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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys. My 2004 3.8L Impala has been acting really weird lately. Today, I took not out for a drive and drive maybe 30 miles and the transmission started slipping out of gear. After I parked, disconnected the battery for about 45 minutes, tried hoping in and here is what happens. My car shifts fine into Reverse, but when I switch from Reverse to Drive, nothing happens, almost as if I shifted from Reverse to Neutral. My car will not accelerate unless I shift into a low gear such as 1st, then I can shift into 2nd and 3rd but if I shift into drive from Reverse, my car goes nowhere. Any suggestions? Low ATF fluid possibly or a clogged filter? Any help would greatly be appreciated!
 

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Dunno, not a transmission guy so all I can suggest it take it in and have it checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I added some ATF fluid but that didn't seem to help. Basically, I was able to accelerate in 1st and 2nd gear but it wouldn't move in 3rd or Drive. After I would be going about 30mph, I was able to shift into 3rd and Drive and it would work just fine until I would come to a stop light and I would have to shift down into 1st again in order to accelerate. I will change the fluid and filter to see if I have any luck.
 

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I haven't used it, but I hear that lucas trans fix is pretty good stuff. I won't guarantee it will work as your tranny might be too far gone, it may work though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi guys. Still haven't been able to figure out this issue. (Thankfully I have a second car) but this issue puzzles me still. Would there be anyway I could not shift into drive because of a bad Neutral Safety Switch? It's been awhile since the last past but just trying to start putting together some pieces to this mystery.
 

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Sounds like the forward band broke. The reason you can move when shifting to manual 1st or 2nd is that in those gears the manual forward band is applied and you can have some forward movement. (this band also helps with engine braking on steep hills) To fix your issue the transmission will need to be removed and rebuilt. Alternatively you also could have a SERTA (certified rebuilt) Transmission installed.

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I think Bart nailed it^^^

If your fluid is ok (just have to check the dipstick) and the correct gear is displayed on the cluster your likely going to have to pull it out. You might want to have a mechanic hook it up to the computer for a second opinion first but that just might be a waste of time/money.
 

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I suspect a solenoid. You should pay the 79$ diag fee before tearing into it. Could be a solenoid needs replacing. Sounds like you actually have all the gears but the computer may not be able to command the proper gear. Start small.
 

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Hey guys. My 2004 3.8L Impala has been acting really weird lately. Today, I took not out for a drive and drive maybe 30 miles and the transmission started slipping out of gear. After I parked, disconnected the battery for about 45 minutes, tried hoping in and here is what happens. My car shifts fine into Reverse, but when I switch from Reverse to Drive, nothing happens, almost as if I shifted from Reverse to Neutral. My car will not accelerate unless I shift into a low gear such as 1st, then I can shift into 2nd and 3rd but if I shift into drive from Reverse, my car goes nowhere. Any suggestions? Low ATF fluid possibly or a clogged filter? Any help would greatly be appreciated!
Hey I’m having the same problem did you ever find a solution
 

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Transmissions are not easy to diagnose. When I had a similar problem, although mine would also not reverse, I first changed the filter and fluid, It was ok for about 3 months. Then installed a TransGo shift kit which only requires removal of the pan. Didn't help. Then I changed all the solenoids and wiring which required lowering the transmission to get access to the side cover. That lasted about 4 months. Then it developed a major leak so I removed the transmission and replaced the torque converter. So from simple to the more complex. Maybe the only problem was the torque converter but I'll never know for sure. The car, 2003 Impala 3.4L, has been good since, about 15K miles, going on 300K miles. If you need to take it to a shop, they'll probably tell you to rebuild the transmission. See if they'll do a computer analysis. They may determine it is a malfunctioning solenoid or two. Even so, they'll take the trans out, Still expensive but cheaper than a rebuild which around here in GA is $1800. Another option is a remanufactured trans. More expensive still. You could try starting a new thread in the correct forum for your car, include info like the year, mileage, when the trans fluid was last changed, recent repairs on the car, anything relevant. Good luck.
 
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