Hello everyone, I am a grad student (read: poor) and I think the automatic transmission on my 1964 Buick Riviera may be sick. Almost every time I shift gears, there is a loud CLUNK sound, and the car lurches slightly. This has been going on for at least a year, but as it twice as old as I am, I expected the car to have a few problems. I don’t know if this is relevant, but I only drive the car about 5 or 10 miles a week, on weekends. I never take it on the freeway. One of the things I have learned from Click and Clack is that NOT driving a car every day may cause issues, although I don’t know if this is the case for me.
No matter how little you drive, it’s time to take this car to a good independent transmission shop and have it examined. With any luck it is something not serious, more like needing a fluid and filter change and adjutments. I takeit this is a mechanicall controlled transmission, less complex than the electronic ones to diagnose.
What, if any maintenance have you done on the transmission so far?
It will cost little to nothing to just have someone look it over. You could just need a new mount in which case you’d be better off figuring it out sooner rather than later so that you don’t end up breaking other things.
Your Buick Riviera is a rear wheel drive. The symptoms you describe may be caused by a defective universal joint. This is an inexpensive repair. If this is the case, the problem isn’t the transmission. One universal joint connects the transmission to the driveshaft and a second universal joint connects the driveshaft to the differential in the rear axle. A knowledgeable mechanic can tell you in a few seconds if this is the problem.
For the transmission, I actually have only had the fluid changed, and that was about a year ago. Since I drive the car so little, I don’t really pay any attention to the mileage indications for maintenance (i.e. change the oil every 3000 miles).
Okay thanks. When I take it in I will mention that as something to have them look at.
Thanks. I’ll ask them to look at the mounts.