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Old 02-16-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
jpoell01
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1998 SL2
Default 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

I have a 1998 1.9 L DOHC SL2 Saturn and just put a used transmission in to replace a faulty one (the transmission was believed to be working fine). With the transmission in in drive, it will not shift out of first gear - however, in 2 and 3 it will operate and shifts normally. Both the old and new transmissions were MP7's. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-16-2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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1997 SL2
1995 SC2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

What year is the new tranny?
'98 (maybe '97) - '02 are the only compatable years.

Make sure you put all the wires back on the tranny and all grounds are on the top tranny bolts

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Old 02-17-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
jpoell01
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

The tranny came out of a 1998 SL2 - so they should be identical.

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Old 02-17-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
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1996 SW2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

Is your SES light on? Does the SES light work?

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Old 02-17-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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1998 SL2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

No, the SES light is off and it does work. I am not getting any unusual reading from the gauges either.

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Old 02-17-2009, 07:38 PM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

It takes very little additional series resistance to effectively fail the low fuel light.

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Old 02-18-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

I've had this problem before, I pulled a good working transmission out, and it sat for about 6 months before i found a car to put it in. I came to the conclusion that it was due to a bad pressure solenoid in the valve body of the transmission from sitting to long. I replaced the valve body, ebay.... and the problem was solved.

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Old 09-04-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
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Dizzy Re: 1998 Saturn SL2 Transmission problem

Unfortunately, with trans problems, there can be many reasons for a set of errors, and the SES diags may not call them all out. Here's a few for kicks:
1. Aside from the obvious, trans fluid where it's supposed to be, good connections, good ground, good valve body, good internals;
2. The gear selector switch has to be adjusted to just the right spot. (Check for continuity on the test lugs on top of switch with gear selector in Drive). The Haynes manual said it needed to be adjusted in Neutral--WRONG!
3. The transmission, engine, PCM, Under the hood junction box (UHJB), and wiring harness must all match up! This is critical because the gear ratios in the MP6, and MP7 were different. This means the VSS is sending different info to PCM, and engine info will be different, hence confused shifting. Even though the UHJB (fuse box) looks the same as the car you got the transmission from, it may not be the same. Check the serial number on your PCM to make sure they are the same.
4. If you have taken the connectors loose from the PCM at all, you could have spread the little female pin connectors so that they no longer make good connection. I had to painstakingly take each one out and adjust them to be tight again to make a car work right once. (Did I mention that was a pain?)
5. If you have taken the valve body apart, you could have spread the contacts on the solenoids so that they don't make proper connection anymore. Saturn recommends changing the solenoid bus anytime you take it out.
6. The wiring in the UHJB must match with that required for your gear selector switch, and fuse block, and 10 pin connector on top of your trans.
7. After all that, you must have good sensors on your transmission (all correct and functioning).
Oh, and by the way, you can't create problems in wiring and connections as you go along, or you'll not think to go back to those areas until after you've brought out the tools of last resort (sledge hammer, shotgun, spare derby car, gun-powder, etc).

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