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Old 12-28-2017, 07:25 AM   #1
Ranger4x4.0
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Default 96 Olds Cutlass Trans Problem. Has me Puzzled!

I have a 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Coupe with a 3.4 V6 (LQ1) and a 4t60e transmission. First of all, this is why I don't buy a Chevy, or anything with an automatic, but i did...

The problem I'm having is when I'm in 4th gear (od) it feels very sluggish. I can't explain it exactly but I'll try my best. In 4th going 65 mph, it stays at around 2400 rpm, which is the speed the engine drops to when you let off the gas. I know this because it recently started doing this and I know that going 65 in the last gear (4th) the "deadzone" so to say, is between 2400 and 3000 rpms. Which means that when you are climbing a hill, it should rise up to no more than 3000 rpms in 4th gear going 65, but it stays at 2400. Now when I push the gas pedal down further than needed, it will go to 3000 like normal, but it will feel like and look like a downshift. And then it will go back down in the same manner. I scratched my head for a minute and I swore up and down this thing didn't randomly grow a 5th gear that acts like a manual tranny would, it didn't but made me have a blank stare for a second. When I manually shift it in 3rd, at certain speeds, it will do the same in 3rd gear, as if it shifts in 4th but it can't.

I should mention that I did check the fluid, it was low by a pint and a half, quit a bit I know. I filled it back up, no difference. The fluid itself seemed ok, not burnt, probably could use a change though.

This really has me puzzled, 1st and 2nd gear is fine. So if anyone has any clue or a guess, I would like to hear it! Tia.

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Old 01-02-2018, 10:15 PM   #2
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Torque converter lockup..when you step on gas hard enough it will unlock feeling like a downshift and when let off gas or load is lessen it will go back into lock up, same for 3rd gear, lock up will come on in manual 3rd.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:38 AM   #3
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Hmmm.....with this particular drivetrain the engine should be at 2000rpm in 4th..and at 65mph the converter locked up. If you're at 2400rpm my first thought would be that you're actually in 3rd/converter is locked or the converter has not locked up in 4th. This is relatively easy to determine as when you apply mild throttle if the converter IS locked up the engine rpm will not climb freely as it will when the converter is unlocked.

Converter lockup with the 4t60E behind the DOHC takes place at just below 80kmh/50mph, seeing as you're OBDII are you seeing any sign of a code flash up on the check engine light?

Another possibility is the 02 sensor is on the way out and the PCM cannot properly command a converter lockup, you'll feel a continued lock/unlock mild shudder driving at speed. If the PCM CTS is giving an incorrect signal (low) to the PCM this too will upset the ability to go closed loop preventing converter lockup keeping the fuel system open loop that also will not allow proper converter lockup.

any codes?

if you manually select 3rd the trans will not go into 4th at all but you will get converter lockup. Are you getting any hard upshifts at all, that would be a sign that the vacuum modulator is in question.
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55trucker View Post
Hmmm.....with this particular drivetrain the engine should be at 2000rpm in 4th..and at 65mph the converter locked up. If you're at 2400rpm my first thought would be that you're actually in 3rd/converter is locked or the converter has not locked up in 4th. This is relatively easy to determine as when you apply mild throttle if the converter IS locked up the engine rpm will not climb freely as it will when the converter is unlocked.

Converter lockup with the 4t60E behind the DOHC takes place at just below 80kmh/50mph, seeing as you're OBDII are you seeing any sign of a code flash up on the check engine light?

Another possibility is the 02 sensor is on the way out and the PCM cannot properly command a converter lockup, you'll feel a continued lock/unlock mild shudder driving at speed. If the PCM CTS is giving an incorrect signal (low) to the PCM this too will upset the ability to go closed loop preventing converter lockup keeping the fuel system open loop that also will not allow proper converter lockup.

any codes?

if you manually select 3rd the trans will not go into 4th at all but you will get converter lockup. Are you getting any hard upshifts at all, that would be a sign that the vacuum modulator is in question.
I should mention also, it seems like it only does it when it's below 25f, when it's warmer outside, it will act perfectly fine.

The codes that I can remember are cylinder 1 misfire, something about engine wiring harness? And an evap code that went away after replacing gas cap.



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Old 01-09-2018, 11:04 AM   #5
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How recent is/was that P0301 code?

That may be your sluggish state right there.

Faulty plug, faulty plug wire, coil pack may be laboring, #1 injector at fault,


If you want to get further info on the DOHC you could consider joining 60degreev6.com, all GM 60 degree *6* engines are covered. Also there is w-body.com, we're all Grand Prix, Regal, Cutlass, Z34, Lumina, Monte Carlo SS, GXP G8 followers.
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