Thursday, June 20, 2024

4l60e Wont Shift into 2nd Unless Take Foot Off Gas

Many people are complaining that the 4L60E won’t shift into 2nd unless take foot off gas; and it refers to a specific problem with the 4L60E automatic transmission, which is commonly used in General Motors (GM) vehicles. You might already know that the 4L60E is a four-speed automatic transmission used in various GM trucks, SUVs, and cars. It is an electronically controlled fully auto gear system and may show some common issues as it ages. The most common problem with this type of auto gearbox is that it does not smoothly shift from 1st gear to 2nd gear until you quickly take your foot off the accelerator pedal. 

We understand that it is not something that can be considered a normal behavior for an automatic gearbox, which is designed to change gears smoothly without requiring any manual action like releasing the gas pedal. If you are having the same issue in your truck or car, stay with us as we have got your back. We talked to some expert car mechanics who are skilled in fixing transmission related issues and they have explained every possible cause and solution to this issue. Let’s get started and talk about how to fix a faulty 4L60E gear system that does not automatically shift to 2nd gear while pressing the gas pedal.

What Causes 4l60e Transmission to Fail to Shift Properly Into 2nd Gear

  1. Faulty Throttle Position Sensor (TPS):
  • The TPS detects the position of the gas pedal and delivers this information to the vehicle’s ECU to help manage shifting points.
  • If there is a fault in the TPS itself then it will send incorrect signals, which will result in improper or delayed shifts. Now you might wonder why it will affect only the 2nd gear. This is because each gear shift, including the shift from 1st to 2nd, has a specific RPM and throttle position range that prompts the shift. The 2nd gear of a vehicle is one of the most sensitive gears to shift after your vehicle starts moving with the help of 1st gear. 2nd gear often requires a more precise throttle position and speed range compared to other gears.
  1. Shift Solenoid Malfunction:
  • Shift solenoids control the flow of transmission related fluids to various parts of the transmission to facilitate shifting. It can cause excessive dryness and friction in the transmission and make it jam.
  • If a shift solenoid fails or becomes clogged it will not lubricate the transmission properly, and can prevent the transmission from engaging 2nd gear correctly.
  1. Valve Body Problems:
  • Your vehicle’s valve body contains multiple valves that direct fluid flow to the appropriate channels for shifting gears and wear, clogging, or damage to the valve body can interfere with fluid pressure and prevent proper shifting.
  1. Transmission Fluid Issues:
  • Transmission fluid lubricates and cools the transmission components and provides hydraulic pressure for shifting but low fluid levels, old or dirty fluid, or the use of incorrect fluid can lead to shifting problems, including issues with engaging 2nd gear.
  1. Band or Clutch Wear:
  • Clutches engage and disengage gears and when it is worn it will cause the gear shifting to become very difficult. As a result, gears will fail to engage.
  1. Electronic Control Problems:
  • The transmission control module (TCM) or powertrain control module (PCM) can also become faulty and cause issues, like Faulty sensors, wiring issues, or software glitches.
  1. Mechanical Failures:
  • Internal mechanical components such as gears, bearings, and seals must function correctly for smooth shifting. Damage or wear to these components can prevent proper gear engagement.

Step-by-Step Diagnostic Guide

To diagnose the issue, you need to methodically inspect and test various components. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to identify the root cause:

