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Old 02-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #1
chad53916
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2002 SL
1996 SC2
Default Torque converter lockup solenoid?

I've got a friend with a 2002 L300 that's reporting a torque converter lockup solenoid being stuck on once in a while. Over 100K, no filter or fluid change since she's owned it. This car doesn't see the highway regularly and the solenoid probably is not actuated that often. So I'm wondering about the possibility of some sticking due to deposits. She reports some rough shifting on occasion. The filter and fluid will be changed and we'll look for improvement. However, does anyone have an opinion on the merit of pulling the connector to the trans and manually exercising the solenoid for a while to work out whatever may be causing it to stick?

Thanks!

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Old 02-16-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Torque converter lockup solenoid?

Forgive my ignorance but if a torque converter is locked up then it would be where any stop would shut the engine off - a locked tc implies no fluid coupling but a solid xmission connection without slipping (as tc's normally allow). Does this occur at random when its perceived that the xmission is at fault? This would be the same as if a manual were used and left in gear without depressing the clutch pedal when coming to a stop.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:30 AM   #3
chad53916
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2002 SL
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Default Re: Torque converter lockup solenoid?

The torque converter is locked up at highway speeds to increase efficiency. Yes, you'd think that one that's locked up would stall at a stop sign. I just got another tidbit of info from her:

> oh, another thing...when the light does come on, the car generally
> dogs a lot. When i'm in town and coming to any stop signs, it sounds
> like it wants to die. Again, by the next morning, its perfectly fine.
>
> Also, i can avoid all this by just driving calmly. As long as i don't
> accelerate too much to pass others and maintain a nice speed, the
> light never turns on and my car runs delightfully.

So now I wonder if the valve and return spring should just be replaced. Can the valve stick in an intermediate position and cause the torque converter to try to lock, but still slip? The valve and spring are available at Rock Auto for cheap. Can I get at these after dropping the pan?

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Old 02-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Torque converter lockup solenoid?

Normally the tc solenoid is released when pressing the brake pedal. This may not be a tc problem. Access to solenoids is difficult, the last time I looked at the repair procedures. Electronically controlled xmissions are generally more reliable than older style ones otherwise we wouldn't have them.

With 100k miles its replacement time for; timing belt, water pump, and spark plugs. Plugs and a general cleaning of the throttle actuator may help here. Some have even sprayed CRC MAF Sensor Cleaner into the maf sensor with good results. Some things still needs a hands-on approach.

If the SES indicator is on, have the error code read by Autozone. Write down the error code for posting. If this is a reduced power issue (engine icon with an arrow over it pointing down), verify it.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #5
chad53916
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Default Re: Torque converter lockup solenoid?

I obtained the code with my Auto Xray, but don't have it written down. I just remember it saying the TC lockup solenoid was stuck on. Even if the solenoid is electrically off, I was wondering if deposits could cause the valve to return home slowly, or partially. I'll run a scan on it again next time I see her to see if any other codes are present. Bad news about the valve being out of reach. I was hoping that when she takes it in for the filter and fluid change (I really only have time to work on my own cars) that they could change that part while the pan was off. Oh well.

Agree with you about the PM. When I got my SL, in addition to the folded IM gasket, took care of the timing set, water pump and oil pump. Now the struts! Thanks for the help on this. Do you know the pin out of the transmission connector on the L300? Still might try exercising the solenoid once she gets the fluid changed if that doesn't help it.

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Old 02-16-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Torque converter lockup solenoid?

I'll post what I can later as I don't have a database with me at work. Solenoids are on the side behind a side cover. Fluid change and previous suggestions are the easiest things to do before getting serious.

...
*The CPS is the heart of the entire EFI system. No cps = dead EFI system*
*There's more to a/c than just a few cans of refrigerant*
*There's more to brakes than just replacing parts*

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