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Weird stuff

I need some input here. I have a 2006 Chevy impala 3.8L V6. It has about 140K miles on it. Lately, I have been driving it longer distances than I am used to (60-90 miles one way). The last couple of times I have noticed a couple of things. First, it shifts really hard. I have to manually shift it by lifting my foot off of the gas and putting it back down. The RPMs usually stay around 1800-2000. Sometimes, about 40-50 miles into the trip, the RPMs will jump to around 2500-2800 and the temp starts to creep up slightly, but never into the red. When I come to a red light or a stop sign, the brakes like to have a little more pressure than normal to stop fully. Then, I come to a stop and put the car into park, the RPMs jump to 3000. I generally let it sit for a few hours before I try to crank it, but when I do, I have to pump the gas a few times to get it to start, but it always starts back up. I am going to be making some repairs to the car in a few weeks and I was hoping to address these issues as well. Thanks.

Is the check engine light on? Has the trans fluid ever been changed? How does the fluid look if you wipe the trans fluid on a white paper towel? Does it smell burnt? Is is bright red or dark?

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Curious , what repairs are you going to make ? Are you doing this yourself ? If not then having a shop look this thing over for about 100.00 to 150.00 might help you decide to have everything fixed or just bail and replace the vehicle. It sounds like a transmission is needed at the very least.

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I’m afraid you might have an expensive transmission repair coming up here. I suggest not making any other repairs until everything is fully diagnosed and you have an estimate, as it might not be worth fixing this car.

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I am replacing the valve cover gasket and all of the tie rods.

The check engine light is not on. I have had the car for 3 years (it was given to me) and I have never changed the fluids, other than the oil of course. I know that the person who had it before me cared for this car with kit gloves. I will go out and look at the transmission fluid when it stops raining and report back here.

Wow… I hope you are wrong. That would not be preferable. I have done some reading and some sites suggest that there might be a vacuum leak. That is the circumstance that I am hoping for.

Sounds more like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. As @VOLVO_V70 suggests,get you transmission looked at first.

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Have someone try cleaning the electronic throttle body to see if that helps.


If the engine coolant temperature or the transmission fluid temperature is too high the computer will turn off overdrive, check the coolant level.

I checked the transmission fluid and it is a dark red, almost burgundy color. While I had the hood up, I noticed that the upper radiator hose was collapsed. This may explain a lot of what is happening.

You might make it better with a trans fluid and filter change. At the very least, dropping the pan will show you how much trash has is in the pan. A rebuilt trans may be in order.

The cooling system cap is not venting properly and the coolant level may be very low, how is the coolant level?

My best guess if the upper radiator hose is collapsing you have restricted flow somewhere after the water pump.

My buddy tells me that I should flush the coolant system and the transmission. Would you concur?

I am amazed… how did you determine that? He may only be low on fluid or like others said throttle body cleaning might help.

I would not make a leap to transmission fluid for the cause, but it may be time for service on that also.