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Randall C
Randall C, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 11133
Experience:  32 years Foreign / Domestic Cars All aspects of Diag and Repair
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88 cutlass ciera: with the 2.8L v6..car runs..car starts..slow down

Customer Question

I have an '88 Cutlass Cierra with the 2.8L v6 and 3 speed automatic. The car runs and drives fine, as long as you only go about 12-15 miles with it. Anything over that, and when I come to a stop, the car starts to buck and lurch and want to stall, and will stall once you slow down enough. Once it stalls, it will start and idle fine, but as soon as you put it in any gear, it will stall. I have to wait about an hour, and it will go into gear again no problem. Sometimes when it's about to stall, I can save it by dropping from D to 1, and it will drive on without a problem for a while longer. So far, I've had the fuel filter replaced, fuel pump and pressure tested, coil replaced, cam sensor replaced, and run a bunch of injector/ engine cleaner through it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Randall C replied 4 years ago.
Hello, you are describing what may be a sticking TCC solenoid ( torque converter clutch) in side the trans. If the trans is trying to remain in overdrive, it will satll at idle, hard to put in gear, and.. will come and go at times. Due to age of vehciole there are not too many pics of the trans etc for me to send so i can only describe what to try.
If you open the hood, look down at side of trans( side between trans and radiator) you should seea square plastic connector plugged into the trans. I think it will have say 4 wires going to it? the plug may be blue or kind of clear plastic in color. Once the car has cooled off, unplug that connector from the trans. Drive vehicle to see what happens.you will not have overdrive but all other gears will perform just fine. you may? get a check engine light but do not worry.What we need to know is if your problem goes away with it unpluged. If so, you will have a bad torque converter solenoid which is inside trans. You can either have shop replace OR leave unplugged. We used to have to unplug them many times back then. LMK, I will be on /off all day but back on steady later tghis afternoon.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'll give that a try - the other thing I've heard is that it could be the idle air control sensor? If I unplug it, will I just have 1 andXXXXXin, or will D still work as well? I'm not very familiar with automatics, so I don't know how overdrive works with a 3 speed.
Expert:  Randall C replied 4 years ago.
the IAC or idle air control is a small electric motor that maintain engine idle. Usually when one is bad, the engine will not idle or it reves real high. A bad one does not cause bucking nor shift problems nor usually come and go temp related. I am leaning away from this as the problem for now. As far as your trans, your car uses one of 2 transmissions. they both have a TCC or lockup converter. The trans may be a 3 speed but there is a special solenpoid inside that allows the converter to lockup and giving you an overdrive per say. I would startr with the info sent before. I will be back online later today to move forward as needed to help you. LMk thanks

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