical.

Takes a look at the TCC, says it’s not original to the car and replaces it with one that is. Does not fix the problem.

Replaces the solenoid valve. Does not fix the problem.

Replaces the gaskets/seals in the TCC. Does not fix the problem.

He’s had my car for a week. (Today is Thursday, I took it in last Tuesday for a preliminary checkup with him confident that it would be fixed last Friday at noon. This has dragged on from there.)

The guy at the shop has been talking with my dad directly (he’s experienced with the car, knowledgeable about cars and is paying) so my dad may have a few more details.

Question: If it’s not the immediate electrical, not a fluid leak, not the solenoid, not the valve and not the whole TCC… what could it be?

You’re going to need to ask for some clarity from your dad or the transmission shop or whatever. The TCC isn’t “a” thing - its a system of things. So when you say they “looked at” the TCC, replaced the TCC, and replaced gasket and seals in the TCC - you’re not actually saying anything. Are you just talking about the whole torque converter itself?

This transmission also probably has 2 solenoids for the TCC - one turns it on/off. The other actually applies the TCC by degrees (often called a TCC PWM Solenoid). So a reference to “replaced the solenoid” is also ambiguous.

The reference to replacement of gasket and seals would suggest that the transmission was actually torn down. Was it? If so then you probably need a new transmission shop since a good tech should inspect everything and be able to identify problems.

You should also describe what you mean by slipping (and how it could be slipping in reverse without you knowing it- ?) Other than describing whatever it does in reverse and whatever it does on sharp turns (which just sounds like a low fluid problem, btw) what else does it do? Can you tell whether the TCC is actually applying or not? (That might be impossible if you don’t have a tachometer). When you say “Does not fix the problem” what “problem” are you talking about? Do you mean that those codes are still present (are they?) Or is it whatever you are calling slipping in reverse & on turns? Or is it both?

Anyway, kudos on trying to provide lots of info. But in the end you just sort of laid out a pile of fuzz.

Out of curiosity has anyone given the transmission wiring harness a really thorough and close inspection? I also have to assume that the first thing anyone has done is check the fluid.

OK, first things first. You said you bought the car from the shop where your dad works and that its a rebuilt. What is rebuilt?? Is it the car?? Was this car in an accident and had to be rebuilt?? If so, was it a front end collision?? Has anyone run a pressure check on the transmission, especially in reverse. If so, what are the pressures they are getting?? The reverse circuit runs a lot higher than the forward circuit. You said the TCC was not original to the car and it was replaced. The TCC is inside the converter and can not be seen unless the converter is removed and cut open. SO, when you say the TCC was replaced, is it the whole converter itself which was replaced?? I’m just trying to clarify some things so I have a clearer picture of what was done and I can help you further.


I’m not sure how much was rebuilt on the car… I think it was a side collision.
I think my dad mentioned that they checked the pressure and there was “nothing unusual”. I don’t necessarily know how in depth that check was.
I meant to say that I think he replaced the entire converter, but I’m not totally clear on this at the moment.

Sorry if I can’t be much more help. I’m a bit cut out of the loop on this, unfortunately.

It sounds like he did tear it down.
When I said he checked the electrical, that includes checking the wiring harness. How thorough? I don’t know.

By “problem”, I mean the codes and trouble in reverse.
I can definitely feel the engine “bog” in reverse and in hard turns, like it’s going to stall out. It doesn’t stall, but then lurches (and sometimes revs) into gear. That’s exactly how I described it to the shop. Seems like another symptom of the TCC malfunction, and no one has suggested that it’s a symptom of something else.

They’ve changed the fluid for testing the car in between attempts to fix it.

I’ve read that the symptoms of the TCC not engaging properly during normal operation is a jerky slow down/stop. It’s definitely showing that, in addition to giving me guff when I go in reverse.

I hope I’ve addressed your questions as well as I can. :S
The guy at the transmission shop hasn’t sounded confident about anything since he first cracked into the fluid pan. I have to pick up the car today, either way. He’s not charging us for the parts he’s put in, but I’m sure he’s racked up a handsome labor bill.