Chevy Cavalier Transmission Problems & Cost

While the Chevrolet Cavalier was never intended to compete with a BMW, it has certainly proved itself to be more reliable than a similarly aged Bimmer. However, Chevy Cavalier transmission problems do still happen. So let’s figure out 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?

Chevy Cavalier Transmission Models

Chevy Cavalier: 4T40E Transmission

Chevy Cavalier 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 4T40E Transmission:

TransmissionStreet Smart Transmission
4T45E / 4T40E1935

What are the DTC codes related to Chevy Cavalier transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0715Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit
P0716Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance 
P0717Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0718Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0720Output Speed Sensor Circuit
P0721Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0723Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0729Gear 6 Incorrect Ratio
P0730Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0732Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio
P0734Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio
P0735Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio
P0740Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction
P0741Torque Converter Clutch Circuit
P0742Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
P0744Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Intermittent
P0748Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0753Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0758Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P0767Shift Solenoid 'D' Stuck On
P0850Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit
P0897Transmission Fluid Deteriorated
P0973Shift Solenoid “A” Control Circuit Low
P0976Shift Solenoid “B” Control Circuit Low
P0977Shift Solenoid “B” Control Circuit High
P0979Shift Solenoid “C” Control Circuit Low
P0980Shift Solenoid “C” Control Circuit High
P0982Shift Solenoid “D” Control Circuit Low
P0983Shift Solenoid “D” Control Circuit High
P0984Shift Solenoid “E” Control Circuit Range/Performance
P1860TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical
P1887Torque Converter Clutch Release Switch

Chevy Cavalier Transmission Recalls

None Found

Chevy Cavalier Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

TSB 99-07-30-031 – No third or fourth gear – 4T40E Transmission & 4T45E Transmission
1999 – 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier – 1999 – 2000 Chevrolet Malibu – 1999 Oldsmobile Cutlass – 1999 – 2000 Oldsmobile Alero – 1999 – 2000 Pontiac Grand Am – 1999 – 2000 Pontiac Sunfire
Problem – Drivers may experience the complete loss of third and fourth gears
Solution – Replace direct clutch piston assembly

TSB 02-07-30-022B – Usually harsh shifts, along with multiple transmission diagnostic trouble codes – 4T40E Transmission | 4T45E Transmission | 4T65E Transmission
2000 – 2004 Buick Century – 2000 – 2004 Buick LeSabre – 2000 – 2004 Buick Park Avenue – 2000 – 2004 Buick Regal – 2003 – 2004 Buick Rendezvous – 2000 – 2001 Chevrolet Lumina – 2000 – 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier – 2000 – 2004 Chevrolet Impala – 2000 – 2004 Chevrolet Malibu – 2000 – 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – 2000 – 2004 Chevrolet Venture – 2000 – 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue – 2000 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora – 2000 – 2004 Oldsmobile Alero – 2000 – 2004 Oldsmobile Silhouette – 2000 – 2004 Pontiac Bonneville – 2000 – 2004 Pontiac Grand Am – 2000 – 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix – 2000 – 2004 Pontiac Montana – 2000 – 2004 Pontiac Sunfire – 2001 – 2004 Pontiac Aztec
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 00-06-04-037A – Harsh shifting with DTC’s P0716 and/or P0717 – 4T40E Transmission | 4T45E Transmission | 4T65E Transmission
2000 – 2002 Buick Century – 2000 – 2002 Buick LeSabre – 2000 – 2002 Buick Park Avenue – 2000 – 2002 Buick Regal – 2002 Buick Rendezvous – 2000 – 2001 Chevrolet Lumina – 2000 – 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier – 2000 – 2002 Chevrolet Impala – 2000 – 2002 Chevrolet Malibu – 2000 – 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – 2000 – 2002 Chevrolet Venture – 2000 – 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue – 2000 – 2002 Oldsmobile Aurora – 2000 – 2002 Oldsmobile Alero – 2000 – 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette – 2000 – 2002 Pontiac Bonneville – 2000 – 2002 Pontiac Grand Am – 2000 – 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix – 2000 – 2002 Pontiac Montana – 2000 – 2002 Pontiac Sunfire – 2001 – 2002 Pontiac Aztec
Problem – Some drivers may experience unusually harsh gear changes, accompanied by a P0716 and/or P0717 DTC
Solution – This problem can be caused by an intermittent connection of the input speed sensor circuit at the transaxle 20-way connector

Common Chevy Cavalier Transmission Problems

Torque convertor clutch bearing failure – Chevrolet Cavalier 4T40E
Problem – Unusually harsh shifts can occur due to a premature failure of the TCC seal and needle bearing assembly, located inside the transmission pump.
Solution – A revised TCC needle bearing assembly will have to be installed.

