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2017 Bolt with 1800 miles parked in garage overnight. After starting in the morning and shifting to reverse, the transmission (shifter) went back to Park. This occurred 8 to 10 times, with the car automatically reverting to the park mode. The instrument cluster said "Service Transmission."

Later in the day, thinking that I would have the car towed, I put the car in Neutral so that I could then push it out of my garage and a tow truck could get to it. By putting the car in neutral, it corrected the problem and the car shifted normally after that. The car icon with an "!" stayed on indicating that the car required service soon.

I was able to drive to the Chevy dealer and this is what they said:
Found bulletin 16NA8183. Found shifter was on correctly. Removed and reinstalled connector and checked all okay.

I was very concerned that this could have been a more serious problem based on a few other postings about "Service - Transmission." Guess maybe I had a less severe problem and should not be concerned with the transmission seizing up as the car is traveling down the highway.
 

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I wouldn't worry about the transmission "seizing up" as there's nothing really to seize up. Just 4 gears and a differential. It doesn't even "shift" into reverse "gear", the motor simply turns backwards and that is done electronically. It's a single speed gear reduction drive so the gearbox in this car should be extremely reliable, unless GM undersized something.... If anything, as we've seen issues may arrive from the goofy drive selector stick that we use to select the drive direction.
 

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Thank you for the explanation about the Bolts drive train. I didn't think that there was a transmission especially since I looked in the Owners Manual and could not find any reference in the index.
After looking a little more closely I see that there have been other shifter problems mentioned in forum discussions. Other than my "Service Transmission" error, my Bolt has operated very nicely and I'm quite pleased with it.
 

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2017 Bolt with 1800 miles parked in garage overnight. After starting in the morning and shifting to reverse, the transmission (shifter) went back to Park. This occurred 8 to 10 times, with the car automatically reverting to the park mode. The instrument cluster said "Service Transmission."

Later in the day, thinking that I would have the car towed, I put the car in Neutral so that I could then push it out of my garage and a tow truck could get to it. By putting the car in neutral, it corrected the problem and the car shifted normally after that. The car icon with an "!" stayed on indicating that the car required service soon.

I was able to drive to the Chevy dealer and this is what they said:
Found bulletin 16NA8183. Found shifter was on correctly. Removed and reinstalled connector and checked all okay.
I would love to know if reseating the connector fixed the problem for you. It did not fix it for me. The car has become unmovable three times. I now carry a ratchet and socket so I can reset it by disconnecting the 12V battery. And the dealer has no idea what is wrong (and according to them the Techs as "Chevy Central" also have no idea). I sort of remember reading the TSB once and determining my car was manufactured later than the units covered by the TSB.
 

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The shifter connector issue is a common problem. I have read that this is checked as standard policy on all Bolts that are in for service at a Chevy dealer.
 

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I think its caused by the design of the shifter, and the way you grab on to it.


You have to push the side button down without touching the P button, then you have to make a hooking style motion, forward and then to the left.


When I first bought my car I had a **** of a time with it, I'm better at it now.
 

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I think it's caused by the design of the shifter, and the way you grab on to it.
You have to push the side button down without touching the P button, then you have to make a hooking style motion, forward and then to the left.
Right. I mess up the shifting into reverse all the time. It's like playing guitar or piano: they want you to keep your hand in the air above the mechanism and use only your fingers. They must have skipped usability testing on the design. I was wondering if the extra vibration from all the mis-shifts causes the connector to come loose.

Anyway, the dealer _said_ they applied the TSB fix but the car got into the "won't shift" mode again and shows the "Service Transmission" message regularly. Strangely the check "engine light" does not come on.

I guess the dealer gets three more attempts to fix it. All the days without a car are a big pain. I always thought the loaner cars were for people who bought new cars but they appear to be reserved for the Cadillac owners:(
 

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Right. I mess up the shifting into reverse all the time. It's like playing guitar or piano: they want you to keep your hand in the air above the mechanism and use only your fingers. They must have skipped usability testing on the design. I was wondering if the extra vibration from all the mis-shifts causes the connector to come loose.



I guess the dealer gets three more attempts to fix it. All the days without a car are a big pain. I always thought the loaner cars were for people who bought new cars but they appear to be reserved for the Cadillac owners:(

Yeah I don't understand the way they use these loaners, last place I got one they kept my 2012 colorado overnight for a transmission recall it was hot and working on a hot transmission is a real pain, I know because I once was that guy.


Anyway I had to drive 40+ miles to this dealer they had promised me a loaner, when I got there they had a rental loaner for me the car was signed out in my name they picked up the tab, why can't all these dealers do things like that.


You paid them quite a sum of money not so long ago, why can't they act like they appreciate your business?
Instead all they are interested in is taking the money and running.
 

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Service Transmission Error / Could not shift

I also got to experience this problem late last week....
2017 Bolt with just over 7k miles.
Went to leave for work in the morning, started up the car, and got the Service Transmission Error... and my car would not shift out of Park. Literally nothing happened when I tried to shift into anything else.

The resolution was to replace the transmission shift select knob. The service notes said that the Transmission Shift Select Switch 2 was shorted. Replaced the knob and programmed chassis control module.

