Reader Question: My 1997 Buick Century has only a strong reverse and a very sluggish first and second gear. What are any problems related to this model year if any?
Will the whole transmission need to be replaced or can it be repaired with maybe a new band for the other gears?
I would first double check the transmission fluid level and top off as needed.
Low fluid level can cause similar complaints. If the fluid is full, I am afraid you will need to visit your local transmission shop. Depending on the mileage, you will probably need a complete transmission overhaul.
In Houston, it would cost you about US$1,700 total parts and labor.
If you are on a tight budget, you might want to call a few junk yards in your area and see how much a used transmission goes for. Then pay your local mechanic to install it for you. You can sometimes buy an extended warranty with the junk yards, so it might be an option for you.
In Houston, a used transmission would cost you about US$350 and labor to install it about US$400.