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Old 02-01-2016, 01:52 PM   #1
Murderotica024
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Default Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

97 Saturn SW2

This has been an ongoing problem that I have when driving on the highways. I will be cruising along at about 65-70 mph in 4th gear and then out of nowhere my car downshifts and will rev up to about 3500 RPM. If I'm lucky I can slow down to about 50-55 to drop the RPMs under 3000 and sometimes it will shift back up into 4th and then be fine for the rest of the drive. Each time it has happened and I get it back to 4th gear, it doesn't happen again. Even on long drives of a few hours. I had an incident yesterday that I couldn't get it to shift back to 4th gear (SES light came on) and after quite a few miles, I pulled over, turned the car off and let it sit a few minutes. Turned it on, got back on the highway and it was fine the rest of the drive. SES light doesn't always come on and I have also had issues with the "reverse slam" I have read about on these forums. After reading through some posts, I just wanted to check and see if there is a checklist you guys go through before I just buy a Valve Body and hope that it is the fix. Maybe check the solenoids first or a fluid flush and replacement.

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Old 02-01-2016, 04:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

I think you are intermittently losing power to your 3rd gear Solenoid which will engage 3rd gear. Maybe first look for burned contacts on your Tranny Harness plug. If it looks OK measure your Solenoid resistance. If those check out, you could have a loose connection/bad wire between the TRS Fuse and the Solenoid or the Solenoid and PCM.

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Old 02-02-2016, 10:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Are you sure it is downshifting and not the TCC unlocking?

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Old 02-02-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

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Originally Posted by lamping.ap View Post
Are you sure it is downshifting and not the TCC unlocking?
The OP says he's getting an SES Lgt - probably a good idea to try read some trouble codes.

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Old 02-03-2016, 11:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

If it is indeed just unlocking the torque converter then I'm actually going to suggest something completely strange but completely plausible - because it happened to me.

Check your ECTS connection and the wires going to it from the wire loom. I had a car where it had the ECTS changed and a new connector butt spliced in. Turns out the splice had exposed copper and when the momentum of the car would change the wire shifted and contacted the engine and grounded itself. A grounded ECTS wire says "Engine cold!" and the torque converter doesn't engage by design.

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Old 02-04-2016, 10:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

The light came back on randomly while my car was warming up before leaving work. I stopped in at AutoZone to get the errors read and this is what came out:

P0300 - Multiple Cylinder Misfire
P0341 - Camshaft Position Sensor Error
P0731 - Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0734 - Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio

I am going to check the solenoids in the valve body and see what readings I get. I was also going to just replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor when I check the solenoids. Figured these could be tested before I go pulling the whole Valve Body out of the car.

Last edited by Murderotica024; 02-04-2016 at 10:36 AM..

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Old 02-04-2016, 10:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murderotica024 View Post
The light came back on randomly while my car was warming up before leaving work. I stopped in at AutoZone to get the errors read and this is what came out:

P0300 - Multiple Cylinder Misfire
P0341 - Camshaft Position Sensor Error
P0731 - Gear 1 Incorrect Ratio
P0734 - Gear 4 Incorrect Ratio

I am going to check the solenoids in the valve body and see what readings I get. I was also going to just replace the Crankshaft Position Sensor when I check the solenoids. Figured these could be tested before I go pulling the whole Valve Body out of the car.
How many miles on the '97? You might want to tackle that P0341 first. Plenty of threads on that - use "Search this forum' in the upper right. Here's one . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ighlight=P0341

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Old 02-04-2016, 11:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

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Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
How many miles on the '97? You might want to tackle that P0341 first. Plenty of threads on that - use "Search this forum' in the upper right.
Just over 150,000 miles.

I saw a video by Richpin that talks about replacing the spark plugs and spark plug wires to combat that error. So, I will do that this weekend and see if that helps.

Another question; can those errors be read by AutoZone without my engine light actually being on?

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Old 02-04-2016, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Why are you thinking of replacing the CKP (CranK Position) sensor?

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Old 02-04-2016, 11:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

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Originally Posted by billr View Post
Why are you thinking of replacing the CKP (CranK Position) sensor?
I thought the Camshaft Position Sensor and Crankshaft Position Sensor were the same thing. After reading more over on these forums I have realized I was wrong and won't be replacing that at this time. I'm pretty new to the idea of working on my car at a level beyond oil and brake changes.

