How to Tell a Turbo 400 Transmission


The Turbo 400 transmission was first introduced in 1964 to power the larger GM brand cars. It delivered higher horsepower than many of its competitors, and as a result it was used in both tow trucks and sports cars for many years.The transmission remains quite popular with car enthusiasts even today. In fact, according to TCI Auto, the Turbo 400 is still installed in certain military vehicles. There are a few simple things you can do to determine if your transmission is really a Turbo 400.

  • Check the inside of the driver's side door for a sticker or plate listing the internal components of your vehicle. These stickers suffer wear and tear over the years. They also might not be updated if the transmission has been replaced, but you will at least discover the original transmission type for your car.

  • Look at the inside of the car. All Turbo 400's are automatic three-speed transmissions. If you see a clutch pedal, then you do not have a Turbo 400 installed.

  • Open the hood and locate the transmission. Your transmission will have a roughly cylinder shape with a dome at one end. Think of an old science fiction rocket ship and you'll have the right image in mind. It will be located along the same line as the gear shift inside your car.

  • Inspect your transmission for a label or metal imprint. The Turbo 400 was used in GM vehicles for over a decade. There are several different model numbers attached to the Turbo 400, but they all contain the code "THM 400."

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure your vehicle is off before inspecting underneath the hood.

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