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Old 06-17-2019, 01:12 PM   #1
mstanhope
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2004 VUE 2.2L
2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

I am totally stumped here and have no clue where to proceed from here.

I am working on a 2005 Ion3 2.2 with the VTi transmission in it. We purchased this car from one of our customers because he bought a new 18 Trax and didn't want it anymore.

When we got it, we had a few little things that were acting up like the message center saying Service Vehicle when there are no codes in the BCM, stuff like that. Nothing serious. Car runs perfectly, only has 120k miles on it and its loaded.

It sat at my garage for a week or so before I had a chance to mess with it, and immediately we found the Service Engine light on, and the transmission felt like it was slipping. Found out we have one of the Ion's with the VTi transmission in it and started to suspect that it was the problem. Only problem is that sometimes we could start the car, put it in drive, and take off like normal, then it would drop into Limp mode more or less.

Checking out the engine light, found codes P1779 and P1781 stored in the TCM. Cleared codes, and they come right back. Swapped out the ECM and the codes remained. Telling me
-P1779 Torque Delivered Signal
-P1781 Engine Torque Signal Circuit

So now i'm at my wits end about this car. Should I consider replacing the TCM instead of the ECM? Everything seems to be working just fine otherwise. I have no codes in any other system except the ABS for a bad wheel sensor which is totally unrelated.

I appreciate any help anyone can offer me.

...
Michael A. Stanhope
ASE Certified Technician

2004 Saturn Vue FWD 2.2 5-speed
2003 Saturn L200 2.2/Automatic
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (For towing in the parts cars!)

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Old 06-17-2019, 03:55 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

If you have access to service manuals, you'll need it. VTI xmissions are hit our miss. A better reader is needed to decode errors unrelated to emissions. Snapon, GMs scantool, etc. My guess is the VTI xmission is the problem as Saturn Vues using this cvt ate rarely on the road, having failed early and disappearing. Some here converted theirs into auto or manuals with some degree of success.

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Old 06-17-2019, 06:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstanhope View Post
I am totally stumped here and have no clue where to proceed from here.

I am working on a 2005 Ion3 2.2 with the VTi transmission in it. We purchased this car from one of our customers because he bought a new 18 Trax and didn't want it anymore.

When we got it, we had a few little things that were acting up like the message center saying Service Vehicle when there are no codes in the BCM, stuff like that. Nothing serious. Car runs perfectly, only has 120k miles on it and its loaded.

It sat at my garage for a week or so before I had a chance to mess with it, and immediately we found the Service Engine light on, and the transmission felt like it was slipping. Found out we have one of the Ion's with the VTi transmission in it and started to suspect that it was the problem. Only problem is that sometimes we could start the car, put it in drive, and take off like normal, then it would drop into Limp mode more or less.

Checking out the engine light, found codes P1779 and P1781 stored in the TCM. Cleared codes, and they come right back. Swapped out the ECM and the codes remained. Telling me
-P1779 Torque Delivered Signal
-P1781 Engine Torque Signal Circuit

So now i'm at my wits end about this car. Should I consider replacing the TCM instead of the ECM? Everything seems to be working just fine otherwise. I have no codes in any other system except the ABS for a bad wheel sensor which is totally unrelated.

I appreciate any help anyone can offer me.
We first need to figure out what you really have. The VTi/CVT transmission wasn't installed in any 2005 Ions. The VTi was only installed in 2003-2004 quad coupes and it's use was stopped midway through the 2004 model year. All 2003-2004 automatic sedans have the Aisin AF23 5-speed. All 2005-2007 automatic Ions have the 4T45E 4-speed.

...
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:47 PM   #4
mstanhope
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruley73 View Post
We first need to figure out what you really have. The VTi/CVT transmission wasn't installed in any 2005 Ions. The VTi was only installed in 2003-2004 quad coupes and it's use was stopped midway through the 2004 model year. All 2003-2004 automatic sedans have the Aisin AF23 5-speed. All 2005-2007 automatic Ions have the 4T45E 4-speed.
You are right. It isn't a VTi it appears to be an Aisin 5-speed automatic. It is actually a 2004 model from what I found although the VIN reads as an 05. Must have been a left over car that was revinned.

Hopefully that helps a little. I did replace the TCM and that had no affect on the problem. The same 2 codes are still present.

...
Michael A. Stanhope
ASE Certified Technician

2004 Saturn Vue FWD 2.2 5-speed
2003 Saturn L200 2.2/Automatic
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (For towing in the parts cars!)

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Old 06-19-2019, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
If you have access to service manuals, you'll need it. VTI xmissions are hit our miss. A better reader is needed to decode errors unrelated to emissions. Snapon, GMs scantool, etc. My guess is the VTI xmission is the problem as Saturn Vues using this cvt ate rarely on the road, having failed early and disappearing. Some here converted theirs into auto or manuals with some degree of success.
I do not have access to service manuals. I am using an Autel Maxisys scanner which does more than most scanners do.

This doesn't have a VTi transmission as we found out, it has an Aisin 5-speed automatic in it.

...
Michael A. Stanhope
ASE Certified Technician

2004 Saturn Vue FWD 2.2 5-speed
2003 Saturn L200 2.2/Automatic
2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (For towing in the parts cars!)

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Old 06-19-2019, 05:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: 05 Ion3 Transmission Issues

'04 Ions have either VTI or 5-speed auto.
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