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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Ronnie franklin
3 months ago

Slips and have to manually shift

George Carpenter
6 months ago

Will not shift from 3rd to 4th gear.

George Carpenter
6 months ago

I did tell you abut my problem. Thought there would be a response!

Johnthan Mitchell
7 months ago

When I go to put my car in drive, it goes, but once it gets to like 20 mph, the rmp just keeps raising as I accelerate. Like it won’t shift into the next gear or something. Every time I put transmission fuild in, it leaks right out.

Kenneth A Fenton
11 months ago

Won’t shift into overdrive, very noisy at idle

Kenny Kremnitzer
1 year ago

Out of the blue my 2010 buick lucerne would not go into gear….eventually after shutting off and restarting a few times…it went into gear….got it home….next day checked level of tyranny fluid…definitely low….added 3/4 of a quart….shifted thru the gears numerous times……then rechecked level….it was full….all of a sudden car started going into gear…..thought…ok…I’m good….headed to work and 3/4 of a mile later there was nothing while driving….pulled in a lot….started and shut off a number of times…then it went into gear again…headed back home….then on way…same thing happened 1 more time…got into driveway where it now sits….only 100,000 miles on it…

Amelia Holmes
1 year ago

Occasional hard shifting during long periods of stopping and starting. After the car is turned off for 30 min or so it stops shifting hard.

Sherman Mitchell
1 year ago

The car just stopped going in drive or reverse

1 year ago

So I have a 2011 Buick Lucerne I started my car a drove maybe a mile when my car started to loose power luckily I work close to home. I barely made it to work and noticed I was leaking transmission fluid so I refilled it started my car and noticed two hoses at the bottom front of my car not connected to anything leaking fluid. I’m kinda worried because people been stealing parts off cars in the area and I don’t know if anything missing.

1 year ago

I have a 2009 Buick Lucerne CX.
Issue first started when I was driving down the road and it all of a sudden, was not in drive but the shifter said it was. Got it to go back into gear, and drove it for a couple more months with no issues.
I then recently was driving it, slowed down to take a right hand turn and went to accelerate and bam, not in gear. Couldn’t get it to go into any gear at all, someone else tried and got it to go into drive. Drove another five or six miles and nope, back out of gear. I replaced the TCM with one that was already programmed and now I can get it to go into gear by unplugging the TCM and waiting a couple minutes and plugging it back it. It will only stay in gear for a couple minutes and then I gotta reset it again.
I plugged in a scan tool and it shows that the TCM has a bad ground wire. Idk anything about wires and took it to a shop and they told me it was my entire transmission (However, I do not believe this is the case)
Any advice? Really need my car back and cannot afford to replace a transmission or buy a new one..

3 months ago
Reply to  Jamie

We’re is the TCM located at

isaiah Dshan larkin
1 year ago

It only goes into reverse

1 year ago

07 Lucerne CXL 3800
Gears slipping, jerks back into gear, when slowing down seems slow to downshift and jerking when coming to a stop. When taking off seems like it does not want to catch the first gear so grinds before it catches.

Eldon Warren
1 year ago

My 06 Lucerne never had a problem then put iit in reverse and nothing put it in drive and nothing all gears nothing. Then it slowly starts to move i was only a couple of miles from home so i was able to get it back here but it seemed lile it had a lot of r.p.m.’s like it didn’t shift all the way up any ideas? I have 130,000 miles and the fluid is not low. Thank you for your time, Eldon

Francisco Battistini
1 year ago

2006 buick lucerne cx the shift interlock solenoid is bad so we have been bypassing it with no issue. We dropped the car off to get a bumper replaced and went to pick it up and the shifter doesn’t align with what gear the car is in. So reverse is park. Neutral is reverse. Drive is neutral and so on an so forth. My question is what could cause the shifter to do that

Levi Hosey
1 year ago

My buick lucerne with the 3800 engine and the 4T65E Transmission is venting out alot of the transmission vapors and it is causing me to lose fluid every 1 to 2 months.

Aubrey Chism
1 year ago

I have a 2006 buick lucerne cx and when I press down on the accelerator it takes off ok then starts jerking then smooths out. I have had this car for 3 years and I have never put transmission fluid in it

Robert Arnold ok
1 year ago
Reply to  Aubrey Chism

Takes off in 1st off ok something holding car back snaps car races forward faster

1 year ago
Reply to  Aubrey Chism

Sounds like the VSS cable. I had that problem. It would start off and start jerking. RPM bouncing all around.

Nikki Freeman
1 year ago

When I put my car 2006 buick lucerne in drive, it doesn’t catch right away I have to keep pushing the gas pedal for about 1-3 minutes, then it will finally catch gear & drive fine. What causes it to do that because it picks up speed & drive normal once it finally kicks into gear

2 years ago

2008 Buick lecern won’t shift into the last gear.

James Beaudoin
2 years ago

I have 2006 buick Lucerne cxl no reverse and head gasket on v8. Found 2006 lucerne with 3800 v6 and t65 trans. How hard would it be to convert to my cxl ?

2 years ago

I thought my 2006 Lucerne’s transmission locked up while I was driving, I had experienced it happen before same symptoms. The car would go in gear but wouldn’t move at all. So tonight after 5 months I charged the battery and started the car. And it moved I reversed the car and also it moved forward. Any ideas 💡??

2 years ago

Car cranks up and driving but the car is rowling up when i drive it

David c
2 years ago

one day on the way to work was pulling out of my driveway I realize that the engine was turning but when it was in drive it was not going forward I then decided to put it in 3rd gear it went forward I came to a stop then I try to put it back and drive it did not go and drive when I press the gas so I dropped it into second gear start driving I don’t know what the cause is from my drive not to engage when I step on the gas

Heather H.
2 years ago
Reply to  David c

David C … Did u ever find out why it was doing that? Mine is currently doing the same so i was curious as to if you found a solution to the problem….?

Levi Hosey
1 year ago
Reply to  Heather H.

what is happening there would be a transmission control problem the D selector inside of the transmission might not be pulling on the right control and the computer might be confused and think that it is in neutral. I would have your transmission serviced and warn them of that problem.

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