I’ve taken my car to two mechanics now, and they both came up with completely different diagnoses for my car, so I’m hoping someone here might have some wisdom to share. The car is a well-maintained 2007 Chevy Cobalt LS automatic with 84K mi.
Don’t ask how or why, but I accidentally shifted this automatic into neutral and then reverse while traveling forward at 45mph. I immediately shifted back into neutral and then drive, but my car immediately went into “limp mode”. I coasted into a gas station, turned it off, turned it back on, and then I was able to drive it home without issue.
The next day on my normal route to work I felt like I was having to press the gas harder, and the RPM’s looked a little higher than usual. I checked the fuel economy, and for some reason I was averaging 15mpg. This is a car that has consistently gotten 30mpg+ ever since I’ve had it, so that was a drastic drop.
The first mechanic I took it to quickly said that based on my story, the sluggish acceleration, and the drastic drop in fuel economy, the clutch pack for my first gear was most likely burnt, and they would need to rebuild the transmission for $2,700.
The second mechanic drove the car around, check for fault codes, checked fluids, cleaned the air filter, etc and concluded there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car after having 3 people look at it over 2 days. They said it shifted fine when they drove it, and they were confident my transmission is sound. They said the dash displayed “ice possible” in 50 degree weather today, so their theory is that my dash had a little computer-freakout following the “limp mode” episode. They advised me to fill the gas tank and record my own fuel economy to see if I’ve actually experienced the drastic drop to 15mpg or not. The car is still at their shop, so I haven’t had a chance to do this.
I’m honestly not convinced either mechanic is right, so I’m posting here to see if anyone else has other ideas for what could have gone wonky after my stupid shifting mistake.