When I got my car back, I had a mild panic when the infotainment screen would not start (just blank / black screen). Turned off my car, tried again. Same result. Tried a third time. Same... no screen activity. Went in to report this to my service advisor, he came out, started my car, and then the screen worked. Of course.

Happy to have the Bolt back.

BTW, a few months ago, I got the Service Transmission Error, but my car drove fine. A couple days later, on a Saturday, I took the car up to the dealer to have them look at it. Their Bolt tech was not in, so some other tech looked at it. He cleared the code, code did not come back, so he shrugged and called it fixed. Now I think that was an early warning for the complete failure that happened last week.

Just wanted to share in case this helps anyone else who has the same situation.
 

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I also got to experience this problem late last week....
The resolution was to replace the transmission shift select knob. The service notes said that the Transmission Shift Select Switch 2 was shorted. Replaced the knob and programmed chassis control module.
The same issue in my Bolt was resolved by replacing the knob and "control" parts. The service manager told me that at least one of these two parts was redesigned to prevent recurrence of the same problem.

In the end I was only stranded once and it took only three service visits to resolve. The workaround was a "cold boot" caused by disconnecting then reconnecting the cable to the 12V battery.
 

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Is this shifter problem only on the 2017 Bolt or is it occurring on 2018's as well? I have a 2018 on order and I'm hoping this defect has been resolved.
 

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Steve, Thanks for your tip about putting the car in neutral. I had the exact same problem as you this morning on my 2017 Bolt (about 9300 miles) and shifting to neutral first worked to enable me to get the car to the dealership without having to tow. I wasn't able to get a service appointment til tomorrow, so awaiting their evaluation and fix.
 

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Thank you for this thread. Experienced the initial "gremlin" this week! Bolt parked in garage overnight and started car on Thursday morning. Shifted from "P" to "R" and while in reverse, heard the "ding ding ding" of of the message center. Noticed the "Service Transmission" message, and the service indicator light. Message disappeared when I shifted into "L" and Bolt drove normally for my 4-mile commute to work. Called dealer and Bolt tech will service car on Monday morning. While service light was still on Friday morning, when I turned the car on Friday evening for the ride home, the service light did not come on. Will take a copy of this thread to the service appointment on Monday morning.
 

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Software update fix? We'll see.

The service tech couldn't recreate my shifting problem. They said they ran a software update, which cleared the transmission error light. I was waiting for it to happen again right away, but it's been about 3 weeks and so far, so good. However their software update seems to have created a new problem, which is that the car now only charges up to the 150 range. I have it set on hilltop reserve, but should be (and was) getting a lot more range than that.
 

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However their software update seems to have created a new problem, which is that the car now only charges up to the 150 range. I have it set on hilltop reserve, but should be (and was) getting a lot more range than that.
If you got the loss of propulsion recall update when your battery wasn't near full charge, you'll see wonky battery behavior for a few charge cycles. Might be better if you try to do at least one full charge.
 

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said they ran a software update... seems to have created a new problem, which is that the car now only charges up to the 150 range.
If this is the update for the battery management software then it's known to throw off the range estimates until you go through a charge cycle or two.
 

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Also Service Transmission Light

Sharing my story in case it happens to you...

Waiting in an airport cellphone parking area the 2017 Bolt (22k miles) came up with the "service transmission light" error. While the car powered up, the ability to put it into any drive mode wasn't there. After 10 minutes of panic and looking at the uninformative manual, I got out of the car to get something from the trunk, got back in and the car could now go into its drive modes. Perhaps I put it into neutral or moved the stick shift lever around, I'm not sure exactly what made it happy. The warning light stayed on but it was drivable. Came home, turned car on/off several times and it worked except for the warning light (vehicle icon with exclamation point). This morning, after reading all these posts, decided to check car again and was preparing for a dealer appointment and noticed, lo and behold, the warning light no longer appeared. Car functions normally as far as I can tell.

So, before you run off to the dealer, let it sit overnight if you have it at home, fiddle with the stick shift and see if the problem persists.

If the problem comes back, I'll update this, but for now I'll consider it an anomaly.
 

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Update: After 2 days of driving there's been no indication of a problem. I was wondering whether I should bring the car in to have it checked out but it's probably out of warranty. Also, wouldn't have OnStar been given notice of the failure and sent me some notification?
 

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I just experienced a variation of this in my 2019. After backing up and hearing the warning chimes, I noticed the vehicle icon with exclamation point was lit and the screen showed a "transmission" message.

I plugged in my OBD2 device and looked for fault codes and the following appeared (all under the label "powertrain"):

P07E4
P178E
P17C8
P26C8


Edit to add: Tonight I put the car in park after driving in "L" and the "N" light lit up on the shifter. There was a slight delay and then "P" lit along with the door locks disengaging. The lock delay was odd. I noticed it earlier without seeing the neutral/park behavior. I wonder if there's a problem with the shifter circuitry.

Any thoughts? I was tempted to wait a day or two to see if the warning light clears (per someone's comments above). I've only had the car a little over six months and it's been great fun otherwise.
 
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