Camaro SS paddle shift transmission

When in either the fully automatic “drive” or “sport” modes, my 2011 Camaro SS wants to go to the highest gear so quickly that it makes you think of when you first learned to drive stick and mistakenly went to 3rd instead of 2nd. My dealer says that GM is aware of it, does not yet have a software fix, and that in the interim, I should just use the “M” mode and paddle it myself. Yes, that will work fine, but I am really getting upset that as a brand new automobile, it should work properly in any mode. This transmission has been out for some time now and I don’t know why they don’t put out a bulletin on it. Now that this vehicle has been sold to a consumer and is no longer in inventory I don’t see the need for them to try and rush to a high gear to push gas mileage numbers. I cured myself of manual transmissions with my Corvette in a 45 minute traffic jam in 1st gear and thought the new Camaro would be just the answer. Wrong! I am very frustrated and while my dealer has been very nice and accommodating, it still isn’t right. I’m afraid to go to an aftermarket shift point change because no matter what they say about the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, GM would be tough to go against and I’m not inclined to get into an adversarial situation yet. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Fran Kelly

Forget that BS that folks post about Magnuson Moss, if you mess with the factory settings you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

Is the problems shared by all, or is yours unusual?

While it appears that this problem may not be shared by all, they said they’ve had quite a number of complaints, but no solution yet. This transmission has been out for quite some time though. And yes, that was exactly what I was saying about doing any alterations myself. I want Mr Goodwrench only to fix it. I only have 3600 miles on the car.

My cousin bought a 2011 Camaro SS back in the summer. She had a similar complaint about the transmission wanting to shift too fast. When I got a chance to drive it…it did seem to be a tad fast in shifting. I just assumed it had to do with the horsepower of the engine and the 6 speed automatic. A 4 speed automatic would tend to slow the shifting down somewhat. If the shifts were to wind out longer on the 6 speed I’m afraid the SS would be prone to getting traffic tickets for breaking the speed limit. That’s my take on it anyway. The SS gets up to speed real fast as it is so I don’t really see them extending the shift points.

No, I have no problem going through the lower gears. I just don’t want to be in 5th or 6th in a 35 or 40mph zone. Low gears under power couldn’t be better, but when I reach 35 0r 40, maybe just let me stay in 4th?

Part of the issue is driver comfort. This is something a manufacturer can’t deal with until they have the drive train in use for some time. Also, the issue might also touch on fuel economy. The car has a 6 speed auto to increase gas mileage. And being in 5th at 40 MPH is not unusual when you consider that the car should be in 6th by the time you get to 55. That’s highway cruising speed and the manufacturer will almost certainly want to have the car in overdrive then.

Its all about MPG, the faster you get the RPM’s down the better your MPG… This is the same reason they had the “Skip Shift” on the 6-speed manual trans that would force you into 4th from 1st if not under heavy load… Getting the MPG up on the sticker is VITAL to being able to sell a car like the SS Camaro. Why?? one word CAFE (corporate avg fuel economy)… Basically by federal law, the AVG MPG of every car/truck GM makes MUST be at least (X) or they get fined very heavily… EVERY MPG counts… Sounds like your trans is perfectly normal.

Too much power, too little car.

Gsrag hit the nail on the head. The tranny software is going to the highest gear it can as soon as possible to improve gas mileage. A 426HP motor in a car that size with that many gears just plain doesn’t need to wind up to have sufficient power to go to the next gear.

It’s operating properly. No “act” will provide any relief from a purchasing decision that simply didn’t turn out to be what your had expected.

I remember when ALL Chevy’s had 2-speed automatics and nobody complained…Car makers seem to waste a lot of time designing cars to impress the writers and editors of automotive magazines and not the customers who will actually buy the cars and drive them in the real world…

I’m sure the magazine people road tested this car, they LOVE cars like this…What if anything did THEY say about the shiftpoints?? Google 'Camero SS road test" and see what pops up…

It sounds like you are a guy who likes a manual shift, expect in traffic tie ups. On the open road you want to select the gear for cruising so you have some pop and acceleration without the lag of a downshift. Basically, you like to drive and be in control.

I have a stick '03 Civic that is fun. I’ve had stick Mustangs with V8’s and I have an auto '04 T’bird. The bird has a D4 and D5 on the shifter and I drive in D4 on rural 2 lane roads below 55 mph. That gives the car some spirit and spunk.

