Buick Lucerne Transmission Problems & Cost

Introduced for the 2006 model year, the Buick Lucerne was a full-size sedan that was intended to replace the Buick LeSabre and Buick Park Avenue. It was equipped with several different engines, which were mated to either a 4T65E transmission, or a 4T85 transmission. These are fairly hearty gearboxes, but Buick Lucerne transmission problems do still happen. So let’s look at what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Buick Lucerne Transmission Models

Buick Lucerne: 4T65E Transmission
Buick Lucerne: 4T85E Transmission

Buick Lucerne Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

Replacement 4T65E Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission

What are the DTC codes related to Buick Lucerne transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0753Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0758Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P1860TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical

Buick Lucerne Transmission Recalls

None Found

Buick Lucerne Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 04-07-30-028 – Transmission fluid leak from reverse servo cover – 4T65E Transmission

Problem – Transmission fluid leaks may be observed under the vehicle, which may be caused by a 4T65E reverse servo seal that can actually shrink in the cold weather below 20°F/-6.7°C
Solution – Replace reverse servo cover seal

TSB 02-07-30-022B – Usually harsh shifts, along with multiple transmission diagnostic trouble codes – 4T40E Transmission | 4T45E Transmission | 4T65E Transmission

Problem – Drivers can experience unusually harsh shifts, along with the following DTC’s: P0716, P0717, P0730, P0753, P0758, P1860, P1887
Solution – Inspect, repair and/or replace the transaxle 20-way connector to the transmission wiring harness

TSB 06-07-30-023 – 4T65E transmission 1-2 Shift Shudder

Problem – Shuddering or shaking may be felt during the 1-2 shift, under light acceleration at speeds below 25 mph.
Solution – To correct this common 4T65E transmission problem, the entire second clutch assembly will need to be replaced.

TSB 08-07-30-016 – Slipping, refusal to shift, overheating

Problem – Slipping between the gears, overheating, refusal to shift out of a gear, and/or DTC P0894 or P0218, may be because by friction material debonding from the torque convertor clutch (TCC).
Solution – If the friction material has circulated throughout the transmission, the entire transmission may need to be replaced. It is possible to remove the material from the internal components (like transmission cooler lines and the valve body), but it depends on the extent of the damage.

Common Problems with the Buick Lucerne Transmission

TCC Solenoid Circuit DTC – 2006-2007 Buick Lucerne 4T65E

Problem – Diagnostic trouble codes (P0742, P2761, P2764) relating to the torque convertor clutch, may be caused by an incorrectly routed internal wiring harness that can short itself out over time.
Solution – To solve this problem, reposition the tan colored TCC solenoid so that it does not come in contact with the metal wiring harness retaining clip.

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

If your Buick is still drivable, then the answer is obviously yes. However, it is very likely that ignoring those Buick Lucerne transmission problems can lead to even more damage. Especially if you continue to drive the car on a daily basis.

How often does a Buick Lucerne transmission need to be replaced?

About a century ago, Buick’s were considered to be the finest automobile in the world. And while they may have lost a bit of brand panache, they are still very well made vehicles. That said, the average life span of a Buick Lucerne 4T65 transmission / 4T85 transmission tends to be around 130,000-180,000 miles. But if you upgrade to a high quality remanufactured transmission, that life-cycle could be extended dramatically.

How are Buick Lucerne transmission issues diagnosed?

The first step that a mechanic is likely to take, would be to connect a code reader to the car’s OBDII computer port. Once they’ve retrieved all of the diagnostic trouble codes, they’ll be able to narrow down the problem. After that, a visual inspection will need to be performed, in order to verify the diagnosis.

How is a Buick Lucerne transmission replaced?

Because the Buick Lucerne is primarily a front wheel drive car, the motor mounts may need to be loosened before transmission can be removed. Installation is obviously a reverse procedure, but the ECU/PCM will have to be reprogrammed / reflashed to accept the new transmission using the latest GM subscription.

Recommendations for Buick Lucerne transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit truck VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Buick Lucerne transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Buick Lucerne Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Buick Lucerne Transmission

The easiest and cheapest way to solve major Buick Lucerne transmission problems, would be to install a used 4T65E transmission, or a used 4T85 transmission. These are commonly found in most salvage yards, and often come with a 30-90 day warranty. But a transmission is a very complex piece of machinery, and there is no way to tell the true condition of the internal components unless you disassemble it completely. And, usually only gets you a replacement transmission if the first one is defective. The labor charges to install it, will most likely come out of your pocket.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Buick Lucerne Transmission

The second option would be to get a rebuilt 4T65E transmission, or a rebuilt 4T85E transmission. And on the surface, this might seem like the better choice. However, most mechanics will simply use a factory rebuild kit, which will not address any of the factory design flaws. Plus, that rebuilt transmission warranty may only be honored by a small number of shops in a particular area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Buick Lucerne Transmission

These cars are designed to last for a very long time, so it makes sense to invest in a quality remanufactured Buick Lucerne transmission. These often feature many upgrades that are designed to correct the factory design flaws, and the warrantees are typically superior to that of a rebuilt or used transmission.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Buick Lucerne Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Johnny Stokes
3 months ago

Hard shift sometimes when crusing round town cut it off for amin shifts normal may not happen for a week or two fluid change 55000 has 121000 now no warning lights a slight wine when happens cut off normal again

Terry L Deweese
5 months ago

Have to manually shift from low to drive then there is no slipping

5 months ago

Does not move when in Drive. Will move in Reverse, or any other gear.

RJ Staples
8 months ago

Tranny slips when taking corners and from a stop. Only after the engine warms up. There’s a leak dripping between the front passenger tire area and front bumper. Thought it was power steering fluid but no problems with the steering.

Robert Gabbard
9 months ago

From stop it shifts with a noticeable thud once at higher speeds it seems ok

Brian S
2 months ago
Reply to  Robert Gabbard

this is what mine is doing. 2011 lucerne.

1 year ago

Code p0700 &p2354 alternator is going bad and the transmission doesn’t want to downshift to first when come to complete stop

1 year ago

Intermittent high rev shift from 1st to 2nd

Patrick Mccormick
1 year ago

Front seal is leaking. Does the engine have to come out with the transmission to replace the seal??

1 year ago

Jerked really hard when pressing the accelerator and had to manually shift gears to drive home

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