Strangest thing happend to my trans. (???)

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My car was rearended in a parking lot while parked and unocupped. It's a Chev Lumina with automatic trans. I clearly had the car in park when I left it. Came out and an old lady hit my car from behind (she was ok thank God). Anyway, she hit it, not very hard, and it rolled forward about 30 feet into a curb. Mininal damage to my car. Needs a new rear bumper. But what about the trans? How in the world could this have happened while in park? The car runs perfect right now. Reverse is good, 1/2 and drive are good. Overdrive is good. What gives? Should I be concerend that something transmission-wise was damaged?
 
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The hit broke the parking paw in the transmission. Glad to hear you are a responsible citizen in that you showed concern for the women.
 
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It might not be broken, it may have just knocked it out of park. If Park still works, don't worry about it. The real question is why wasn't your e-brake set? What is it about automatic drivers and not setting the brake?
 
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Yep. This is another example of why you auto tranny drivers should use the emergency brake also and not just shove it in park. I would bet if you park it on a hill now and try park it will roll right away. My worry would be how do I get that pawl out of the tranny before it does any damage!
 

strombony

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 Originally Posted By: SAJEFFC
Yep. This is another example of why you auto tranny drivers should use the emergency brake also and not just shove it in park. I would bet if you park it on a hill now and try park it will roll right away. My worry would be how do I get that pawl out of the tranny before it does any damage!
Yes, my friend who was with me commented on me not using my emergency brake. He always does this. After this incident, I'm sold on using it from now on. Doubt I could ever get my wife to make this a habbit. As far as the parking paw being broken? What should I do? Should I not drive this car until I make a call monday to my local trans shop to see if I should get it in? I've already turned in a claim and if this thing were broken, I could get it paid for by this ladies insurance. Also, a witness that was present at the time of the loss said he heard my car make a clicking sound as it was rolling forward in park. (??)
 
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I had a woman rearend me at a yield sign 6 years ago. She hit me hard enough where I hit my head on the driver side window. My 92 mirage got pushed a few feet into traffic. luckily, no one T boned me!. The flexplate in my trans broke as it was rattling, as well as a busted bumper, and a tail light. Nationwide wouldn't cover the damage to the trans flex plate. At the time, my car was 11 years old. They said it was preexisting. what a bunch of baloney. They gave me an extra $75 for an "inspection". I had to pay $400 to have the trans dropped so that $50 flex plat could get replaced.
 
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strombony

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Yep, I'm an auto claim adjuster for an insurance co. I know about this pre-existing [censored].. The thing is, you have to get the shop on your side, which I do, and if it was related, my guy would have a long conversation with my insurance ocmpany.
 
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That clicking sound was the parking pawl ratcheting past its stop I would guess. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a reputable (good luck ) transmission shop look at it. Does it still hold the car when in park?
 

strombony

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 Originally Posted By: SAJEFFC
That clicking sound was the parking pawl ratcheting past its stop I would guess. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a reputable (good luck ) transmission shop look at it. Does it still hold the car when in park?
Yes, it still holds the car while its in park..even when its parked on a hill.
 
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 Originally Posted By: strombony
 Originally Posted By: SAJEFFC
That clicking sound was the parking pawl ratcheting past its stop I would guess. It probably wouldn't hurt to have a reputable (good luck ) transmission shop look at it. Does it still hold the car when in park?
Yes, it still holds the car while its in park..even when its parked on a hill.
Great! You are probably ok then, it didn't break it off in the transmission. Sounds like you dodged a bullit, just use the parking brake from now on!
 
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While the pawl itself is just one piece, the "sprocket" that it engages with is multi-toothed. If only one of them was damaged it could be a roulette wheel of dysfunction. You may not encounter it for who knows how long. I would expect the pawl to fatigue first, but I don't see why it couldn't work the other way around.
 

strombony

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 Originally Posted By: mechtech2
At a minimum, the trans has to have it's internals checked.
Should I NOT drive this vehicle until I take it to a trans shop to have it checked?
 
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An old trick to unstick a TH400 governor was to shove the trans into Park @ 40 mph. The rattling was usually enough to unstick the governor. I doubt if your trans is hurt from being bumped while in park.
 
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If she has insurance, you can file an insurance claim and get a new tranny. Who is liable if your pawl fails while parked on a hill and the car crashes into a daycare full of children?
 
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