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Old 06-08-2015, 09:29 AM   #1
Ragtag
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Default Tranmission problem.

Hi,
I hope I can get some guidance here before I decided to scrap my Saturn.
Car: 1997 SW1 190000 roughly on it. It was used in heavy stop-go traffic during my two hours per day commute. According to the large stack of paper work I got with it; it looks like the transmission valve body was replaced at least once.
Symptoms prior to my ďfixĒ.
Hard slam when going into reverse.
Started slamming when down shifting. Hard enough that I had thought I got back ended at one time.
Started to slip going from second to third.
I did some research and another forum suggested that changing the solenoids fixes 95% of these kinds of issues.
I replaced all the solenoids and the connection plate for them. Everything went smooth and the install was fairly simple.
Results:
My first test drive and the car was working wonderful with smooth shifting and only a slight bump going into reverse. Then I had my wife check it out. It seemed fine at first, but she had a couple of slips when going from second to third.
I took it to work the next day and everything seemed fine until I went to lunch. It seemed to drag starting out like it was in the wrong gear. That night I almost didnít get home because it started to really act up and it seemed like it was not dropping down into first or second.
Perplexed I measured all the solenoids and they seemed in spec. I then decided it may be a connection issue with the plug in the top so I changed the solenoid connection plate back to the old one.
Symptoms after that.
Car will not move in anything but D and then itís a real struggle like it is stuck in a higher gear. When I do manage to get it up to around 20 it shifts and locks the front end up. I donít know if itís just dropping into first or something else is happening.
Iíve checked the condition of the wiring and everything looks fine. I cleaned the connector plug and the fluid level seems fine and the fluid looks fine. The filter was changed about 7000 miles ago.
Right now Iím at a loss.
Anyone got any ideas?
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Old 06-08-2015, 09:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

It couldn't hurt to check your battery connections to make sure there all clean and tight, A lot of intermittent problems on these Transmissions start with the Battery and Alternator. Also what condition and level is your trans fluid? Anything beyond this will be valve body and possible input shaft nut repair.
...
2015 Subaru Forester Limited "Prinny"
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CHECK YOUR OIL!

Last edited by SL19302; 06-08-2015 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

Ragtag, as a new member with an S-series car and little exposure to common issues, you may be surprised about one little part that generates many engine/xmission problems, the original round nosed plastic coolant sensor. While it may appear odd for a coolant sensor to affect xmission shifts, history has shown members having many problems attributed to a faulty coolant sensor. The cure is to remove it for inspection and replace it immediately if its the plastic one, with a flat nosed brass one sold almost anywhere.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
Ragtag, as a new member with an S-series car and little exposure to common issues, you may be surprised about one little part that generates many engine/xmission problems, the original round nosed plastic coolant sensor. While it may appear odd for a coolant sensor to affect xmission shifts, history has shown members having many problems attributed to a faulty coolant sensor. The cure is to remove it for inspection and replace it immediately if its the plastic one, with a flat nosed brass one sold almost anywhere.

If it's the one on the driver side engine block it has been replaced and it does seem to be working correctly.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SL19302 View Post
It couldn't hurt to check your battery connections to make sure there all clean and tight, A lot of intermittent problems on these Transmissions start with the Battery and Alternator. Also what condition and level is your trans fluid? Anything beyond this will be valve body and possible input shaft nut repair.
Connections on the battery are good. Trans fluid level is good, good color and smell. Filter was changed about 7000 miles ago.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragtag View Post
I then decided it may be a connection issue with the plug in the top so I changed the solenoid connection plate back to the old one.
Symptoms after that.
Car will not move in anything but D and then itís a real struggle like it is stuck in a higher gear. When I do manage to get it up to around 20 it shifts and locks the front end up. I donít know if itís just dropping into first or something else is happening.
Sounds like this made things worse - I would first put the other one back.
See this for checking the Bus Plate . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=33

You must be setting some trouble codes?
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
Sounds like this made things worse - I would first put the other one back.
See this for checking the Bus Plate . . .
p=2109278&postcount=33[/url]

You must be setting some trouble codes?
The only trouble codes are related to the shifting problem. That is when I get them. I had cleared them prior to the install and then came up with two related to second to third shift problem and third to forth shift problem. I did not set any codes during the bad trip home or with the current issues. It really is being a mind bender for me. I later checked the old solenoids and they were in spec for ohms. The new ones look exactly like the older ones and worked fine for at least one test drive and measure fine directly or when checked from the connector on the bus plate.

My thought yesterday was that there was a problem with wiring to or contact with the plug that plugs into the trans. I didn't see anything amiss with it. I guess I could put the old solenoids back just for the heck of it. I have nothng to loose doing so.
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Old 06-08-2015, 03:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

While Chazberry works on xmission suggestions, the rest of us can try suggesting other areas to help narrow down where this problem lies. With coolant sensor ruled out, battery/connections/alternator voltages should be checked. Electrical system voltages should be between 13v-14.7v with engine idling to ensure the pcm has correct operating voltages to run xmission solenoids. Ruling low output voltages as a cause for erratic shifts may leave one item not often considered, the pcm.

While it's rare for engine computers to fail, they do. Ruling out everything external to the pcm that usually cause engine/xmission problems leaves the pcm for last as the fault. Since pcm's control xmission solenoids by pulsing each one according to other sensors inputting signals, the pcm usually lasts forever with most lying at the junk yards along with the car. There's a slow progression of aging Saturns with members finding used pcm's solving their mystery issues that are usually resolved by finding wiring or sensors that wear out. In your case, replacing pressure control solenoids and wiring should have resulted in a successful repair as most do. Since this appears to be a delayed problem where the xmission acts normal during engine warm up and falter later with repeated consistency, it may be a well worn pcm warming up when it fails. I'm suspecting a possibility of the switching transistors degrading from electronic wear and tear - unable to electronically operate when in its operating temperature range. The only solution is replacement.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tranmission problem.

I think that what I need to do is go back to a known condition/setup. I'm going to reinstall all the old parts and see what happens. If I still have the problems then at least I know it's not the new parts.
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