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First mistake was taking a car that is still moving to a dealer when out of town on vacation. Chances are they'll be more than willing to screw with it since they get good bucks from GM....waste your time, mess up your vacation....and then tell you to go to your own dealer for follow up after nothing they do addresses the complaint.
When it gets to the point you don't believe you can make it up the hill to your hotel without dropping a tranny, you take it in to the dealer. Vacation is already half ruined worried about a practically brand new vehicle you just bought saying to yourself, "what did I get myself into here"...
 

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When it gets to the point you don't believe you can make it up the hill to your hotel without dropping a tranny, you take it in to the dealer. Vacation is already half ruined worried about a practically brand new vehicle you just bought saying to yourself, "what did I get myself into here"...

That's why they have lower gears and L or M on the gearshift. An auto tranny have a brain, but not a genius brain and absent sensors for weighing the contents of a fully loaded vehicle all it can go on is only the angle sensor (that is IF GM tied it into the tranny ECU??) and the tranny output shaft sensor. Not so much a problem with a 3-4 spd, worse with a 6 spd and worst for a 9+ speed.


A good example is when early on driving I tried a steep incline with 6 people in a '62 Nova with three speed Muncie. As the hill became steeper speed slowed and need a 3-2 downshift, went a little further but speed was still dropping off because what I really needed was a 3-1 initially.

Same goes for any auto tranny called to do heavy work. Try a steep incline with a 3-4 speed and it will drop one gear and continue.....try it with a 6 speed like my Silverado on a hard climb and it will drop one gear, thud as it downshifts another gear until the engine is no longer lugging and can increase speed. Try fully loaded on a steep hill with a close ratio 9 speed and you are going to see a lot of tranny action....may drop one gear, then another and then another each time with a hard shift point to prevent band slippage and back rolling. Despite all the software controls it sometimes required input and action from a human brain.


That's why driving is a skill requiring not just knowledge of the rules of the road and human motor capabilities, but awareness the capability and limitations of the vehicle! Deadfoot the accelerator pedal with any loaded vehicle on a steep incline depending on the tranny brain alone and you'll start slowing down and you may just stall it. Not surprising I normally hit the 15% grade coming from the train station on 340 with an empty Traverse and maybe it will drop one gear going uphill.......tried it once with a load of 5 adults plus luggage and it went nuts trying to compensate did a two gear drop in rapid succession followed by another one gear drop when I kicked the gas...running a steady 4K+ rpm in who knows what lower gear but it kept moving forward.......didn't upshift through the higher gears until it crested the hill. Tranny Problem?.......NO, and no dealer no matter how much they screw with it is going to fix that...tranny was just trying to perform as best it could given sensor input.......if it didn't downshift no matter how harsh the shift point and just kept slowing until it stopped.....then that's a real problem!
 

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Well they updated the codes and flushed the tranny, we'll see if that does anything. If not, I'll use the "manual mode" as I had already mentioned earlier in one of these threads. I've been driving manuals for years (one of the reasons I drove Subaru for 20 years) but now they have essentially gone the way of a rubber band tranny on anything large enough to hold more than 4 people and a reasonable amount of luggage.

The condescension from Thomcat in these threads is pretty unfortunate, particularly when most people here are helpful.
 

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And I'm not sure what tranny is in the loaner Equinox they gave me but it climbed that same hill like a champ. Inexcusable that the Traverse could barely limp up it with a relatively light load of two average adults and a couple of small kids.
 

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And I'm not sure what tranny is in the loaner Equinox they gave me but it climbed that same hill like a champ. Inexcusable that the Traverse could barely limp up it with a relatively light load of two average adults and a couple of small kids.

New Equinoxes, even the LZs, use the old 6 spd. ....and drives like it. Helpful enough?
 

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Well they updated the codes and flushed the tranny, we'll see if that does anything. If not, I'll use the "manual mode" as I had already mentioned earlier in one of these threads. I've been driving manuals for years (one of the reasons I drove Subaru for 20 years) but now they have essentially gone the way of a rubber band tranny on anything large enough to hold more than 4 people and a reasonable amount of luggagThe condescension from Thomcat in these threads is pretty unfortunate, particularly when most people here are helpful.



The difference between condescension (wow that's a big word!) and helpful advice is the perspective from one's level of awareness ....big difference between the clueless reluctant to listen and those that truly appreciate it.


And as far as helpful goes...comments from the former are usually in posted by those be-itchin' in threads, but over the years I've received dozens from the latter sent privately.e.
 

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Well they updated the codes and flushed the tranny, we'll see if that does anything. If not, I'll use the "manual mode" as I had already mentioned earlier in one of these threads. I've been driving manuals for years (one of the reasons I drove Subaru for 20 years) but now they have essentially gone the way of a rubber band tranny on anything large enough to hold more than 4 people and a reasonable amount of luggagThe condescension from Thomcat in these threads is pretty unfortunate, particularly when most people here are helpful.



The difference between condescension (wow that's a big word!) and helpful advice is the perspective from one's level of awareness ....big difference between the clueless reluctant to listen and those that truly appreciate it.


And as far as helpful goes...comments from the former are usually in posted by those be-itchin' in threads, but over the years I've received dozens from the latter sent privately.e.
Just drove up the hill to the hotel like a champ. I'm cautiously optimistic the new computer codes will help but also realistic in that there may be more in play other than just shift points. Since I live in relatively flat land, this past 5 days have been the first time this vehicle has experienced hills in earnest.

My earlier points were simply regarding tone and assumptions being made, particularly since I mentioned earlier in this (or the other) thread about using manual (L) mode to climb the hill if all else fails. I'm not questioning your knowledge, simply critiquing your delivery style.
 

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On a side note, what exactly does the "L" stand for? Low? And does this mean it's solely intended for low speeds or is it a full manual mode that works through all 9 speeds?
 

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And I'm not sure what tranny is in the loaner Equinox they gave me but it climbed that same hill like a champ. Inexcusable that the Traverse could barely limp up it with a relatively light load of two average adults and a couple of small kids.

New Equinoxes, even the LZs, use the old 6 spd. ....and drives like it. Helpful enough?
Yes, this was indeed helpful. Thanks for confirming.
 

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Update... GM has determined that the torque converter needs to be replaced. This happens tomorrow, so I will post updates. I’ve read some feedback that an “occasional” stutter isn’t a big deal. Tell my wife that while she’s trying to drive through an intersection with kids on board and the vehicle feels like it may/may not make it through! Clearly something isn’t right.
This is important to note. For the people experiencing this problem we know that this is not some sort of "occasional shudder" as other have alluded to. It's a real issue that is very noticeable to not only the driver but also the passengers. It's also disconcerting to pull into traffic unsure if the car is going to sit there an buck or actually find a gear and accelerate. Also wanted to say this has nothing to do with downshifting while decelerating, only a acceleration from a dead or rolling stop.

Anyway, hopeful the software fix does the trick, busy day of driving ahead of me.
 

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Just drove up the hill to the hotel like a champ. I'm cautiously optimistic the new computer codes will help but also realistic in that there may be more in play other than just shift points. Since I live in relatively flat land, this past 5 days have been the first time this vehicle has experienced hills in earnest.

My earlier points were simply regarding tone and assumptions being made, particularly since I mentioned earlier in this (or the other) thread about using manual (L) mode to climb the hill if all else fails. I'm not questioning your knowledge, simply critiquing your delivery style.

Wife gives me crap on that every so often, but my delivery style is the result of 20 years of managing 30+ people with half of them dedicated to breaking ba!!s.......a decade of retirement still hasn't mellowed me out.





