Our Community is 940,000 Strong. Join Us.


90 Geo Prizm (shifting Problems)


HndrxAttack
10-08-2005, 10:39 AM
I currently own a 90 Geo Prizm its giving me a lot of problems. it has close to 155,000 miles on it. It's automatic, and the problem is that it takes forever to shift out of 1st gear. You basically have to drive around in back roads for about a mile until it decides to shift into 2nd gear. After it gets into 2nd gear it shifts smoothly as anything. I tried hard shifting oils, I believe it was called Lucas Oil. And did a tune up on it. But still has this problem. I don't want to buy a new transmission, thats my last resort. So if there is anybody that could help me that would be great.

treywink
12-02-2005, 01:12 PM
Hey, HndrxAttack, how about an update, did you figure it out or get a slolution?

HndrxAttack
12-02-2005, 02:19 PM
Nope didn't get a response... and I belive that this website is not going to give me one either... I helped other people with their problems.. But o well. Still going to wait for someone to give me an answer. The car is off the road at the moment. Thinking about buying a new trans for it..

treywink
12-03-2005, 09:35 AM
HndrxAttack, I assume that you have checked your fluid levels, but additionally did it look normal? Color should not have changed, darkish color indicates overheating, and there should be no foaming or water droplets on the dipstick. Make sure you donít have any cross-tank leakage, water in your trans oil, by checking your radiator to make sure that you donít see oil in the coolant. Check your linkage adjustments to make sure theyíre right hot and cold.

I have a Haynes manual that has a pretty good checklist under the auto transaxle chapter. I would certainly check all of the basics before you take your car to a shop to replace the trans. Just replacing parts can be expensive, especially when the fault is with something else.
Good luck, :)

jamesmetairie
12-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Nope didn't get a response... and I belive that this website is not going to give me one either... I helped other people with their problems.. But o well. Still going to wait for someone to give me an answer. The car is off the road at the moment. Thinking about buying a new trans for it..1994 prizm,165000 miles,a/t. i bought it a couple of days ago.a/t was serviced twice during life of car. nowadays it takes along time to upshift from 1st to 2nd and from 2nd to 3rd. if i let up off the gas at just the right time it hops right into gear smoothly.i,ll try to keep the board posted on the outcome .i intend to have a a/t guy check it out soon. i,m in new orleans area. a/t guys were not cheap before, but now it,s totally unreal. rallys hamburger is paying $10. hourly for example. pre-katrina was like $6. however,where i work my pay did not go up.

treywink
12-03-2005, 07:29 PM
jamesmetairie, yeah, the economy in New Orleans appear to be upside down since the storms. Hope you and everyone else see things to quickly improve, but it's probably going to take a while.

HndrxAttack, Just as you said, I was doing the same thing. I entered a question on this forum seeking a solution to a Nox problem that I had on my car, which failed inspection several weeks ago. No answers yet, but in the meantime I was trying to help some others. Nothing wrong with that, what goes around comes around...

I'm just a tinkerer myself and if I have some good suggestions I'll speak up. In the mean time I'll try to get a few answers for your trans. :)

HndrxAttack
12-03-2005, 10:58 PM
Actually during the summer the car did have a problem with the radiator. It was leaking fluids into the transmission. The radiator fluid and trans. fluid came up like a dark pink with brown. If thats possible. But I replaced the radiator because there was a certain valve that was leaking into the trans from it. Bought a ton of fluids for the radiator including oil for the trans. I drained all the fluids and air blew the fluids out. Replaced the fluids,Plugs,Cap. But still same problem. Its killing me and my pops whos like a mechanic and usually finds out the problem easily but this is a head scratcher.

treywink
12-24-2005, 07:04 PM
HndrxAttack,
Did you pressure test the replacement radiator, especially if it was a salvage unit from a yard. Do it your self or have a radiator shop check it. If your already at their shop they can then perphaps fix it for you if it's repairable. Good luck. :smile:

HndrxAttack
12-24-2005, 07:18 PM
HndrxAttack,
Did you pressure test the replacement radiator, especially if it was a salvage unit from a yard. Do it your self or have a radiator shop check it. If your already at their shop they can then perphaps fix it for you if it's repairable. Good luck. :smile:


Its been so long now since the car in the road. I bought a new radiator. The valve from the old one cracked and leaked into the trans.

