Hard Shifting, Traction Control Light and P0010 P0011 - Chevy HHR Network

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Old 07-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: 07-17-2009
Location: Sterling, VA
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Hard Shifting, Traction Control Light and P0010 P0011

So I have been trying to help out a friend troubleshoot their 06 HHR LT with the 2.4L VVT engine and auto transmission. We have been able to replicate the problems in order a few times. The car shifts VERY hard, has the traction control light on and the check engine light is on with codes P0010 and/or P0011:
  • Disconnect negative battery terminal and wait a few minutes.
  • Start up car and drive around (everything is working perfectly). Get car up to operating temp and a drive around another 10 minutes. Shut car off. Nothing wrong yet, everything is fine.
  • Turn car on. Now notice the traction control light is on. Car now shifts extremely hard. Drive car around for a bit. Shut car off. Only T/C light was on.
  • Turn ignition to on position (but do not start). Check engine/malfunction indicator light is now illuminated. Pulled codes P0010 and/or P0011.

So, to trouble shoot it:
  • Oil seemed a bit low, did oil change and verified correct weight (5w30) was put in.
  • Visually inspected wiring going to the intake oil control valve (seems just fine).
  • I wanted to swap the intake and exhaust oil control valves to see if they themselves were faulty but noticed different markings on the valves (and colors of plastic) so we figured that is not so wise.
  • Identified small leak in passenger side axle seal. Tried to check trans fluid level but cannot find plug to remove. Found the vent cap and inspection plug for the torque converter, but nowhere to check the fluid levels.

Read the owners manual and it says that the traction control light may turn on (and stay on) if some problem occurs that would effect it. Nice and vague, ya know? Does anyone know if a faulty oil control valve would cause the traction control system to turn off and the trans to start shifting hard or is it vice versa? We ordered a new valve (only like 50 bucks from the dealer which was shocking). But that won't be in until Tuesday. Hate to start just throwing parts at it, but what else are you going to do with no manual and they don't even make a damn chiltons/haynes for this sucker. Any help/info would be awesome.


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Last edited by iblue; 07-19-2009 at 04:27 AM.
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:26 AM   #2
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well, i'm not too mechanically inclined, but mine used to shift real hard too. it ended up being the mass air flow sensor. the plug on the intake worked itself loose, and i would periodically get very hard shifts with the check engine light being on. your issue sounds a little more complicated than mine, but it's worth checking. good luck
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Old 07-19-2009, 06:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I had checked the connection to the MAF and it was nice and snug. Also checked the fuses/relays for being properly seated. It is oddly comforing to hear others say that random engine senor caused transmission shifting problems. Why it chooses to cause it is a question for the engineers I suppose.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:20 AM   #4
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Put in a brand shiny new intake oil control valve and drove the car around for a half hour. Hasn't had the traction control light turn on or the check engine light. Keeping my fingers crossed that this has solved it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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My HHR was intermittently throwing the same codes earlier this year. Found this info here.......

Originally Posted by ChevyMgr View Post
List of P trouble codes (part 1):

DTC Description
P0010 Intake Camshaft Position (CMP) Actuator Solenoid Control Circuit
P0011 Intake Camshaft Position (CMP) System Performance
The dealer had replaced the camshaft ($500), and when all was ready to go, the dash lit up like a Christmas tree.

The tech then found out that there was a very bad connection to the fuse block, which was the cause of all the codes being thrown.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:59 PM   #6
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I just had this same issue today but it did not pop any codes. I was driving through Lassen Volcanic park and the surrounding areas yesturday and used the I position to help keep at a safe speed. All was fine. Today we hit a few of the steep hills around this area again and used I and even put it in low for a couple steep tight turns. After returning it to I and D after the hills were gone the T/C light stayed on and it was shifting extremely hard. I pulled over turned it off and restarted it to find the T/C light was still on in all positions, and still very hard shifting. We finished our drive home (about 1.5hrs) and shut it down for a few hours and now it is acting fine again. I was thinking we just overworked it a bit and now it will be okay. I checked the fluid and its fine. I am thining of a trans flush, and the possiblity of a large tranny cooler installed. I never got a trouble code the the traction light and hard shifting.
The summit of Mt Lassen is 8,511 ft and we came back down to about half that, do you think the elevation change could have affected it. The outside temp also went from around 100+ down to 64-66 and then back up to almost triple digits in about 3 hours, that shouldnt have caused any trouble right?
Thanks for the help and suggestions on tranny cooler and flush.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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I was out today and the thing acted up again. I chaecked all the relays and all were pretty tight, I pushed them all in again anyway, but it is still doing it. Any one hafe a solution for this yet? When does the warranty expire on the drivetrain?
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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I scanned it today and got the p0014 code
Exhaust Camshaft - Position Timing Over-Advanced (Bank 1)
I clear the codes and it acts fine for a few minutes and starts acting up again. I did this about 8 times today because I was driving all day for work and didnt want to hurt anything with the hard shifts.
Anybody got a clue?
iBlue is this what yours was doing before you changed the valve. Did you replace the intake valve or was it the exhaust valve that fixed your issue.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
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I'm interested in the outcome of this as well. We have an '06 HHR that is getting the P0011 code and shifts hard, only after long (300 miles) drives. The check engine light did come on, but turned off by itself. The hard shifting will go away if the car sits for about 30 minutes before being driven again.
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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A faulty sensor can make a tranny shift hard. I had a similar problem with a 99 Chevy Lumina,it was the cam position sensor,put a new one in and no more problems.Remember when cars were simple,no sensors,no emissions and leaded gas and plenty of room to work on.
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