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Old 02-04-2016, 12:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Okay, I understand. I was just trying to keep you from "throwing parts at it", that is often an overly-expensive approach. Do you understand there is no actual CMP (CaM Pos) on this engine? That signal is synthesized by the ICM; often the problem is with plugs, plug-wires, or simply the plug-wire routing.

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Old 02-04-2016, 12:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Quote:
Originally Posted by billr View Post
Okay, I understand. I was just trying to keep you from "throwing parts at it", that is often an overly-expensive approach. Do you understand there is no actual CMP (CaM Pos) on this engine? That signal is synthesized by the ICM; often the problem is with plugs, plug-wires, or simply the plug-wire routing.
Yeah, I realized that once I watched the video Richpin posted about the P0340 & P0341 error codes on the S Series. I'm glad I have time before the weekend to keep researching because if not I would have definitely just been throwing parts at it and hoping something worked haha hopefully I can give an update this weekend about where my valve body/solenoids, spark plugs and input shaft nut stand and gain some insight about what my next move should be. I appreciate the help you guys have given so far.

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Old 02-07-2016, 03:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Changed oil and filter
Changed transmission filter and fluid
Changed spark plugs and wires (slight amount of oil on the threading of the left most spark plug)
Checked Solenoids in the valve body and they were all between 4.8-5.0

Took it for a test drive on the highway and the downshift from 4th to 3rd happened again. Also, had a slight reverse slam when shifting to reverse before the car is warmed up. Would the next step be to check the input shaft nut? Anything else I should be looking into?

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Old 02-07-2016, 04:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murderotica024 View Post
Took it for a test drive on the highway and the downshift from 4th to 3rd happened again. Also, had a slight reverse slam when shifting to reverse before the car is warmed up. Would the next step be to check the input shaft nut? Anything else I should be looking into?
The Nut cannot be causing the downshift and that usually gives you a P0732 which you don't have. Can you get the codes read again to see if you eliminated the P0300 and 341?

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Old 02-08-2016, 11:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Here is the TAAT schematic. I'm thinking you have a sketchy connection somewhere between the TRS 3/4 Fuse and the PCM - maybe at VB pin A or B . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/att...2&d=1340060916

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Old 02-08-2016, 11:47 AM   #16
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
Here is the TAAT schematic. I'm thinking you have a sketchy connection somewhere between the TRS 3/4 Fuse and the PCM - maybe at VB pin A or B . . .
I am going to get the codes read today after work as long as I can have them read without my SES light being on. Once I see the errors I have I will get back to you about the 0300 and 0341 error codes. As for the schematic you just sent, is everything shown in that schematic located in the valve body? Again, I'm fairly naive to the complexities of these issues. Also, I read my solenoid readings with the valve body cover on. Idk if that matters when referring to connections being sketchy since I didn't directly test the solenoid itself.

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Old 02-08-2016, 01:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

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Originally Posted by Murderotica024 View Post
As for the schematic you just sent, is everything shown in that schematic located in the valve body?
No - the gray box on top is your UHJB (Underhood Junction Box or Fuse Box).
The gray box in the center is the VB.
The gray box at the bottom is your PCM. (The PCM applies the ground to complete the circuit and energize a Solenoid.)
The smaller gray box on the upper right is your Fuel Pump Relay. The engine has to be running to energize that Relay which will send B+ to the TRS Fuses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murderotica024 View Post
Also, I read my solenoid readings with the valve body cover on. Idk if that matters when referring to connections being sketchy since I didn't directly test the solenoid itself.
Your Solenoid resistance is fine measured at the VB Socket pins.
If it is a poor connection that is causing your downshift, it is most likely at the VB Harness Socket. I don't know if you can see a way to tighten those female contacts (?). I think a bad connection at the Fuse Box or PCM would be pretty rare. There is also a slim possibility your PCM is acting up.

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Old 02-08-2016, 03:50 PM   #18
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazberry View Post
There is also a slim possibility your PCM is acting up.
PS - Member Billr would recommend that you get a scanner that can display 'live data'.

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Old 05-05-2016, 08:31 PM   #19
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

I bought a scanner and have eliminated the P0300 Multiple Misfire code everything else still remains

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Old 05-05-2016, 11:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Downshifts from 4th to 3rd on its own & Reverse Slam

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Originally Posted by Murderotica024 View Post
I bought a scanner and have eliminated the P0300 Multiple Misfire code everything else still remains
What was it that fixed the P0300? See if you can get that P0341 cleared . . .
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=215123

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