How To Solve The 4l80e Transmission Problems
Auto Parts,  Cars

How To Solve The 4l80e Transmission Problems?

Are you facing 4l80e Transmission problems? Well, the 4l80E Transmission is a 4-speed overdrive transmission. It is one of the best overdrive transmissions. It is found in vehicles like the Jimmy, Astro, Camaro, and Safari. You might be facing some issues with this automatic transmission. Don’t worry, lets see if we can figure it out together.

The solutions differ depending on the problems. We have listed some of the common transmission problems and solutions for the 4l80e. This guide can make solving your a bit easier. In the case of more severe issues, seek the help of a professional.

Below are mentioned the common problems that you may face. This heavy duty transmission has a lock up torque converter and is electronic and are made for working hard. So, they may suffer damage at times.

1. Transmission Fluid Leaks

You may face the problem of fluid leaks. Have you ever parked your vehicle over night and when you come out the next morning, you notice some liquid has leaked. Leaks are a common problems with most vehicles, but it's important to prevent and stop leaks when they occur.

Once you have time to inspect your car, try to determine where the leak is coming from. Always follow safety measures when inspecting your car and wear clothing that can get dirty. First, allow the vehicle to cool down. Then use a flashlight to check near where the leak seems to be. 

The fluid that is leaking may come from right above the spot on the ground. A common area for leaks is the front seal that is located near torque converter. The other areas are a rear seal, pan gasket, transmission lines and area around the electrical connections or sensor.

Solutions: Get a new gasket ans seal installed or try a bottle of stop leak. (See video

2. The RPM of the Engine can Flair when the Car is put in the Gear

4L80E transmission problems

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If you would like to diagnose a problem with your transmission, it can be very helpful to have a OBD2 scanner. You can also rent one from a local auto part store. These tools easily attach to OBD port under your dashboard.

You can then scan the cars computer for any problems. This tool will help you diagnose problems including if you have a bad sensor that can put the car in limp mode.

Some things to think about if your transmission flairs is that your transmission is slipping due worn gears, the band is not working or broken, low or leaking transmission fluid, the torque converter has issues. If one of the solenoids is not working this can also cause shifting problems.

If your vehicle has something broken you need to pull over as soon as possible to get the problem fix before more problems occur. 

Solutions: The first step is to check the fluid level, check for leaks, and use a OBD2 scanner. These are easy and fast ways to diagnose your problem. You may need to do one or more of the following to fix your transmission if it flairs when shifting.

Replace worn gears, band replaced or have them adjusted, get transmission fluid filled and leaks stopped, have torque converters fixed or replaced, and solenoids connected (if connection issue) or replaced.

It's best to get the help from a professional and decide if it might be best to just replace the transmission with a new one. Repair costs can be almost as much or more than buying a new one. A remanufactured one can be another good option. Labor for getting one Installed should range about $800. 

3. Limp Mode

If you have had a problem where you can only shift into reverse or second gear then you might be in limp mode. This mode is triggered when the computer is trying to protect from your transmission or engine from serious damage.

This is when a OBD2 scanner can come in helpful. It can tell you whether a sensor is malfunctioning or the transmission has a serious problem. 

If you don't have a scanner you can take it to a trusted mechanic or auto dealership for diagnosis.

Some main issues that can cause the transmission to trigger limp mode are: the solenoids and the ECM (engine control module). 

Solutions: It can be the shift or TCC (torque converter control) solenoid. Any easy fix might be checking the wiring to the transmission for shorts or loose connections. 

The ECM can also pose a problem that can result in the limp mode in the transmission. A quick fix to this problem is to restart the engine. Sometimes the ECM just needs a reboot and other times it may need replacing.

Use a OBD2 scanner to see what could be the issue. It might be an easily replaced sensor.

4L80E transmission problems

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Other things to consider: If you vehicle is in limp mode, the issues can be in the input or output shaft sensor, shift solenoids, and sensor of speed.

If the transmission is not shifting automatically, there you might need a new PCM (powetrain control module). Checking wiring might be why things aren't working as well.

A last reason is, if there's are harsh shifts from N or P then the EPC (electronic pressure control) may have failed. 

4. The Problem is coming from the Lock Up Torque Converter

The torque converter, when working properly, should allow the lock up clutch to apply pressure to the converter and transfer the correct torque to the transmission. This connection between transmission and engine can only occur properly if the torque converter is working well.  

A properly working one results in reduced emissions and improved fuel economy. But if the torque converter clutch fails this can cause problems with over heating and torque converter issues.

One problem with the torque converter can arise due to the bad wiring of cruise control. There can also be a malfunctioning sensor that senses the speed of the vehicle. 

Solution: Almost all problems with transmissions come as a result of low, too much, old, or burned up transmission fluid. Never avoiding proper maintenance of the transmission, by changing the transmission fluid at regular intervals.

Run a diagnosis using a OSD2 scanner to see if any sensors are malfunctioning. You can check the wiring and secure any loose wires. 

5. Other Transmission Problems

4L80E transmission problems

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In this video they show how the transmission is taken apart and at the end it discusses a few of the common issues with this type of transmission.

As seen in the video, some of the problems that can occur with the 4l80e occurr when it starts to over heat. Overheating can occur when pushing the car to operate for longer periods of high torque. 

The video also says that when the transmission fluid gets low the clutches can start to burn or wear out. This can result in the wearing of the drum, so that only partial pressure can be applied when trying to change gears.

The last issue discussed in the video is when the planetaries start to function incorrectly because of heat from low fluid. This results in wobbling that may cause the sun gear to break. 


The problems and solutions mentioned above are for the guidance only. If you encounter a problem that is not within your skill set, go for an inspection at a trusted transmission mechanic. Or if your transmission gets worse over time even though you've done all you can, it's best to get it inspected by a professional. 

If your interested in fixing your own transmission you might be able to get it done with a little help. If you go they have step by step videos to help you work on your transmission as well as parts.

I like that the instructor give you simple effective instructions and helps you through each step, explaining names and concepts as you go. This is a sample video from his course. 

If you have questions about other vehicles transmissions take a look at the following bullet points. 

  • GEO tracker transmission problems – Maybe your 4l80e has some of the same issues as a Geo. 
  • Maybe you can only easily start your car in the second gear. You can make your HP tuners work by setting the 1-2 shifts to 0 mph.
  • If the problem persists, you can try replacing axle shafts. You can also weld it up to avoid serious issues while driving your vehicle.
  • Trailblazer transmission problems – If you are experiencing a warning light on your dash, then your trailblazer may have an issue. You need to check the codes and possibly do a hard reset.
  • You must also check your transmission fluid. Check that is if full and the correct color.
  • Old transmissions may just need to be rebuilt with new parts to function well. Getting a rebuild kit (see video) if you know how to work on transmissions might work for some people.