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?

While many Chevy Cavalier transmission problems won’t render them unusable, continuing to drive it can drastically reduce its reliability and increase the amount of money that it will take to fix the problem.

How often does a Chevy Cavalier transmission need to be replaced?

If it has been properly maintained, a Chevy Cavalier 4T40E can go between 130,000-180,000 miles. But maintenance isn’t the only thing that can affect the service life. Factory design flaws can actually cause premature transmission failure. A remanufactured transmission on the other hand, will typically last for a lot longer if all of the design issues have been properly addressed.

How are Chevy Cavalier transmission issues diagnosed?

Later model Chevrolet Cavalier transmission problems can be partially diagnosed using the OBDII system. However, some hand tools and experience will still be needed to determine the proper course of action.

How is a Chevy Cavalier transmission replaced?

Because this is a very small front wheel drive car, the motor may have to be partially removed in order to pull out the old transmission. Installation will obviously be a reverse of the removal process.

Recommendations for Chevy Cavalier 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 Chevy Cavalier transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Chevy Cavalier Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Chevy Cavalier Transmission

To save a bit of money, you might be tempted to go buy a used 4T40E transmission from the local salvage yard. But you have no way to know what kind of condition it is on the inside, which means you could face worse transmission problems in the future. And that junkyard warranty likely will not cover labor charges, if the first used transmission does not work properly.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Chevy Cavalier Transmission

An alternative to a used transmission is obviously to buy a rebuilt 4T40E transmission from a mechanic or transmission repair shop. However, if they take the transmission back to its stock specifications, then all of the original problems will return at some point in the future. In addition, the warranty you yet will probably only be good at the shop or franchise that built it. So if you have more Cavalier transmission problems and you’re not close to one of those shops, you could be paying for those transmission repairs out of pocket.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Chevy Cavalier Transmission

If you want to get the most life out of your tough little car, then you’ll want to get a top quality remanufactured 4T40E transmission from a reputable manufacturer. If it’s done properly, all of the factory design flaws will have been addressed, which will increase durability and the service life. And if you can find one with a nationwide warranty, you won’t to have to worry about steep transmission repair bills popping out of nowhere.

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 Chevy Cavalier 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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Juan Castillo
7 months ago

Can’t bleed leak

Juan Castillo
7 months ago

Leaking fluid in between trans and engine can’t bleed
Ok moo
Moo you mm mm

Dale Smith
1 year ago

2001 chevy cavalier driving find no trouble at all stopped at a red light light turn green wouldn’t pull at all no D 3 2 1 but it pulls find in reverse

2 years ago

It’s a 4T40E in my cavalier suddenly won’t move. Ivan shift into any gear and nothing happens

Christopher Barrett
3 years ago

I got in my car today, and car wouldn’t go into 1st or 2nd gear, or reverse. 3,4,5 shift and work fine. Clutch doesn’t slip or anything, I just can’t get 1st, 2nd, or reverse. Car drove fine when I parked it last night. Acts like a cable or linkage maybe off or broke, idk. What’s wrong with my car ?

3 years ago

My 2002 Chevy cavalier with a 2.2 the speed odometer is not registering all the time and won’t shift out of first gear till the the speedometer starts picking up speed registered on the odometer when it’s cold the odometer doesn’t all ways move till the car gets warmed up I’m lost with this issue if anyone can help it would be very appreciated

7 months ago
Reply to  Dave

2001 Chevy cavalier automatic won’t shift out of gear was working properly all of a sudden won’t shift out of first gear

6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Transmission won’t shif out of low gears

Josh Gilliam
3 years ago

My 03 cavalier ls recently stopped shifting out of 2nd also the temp and gas gauge stopped working. The next day it drove fine shifting smooth and everything worked. Today the blinkers dash lights and wipers stopped working and it wont shift again. Seems like an electrical issue but where do I start? All fuses are good and I did not find any burned wires or lose connections. Also since we changed the alternator the starter drags and when it finally gets going it gets faster and faster until it starts. It also dies sometimes If you turn on the heat and sometimes it does not when it does this the lights dim. Any ideas?!?!

3 years ago


John Dewveall
4 years ago

I have a 1998 Cavalier with 242K miles.
I have an intermittent problem with the car stalling when I come to a stop.
Sometimes it doesn’t stall out but when I try to accelerate it’s really hard to get it going.
Intermittent problem that seems to occur more often when it’s hot.

3 years ago
Reply to  John Dewveall

If you change the ignition control module and the ignition coil your problem will be solved I have a 03 Cavalier that had the same issue and I changed those parts runs like a dream

3 years ago
Reply to  John Dewveall

I’m having similar issue. 2000 model with about 120k miles.

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