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dreamrunner69 03-08-2018 09:40 PM

crazy trans problem
04 lw300, service wrench comes on intermittently sometimes once a day and sometimes five times a day. hard shift in every gear. turn car off for a minute and problem goes away and sometimes is fine rest of the day. sometimes comes back on within five minutes. i have a worn out ignition switch that was rekeyed to the old key and will let the key be removed while running. when key is removed the wrench light will come on and it will shift hard. also dash lights will flicker or go out at night when driving if hi/low switch for headlights is activated.could that be ignition switch related? i have read everything on the shift and wrench issues that i can find and answers range from maf, to o2 sen, to pressure solenoid, to fluid and filter change, fluid lvl and on and on... the intermittent issue that ranges from once a day, to five times a day to not happening for a week is what has me stumped. also could a worn or broken trans mount cause this issue? i have noticed over last couple of times driving thar when making a left hand turn it feels like the frontend is shuddering almost as if skipping through the turn. maybe also a mount?to late to look at now but going to give it all a good once over in the daylight. any help or suggestions are appreciated and i will also post what i find so it may help others......:hmpf::(:dizzy::us:

soulsurvives 03-09-2018 09:11 AM

Re: crazy trans problem
Sounds like you have a few issues. You don't mention miles or service history so that could be handy. As far as the wrench issue goes you should have the codes read and keep in mind that only a tech 2 or similar scan tool can read the wrench codes. I had the wrench issue and I was only able to fix it by replacing the pressure control solenoid.

floridasl22002 03-09-2018 09:27 AM

Re: crazy trans problem
I think you have several unconnected issues here. As far as the hard shifts on the transmission and a check engine light on, several people have encountered this, including my son with his 2003 L300. As the check engine light is coming on if you take it to a tranny shop that has a Tech11 OBD scanning tools they will be able to check for transmission codes. We did that. The advice form the Tranny ship was to spend $2000 on a rebuild for the tranny on a car worth around the same value! Not gonna happen!!

Some of our weekend warriors here have repaired the issue completely by replacing the pressure solenoid in the tranny, which is less than $80.00. They have also replaced the solenoids that control the 1-2 and 3-4 shifts as well. Total costs for these items are about $100.00 or thereabout for all 3.

However, it is not a job for the faint hearted. There are no videos on this job, but there are some thread on it here. Basically to replace theses solenoids, you have to gain access to the vertical side on the tranny which is located on the drivers side. To get to it you have to remove the drivers side axle, strut, remove or certainly loosen the cross under section of the exhaust, loosen the sub frame bolts, unbolt 2 mounts, drain the transmission and then lower the engine/tranny unit so you can gain access to the side pan. Once the side pan is off the solenoids are staring you in the face and are simply plug in. Re-assembly is a complete reverse and your problem should be cured.

If you don;t want to go to that trouble, then ensure your tranny fluid and filter are up to scratch and just keep running it. If the solenoid issue escalates, the tranny will simply go into limp mode. The tranny guy told us that if we used the car for short journeys, you could drive with this issue for years. My son who used the car for HS is now at college 200 miles away. We have lived with this for nearly 2 years. It has not got any worse and Dad still has the $2000.00 in his wallet!

If you can pull your key out the ignition switch, that's not good. You need to get that replaced.

The flickering lights could be connection or fuse related, so check those. On the shudder on LH turns, you need to check for worn drive axles. If you had bad mounts you would get vibration at idle and running, not just on turns.

You could do worse than jack the car up safely and check the condition of the drive shaft(s). Grab them with hand and try to move them. If there is movement, they are worn. Another way to check worn CV joints is to drive the car in a circle, in reverse, in both lock directions. A worn CV joint will click. The more it clicks and the louder it is, that's a worn CV drive axle. If you have over 100K miles on the car, they could be in need of replacing. The drive axles are identical for the 4 pot L 200 and V6 300, yet the latter throws out more power. More power = more strain on drive axles, especially if the driving style is spirited!
Hope this helps

dreamrunner69 03-09-2018 04:06 PM

Re: crazy trans problem
218k on car, mechanically inclined, just not a saturn guy. not sure of maintenance before we got it but everything kept up since we got it. key switch is not a problem to replace and neither is the solenoid(s) just was asking saturn gurus if one problem could be the root of all the evil lol. thanks for suggestions and advice. will keep everyone updated:us:

fdryer 03-09-2018 05:35 PM

Re: crazy trans problem
In addition to suggestions given, there may be electrical issues with a high mileage vehicle - main power. The alternator has a finite life and no one can tell when they fail other than outright. Checking main power and connections with either a multimeter for standby (12.5v) and running voltage (13v-15v) can help or visit Autozone or other auto store providing free battery/alternator tests. A combination worn battery and alternator not able to maintain power to the car may create unusual problems - electronics needs a steady supply of regulated voltage with current (amps) closely following voltage. My guess is a voltage drop below 13 volts may cause strange problems because the battery would take over and supply power until its discharged.

Wrench error codes aren't read by most readers. GMs scantool is the primary reader since its used to read every error code in the entire GM family of vehicle as well as program modules requiring updates and information. One possible way around this would be making a new ignition key from GM first and using it then follow up with other suggestions to see if changes improve from the multiple problems. At best, if power is the root cause and repairs are made to correct it, all these strange issues go away. Its anyone's guess whether or not replacing the ignition switch is necessary - the ignition key easily coming out when it shouldn't is about a worn key and/or lock cylinder with a new key often the solution. Since there's a key reminder circuit, triggering this circuit with key removal while driving may 'upset' the body control module (BCM) monitoring the ignition key in the switched positions and create unusual (wrench) error codes, generating other false codes and electronic mayhem (bad shifts, lights flickering, etc) unless related to the electrical system. And lastly, BCMs do fail but there's enough info here from past threads to determine a faulty one. Three modules are part of L300s - engine, xmission and body control modules.

pierrot 03-09-2018 06:01 PM

Re: crazy trans problem
[QUOTE=dreamrunner69;2267567]218k on car, mechanically inclined, just not a saturn guy. not sure of maintenance before we got it but everything kept up since we got it.[/QUOTE][FONT="Palatino Linotype"][SIZE="3"]Just to be certain: was the timing belt replaced at 200K miles (assuming it's a V6)?

In attempting to determine for myself which engine was in your car I found nothing to go on from your past posts, but I did discover that you've identified the is car as both a [B][U][COLOR="blue"]2003[/COLOR][/U][/B] and [B][U][COLOR="blud"]2004[/COLOR][/U][/B] LW300. So which is it?

(If it's from '03 then it's definitely a V6 based on the model designation. If it's from '04 then it's [U]possible[/U] to have a four cylinder engine in that car.)

[QUOTE=dreamrunner69;2267567]will keep everyone updated:us:[/QUOTE]Yes, please do!

soulsurvives 03-10-2018 02:25 AM

Re: crazy trans problem
This is the post from me doing the pressure control solenoid last summer.

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