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Old 02-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
strawberripocky
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Default High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Well I've gotta say I haven't been here in quite some time! Hope everyone is doing well!

Down to business! I'm about to reach 225k on my little beast, and I'm really not expecting much more than that... I've begun thinking about what kind of car I'm going to get next (right now it's looking like Mazda 3 hatchback or the Hyundai Veloster... opinions?) but I know nothing could ever come close to my Saturn, so the decision is difficult.

Anywho, my transmission has been slipping for a few months now, it's increasingly getting worse, as this morning I was pulling into work and I hit the gas and nothing happened... until I tapped the brake pedal and then the gas again. When I switch it into park, it idles at about 2,000 rpm. My service engine light goes on and off periodically, so I'm not sure what's triggering that. And my low coolant light has been flashing for a few minutes after I start up the car - the coolant level is down but it's hard to tell where it's coming from with the wet weather we've been having.

A little bit of history:

I had the transmission rebuilt about 3 years ago in April due to the reverse slam issue, and over the past few years I've replaced a LOT of things that should prevent a coolant leak, ie. the water pump, hoses, radiator, etc.

I'm really horrible with keeping up maintenance on it in the cold months. I REALLY hate the cold. I'll admit I have neglected it lately, but mostly because my life has become busy and some really silly things on it have been breaking lately (ie. the passenger seatbelt guide ), but is there anything I can do for a low cost that can get me another year or so out of her? Thanks

...
1999 SC1 "Oracle" - a little handicapped, but still gets around :P
227k

Plastic > Rust

Last edited by strawberripocky; 02-11-2013 at 11:34 AM..

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Old 02-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
brags
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1996 SL1
Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Well the coolant Leak could be coming from anywhere and not necesarily
from the radiater wich everyone thinks could be, you mentioned rad hoses and water pump were replaced at one time well could be something as simple
as a Loose clamp on a hose or replacing a hose or a gasket seal of some sort
somewhere else, make sure You dont run the coolant Low what ever You do, You mentioned the

transmission - (Could be a Big ticket item for repairing)
but You had it repaired rebuilt before did the shop give You any warranty?
and have You checked the transmission oil Level?

Not sure if your buying new or pre-owned but out of the 2 i would pick
mazda but the hyundai might have a better warranty worth looking into
i have 2 vehicles that im very happy with Next one might just be another
Nissan Product.

1- 2007 Nissan Murano
2- 1996 Saturn SL1

...
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
strawberripocky
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Definitely could be a loose clamp, it's a slow leak so I'll check that first. It most definitely should not be the radiator, as I have replaced that within the last two years, but I know parts can be defective too. As for the transmission warranty, I'm pretty sure it's way past that, so I feel there's not much use digging that up. Also I know that a transmission rebuild is not *exactly* what it sounds like, in that they only "rebuild" what's causing the problem, which in this case, was a reverse slam... I'm assuming slippage in drive is a whole different issue. I'll also check the transmission fluid.

Also, at this point if it's something that can't be temporarily fixed without shelling out a lot of money, I'm going to have to say goodbye to the Saturn and put that money into a new car. Also speaking of which, I would like to buy pre-owned, so that's why I'm kind of leaning towards the Mazda. Hyundai just started making Velosters in 2011 I believe, so it's really too new for me to get a decent deal on a used one at this point.

...
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227k

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Old 02-11-2013, 02:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberripocky View Post
Down to business! I'm about to reach 225k on my little beast, and I'm really not expecting much more than that... I've begun thinking about what kind of car I'm going to get next (right now it's looking like Mazda 3 hatchback or the Hyundai Veloster... opinions?) but I know nothing could ever come close to my Saturn, so the decision is difficult.
Looks like we think alike. I purchased the 3 hatchback in October (just had the first oil change). It is a 2013 with skyactic engine. The MPG is similar to the 2002 SL2. The only thing that concerns me is the Advanced Key Entry (key is bulky and expensive to replace), but if you don't lose your key - no issues. There is also an option to disable the key feature so that you don't need the fancy one, but I plan to keep that feature as long as the vehicle is less than 5 years or so old.
I decided to avoid Hyundai because they lied about their MPG and confessed some time in November (I saw too many complaints, with Hyundai MPG, and went with Mazda). I kept my SL2 and drive it most of the time, but have no issues to complain about with the Mazda - yet. Although, I know that dents (metal) will be an issue, unlike the SL2.

I'm still hoping the MPG will improve once broken in - time will tell.

...
2002 SL2 Manual - new in November, 2001
As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
New owner report of 08/08/19: 234,408 Miles

2013 Mazda 3 HB - new in October 2012
As of 07/25/18: 51,495 Miles

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Old 02-12-2013, 07:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

I had a persistent slow coolant leak around the lower radiator hose on the passenger side. I finally slathered the nipple on the engine side with some RTV and tightened down the hose and no more leak.

