Grand Prix Transmission Problem




I’ve got a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix with an automatic transmission. When I’m driving on the highway, the transmission seems to stay in third gear. With the cruise control on, there is no stepping down when going up or down hills and it definitely uses up more gas than it used to for similar trips. If I’m going 65 mph and I let off the gas and let the rpms go down, reapplying the gas takes it immedieatly back up to 3200 rpms. When driving in the city, it doesn’t seem to have a problem in drive. The last time it seemed to be stuck in third gear I got off the highway and tested it on some back roads and it still seemed to be in third gear. I cycled through third, second and first and back to drive and it felt like it was back in the drive gear. There was a definite “step down” feel when going between drive and third that I didn’t feel after it stuck on the highway. Should I be concerned that my transmission is about to buy the farm?


Have you inadvertently pushed the “OD off” button? It happens.

Has the transmission fluid ever been changed? Is the fluid at the correct level on the dip stick, and is it clean and pink?


Thanks for the advice. I do not think I have OD on this Grand Prix. I do have 2nd Gear Start and that is not engaged. I have not had the transmission fluid changed in the year and a half that I have had the car and I don’t know if it was changed by the previous owner at any time. The level is correct and it the fluid looks and feels fine (no darkening or grit). I will try having the fluid changed and see if that helps. Maybe someone will notice something while they are changing the fluid.

Thanks again.


What options do you have on the shift selector? If you have separate selections for third gear and drive, then drive is your 4th (overdrive) gear.


Yes, I do have 4 gears; Drive, 3rd, 2nd and 1st. I do not have a separate button for OD Off, however. When I was experiencing the problem, it seemed like the car was in 3rd gear and the Drive gear was doing nothing. But like I said, after I was able to get off the highway and cycle through the gears at a slower speed, the Drive gear seemed to be operational again. I have not had it out on the highway since I last experienced the problem, so I have not had a chance to test it out again at a higher speed.