  1. Check Transmission Fluid:
    • Procedure: Check the fluid level using the dipstick. The vehicle should be on a level surface and the engine running, typically in “Park” or “Neutral.”
    • Indicators: Low fluid level, dirty or burnt fluid.
    • Resolution: Top up, flush, or change the fluid as necessary. Use the manufacturer-recommended fluid type.
  2. Scan for Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs):
    • Procedure: Use an OBD-II scanner to retrieve any stored error codes.
    • Indicators: Codes related to transmission components (e.g., P0756 – Shift Solenoid B Performance or Stuck Off).
    • Resolution: Address the specific issues indicated by the codes.
  3. Inspect and Test the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS):
    • Procedure: Use a multimeter to check the TPS voltage at various throttle positions. You can also use a scan tool to observe the TPS readings.
    • Indicators: Voltage should increase smoothly from idle to full throttle (usually 0.5V to 4.5V).
    • Resolution: Replace the TPS if the readings are erratic or out of range.
  4. Test the Shift Solenoids:
    • Procedure: Disconnect the transmission connector and measure the resistance of the solenoids using a multimeter.
    • Indicators: Normal resistance for 4L60E solenoids is usually between 20-30 ohms. Use the service manual for exact values.
    • Resolution: Replace solenoids if they are out of range or if a DTC indicates a malfunction.
  5. Check the Valve Body:
    • Procedure: Remove the transmission pan and valve body. Inspect for wear, damage, or debris.
    • Indicators: Blocked channels, damaged valves, or worn parts.
    • Resolution: Clean or rebuild the valve body if necessary. Look for common issues like stuck valves or clogged passages.
  6. Inspect the Transmission Filter:
    • Procedure: Remove and inspect the transmission filter.
    • Indicators: Debris or metal particles in the filter.
    • Resolution: Replace the filter if clogged or dirty.
  7. Check for Hydraulic Leaks:
    • Procedure: Inspect the transmission and related components for fluid leaks.
    • Indicators: Leaking seals, gaskets, or damaged hoses.
    • Resolution: Repair or replace any leaking components.
  8. Examine Bands and Clutches:
    • Procedure: This usually requires a more in-depth teardown of the transmission. Inspect for wear or damage.
    • Indicators: Burnt or worn bands and clutches.
    • Resolution: Rebuild or replace the worn components.
  9. Inspect the Transmission Control Module (TCM):
    • Procedure: Use a scan tool to check for proper operation and look for software updates.
    • Indicators: Faulty signals or no communication with the TCM.
    • Resolution: Update the software or replace the TCM if faulty.
  10. Evaluate the Vehicle’s Wiring and Electrical Connections:
    • Procedure: Inspect the wiring harness for signs of wear, corrosion, or damage.
    • Indicators: Broken wires, poor connections, or corrosion.
    • Resolution: Repair or replace damaged wiring or connectors.
  11. Test the Internal Components with a Pressure Gauge:
    • Procedure: Install a pressure gauge to check transmission fluid pressures in various gears.
    • Indicators: Abnormal pressure readings.
    • Resolution: This can indicate issues like a worn pump or leaking seals.
  12. Road Test the Vehicle:
    • Procedure: Perform a road test while monitoring transmission behavior and live data with a scan tool.
    • Indicators: Abnormal shift points, slipping, or failure to shift.
    • Resolution: Use the test results to narrow down the issue further.

Step-by-Step Practical Solutions

Here are practical solutions and steps to repair a 4L60E transmission that fails to shift properly into 2nd gear. These steps cover common causes such as issues with sensors, solenoids, valve body, and transmission fluid.

  1. Change Transmission Fluid and Filter
    • Park the vehicle on a level surface and let the transmission cool down.
    • Place a drain pan under the transmission and remove the bolts from the transmission pan.
    • Drain the old fluid into the pan and remove the pan to access the filter.
    • Replace the transmission filter and clean the pan thoroughly.
    • Reattach the pan with a new gasket, tighten the bolts, and refill with the recommended transmission fluid.


  • This ensures proper fluid levels and removes contaminants that could obstruct fluid flow and shifting.
  1. Replace the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)
    • Disconnect the negative battery terminal.
    • Locate the TPS on the throttle body.
    • Disconnect the electrical connector and remove the mounting screws.
    • Install the new TPS and reconnect the electrical connector.
    • Reconnect the negative battery terminal and test drive the vehicle.