+1 on seeing if your trans work is warranteed.

...
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Lucas Trans Fix can sometimes give you some more life.

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Old 03-13-2013, 03:47 PM   #7
strawberripocky
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

I know it's been a month since I've even been near this post, but I did check my warranty and it was a 1 year/unlimited miles... I got the transmission rebuilt 3 years ago in April. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I am thinking it could possibly be the clutch, since when I give it some gas, the RPMs shoot up and the car drags. I have the receipt for the transmission work but it does not give me a list on what was actually replaced... would they replace the clutch if it looked worn or is the clutch something that would affect the reverse issue I was having also back when that was fixed? Forgive my ignorance!! Now 2 days in a row on my way to work, the engine cut out when I went to give it gas from being stopped at a light (in the most inconvenient places both times, might I add!). The fuel pump has never been replaced, so that could be it, but I'm hoping IAC just needs to be cleaned... eh!!! I can kinda deal with the transmission acting wonky and jerking me around, but not being able to move at a green light in South Jersey during morning rush hour is just plain dangerous!

...
1999 SC1 "Oracle" - a little handicapped, but still gets around :P
227k

Plastic > Rust

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Old 03-14-2013, 10:06 AM   #8
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1998 SL2
Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberripocky View Post
Anywho, my transmission has been slipping for a few months now, it's increasingly getting worse, as this morning I was pulling into work and I hit the gas and nothing happened... until I tapped the brake pedal and then the gas again.
That's weird.... when you say, "nothing happened," you mean the engine rpms revved up, but car did not move?

Quote:
When I switch it into park, it idles at about 2,000 rpm. My service engine light goes on and off periodically, so I'm not sure what's triggering that.
Most parts stores will read the code for free, should be a letter and four numbers, like "P0123" - have them read it, write down the number, but don't buy anything, and post back what it is. Even if the light is off, it is usually stored and can be read. Have them check your battery and alternator if they do free checks as well, as the transmission is electrically operated and can be sensitive

Has the fuel filter ever been changed? How did the transmission fluid level check go?

Quote:
I am thinking it could possibly be the clutch, since when I give it some gas, the RPMs shoot up and the car drags. I have the receipt for the transmission work but it does not give me a list on what was actually replaced... would they replace the clutch if it looked worn or is the clutch something that would affect the reverse issue I was having also back when that was fixed?
I'm sure they would have been happy to replace parts at your expense if they saw something worn. Sounds like you have two separate things going on at the same time (well, three if we iinclude the coolant leak), engine stalling and transmission not engaging.

...
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
strawberripocky
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

Quote:
Originally Posted by alordofchaos View Post
That's weird.... when you say, "nothing happened," you mean the engine rpms revved up, but car did not move?
Exactly! So, I guess something did happen since the the rpms revved... silly me. Car wouldn't go anywhere until I tapped the brake then gas (which probably isn't necessary, I'd likely just have to take my foot off the gas and put it back down again).

Quote:
Most parts stores will read the code for free, should be a letter and four numbers, like "P0123" - have them read it, write down the number, but don't buy anything, and post back what it is. Even if the light is off, it is usually stored and can be read. Have them check your battery and alternator if they do free checks as well, as the transmission is electrically operated and can be sensitive
I've got the codes read at Autozone many times, it's just a matter of me getting my lazy butt there to do it, and cold weather makes me even less willing to go out. I'll try to get there asap and get it done though. Also, I did not know that the code can be stored even if the light is off!!

Quote:
Has the fuel filter ever been changed? How did the transmission fluid level check go?

I'm sure they would have been happy to replace parts at your expense if they saw something worn. Sounds like you have two separate things going on at the same time (well, three if we iinclude the coolant leak), engine stalling and transmission not engaging.
Ever since I've had my car (since 85k miles in '05), I don't remember the fuel filter being changed. Is it a small job? I guess I should also mention my mileage hasn't been fantastic either, which you've probably figured already. I've been getting about 25 mpg on a good week. Transmission fluid level looks good. The engine actually hasn't stalled since I mentioned it, thank goodness, though I know the problem causing the stall wouldn't just go away. Could the transmission issues come from a bad alternator? I know I've never had the alternator replaced, and it seems it's an affordable fix if I could do the job myself.

...
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227k

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Old 03-21-2013, 12:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: High mileage, transmission slam, ever annoying coolant light... the end??

+1 on the fuel filter. My '01 was acting up and never did figure out what was going on until I replaced it. Yeah, it was fairly easy and the car is happy....for now

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