"L" is confusing. The gen 2s Traverses, and 16+ Malibus for that matter, should not be using "L", but "M" for "Manual with auto clutch or Full Auto Capability Operation" just like the 16+ Silverados where the 6 speeds and 9 speed autos which share (+) and (-) control buttons on the shift levers. The "L" position permits the driver to set the maximum gear to which the auto transmission will automatically upshift and no matter what maximum gear is selected, the transmission will automatically downshift to a stop and then automatically climb through the gears once moving until the maximum selected gear is achieved. Placed in L9 the auto transmission will operate identically as it does in D, but without start/stop being triggered, L9 is essentially a bonus start/stop defeat button, e.g. L7 will lock out the top two overdrive gears. Auto tranny brains are smart, but they can act stupid because the have no sensors feeding road conditions, gross vehicle weight, or angle of ascent so they may go with the last ones they learned with a single diver on flat ground and no cargo.



No stranger to hill climbing while trailering in the mountains, I love the manual feature combined with AWD/4WD...... can be used as a manual transmission with an automatic clutch. Eg. In L1 (or any L gear) you can wind it up past the normal automatic shift rpm to maintain power, then hit + for L2 to for a shiftpoint, etc through all the gears and if power drops hit (-) to manually downshift. Might get a firm shiftpoint, but that's good....... means the bands are grabbing the drum tight with no slippage. In doing this you maintain power and upshift/downshift gear control instead of the tranny erratically upshifting then downshifting one or more gears depending upon accelerator position, learned shifting profile or non ideal road conditions. Limitation is it won't let a driver do something stupid like shifting from 8 directly to 1 without first safely automatically dropping through the lower gears
 

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Just drove up the hill to the hotel like a champ. I'm cautiously optimistic the new computer codes will help but also realistic in that there may be more in play other than just shift points. Since I live in relatively flat land, this past 5 days have been the first time this vehicle has experienced hills in earnest.

My earlier points were simply regarding tone and assumptions being made, particularly since I mentioned earlier in this (or the other) thread about using manual (L) mode to climb the hill if all else fails. I'm not questioning your knowledge, simply critiquing your delivery style.

Wife gives me crap on that every so often, but my delivery style is the result of 20 years of managing 30+ people with half of them dedicated to breaking ba!!s.......a decade of retirement still hasn't mellowed me out.





"L" is confusing. The gen 2s Traverses, and 16+ Malibus for that matter, should not be using "L", but "M" for "Manual with auto clutch or Full Auto Capability Operation" just like the 16+ Silverados where the 6 speeds and 9 speed autos which share (+) and (-) control buttons on the shift levers. The "L" position permits the driver to set the maximum gear to which the auto transmission will automatically upshift and no matter what maximum gear is selected, the transmission will automatically downshift to a stop and then automatically climb through the gears once moving until the maximum selected gear is achieved. Placed in L9 the auto transmission will operate identically as it does in D, but without start/stop being triggered, L9 is essentially a bonus start/stop defeat button, e.g. L7 will lock out the top two overdrive gears. Auto tranny brains are smart, but they can act stupid because the have no sensors feeding road conditions, gross vehicle weight, or angle of ascent so they may go with the last ones they learned with a single diver on flat ground and no cargo.



No stranger to hill climbing while trailering in the mountains, I love the manual feature combined with AWD/4WD...... can be used as a manual transmission with an automatic clutch. Eg. In L1 (or any L gear) you can wind it up past the normal automatic shift rpm to maintain power, then hit + for L2 to for a shiftpoint, etc through all the gears and if power drops hit (-) to manually downshift. Might get a firm shiftpoint, but that's good....... means the bands are grabbing the drum tight with no slippage. In doing this you maintain power and upshift/downshift gear control instead of the tranny erratically upshifting then downshifting one or more gears depending upon accelerator position, learned shifting profile or non ideal road conditions. Limitation is it won't let a driver do something stupid like shifting from 8 directly to 1 without first safely automatically dropping through the lower gears
Thanks for the explanation. Since I didn't get the towing package because my boat/motor/ trailer is well within the allowable 1500 lbs putting it in L7 sounds like a useful feature in the few hilly areas I will encounter back home in MI.