  • A new TPS provides accurate throttle position readings, ensuring proper transmission shifting.
  1. Replace or Clean Shift Solenoids
    • Drain the transmission fluid and remove the transmission pan.
    • Locate the shift solenoids on the valve body.
    • Disconnect the solenoid electrical connectors and remove the solenoids.
    • Clean or replace the solenoids, ensuring they are free of debris.
    • Reinstall the solenoids, reconnect the electrical connectors, and reattach the transmission pan.
    • Refill with fresh transmission fluid.


  • Ensures the solenoids function correctly, allowing for proper gear shifting.
  1. Clean or Rebuild the Valve Body
    • Drain the transmission fluid and remove the transmission pan and valve body.
    • Disassemble the valve body and clean all components thoroughly with a transmission-safe cleaner.
    • Inspect for wear or damage, and replace any faulty parts.
    • Reassemble the valve body, reinstall it, and reattach the transmission pan.
    • Refill with fresh transmission fluid.


  • Cleaning or rebuilding the valve body restores proper fluid flow and pressure, ensuring smooth gear shifts.
  1. Replace Transmission Control Module (TCM) or Update Software
    • Locate the TCM, which is usually near the transmission or under the hood.
    • Disconnect the battery, then the TCM electrical connectors.
    • Remove the TCM and replace it with a new or refurbished unit.
    • Reconnect the electrical connectors and battery.
    • Use a scan tool to program the new TCM or update the software as needed.


  • A functional TCM ensures accurate transmission control and shifting patterns.
  1. Inspect and Replace Worn Bands or Clutches
    • This step usually requires removing the transmission from the vehicle.
    • Disassemble the transmission and inspect the bands and clutches for wear or damage.
    • Replace any worn or damaged components with new ones.
    • Reassemble the transmission and reinstall it in the vehicle.
    • Refill with fresh transmission fluid and test drive.


  • New bands and clutches restore proper gear engagement and prevent slipping.
  1. Repair or Replace Damaged Wiring and Connectors
    • Inspect the transmission wiring harness and connectors for signs of damage, wear, or corrosion.
    • Repair or replace any damaged wires or connectors.
    • Ensure all connections are clean, secure, and free from corrosion.
    • Test the transmission electrical system for continuity and proper voltage.


  • Ensures proper electrical signals and communication with the transmission components.
  1. Check and Repair Hydraulic Circuit Leaks
    • Inspect the transmission for external leaks from seals, gaskets, or hoses.
    • Identify and replace any leaking components.
    • Use a pressure gauge to check for internal hydraulic leaks or pressure loss.
    • Repair any internal leaks by replacing faulty seals or gaskets.


  • Maintains proper hydraulic pressure, which is critical for correct gear shifts.
  1. Perform a Transmission Rebuild
    • Remove the transmission from the vehicle and disassemble it completely.
    • Inspect all internal components such as gears, bearings, and seals.
    • Replace any worn or damaged parts with new components.
    • Clean all parts thoroughly and reassemble the transmission.
    • Reinstall the transmission in the vehicle and fill it with fresh transmission fluid.


  • A rebuild addresses multiple potential issues and restores the transmission to near-new condition.
  1. Test Drive and Monitor
    • After completing repairs, perform a test drive to monitor the transmission behavior.
    • Use a scan tool to observe live data and ensure proper shifting.
    • Check for any new error codes or issues.


  • Confirms that the repairs were successful and that the transmission is functioning correctly.


By following these practical steps, you can systematically diagnose and repair the issues causing a 4L60E transmission to fail to shift properly into 2nd gear. This approach ensures that all potential causes are addressed, leading to a properly functioning transmission and a smoother driving experience.

Samuel Jackson

Hey there, It's Samuel Jackson here. I love writing about diet ideas to gain, loose, or be healthy. I have experimented various types of diets and food lifestyles in my life. I am here to educate and help you with choosing the best possible eating options for achieving the best in fitness and health.