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Old 05-02-2015, 09:18 PM   #1
Jim2001
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Wrench 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

Hello,new to the board.We have a 2001 l200 saturn that my wife uses to go to work with. 152,000 miles on it.The past few days the transmission will sometimes delay going into 3rd gear or it will stay in 2nd.Once last week I was driving in town and all of a sudden it was like it was in neutral.If you stop and shut off the car for a couple minutes your fine and car drives normal.No engine light coming on.Thinking maybe a bad transmission Solenoid?Tranny need to be pulled to replace?Thanks for any help.Jim

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Old 05-03-2015, 08:42 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

As difficult as it is, I would check first the transmission fluid level & fluid condition.
Since there is no dipstick, you need to remove the upper plug to verify the fluid oozes out or not, then if the color is deep red and does not smell burnt.

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Old 05-03-2015, 10:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

I agree with Toggenburg. The first thing to do is check the transmission fluid level which is only possible to do from beneath the car with the engine running and at normal operating temperature. I would also want to know what the frequency of the transmission servicing has been. When was it last serviced? The service interval also varies depending on where you reside and the driving conditions in which you find yourself. Where I live and with my driving conditions I must do the transmission service every 50K miles (or less if I so choose).

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Old 05-03-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

I thought the 4 cly Saturn had a Tranx dipstick or did I get my info wrong?

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Old 05-03-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

Good Advise from Toggenburg and Pierrot. Has the transmission fluid been changed? If so, how many miles since it was serviced?

As Toggenburg and Pierrot indicated, the only way to check the level on all L-Series transmissions, regardless of the engine size, is to pull that plug that is located on the passenger side of the transmission. It's an 11MM hex plug if I remember correctly.

Welcome to the Forum and keep us posted on what you find.

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Old 05-04-2015, 09:10 AM   #6
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Dizzy Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

Just got back from my mechanic and the fluid was full and looked fine.The honda dealer I bought the car from supposedly changed all fluids at around 117,500,the car has around 152,000 now.My mechanic that I have used for years referred me to a transmission shop that supposedly can hook it to a machine to see what the fluid pressures are when it changes gears. The car ran fine today.

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Old 05-04-2015, 09:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

Something worth looking into is the possibility of a plugged catalytic converter in the exhaust. The 2.2L's in the L-series were notorious for this. You should get the back pressure checked in the exhaust. Being that the issue does not appear all the time, it's possible there is a piece of the platinum material bouncing around and intermittently getting stuck in the pipe.

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Old 05-04-2015, 09:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2001 L200.Transmission shifting issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim2001 View Post
Just got back from my mechanic and the fluid was full and looked fine.The honda dealer I bought the car from supposedly changed all fluids at around 117,500,the car has around 152,000 now.My mechanic that I have used for years referred me to a transmission shop that supposedly can hook it to a machine to see what the fluid pressures are when it changes gears. The car ran fine today.
I'd be inclined to expect a problem with a shift solenoid since the transmission fluid checks out okay and the mileage since it was changed is acceptable. What we don't know is when or if the transmission fluid was changed prior to the Honda dealership's servicing of it. Candidly, however, I would make no claim as being especially knowledgeable about electronic transmission problems. Merely that from what I've been able to read, an intermittent problem with a shift solenoid seems plausible. Checking fluid line pressures makes sense to me.

An aside: if your car still has the service recommendation chart with it you'd find that the transmission fluid doesn't need to be changed unless your driving is under certain conditions. If your driving meets one of those conditions then the transmission would be serviced every 50K miles. Frankly, I don't believe it's wise to leave the transmission fluid unchanged even if the factory information directs it as such. I recently replaced the transmission oil pan with a Dorman brand pan having a drain plug. Now, if I want to, I can change the fluid more frequently without dropping the pan and perhaps prolong the life of the transmission. Of course, the filter would be replaced at the appropriate time.

^^bluesl2 also made a good point!

...
292,000 miles-it keeps on rolling!
The blessings of liberty erode in my country.
Gov't's grown bigger, but a chance exists that it will be reduced. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Last edited by pierrot; 05-04-2015 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: additional information

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