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Old 06-27-2002, 05:08 PM   #1
lhubbard
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Default Shifts hard into reverse

I have a 94 SL2 and whenever I put the car in reverse it seems to have trouble getting there. I cannot put in reverse and go ahead and excelerate. I have to wait about 10 seconds until I feel it pop into gear. As long as I wait until I feel it pop into reverse it seems to back up fine, but if I excelerate before I feel it pop into gear it will make an awful sound and jerk really hard into reverse. It feels like the transmission or something is just going to fall out when it jerks into gear. When driving it shifts just fine. Any suggestions on what this might be?
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Old 06-27-2002, 05:13 PM   #2
whitesl2
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Dizzy Same problem with my 95 sl2

Someone please answer this post, I am having the same problem.
I just bought this 95 sl2 and had this happen to me yesterday. I
thought the tranny was flying out of the car. I also have to wait
for a few seconds before proceeding in reverse......

Thanks

Phil
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Old 06-27-2002, 05:32 PM   #3
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1994 SC2
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If you're talking about an auto tranny, I would bet your transmission's valve body (or valve unit body) is going. I used to have that problem with my '93 SL1 AT. The problem wasn't present on initial startup, but after driving a while the car wouldn't go into reverse. It would sit, and usually I could only get it into reverse by tapping the gas, at which point the tranny would loudly thunk into gear. After being scared of that sound for 2 years, I got it fixed. Total repair bill was about $700, and I believe around $500 was for the valve body.
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Old 06-27-2002, 06:22 PM   #4
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Unfortunately odds are fairly good that a fault is developing in the trasaxle's valve body. SOMETIMES you can "head off at the pass" a future progression of the problem by having the transaxles fluid FLUSHED as well as changed with a new filter. What happens is that since the passages etc. in the transaxle which control reverse are used only 1% (if that) of the time they tend to accumulate varnish and gunk in geenral more so than the forward gear passages that are in constant use. I have also seen a transaxle TEMPORARILY brought out of this condition by blocking the front and rear wheels, setting the parking brake and leaving the car RUNNING in REVERSE for about 30 mins. This apparantly flushes out some of the goo clogging up the valve bodies passages for reverse gear temporarily at least. A HIGH QUALITY "auto transaxle/transmission additive" can also help, but DO NOT OVERFILL the transaxle. FYI: My 97 SL-2 AND 92 SL-2 BOTH exhibited the "lazy reverse" syndrom until I added Prolong auto trans treatment...both then self corrected within 2 weeks and have been problem free since....
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Old 06-27-2002, 07:58 PM   #5
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had same problem before. i suggest you replace your fluid and filter 1st even if it looks ok. mine improved over time and i've replaced fluid and filter yearly since. prob did not return. also check your fluid level it's easy to over fill.
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Old 06-27-2002, 10:35 PM   #6
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Question

My wife's 96 SL2 has this very problem. The dealer wants ~$850 to replace the valve body. If her car didn't have 180,000 miles on it, we wouldn't hesitate to spend the money, but...

I made some calls and can get the part for $400 + $50 core + $12 shipping, so I am thinking that a competent local mechanic might be the way to go if it's not too complicated a job.

Am I correct in assuming that the valve body is fairly accessible once the top pan is removed from the transmission? Is it a royal pain to get the valve body out of the car, or is it just a matter of unbolting the old part and bolting in the new one?

Thanks to all for any comments/advice!
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:11 AM   #7
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Yes the valve body is right there once the pan is off. You do need to take care to remove only certain hold down bolts as not all the visible bolts are what just hold the valve body down. Some just hold the halves of the valve body together. If all are taken apart then small internal pieces can fall all the way into the trans, not good. Also the proper torque and torque sequence need to be followed on assembly to allow the valve body to operate properly.
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Old 06-28-2002, 07:53 AM   #8
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Son's 2000 SL1 just had the valve body + input shaft nut fix done at 32K for this problem.

Luckily was on wty. Price was about $600 at dealer.
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Old 06-28-2002, 08:46 AM   #9
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I've been wondering about this lately. I've always had the delay and I didn't think it was worth $700 - $800 to get rid of it. But now when it's humid outside, it seems to slam into gear as well as the delay. It's really annoying, but if it's not hurting anything I can't justify spending that kind of money. It seems like all the S - Saturns do this so I'm thinking that if I replace it, it will probably just break again soon so what's the point? I just had my fluid changed a couple of months ago and it made no difference. Maybe I will try some additives.
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:27 PM   #10
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If varnish build-up or dirt is the problem, can't the valve body be taken apart and cleaned?
What about MMO or a similar detergent treatment for the tranny?
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:26 PM   #11
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Thanks for the info everyone!

Should I be looking for a local garage that has the official Saturn repair books, or are the torque specs and torque sequence available elsewhere? I hate to just "trust" that the proper specs are followed...
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:49 PM   #12
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dammit i have the same problem
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by 94_96_sl2
Thanks for the info everyone!

Should I be looking for a local garage that has the official Saturn repair books, or are the torque specs and torque sequence available elsewhere? I hate to just "trust" that the proper specs are followed...
Find yourself a Haynes or Chilton's repair manual. Very good info for the do it yourselfer.
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Old 07-10-2002, 03:05 PM   #14
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Default THANK YOU WOLFMAN!

ok it hasn't fixed the problem with the reverse yet (i just put it in like 10 minutes ago)... but on my ride home from my aunts the shifting was MADDDDDDDDDDDDDDD smooth. wolfman, thank you for pointing me to Prolong auto trans treatment. *holds the bottle up and smiles* hehe
thanks
-jason
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Old 07-10-2002, 06:23 PM   #15
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Before you go replacing valve-bodies ask yourself this. When you put your car in park, are you on an incline? Nose down incline will make my tranny have a hard time getting into reverse because it rolls forward and locks into park on the incline. I found I can avoid this by using the parking brake before I put it in park. Then it doesn't roll forward, and my reverse gear doesn't get stuck.
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Old 07-13-2002, 03:04 AM   #16
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Have you checked your fluid levels lately?
 
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