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Old 03-18-2016, 03:24 PM   #1
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Chevy HHR tranny implodes

Well after towing my HHR for 7 years, the tranny imploded into a pile of scrap in the bottom of the pan. The transmission shop said contrary to popular opinion, the HHR was not meant to be towed 4 down without modification and a lube pump. I am looking at $2,500 repair minimum now! has anyone else experienced this? really bummed out about this!
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:54 PM   #2
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How fast were you going, over 65 mph?
https://www.chevrolet.com/content/da..._lt_owners.pdf

In the manual, pg 4-34, it says, "Notice: If you exceed 65 mph (105 km/h) while
towing your vehicle, it could be damaged. Never exceed 65 mph (105 km/h) while towing your vehicle.
"

$2500 seems high, I found prices for HHR transmissions from $350 to $1000. Getting it swapped out shouldn't be that expensive. I'd try another shop just to see.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:55 PM   #3
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Normally I tow at 60 mph and stay mindfull of the 65 warning. Not to say possible downhill once or twice I did hit 67 or 68, but not any distance at that speed!
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:43 AM   #4
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My favorite sweet spot on my cruise control is 62, when limits are 65-70! And stay in right lane so everyone else can pass.
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrfoto View Post
Well after towing my HHR for 7 years, the tranny imploded into a pile of scrap in the bottom of the pan. The transmission shop said contrary to popular opinion, the HHR was not meant to be towed 4 down without modification and a lube pump. I am looking at $2,500 repair minimum now! has anyone else experienced this? really bummed out about this!

How often was the transmission fluid changed? Was it simply a drain and refill or was the transmission power flushed each time?
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #6
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It sounds like your tranny shop said something they did not have the facts to back them up. If the owner's manual gives you instructions on how to flat tow, doesn't say you need to add anything else to the car and you follow all proper procedures...you are good to go.

No tranny like yours or my CRV's with a 65 MPH speed limit will blow up for occasional/incidental, short duration over speeds of 2-3 MPH over 65 MPH. While it is natural to point at flat towing as the reason the tranny blew up, you don't really have any proof it was the cause.

Sometimes things happen and you won't be able to point to a specific reason. I think this is one of those cases.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:05 PM   #7
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How often was the transmission fluid changed? Was it simply a drain and refill or was the transmission power flushed each time?
The HHR manual doesn't specify any changes to transmission fluid service. The Honda CRV says if you tow it you change the fluid avery 30,000 miles or 2 years, which ever comes first.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:15 PM   #8
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I agree with Sky_Boss, I don't think you did anything to cause the failure of your transmission. We need a joke or sarcasm font. I was kidding when I asked about +65 mph, I quoted from the owner's manual that it's O.K. to tow your vehicle with no special equipment or procedures. If you Google your transmission, you'll find quite a few links to issues, but none as big as yours. Shop for a used or rebuilt transmission and have it swapped out.(it's not a new vehicle, why install a new one?) It should be way less than $2500, coincidently about the cost of setting up another vehicle for towing.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:08 PM   #9
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How often was the transmission fluid changed? Was it simply a drain and refill or was the transmission power flushed each time?
I have power flushed twice by Jiffy Lube at 20,000 miles showing and 10-12,000 not showing, and again at 45, 000 showing with approx 25,000 not showing.
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Old 03-22-2016, 07:21 PM   #10
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Since the HHR doesn't have a tranny dipstick, there is no way of knowing iffluid was too low or what. Just frustrating when you follow all the guidelines. Also, the trouble with small towns is the choices you have, the chevy dealer or the local independent transmisson shop. Currently, locally in 50 mile range, found used for $ 975 with 30 day guarentee plus installation labor ($125 labor rate) and delivery. It has 81,000 miles. Leery of that one.
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Old 03-22-2016, 08:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mrfoto View Post
Since the HHR doesn't have a tranny dipstick, there is no way of knowing iffluid was too low or what. Just frustrating when you follow all the guidelines. Also, the trouble with small towns is the choices you have, the chevy dealer or the local independent transmisson shop. Currently, locally in 50 mile range, found used for $ 975 with 30 day guarentee plus installation labor ($125 labor rate) and delivery. It has 81,000 miles. Leery of that one.
When I had my HHR, I put 170k miles on it and it was still running strong. Got the Equinox because I didn't want to put more money into the HHR at that point with the tow bar, etc. But I would think you'd get a lot more miles out of a used tranny, even with 81k miles on it.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:03 AM   #12
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First, I would never power flush a tranny. Know too many people who have failures as a result of all the particulate being disturbed inside the tranny.

I would also ask which tranny you have and the year of the HHR? There is an issue with the six speed clutch wave plate, and when it fails it does so in pieces. If that is what happened then towing was not the cause. Also, GM extended the tranny warranty to 120K miles or ten years because of this issue.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:41 PM   #13
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Paul I would have purchased a used low mileage trans ( wrecking yard) and a rebuilt torque converter with a car that old, as has been stated that price is a bit high. The averige price of a 08 HHR at the acution is from $3000 to $6000 according to the miles and condition.
I normally replace my trans fluid and filter at 75,000 + I also flush the torque converter and don't see how it could create a problem in a transmission.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:51 PM   #14
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you say your stuck in a small town. but why not hook it up and tow it to a better place
to repair it .you cant do any more damage to it .call around then tow it there thats
what i would do just my 2 cents
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