Transmission trouble

riviera
buick
noises
transmissions

#1

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.


#2

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?


#3

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.


#4

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.


#5

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).


#6

Okay thanks. When I take it in I will mention that as something to have them look at.


#7

Thanks. I’ll ask them to look at the mounts.