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We got a 2011 Traverse LT a few weeks ago and we love it. The forward gears are 'snappy' and the truck rides very smooth, exceptionally so as compared to our previous Trailblazer. We are very happy with our new purchase.

Our driveway is level but to get to the shoulder and road, it's an ever-so-slight incline. We normally pull in forwards, thus we need to 'back out' onto the roadway.

One thing I've been noticing... the truck somewhat struggles to sufficiently back out of our driveway. Maybe it's just a non-aggressive rearward gear ratio, but I feel like I'm pressing the petal more than half way down to pull out onto the street in a timely fashon. We've never had this problem with any other cars we've backed out of our driveway, and even the in-laws 4-cyl 2010 Terrain does not have this issue. Seems only to effect our Traverse.

To put it another way, if I was to match the amount of petal travel required to get the truck out of the driveway in reverse to when we were accellerating forward, it would throw the passengers back in their seats. It's really like more than half way down to get the big lug of a truck to back up!!

Just trying to figure out if this is considered 'normal' for lambdas ... or if our brand new truck has some transmission or TCM flash issue.

Welcome all opinions and comments. Thanks!
 
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My 07 Acadia acts the same way; it seems to need a lot more pedal especially if there is any kind of incline
 

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mine too---

my driveway is long and has a slight incline-- especially the transition from the street to driveway---
When I back it in-- I have to revv the engine quite a bit to get it up--- it is more than my 03 Trailblazer...

So I have the same on our 2010.
 

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I wonder how this will factor in next year when we buy an RV that is going to be very close to the GCVW of the Traverse?!

We'll see.
 

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As you folks have stated, it DOES take effort to back up an incline. It is the gear ratio, I'm certain of that fact, but don't understand why the ratio is designed, as such. Being that my drive is very steep, I back down the drive, in reverse, with no effort, then drive up the drive to the road. No stress on the tranny, in that manner.

Bob
 

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My best, hypothesis ( educated guess ) for this is that we are so used to our 6 speed auto transmissions in the Traverse's now, that reverse ( which always used to match 1st. gear) seems as though it isn't a low enough gear ( which would give you more torque, and easier to move the vehicle ) for reverse. I'll take a stab, and say that the reverse gear in the Lambda transmission, isn't a direct match to the now 1st. gear in the transmission. We are so used to that granny 1st. gear already. I'll bet reverse is similar to 2nd. gear, which if we all started out in 2nd gear going forward, may feel the same.

This in itself brings up a question... Can we use the manual shift mode of the transmission when in slick road conditions to do a 2nd. gear start? Anyone know? I know that my 07 GP GXP ( with paddle shift ) had this option, and it worked surprisingly well. If we can in fact use this same feature on the Traverse, maybe you guys with the high throttle backing issues, should try going up the driveway forward, starting in 2nd. gear and see if it feels the same. Just a thought?
 

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the L- selection of 2... only tells the computer-- that 2 is the highest gear youre allowing it to go to..
not the gear you want it to start at...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the confirmations / information thus far.

I'll agree with GXPweisel, I bet the R gear is closer to 2 than 1. What's wierd is my g8 also has a 6-speed transmission, and so does my inlaws 4-cyl Terrain, yet neither of these automobiles have any trouble getting out of our driveway. In fact, we've become so used to what "normal" cars and trucks reverse out as out of our driveway, that that is why we noticed how terrible the terrain is at doing the same thing.

We could 'back in' and pull out forward, no problems there. Problem is that it's my wife's ride and she traditionally pulls in forward. An exercise in breaking habits.... hmmm :eek:hno:

In the meantime, I've regressed to gassing it enough so we get out into the roadway safely, then stopping completely, shifting into D, and beginning our journey. Seems so counter-intuitive though, since first is so peppy, when I press the gas the same amount after getting out of the driveway, now I'm driving it like I drive my g8. Ok, maybe not that aggressively. :eek:

In summary, I'm glad that it wasn't just a quirk with my new truck. Glad that everyone has reported similar issues with their reverse gear.

Carry on!
 

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For whatever reason (increased low-speed torque multiplication for towing most likely...) the Traverse seems to have a really "loose" torque converter.

Before the age of lock-up torque converters, the torque converter stall-speed was always a big trade off between good torque multiplication for better launch (i.e. a high stall speed/"Loose" converter) and efficiency (a low-stall speed/"tight" converter). For best efficiency most manufacturers in garden variety cars would use low stall converters for best MPG during cruise and deal with the crummy off-the line performance of automatics. A tight converter also has the characteristic of more "hold" at idle such as on hills. That's what most people are still used to.

Now, as lock-up torque converters have become the norm, designers can have the best of both worlds -- a high-stall/high torque multiplication converter can be used to get you going, and for steady cruising and best MPG a wet clutch locks both halves of the converter together so there's no slip --a zero-stall/tight converter in other words. The disadvantage now seems to be what everyone's spelled out: a big, heavy vehicle on a hill, at low RPM with a loose converter results in much less "hold".

You can pretty much prove this yourself. As you step on the throttle from a stop (forward or reverse) watch how high the RPM jump relative to your speed in a Lambda. Make that same comparison with a non-GM vehicle of older vintage and there's quite a large difference.
 
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