6 of the worst automatic transmissions ever

Before the computer age, the automatic transmission was the most complex thing on an automobile. For internal combustion engine vehicles, some form of variable gearing is necessary, so having a reliable link between powerplant and wheels is vital.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/08/08/6-of-the-worst-automatic-transmissions-ever

You left out the Mopar 604 that came out in the 1989 FWD models. I am a retired Chrysler mechanic and I built a very nice house and shop with the money I made fixing, or rather trying to fix, those clunkers. When they first came out my dealership had to buy extra jack stands so we could store the cars waiting on parts. One guy went through 5 transaxles in his minivan before he gave up. I could overhaul 3 in a day and my record was 5 replacements in a day. Go$h I mi$$ that tran$mi$$ion.

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My first car was a 1957 Chevy with a Turboglide (283, PowerPac, four-barrel). It was smoother than the Powergtlide - until it wasn’t. Came out from a movie theater to a car that would only work in reverse and GR (grade). Drove five or six miles home at 15 mph and eventually replaced it with a Powerglide at the recommendation of the mechanic. The Powerglide held up to all the abuse a 17 year-old could dish out for the next year or so.

As a GM dealer mechanic from 84-00, I overhauled my share of turbo 200 transmissions. A light duty transmission that was put into too many heavy vehicles, or behind engines that were too powerful.

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to use, let alone FIX a Citroen DS Citromatic…ugh.

I had a 1979 Buick Skyhawk with the Turbo hydramatic 200 and never had any problems with it in 150,000 miles but then again it just had the 3.8 V6 in a light bodied car to deal with.