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Old 01-30-2014, 03:39 PM   #1
Minnesotakid1
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Default Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Hi, I have a 2001 Saturn SL1 with the L4 1.9L engine, has only 96000 miles on it and has been a good car. No issues with tranny or slamming. The other day when it was real cold I went out and started it, and let it warm up for about 10-15 min, when I tried to shift it in to Reverse there was nothing, I had forward gears but no reverse. I let it roll down the driveway and I could use forward gears but could no faster than about 30. There were no lights or warning messages on the dash. So I put it in garage and tried it again about 6 hours later and it was fine I had reverse, and could run as normal. So I ran it a few days and it seemed better. Then one morning I come out and again no reverse, so I took it to local shop. They said it had codes P0731, P0732, and P0733 and 1599. The latter they weren't too concerned about. They cleared the codes and the car ran fine for them without issue, they put about 100 miles on it and no problems. They tested the electrical and it was fine, they tested the pressure and it was fine, no leaks, etc everything to spec. They tested the battery and it was at 14.4 so they said that not thee issue. So they let it sit over night and again in the morning no reverse and they get the same codes. They think it is the Valve body needs to be replaced. Is that the fix, or could it be the PCM is losing the codes over night and then the engine is confused when we start it up and throws the codes? Anything else it could be with these symptoms? IT has a automatic transmission and fluid looks good. Just want to make sure this is the correct fix to go with. Thanks

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Old 01-30-2014, 04:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

When was the last time the transmission fluid was drained and its filter replaced?
It should be done at least every 30K miles.

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Old 01-30-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

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Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
When was the last time the transmission fluid was drained and its filter replaced?
It should be done at least every 30K miles.
I got the car about 6 months ago and don't know when it was changed last, I don't have previous records. Would that/could that cause this issue?

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Old 01-30-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Its pretty easy to look under the airbox and see if it still has the factory 'saturn' trans filter on it. It looks just like a n oil filter, but is on the front side of the transmission under the airbox/battery.

How cold was it when this happened? I have an '01 SC2 that seems to drive and shift fine accept when its very cold. If you let it warm up, it drives fine.

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Old 01-30-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Do a pressure check on it when it is stone cold at first startup. Some late model years of the s-series auto transaxles had issues with the fluid pump in the transaxle. It would not build proper fluid pressure when initially started. If you check this and it's fine, then you may have valvebody issues or a loose input shaft nut. First you need to verify minimum pressure and go from there.

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Old 01-30-2014, 05:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
Its pretty easy to look under the airbox and see if it still has the factory 'saturn' trans filter on it. It looks just like a n oil filter, but is on the front side of the transmission under the airbox/battery.

How cold was it when this happened? I have an '01 SC2 that seems to drive and shift fine accept when its very cold. If you let it warm up, it drives fine.
It was about -15F...been pretty cold lately...we let it warm up about 30-40 minutes and still had the issue. I will take a look, but would this cause the problem if it is just old fluid? it seemed to work fine before we got real cold now it seems to be coming and going, if you clear the codes its works until the next day, then it won't. The shop wanted to change the filter and fluid, but when it thru the codes again the next morning, they said it was the valve body issue. I asked about the fluid and they said that wouldn't be the issue? Are they feeding me a line of bull trying to make some money? It is a AAMCO transmission shop?

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Old 01-30-2014, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesl2 View Post
Do a pressure check on it when it is stone cold at first startup. Some late model years of the s-series auto transaxles had issues with the fluid pump in the transaxle. It would not build proper fluid pressure when initially started. If you check this and it's fine, then you may have valvebody issues or a loose input shaft nut. First you need to verify minimum pressure and go from there.
They said they did a pressure check at the shop and the pressure was up to specs of course that was when it was working for them, so I asked them about it and if they tested it cold the next day when it didn't work, they basically said no, but that the pressure test showed it was working fine. I will take a look and see what it is when cold what it shows. Thanks

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

If you do not have any history, then I would go ahead and change fluid and filter. Use a Wix #57101 filter or NAPA, and Dex III or Dex/Merc. NO Dex VI.
Get it good and hot before draining, and be careful of the sensors and wiring which are very close to the filter.

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Old 02-01-2014, 01:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Saturn SL1 transmission problem issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by el diablo viejo View Post
If you do not have any history, then I would go ahead and change fluid and filter. Use a Wix #57101 filter or NAPA, and Dex III or Dex/Merc. NO Dex VI.
Get it good and hot before draining, and be careful of the sensors and wiring which are very close to the filter.
Going to replace the fluid, filter and valve body and see if that fixes the problem.

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