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
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:
|Transmission||Street Smart Transmission|
|4T45E / 4T40E||1935|
What are the DTC codes related to Chevy Cavalier transmission problems?
|P0711||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0712||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input|
|P0713||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input|
|P0714||Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715|
|P0715||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0716||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Range/PerformanceÂ|
|P0717||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal|
|P0718||Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent|
|P0720||Output Speed Sensor Circuit|
|P0721||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance|
|P0723||Output Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent|
|P0729||Gear 6 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0730||Incorrect Gear Ratio|
|P0731||Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0732||Gear 2 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0734||Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0735||Gear 5 Incorrect Ratio|
|P0740||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfunction|
|P0741||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit|
|P0742||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On|
|P0744||Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Intermittent|
|P0748||Pressure Control Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0750||Shift Solenoid 'A'|
|P0753||Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical|
|P0755||Shift Solenoid 'B'|
|P0758||Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical|
|P0767||Shift Solenoid 'D' Stuck On|
|P0850||Park/Neutral Switch Input Circuit|
|P0897||Transmission Fluid Deteriorated|
|P0973||Shift Solenoid A Control Circuit Low|
|P0976||Shift Solenoid B Control Circuit Low|
|P0977||Shift Solenoid B Control Circuit High|
|P0979||Shift Solenoid C Control Circuit Low|
|P0980||Shift Solenoid C Control Circuit High|
|P0982||Shift Solenoid D Control Circuit Low|
|P0983||Shift Solenoid D Control Circuit High|
|P0984||Shift Solenoid E Control Circuit Range/Performance|
|P1860||TCC PWM Solenoid Circuit Electrical|
|P1887||Torque Converter Clutch Release Switch|
Chevy Cavalier Transmission Recalls
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
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
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.
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!
Can’t bleed leak
Leaking fluid in between trans and engine can’t bleed
Moo you mm mm
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
It’s a 4T40E in my cavalier suddenly won’t move. Ivan shift into any gear and nothing happens
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 ?
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
2001 Chevy cavalier automatic won’t shift out of gear was working properly all of a sudden won’t shift out of first gear
Transmission won’t shif out of low gears
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?!?!
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.
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
I’m having similar issue. 2000 model with about 120k miles.