treywink
12-24-2005, 07:32 PM
HndrxAttack,
I don't know much more that the basics myself, so if you don't mind my asking, What valve are you talking about?
PS: since you'd mentioned the delayed shifting, I've become aware of a bit of delay in my Echo, however, I think that's only evident before it's warmed up... :)

jamesmetairie
12-25-2005, 01:24 AM
Actually during the summer the car did have a problem with the radiator. It was leaking fluids into the transmission. The radiator fluid and trans. fluid came up like a dark pink with brown. If thats possible. But I replaced the radiator because there was a certain valve that was leaking into the trans from it. Bought a ton of fluids for the radiator including oil for the trans. I drained all the fluids and air blew the fluids out. Replaced the fluids,Plugs,Cap. But still same problem. Its killing me and my pops whos like a mechanic and usually finds out the problem easily but this is a head scratcher.i visited aamco transmission recently. the guy told me that once a car has over about 85,000 miles without transmission service,it,s a lost cause. if a car has 150,000 without a/t service and for whatever reason change the a/t fluid, chances are it,ll be a problem. something about the old fluid is gummed up on the seals,etc. when new fluid is installed it breaks the gummy stuff and it causes various malfunctions. sounds possible to me.i have a 98 chevy lumnina w/ about 70,000 miles and a 95 olds acheiva w/ 85,000 miles. i will service both a/t,s very soon.one more thing = i just bought this 94 prizm recently and it does have a weird color to the coolant in the coolant resevoir. but the coolant in radiator and the engine oil and the a/t fluid look o.k.

HndrxAttack
12-25-2005, 03:39 PM
HndrxAttack,
I don't know much more that the basics myself, so if you don't mind my asking, What valve are you talking about?
PS: since you'd mentioned the delayed shifting, I've become aware of a bit of delay in my Echo, however, I think that's only evident before it's warmed up... :)

I'm not sure what the valve it was called sorry. I saw in my Prizem guide of parts. My dad had a feeling that it was this little tiny piece on the radiator, which was the defect. Plus i don't know the difference between an Echo and Prizem. But if i was you try buying some type of trans fluid called Lucas oil? I believe... the stuff is like syrup. It helps coat the gears in the trans much better then some other crap out there. Also my dad tells me now that its the rings that I have to replace in the trans. They are breaking down. So i have to get some one to rebuild the rings for it or buy a new trans.

bigirb2002
01-01-2006, 07:10 PM
loosin up the accelerator cable

HndrxAttack
01-02-2006, 05:00 PM
loosin up the accelerator cable


How do you know if that would work. Could you give me an example? I would always tighten my cable because it had such a low idle and it would loosen up by itself so making me tighten it back up. It made the gas pedal harder. Would that make the trans work harder?

HndrxAttack
02-05-2006, 04:14 PM
I think i know what the problem is... It was a idea which came to me. Why would it shift find after a long time? Well the answer is... Transmission seal are going. When the transmission seals were cold, it would create a problem "not shifting properly." When the seals warmed up they would expand do to heat and friction. Fixing the problem. Tell me if this helped you guys out on ur problems.

dynopaul
02-11-2006, 07:16 PM
Is it a 3-speed or 4-speed?

You might want to try Lube Guard (red bottle)..

bigirb2002
02-11-2006, 11:43 PM
how bout ill sell u a 3 speed tranny for 150 ill have to check on shipping then ill work out a better deal

HndrxAttack
02-12-2006, 11:04 AM
Is it a 3-speed or 4-speed?

You might want to try Lube Guard (red bottle)..
It is a 4 speed automatic transmission. Lube Guard? Red bottle? Whats that about? What is it used for? How does it work? Where can I buy it? I tried many lubes before even Lucus Transmission Oil, which helps in heavy shifting problems and strain. That doesn't even help. Did you have the same problem before and this stuff helped you out? Plus im not into buyin another trans for it. I just bought this one about 2-3 yrs ago. And findin someone to transfer automatic to manual would cost a fortune. So im stuck in between situations.

xtreme barton
02-12-2006, 12:26 PM
yeah .. that.. and its a geo

dynopaul
02-13-2006, 11:14 PM
It is a 4 speed automatic transmission. Lube Guard? Red bottle? Whats that about? What is it used for? How does it work? Where can I buy it? I tried many lubes before even Lucus Transmission Oil, which helps in heavy shifting problems and strain. That doesn't even help. Did you have the same problem before and this stuff helped you out? Plus im not into buyin another trans for it. I just bought this one about 2-3 yrs ago. And findin someone to transfer automatic to manual would cost a fortune. So im stuck in between situations.


First thing is to get rid of that aftermarket stuff and put back that the manufacturer's recommended ATF, like Dextron III and put in the Lube Guard (Red) http://www.lubegard.com/automotive/index.html

FYI- Putting ATF other than the recommended stuff affects shift quality and creates drivablity issues (i.e. shutter feel and possibly slipping):nono:
Read this also.
http://www.swri.edu/3pubs/brochure/d08/techserv/fuelflu.htm

Another tip is if your ATF has a sweeter smell to it instead of a more sour smell, you're screwed. Its rebuild time.:crying:

Hope that works out for you.

Add your comment to this topic!