Drove the Blue Ridge Parkway today and the transmission downshifted smoothly when climbing, as one would expect with any other auto tranny. Still cautious based on what you mentioned earlier. Regardless, at least in the short term, I don't regret taking the vehicle to the dealership.
 

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Update... GM has determined that the torque converter needs to be replaced. This happens tomorrow, so I will post updates. I’ve read some feedback that an “occasional” stutter isn’t a big deal. Tell my wife that while she’s trying to drive through an intersection with kids on board and the vehicle feels like it may/may not make it through! Clearly something isn’t right.
Any update? Mine has been at the dealership for 10 days now awaiting a back ordered torque converter. Either its a too new of a part or else in short supply??? I do have a 2019 Malibu loaner in the mean time but still!!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Update....torque converter replaced, and the problem is gone (for now). The dealership where I bought it and had the work done pretty much knew right away what the problem was, which leads me to believe this is a larger/common problem. My wife is happy to have her Traverse back, so all is good at the moment.
 

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So far so good for me driving from NC though VA and WV mountains after the fluid drain and computer software update. In my case, I suspect that because 90% of my learned driving is at 79mph in cruise control over flat ground the transmission has never experienced hills? I guess we will see?
 

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Made it home without issue, 1,500+ miles total, 26 mpg average. Hopefully the problem doesn't find it's way back.

I tried Thomcat's little tip about L7 briefly for the last 3/4 mile of the trip to our driveway, got up to 60 mph and RPM's were just north of 2K. This will definitely be my tow mode to prevent the lugging associated with 8th & 9th gears. Thanks again Thomcat, appreciate your elaboration of that feature.
 

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I just wanted to add my .02...I just got back from a 1500 mile road trip through southern Colorado and noticed the shudder or stutter. Mine seems to be between the 3-4 or 4-5 shift. I appreciate the info and I'll be contacting the dealer this week.
 

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I just wanted to add my .02...I just got back from a 1500 mile road trip through southern Colorado and noticed the shudder or stutter. Mine seems to be between the 3-4 or 4-5 shift. I appreciate the info and I'll be contacting the dealer this week.
Upadte on my 2018 transmission shudder. Most prevalent from dead stop and worst in third gear. Dealer went to replace torque converter and found it stiff to turn. Torque converter housing had large grooves in it as well as the pump washer and pump shaft. Ended up replacing converter housing and converter, pump, and both valve body halves. Seems ok for now at 8400k miles.
 

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This is all good information from everyone. Here I was thinking that it was mostly a learning transmission issue that came and went; you guys have me wondering if maybe I need to get my torque converter checked???

I have a 24,000km (15,000 miles) appointment Monday and will ask them about it.

Thanks for the info folks!
 

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Upadte on my 2018 transmission shudder. Most prevalent from dead stop and worst in third gear. Dealer went to replace torque converter and found it stiff to turn. Torque converter housing had large grooves in it as well as the pump washer and pump shaft. Ended up replacing converter housing and converter, pump, and both valve body halves. Seems ok for now at 8400k miles.



If grooves in the torque converter housing are uniform, probably part of the redesign with the thinner convertor to get increased hydraulic coupling. If not uniform could be damage from the impeller but that would make a lot of noise when occurring. Scoring on the shaft is a different matter and likely due to a faulty component, most likely a bad bearing, poor annealing of the shaft, or damage during assembly. This could cause a no-go condition if the shaft sticks and can break loose with a jerk with increase power but the binding will cause shift engagement problems and eventually the tc will self destruct.

Sounds like this differs from a typical "stutter" feeling when the vehicle is already moving at low speed caused by clutch engagement on acceleration and gear drop on deceleration in lower gears only......and not from a dead stop or above the 2-3 shift point.


If this was a design defect.....every one of the 100K+ Traverses would be affected. But, $hit happens and more likely failure of a sub component of the unit.......and you can be assured the manufacturers of the bearings and washers do not do 100% QA testing of each part. And even if 100% testing of the finished TC, it could not detect an infant mortality caused by a defective component until placed in service long enough for the part (bearing/thrust washer) to fail.
 
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