96 Caddy with bad trans

Check engine light just came on Northstar system and hubby notices it stays in second gear. Burning lots of gas. Could this be a minor case or major? He says sensor is good. We are looking for a shop that will give written estimate and not try to tear down trans and hold us hostage for a king’s ransom. This happened some years back. So far we think Aamco is best bet in Baltimore (Harford Road)–free diagnostic with written estimate. Any other suggestions in Baltimore? Thank you!

I have no personal suggestiosn other than the fact that a good non-chain transmission shop will give you a good diagnosis, and THEN an accurate estimate…

Most posters will likely tell you to stay away from Aamco, but this one could be an exception. The written estimate could be prepared by a clerk who would automatically (no pun intended) recommend a rebuilt transmission. If that is the case and the estimate comes quickly, they either have a genius in the back (not likely) or they just recommend this to every customer. You also deserve a detailed explanation WHY you need that new transmission!

You need to get the car scanned first.
If the problem is not electrical in nature (shift solenoids, etc.) then you should assume a complete transmission rebuild.

The car is going on 14 years old with ??? miles and there is no way someone should be pulling a transmssion, disassembling it, and performing a piecemeal repair. That would be begging for trouble.

Went to three non chain shops and no one would offer a written estimate. That is what made us leery and lean toward Aamco. One place offered a free check and then ended up charging him $80. Other place did “free” check and said it would cost a few hundred more to give accurate diagnosis

Car has 80,000 miles. Solenoid ruled out. About what mileage is trans rebuilt or replaced?

The transmissions used in these cars can be a nightmare to repair or rebuild. Plan on $3500 at least. You will notice a lack of enthusiasm from most tranny shops…

Before you go far on hardware repairs, have the Electronic Control Module scanned for codes. The fact that the CEL is ‘on’ and the transmission is in ‘second’ indicates that the transmission is in ‘limp home’ mode. Either the ECM is not getting appropriate information, like valid Vehicle Speed Sensor, turbine input sensor, transmission oil temperature sensor high, etc. or it is having a problem controlling one or more of the shifts. Once all the codes have been reviewed and addressed, a scan of the operation data will point the transmission tech toward a likely internal problem.

So eliminate the problems the ECM is finding before you go further on overhaul. Hopefully, Transman will pipe in and provide authoritive information.

Good luck on this.

Burdening consumers with needless technical complexity is ONE of the many reasons GM is working out their bankruptcy filing details…

What model and engine size caddy is this??