Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
Who's Online WHO'S
Log in LOG

Search Auto Parts

Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy

  Email This Post

New User

Apr 6, 2017, 6:05 PM

Post #1 of 8 (712 views)
Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

Hi there! Im new to this website so here I go!
Im in desperate need of advice!

So I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier. I financed it in November 2013, so im going on almost 4 years now no problems. Recently my Chevy began to pull/jerk after driving it for a little less than an hour. It would also go a little over 195 on the temperature reading, and you could hear a whistle sound like that of a tea kettle. Additionally, when I would reverse to park it felt as if the car would turn off and would feel heavy when accellerating. The car would also rev and would stall to speed up.

Anyways, I got it diagnosed for the transmission and the mechanic found the code P1811, a transmissio issue.

I still owe money on the car, $5000, and was hoping to pay it off with my tax money. Now i have to put that money towards repairing it. I was quoted $2350 for rebuilding the transmission.

Im debating on what to do! I dont think i make enough to qualify for a good deal on an a new car. My credit is awesome (735) but my pay sucks (about $1300/month). And no, I do not have a cosigner :(

Im leaning more towards just repairing and continuing to make payments, but Im here to get a second opinion. Thank you everyone!Frown

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 7, 2017, 12:54 AM

Post #2 of 8 (682 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

Just that code doesn't mean you need a trans overhaul. At least find out the fluid level which may NOT be a dipstick check and quickly find out what that "tea kettle whistle" is/was! All fluids known properly filled and any low find out why. If that's overheating gauge OK or not reading in a safe area you've got more troubles.

The money of it is your biz to figure out but so far you don't know what's wrong with this car at all IMO could be lot's more than transmission problems,


New User

Apr 14, 2017, 3:18 PM

Post #3 of 8 (629 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

Okay, so im gonna try to find out what the whistle sound is.
The fluids were checked and they were full.

Just curious: if the problem were to be the radiator, could that in any way be somewhat responsible for the pulling?

So, are you saying that the car pulling could be something besides the transmission?

Thank you kindly for your responses!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Apr 15, 2017, 1:15 AM

Post #4 of 8 (607 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

OK - You had this checked out and I'm not personally convinced yet it was checked out enough to suggest a transmission overhaul over a code that is listed for a pressure problem and could cause slow shifts for more than one reason.

A part or service to trans, overhaul possible or is this the result of another problem. That's why when you said it whistled like a tea kettle and were worried about engine temperature at the same time THAT could be the cause. Longer you wait (been a week or so now) since you were here you probably will need more than something simple or even just an overhaul. Check around for certified places and IMO a more reasonable price without sacrificing quality of the job.
Fluids! They were checked RECENTLY according to you not by you just now I take it. They need checking again especially engine coolant for any contamination AND trans fluid for the same. This may not have a dipstick rather plugs for transmission to check level!

I would like this site's transmission specialist "gsferraro" to chime in as well but in the meantime my final suggestion is a better check on this by a "general" all around mechanic to act like a PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN for your car. By that I mean they know there's a problem and what items are involved that could cause a code (more coming than that) and if not themselves who or where it should go.

Can engine's cooling system cause transmissions to act up? YES! Hate to see you spend or borrow money and then cause wasn't addressed and solved first.

The "whistle" sound you heard is bothering me and has to be found out what that is or was. It probably didn't heal but might not make that noise and does suggest it at least has a spot that is boiling coolant just like your tea kettle analogy for a sound is boiling water. Cooling system must be full and able to hold pressure so if either isn't right the reason found and fixed - or know what it is to help you decide on what to do with this car or move on to another is a decision we all make for assorted anything every day.

Sure helps to have some better info than you already have. Yes, a little more money needed to determine what it will take to put this car in order all around as best as can be known. If bailing out for another if used have that one checked as well.

Side note: Look at driver's door jam for what month and year a car was made if original door (vin# matches car) that's how old it is not a listed model year. 2004 could easily be made in 2003 mid year so that's the real age not a model year alone and matters to YOUR car not the valuations.

Good luck - It needs another check to decide what you should do that's best for you,



Apr 15, 2017, 3:16 PM

Post #5 of 8 (594 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

As far as the transmission goes, the code P1811- is the adaption reached its limit, what this means is as the transmissions clutches plates wear the computer can compensate for this by slightly increasing line pressure, as time goes on and the transmission continues to wear, there will be a point when the computer can no longer adapt because it will have to add too much pressure to keep the trans from slipping. 30 psi is the most the computer will add before it flags the code. You may even feel a harder than normal 1-2 shift(because of high line pressure). To see exactly whats going on, you need a scan tool, the scan tool will tell you how much pressure is being added and where its being added. This code is farily common to see on these cars, because the clutch clearance is too much

How many miles on the car?

Sorry for the late reply, my shop is packed........long days

(This post was edited by gsferraro on Apr 15, 2017, 3:17 PM)

New User

Apr 16, 2017, 9:51 AM

Post #6 of 8 (577 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In


I appreciate your response despite your busy schedule.

My car has approx. 101,400 miles (not looking at my car rn).
What do you mean by the clutch clearance is too much? So would you say that the clutch plates wear could be one of the many possible issues? Yes i have felt a hard shift, like a loud THUMP.

Damn, I hate to hear that this type of car has these issues! But oh well

Thank you again to both of you for your responses!!SmileSmile

Happy Easter!! 🐰🐣

(This post was edited by Gpad8345 on Apr 16, 2017, 9:53 AM)

Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Apr 16, 2017, 11:13 AM

Post #7 of 8 (570 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

He's basically saying the clutches are worn out and the transmission needs rebuilding.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

New User

Apr 22, 2017, 9:29 AM

Post #8 of 8 (530 views)
Re: Need advice on trading in or keeping my current Chevy Sign In

Hello and thank you to everyone for your responses! I will take this helpful information and work on getting my car fixed. I will update here if and when I decide to fix my vehicle. I really do appreciate the help Smile

  Email This Post

Feed Button

Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap