Car won’t move

Discussion in 'Transmission Forum' started by Boomer, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Boomer

    Boomer Sr. Member

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    Please fill out the following to ask a question.

    MAKE:Chevy
    MODEL:Malibu
    YEAR:2009
    MILES:?
    ENGINE:3.5
    DESCRIBE ISSUE.... Hi guys, my daughter who lives 2.5 hours away says her car won’t move in any gear. Is it unusual for not even reverse to work or, common? I’ve never had trans trouble. Could it possibly be anything besides the transmission needs replaced? Any help would be great
     
  2. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    Can I assume this is an automatic trans? Look for a broken axle (half-shaft) first, then broken connection between flex-plate and torque converter.

    If there is any way to get live-data, then a lot of guessing, or poking around in the cold, could be avoided. Look at the "trans turbine speed", that is the input to the trans gearing after the converter and will quickly verify that the converter/flex-plate connection is OK. Look at the VSS, if there is speed showing there, but no wheels turning, that pretty much proves there is a broken axle or something similar. Look at the "gear commanded" and "gear selected". This may be as simple as shift linkage is broken and trans is never really getting out of P or N, no matter what the driver thinks they are selecting.

    Can you get them to try pushing the car (not in P of course) by hand? It would be nice to verify something isn't horribly jammed and can actually move.
     
  3. Boomer

    Boomer Sr. Member

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    Thanks Bill. Yes Automatic. I did tell them to try shifting and looking underneath at the same time to see if the linkage moved. They are assuring me it's not the cable. They also say there are shavings in the fluid on the dipstick. The problem is they are young kids and I have to take everything they say with a grain of salt. I really don't know if they can get access to a scanner or not. They are pretty much broke so getting professional diagnosis isn't really feasible. I understand they pulled it home so it must roll in neutral. It wouldn't surprise me if they ran it dry on fluid.

    Good point about the axle. I hadn't thought of that.
     
  4. billr

    billr wrench Staff Member

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    If they think there are shavings, ask them to deposit the (oily) shavings on a piece of clean white paper, let that sit long enough for the paper to wick away the fluid on the shavings, and then post a picture of what is there.

    If they are broke and must do DIY repair/maintenance, I suggest and ELM327 link for live-data would make an excellent Christmas gift for them. The hardware is very inexpensive ($20-50) and some usable software can be had for free. Most of the "investment" will in spending the time to learn how to use it. That's assuming they already have some kind of laptop, tablet, or phone to link to. Nickb2 seems to be the expert here on that ELM327 stuff, so PM him if he doesn't join in soon.
     
  5. Boomer

    Boomer Sr. Member

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    Thank you Bill. I'll have them try that. We shall see.
     
  6. kev2

    kev2 wrench

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    That no REVERSE is not good - 4T45E
    confirm the lever is moving . attachment
    As bill mentioned CODES - is the CEL or service eng light on?
     

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  7. bp042665

    bp042665 hunting nut

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    im here to help but you all have suggested what i whould have good job all. i was checking all data and they say it could have the 6 speed also in it they did have a drum issue that could give this problem.can you get us what transmission it has
     
  8. Boomer

    Boomer Sr. Member

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    no Reverse not good.....Meaning what Kev? More or less likely that the Trans is bad?

    Like I said, my diagnosis is like yours, from afar. They are assuring me it's not the cable. I don't know that they actually looked at the lever like I suggested. One problem now is, we have arctic air going on making it tough to do much outdoors. It's -2 where I am and 1 degree where they are with the car. They did not report any lights on.
     
  9. Boomer

    Boomer Sr. Member

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    I asked her if the car had 1,2, and D or, 1,2,3 and D. She said just 1,2, and D. Unfortunately that is the best I can do to identify.
     

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