How to Determine the Type of Transmission in a GM Car

by Josh Baum

General Motors is regarded as a trailblazer in the automotive industry when it comes to the development of the automatic transmission. GM has never relented in its research to develop more reliable and better-performing transmissions. It has used dozens of different transmission styles since it introduced the very first one in 1940. Determining the transmission type on your GM car is as easy as checking your owner's manual, or following a few guidelines.

Find the owner's manual for your specific year, make and model of GM vehicle. If you have the manual, all you have to do is browse through the table of contents for the entry on transmissions. This is often in an early section of the manual that may be titled "About Your [model name]" or "Getting to Know Your [model name]." The specific type of transmission in your car will be listed in that section. If you do not have your manual handy, proceed to the next step.

The VIN plate will look similar to this.

Find the VIN plate on your car, which is on the driver's side of the dashboard, near the bottom of the windshield. Write down the entire 17 digit VIN.

Access the online General Motors Owners Center. A link to this site can be found in the Resources section.

Click the "Sign In/Sign Up" button. It appears to be two different buttons, but both links lead to the same page.

Register for a free Yahoo! account, which is required to explore the GM Owners Center. A link to sign up for a Yahoo! account is on the sign-in page. If you already have a Yahoo! account, you can skip this step, and sign in under your existing account.

Enter your 17-digit VIN when prompted; this is to verify that you are a GM owner.

Navigate to the section titled "My Dashboard," and click the "Owner's Manual" link. You will be redirected to a PDF version of your vehicle's owner's manual, and since you registered using your VIN, you don't even have to look up your year, make and model.

Browse through the table of contents for the entry on transmissions referenced in the first step, then look up your transmission information on the appropriate page.

Tip

  • check As an alternate investigation method, you could also ask your regular mechanic, who may be familiar enough with your car. If visiting a GM dealership is convenient for you, someone in their service department may also be able to tell you just based on the year, make and model.

References

About the Author

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