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Old 11-24-2004, 05:49 PM   #1
Juba310
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2004 ION-1 Sedan
2001 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Hello all, I just thought I'd post my concern to get some feedback, hopefully you can help. Now I'm not a car expert by any means so bear with me...

I've had my '04 Ion1 now for a few months and its just gotten to about 1.8k miles on it. My concern on it, is that whenever im in 1st, 2nd, or even 3rd gear, there seems to be a strange problem with my car. The problem is like this: Say I'm in slow traffic (15-25 mph) and im just coasting along in 2nd or 3rd gear... it seems that the car runs fine while i am giving it a little gas, but when i take my foot off the gas pedal, about 2 seconds later the car will sort of give a quick jerk forward... like someone just tapped the brakes or something. The problem is most noticeable in 1st and 2nd gears, but is also prevalent when I'm using 3rd gear as well. I assume its also there for 4th and 5th, but that its so small that its unnoticeable. The problem seems to be unconditional, happening all the time.

Is this just the way the car is supposed to work, or is there something wrong here? It doesnt seem dangerous or anything, just annoying as it makes for a very jerky ride on the way to school.

Hopefully somoene can give me some input, I'd appreciate it!

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Old 11-24-2004, 05:59 PM   #2
Cruel Night
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

AS your speed drops, the engine slows down to idle it physically slows down your car due to the clutch being connected to both the engine and the transmission at the same time.. it's normal.. in 1st and 2nd is the most noticeable... 3,4,5 it's not as significant.

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Old 11-24-2004, 08:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Hmmm, thats weird, I dont remember noticing it at all when I've driven other cars like my old toyota and my dad's 03' vue, which are both manual. Maybe just cuz im in my car more *shrug*.

Thanks for the reply.

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Old 11-24-2004, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Drive another manual ION to see if it exhibits the same problem. Also, have someone else drive your car. That's a sure way to know for certain if the car itself is acting up. Also, next time it happens in your car, see if depressing the clutch slightly reduces the bucking.

...
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2004 ION3 Sedan, 5sp auto
2003 VUE 5sp, Hitch, DIY CC
1996 SL2 5sp

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Old 11-25-2004, 04:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

it's pretty typical for fwd manual cars. The engine is basically torquing against the motor mounts, and when you let off the gas, it will sort of snap back and torque the mount the other direction, giving you that jerk. To get some real bucking, bring the rpms up to 4 grand in first gradually, then start pulsing the gas pedal, lol. Firmer motor mounts generally helps this, of course I'm speaking in terms of s-series, I haven't really felt the problem in the ions. As you drive it you should be able to tone down the jerking a little bit with some finesse. It may require a bit of "babysitting the clutch" when driving around at slow speeds in low gears such as in parking lots and such.


Joe

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Old 11-26-2004, 03:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Thanks for the informative posts.

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Old 11-26-2004, 04:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

We have 4 manual transmissions Saturns (Vue, SL1, SL2, Ion) in the family and all the drivers agree the Ion is the toughest one to drive smoothly at slow speeds. I drove 3 manual Ions before settling in on the one I purchased, an 04 Ion2 and they all had the same loose feel in the drivetrain. I think the correct term is excessive drive lash. It can be driven smoothly it just take a little more effort.

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Old 11-26-2004, 05:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

For any of you that have "mastered" the ion, can you give me some tips maybe that you've employed in getting a smoother ride?

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Old 11-26-2004, 06:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

As MightyJoe said "babysit the clutch". In traffic I often find my self coasting with the clutch in and then being in the right gear when you release it. When upshifting in the lower gears take your time shifting and clutching around 2500 rpm. Being smooth is just a matter of practice, experimenting and getting "the feel" of it. If you don't think you're smooth enough simply try a different approach.

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Old 11-26-2004, 07:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Another question, does keeping the clutch in for extended periods of time put more wear on it? I know my dad has always told me to never hold the clutch in for long periods of time, but I fail to find the logic behind this. Could anyone explain?

