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Old 06-19-2015, 06:34 PM   #1
dylank
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2000 SL2
Default Shifting problems in heavy traffic

2000 Saturn SL2
215,000 miles
Automatic Transmission

Fresh oil, transmission fluid change, new radiator, transmission cooling lines, thermostat, water pump, left rear sway bar link, serpentine belt all done by me at home in the last few months.

When I sit in stop and go traffic for 20 minutes or so my transmissions starts to act strangely. So long as I stay in stop and go traffic I am fine, but once traffic starts to break up and speeds increase this is when the issue occurs. It seems like it gets stuck in second gear and won't up-shift. The RPMs increase very high(though I won't let them go above 3500) and it just wont shift. What I have to do is pull over, turn the car off for about ten seconds and then it is fine. I realize my car has high miles and the original transmission and that it is going to drop one day. However money is tight so I am looking for the cause and any steps I can take to improve the issue and extend life. I just changed my transmission fluid and changed to synthetic which helped with some other minor issues. Actually what I did was drain, new filter fill. Drove for a week, drain and fill and have been driving on it for about a week again. What I find so strange is that stopping and turning the car off and then back on fixes it. Just pulling over and putting it in park doesn't help, nor does pulling over and putting it in neutral etc etc. Turning the car off and back on fixes it and seems like nothing else. So any ideas what is causing this and what I could do to improve life.

This has been happening since the day I bought the car 4 years ago. It doesn't seem to be getting worse but since I recently started driving long distances for my job I have taken a new interest in taking extra care of my car. Also since I bought the car reverse has acted weird. When I put in in reverse it doesnt engage well. I have to lightly step on the gas to get it to catch. I think this is just a broken part in the transmission I feel the other issue is a bit more computer related. I do not know to be honest.

Also I change my transmission fluid every 50,000 miles just to be safe and it always comes out clear/light red with no burning smell or discoloration which I think is a good sign.

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Old 06-19-2015, 08:33 PM   #2
billr
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Default Re: Shifting problems in heavy traffic

Both of those symptoms hint, to me, that the trans Valve Body (VB) is worn. There are many, many threads here about similar-sounding issues with the VB and how to change it.

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Old 06-20-2015, 03:47 PM   #3
dylank
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Location: Colorado
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2000 SL2
Default Re: Shifting problems in heavy traffic

Thank you for the information. I will look into that. However I was watching a Saturn repair video. They went over the different clutches in the trans-axle. They talked about 1st gear clutch, torque clutch and then the 2nd and reverse clutch which is the same clutch. I think it is second gear that it gets stuck in, in stop and go traffic. Then I also have those reverse issues. Is it more likely to be the value body or that specific clutch? Any thoughts?

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