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Chevy Impala Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Chevy Impala Transmissions: Overview, Problems, Fluids

Today, we aim to discuss the transmissions the Chevrolet Impala has embraced throughout its evolution. So, let us get started.

Chevrolet Impala has used a variety of automatic and manual transmissions throughout its journey. It includes 3- and 4-speed manual and 2-,3-,4-, and 6-speed automatic transmissions.

For starters, the above description is indeed not enough to comprehend several transmissions installed inside the Chevy Impala. It is essential to understand that the Chevy Impala has evolved across its ten generations. Hence, we will go through the transmissions with different aspects. We will begin by looking at the reliability of the transmissions, followed by their costs. Subsequently, we will see common problems that emerge during the lifespan of those transmissions. In the end, we will see the differences between them and provide you with the source to assist you in finding the fluid for your transmission. So, here we go.

What Transmissions Has The Chevy Impala Used?

Here we go through different transmissions the Chevy Impala has used throughout its evolution.

First Generation (1958)

  • 3-speed manual
  • 3-speed with overdrive manual
  • Turboglide automatic
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic

Second Generation (1958–1960)

  • 3-speed (close-ratio) manual
  • 3-speed overdrive manual
  • 4-speed manual
  • Turboglide auto.
  • 2-speed Powerglide auto

Third Generation (1960–1964)

  • 3-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Manual
  • Powerglide

Fourth Generation (1964–1970)

  • 2-speed automatic
  • 3-speed automatic
  • 3-speed manual
  • 3-speed manual (three-on-the-tree)
  • 4-speed manual

Fifth Generation (1970–1976)

  • 3-speed manual
  • 3-speed Turbo-Hydramatic automatic
  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic

Sixth Generation (1976–1985)

  • 3-speed automatic
  • 4-speed automatic

Seventh Generation (1994 –1996)

  • 4-speed 4L60-E automatic

Eighth Generation (1999–2005)

  • 4-speed 4T65-E automatic
  • 4-speed 4T65E-HD automatic

Ninth Generation (2005–2013)

  • 4-speed 4T65E automatic
  • 4-speed 4T65E-HD automatic
  • 6-speed 6T70 automatic

Tenth Generation (2013–2020)

  • 6-speed 6T70 automatic
  • 6-speed 6T40 automatic

How Long Does A Chevy Impala Transmission Last?

How many miles the transmission of a Chevy Impala can last is dependent on the type of transmission that goes in your car. On average, the transmission often lasts up to 160,000 miles.

That might sound like a lot but it’s not nearly as long as other powerhouse vehicles from Chevy like the Silverado 1500 which can last for 200,000 to 300,000 miles.

However, it requires regular maintenance, including fluid changes and periodic flushes, to make the transmission last to the given point.

How Much Does A Chevy Impala Transmission Cost?

Do you wish to replace the transmission of your Chevy Impala? If it is true, it is good to know about transmission costs to make up your mind. For your ease, we have highlighted the prices below for transmissions that Chevy Impala has used.

  • 2-speed Powerglide automatic: $789.00 (eBay)
  • 4-speed 4L60-E automatic: $1,495.00 (eBay)
  • 4-speed 4T65-E automatic: $1,575.00 (eBay)
  • 6-speed 6T70 automatic: $624.95 (eBay)
  • 6-speed 6T40 automatic: $543.00 (eBay) 

Common Chevy Impala Transmission Problems

Here we see a few problems that transmissions of the Chevy Impala pop up.


  • When a vehicle sits for a few weeks in the garage, the Powerglide transmission becomes susceptible to dumping fluid into the pan from the torque converter.
  • The excess fluid can burp out of the dipstick tube when the transmission fluid steadily leaves the torque converter into the transmission pan.
  • At times, the engine revs up for a brief time before the transmission moves to upshift.


  • The 4L60-E transmission is prone to shudder, delay, or unusual shift when moving the first gear into the second one. The issue restricts itself to the first-to-second upshifting.
  • Lo-reverse clutches are susceptible to wearing out.
  • You may be required to rebuild your transmission when the three-to-four clutches get worn out. Until it gets repaired, it is safe to drive in second gear.
  • The second gear may erupt sudden grinding sound without any warning.
  • It may also have a harsh shift from P or N.
  • In addition, the car may feel sluggish as the brakes are dragging when you shift into gear.


  • The problem with the 4T65-E transmission begins with an occasional shutter. Over time, it crystallizes into a periodic shutter during the first-to-second upshifting. After that, the engine starts free-revving before the second gear gets engaged and the first one disengaged.
  • On the initial drive away, the transmission may alternate between the first and the second gear when it becomes cold. When the second gear engages, it does not seem to slip.
  • After 15-20 minutes of driving, the car may start shifting without causing any issue, although the problem can sustain.


  • Overheating is a common problem with the 6T70 transmission. A faulty circuit often erupts into the issue.
  • Another problem with the transmission is the brake switch issue that occurs because of some internal complications.
  • A problem with the planetary gear system is another point of concern with the transmission. The gear ratios lead to misconfiguration when it becomes faulty. Consequently, climbing steep slopes and acceleration become problematic.

Differences Between Transmission

The Powerglide transmission is a 2-speed automatic transmission manufactured by General Motors from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Racecar enthusiasts have admired it firmly because of its simplicity and durability.

The 4L60-E is a four-speed automatic transmission. It contains four forward gears and one reverse gear designed for longitudinal engine transmission. Overall, its performance is also superb. It weighs 146 kg and 73 kg when filled with fluid.

The 4T65-E is a 4-speed automatic transmission introduced in 1997. It has improved reliability, and all its models received an upgraded valve body. Apart from that, it can handle vehicles up to 2948 kg.

The 6T70 is one of the six-speed automatic transmissions that powers several cars. It covers many vehicles, from small and compact cars to small SUVs (sport utility vehicles). Furthermore, the transmission fits both front and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Transmission Fluids And The Chevy Impala

Proper functioning of the transmission requires good care of the car through proper maintenance and doing things like using the right kind of gas, which is true whether we’re talking about the Chevy Impala or another vehicle. Experts recommend replacing transmission fluid every 45,000 miles for achieving this purpose. However, all transmissions do not run on the same type of fluid. Every unique transmission requires a distinct kind of transmission fluid. Here we provide you with the source to help you find it suitable for your transmission.

Powerglide, 4L60-E, 4T65-E, 6T70, 6T40: Transmission fluid

Closing Thoughts

In revisiting the Chevrolet Impala’s long-standing journey, we’ve uncovered the intricate evolution of its transmissions. From manual to automatic, spanning 3-speeds to 6-speeds, the Impala has showcased a vast spectrum of advancements. We’ve delved deep into the reliability, costs, and common issues of these transmissions, offering a comprehensive look at what one can expect over time. By comparing the differences, we hope to provide Impala owners and enthusiasts with the clarity needed for maintenance and potential upgrades. Always ensure you have the right fluid for your specific transmission, safeguarding the longevity and performance of your Impala. Safe driving and always stay informed!


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