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Old 11-26-2004, 08:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

so long as the clutch is completely pressed in, then there is no physical wear on the clutch plate, however, what does wear is the throw-out bearing, a piece that allows the clutch to separate from the fly wheel..
go to this site for more advice on driving 5pd, they have answers...
www.standardshift.com

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Old 11-26-2004, 08:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Granted, there is more "stress" on some components when you have the clutch disengaged but the clutch system should be able to deal with this. High revs when releasing the clutch (excessive slipping) , power shifting or holding the car still on a incline are with the clutch instead of the brakes(riding the clutch) are a clutches worse enemies. IN 30 years of "clutching" I personally have never had a clutch fail for any reason even after close to 200k miles. I think your leg will get tired of holding the clutch in long before you will damage it. I have seen "coasting" with the clutch in confused with "riding" the clutch which seems to me as a misnomer.

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Old 11-26-2004, 10:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juba310
but when i take my foot off the gas pedal, about 2 seconds later the car will sort of give a quick jerk forward...
If you are driving and letting it coast, push the clutch in or drop it into neutral and actually let it coast. You'll save yourself gas that way and you shouldn't have the jerking problem.

Coasting with the clutch in will not hurt anything, and the above poster is right... its not "riding the clutch" like some people think. I tried to duplicate the problem the parent poster had but was unable. My '04 Ion Manual coasted just fine at 1.5k rpm in 2nd and 3rd gear. If you let the revs get any lower it will start to stall, and sometimes the car can start to buck and shake as well. It really sounds like he is letting the revs drop too low, I drove about a 1/4mile at 1.5k rpm in third with no problems at all. All I can tell him is to keep the revs at around 2k and see if he continues to have problems. If he does, he should have a mechanic look at it.

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Old 11-26-2004, 11:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Thanks for the great replies everyone, I appreciate it. I'll work on my shifting and try out your advice. Thanks again, its responses like these that make me look at this community first for answers.

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Old 11-29-2004, 11:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

This certainly is an awesome thread. I too experience the jerking you describe when in 2nd/1st at low RPM's. I have always just confronted this issue by telling myself "Time to shift, retard". So this is a normal issue?

The first 1k miles on my car were absolute torture to the drivetrain (constant stalls, grinding, bucking, etc.) as this was my first experience with a manual. By now, with 15k miles, I believe I have mastered shifting, but am wondering if the break-in period could have serious long term effects on the clutch. Is the jerking described earlier a sign of clutch wear or slippage?

Also, one thing I noticed is that I can shift out of 2nd with the clutch engaged (RPM's have to be at or below 1k in order for this to happen). Has anyone else tried this? Am I causing damage by doing this?

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Old 11-29-2004, 12:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by joecool234
This certainly is an awesome thread. I too experience the jerking you describe when in 2nd/1st at low RPM's. I have always just confronted this issue by telling myself "Time to shift, retard". So this is a normal issue?

The first 1k miles on my car were absolute torture to the drivetrain (constant stalls, grinding, bucking, etc.) as this was my first experience with a manual. By now, with 15k miles, I believe I have mastered shifting, but am wondering if the break-in period could have serious long term effects on the clutch. Is the jerking described earlier a sign of clutch wear or slippage?

Also, one thing I noticed is that I can shift out of 2nd with the clutch engaged (RPM's have to be at or below 1k in order for this to happen). Has anyone else tried this? Am I causing damage by doing this?
You can shift out of any gear with out the clutch disengaged, just don't try to put it in gear with out the clutch/// as for the first 1000miles, don't worry too much, it won't have too much of an impact on things.. and as for the jerking, that' s just a matter of rev-matching and balencing the clutch with the right amount of gas... not a sign of clutchwear....
if you're concerned about wear you can do two things :
1. release the clutch and stall the car -- if it stalls it's most likely OK..
2. while in any gear, floor the gas, if the revs go up but not the speed then you have a bit of slippage goin on..

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Old 11-29-2004, 01:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruel Night
if you're concerned about wear you can do two things :
1. release the clutch and stall the car -- if it stalls it's most likely OK..
2. while in any gear, floor the gas, if the revs go up but not the speed then you have a bit of slippage goin on..
This is the 1st time I have seen someone actually outline a test for slippage. Thanks.

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Old 11-29-2004, 04:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Transmition Problems? Lower Gears giving problems

I've heard of another test where you put it into fifth, hold your foot on the brake, and then dump the clutch at idle. It should stall immediately or very quickly, if it doesn't, the clutch is bad. This is basically a variant of #1 listed above.

Joe

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