I think you are just going to have to use those paddle shifter buttons to keep the SS in 4th or 5th on the highway. Perhaps GM will come up with a reprogram fix, but perhaps they won’t. What is the rpm at 60 in 6th gear? If it is like 1,500 I’d want to be in a lower gear too.

“Car makers seem to waste a lot of time designing cars to impress the writers and editors of automotive magazines and not the customers who will actually buy the cars and drive them in the real world”

I agree, but would add that much of what we’re seeing in today’s cars is driven by government regulations, many of them toward the quest of ultimate mileage and zero emissions.

The only thing worse than a 426 hp car with a 6 speed auto is a 120 hp car with a 6 speed auto. There have been posts on this forum in which drivers complain that such cars are constantly hunting for gears, even when driving at highway speeds on flat surfaces. And yes, I’m afraid that much of this is the result of automakers’ pursuit of meeting increasingly stringent CAFE standards.

I’ve (rather unfortunately…) never driven a new Camaro (and to be honest, if I ever have the opportunity I hope it’ll be a manual), but is it really no help to run in “sport” mode? On many cars running in sport mode extends shift points, which in theory should be helping what the OP is complaining of.

I don’t really see a need for a 6-speed automatic other than it sounds good. The shifts are so fast that you are in high gear in just a few seconds. A 4-speed automatic would seem to make more sense and the transmission is probably beefier to boot. I’m sure CAFE standards can be reached without the extra 2 gears in this transmission. The 4-speed transmission could be geared to give you 2200rpm at 70mph quite easily to extend fuel economy.

I don’t see a point to a 426 hp slushbox anyway, but apparently some people are buying them.

Missile and every one else asking about 6 speeds… Again its about efficancy… Under full throttle, every motor has a sweet spot… A spot in its RPM band that allows the car have top power and efficancy at the same time… The more gears a car has the longer the motor can be kept in its sweet spot, thus the more efficant it will be. As you all stated top gear can and usually is same or simular gear ratio in a 6-speed or a 4-speed… New BMW’s and MB’s have 8 speeds…

I understand the “driver comfort”. We had the shift adapt software history cleared, in case the test drivers in the first 88 miles at the dealership before I bought it drove it funny as far as the “training” the tranny issue is concerned. I doubt that was an issue anyway. It didn’t change anything. Yes, I fully understand the CAFE pressure on GM and the basis of this issue. However, as I said in my earlier post, they no longer own this car in their inventory. They have sold it to me in compliance with CAFE measures and I think they should now put out a bulletin for their mechanics to deal with fussy owners like me (of whom I, apparently, am not the only one). Yes, I could have purchased a manual transmission. Yes, when I put my foot into this car, it runs great. I just cannot do that all of the time. I live around many 35 to 45mph zones. However, I am a spoiled brat who has been buying GM cars for over 35+ years who wants to have his cake and eat it too. Had they not recognized this issue, they would not have responded that they are working on it. Thanks to all of you for your time and input. I will post if my Bowtie buddies come up with some software, and in the interim, I guess I will paddle my way through the gears.

“I don’t see a point to a 426 hp slushbox anyway, but apparently some people are buying them.”

The 556 HP Cadillac CTS-V set a new sedan record for the Nordschleife lap time in 2009 . The car was in full automatic mode at the time.

Fran, you can at least use the auto mode when you are stuck in traffic. You shouldn’t notice the car hunting for gears when you are forced to go slow.

Yes, of course, and I do in those circumstances. BTW, I never responded about the difference in “sport” mode. It does slightly extend your low end shifts, but getting up to speed is never a problem. It is being in 6th at 1200rpm when not under load that I don’t like how that feels at all. Thanks again to all for your kind consideration.

To bad they didn’t put a lock out the torque converter button on the shifter. Or, a way to hold 5th gear and not shift into 6th.


Great post! I have the same exact problem. Kind of a pain since this is the third time I am going back to say that the car should NOT be in 5th gear at 30 MPH! I drive on an Army post where the speed limit is 35 and I really notice it, it lugs pretty bad. One Chevy dealership told me to drive it more aggresive…lol - in a 35MPH speed zone? Since we already purchased the cars…why not creat/upload/modify the shift points? I will see what they tell me this time and repost then. Thanks! Michael