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stin1974, Transmission Tech
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 765
Experience:  Chevy Transmission Tech
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why wont my 2002 Chevy Malibu LS shift out of first gear (automatic)?

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why wont my 2002 Chevy Malibu LS shift out of first gear (automatic)?
Are there any lights in in the dash while running? Check engine light?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
no lights on on the dash. Her uncle said the transmission is shifting fine, but he thought it was maybe a computer controller or sensor causing the problem. He thought it could be driven but that she was just driving with too heavy a foot to let off enough to get it to shift but that is not the problem.
Has the trasnsmission fluid level and condition of the fluid been checked?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, her uncle drained it and changed it just to be sure that wasn't the problem.
I realize you said that there are no lights on in the dash but have you had the vehicles computer scanned for fault codes?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Her uncle has a diagnostic computer but didn't tell me if he checked it or not, I'll call him to see.
Also ask him what the condition of the trans fluid was like and if there was any metal or clutch material in the transmission pan when he had it down.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He said the fluid was not burnt and no metal or clutch material. He also said there were no codes at that time, but that could have changed. He said he would guess it had something to do with a full throttle sensor or something like that.
Well it could be a few things actually. Could be anything from a sticky valve in the transmissions valve body, a bad speed sensor or even a short somewhere in the wiring. This is what I would suggest. I would first have it scanned. You can have it scanned at auto zone or advanced auto for free. They do this in the hopes of selling you any parts you may need. If you get a code such as speed sensor then you will have a pretty good idea thats what it is. If not, they make a transmission additive for sticky valves that will a lot of times free up something like that if thats what it is. Its like 7 dollars for a pint of it or whatever and you just add it right to the transmission fluid. Usually takes a couple days to work in. I would suggest trying these inexpensive things to start with and see if you can get it solved that way. Being that there wasnt any sign of wear in the transmission pan then I wouldnt think that its anything to serious. If these do not seem to take care of this tghen you may just want to have a transmission garage take it for a test ride and see what they think. A transmission tech is more likely to pick up a problem like this that a lot of others not might recognize because this is what they deal with all the time. They shoouldnt charge anything for the test ride and diagnosis. This is what I would suggest and where I would start myself.
stin1974 and 4 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thank you very much, this helps greatly. I will take your advice.
I hope this helps and if you do end up taking to have it test driven feel free to respond again to this and let me know what they tell you. Ill try and help make sure you dont get taken for a ride but it sounds like you daughters uncle knows whats going on as well so you should be ok.