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Old 11-11-2017, 06:16 PM   #1
bachands
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2002 SL2
Default Automatic Transmission Whine

'02 SL1 with 99K miles

When I start the car there is a very prominent whining noise coming from the trans area. In 'P' or 'N', the whining will get louder if I revv up the engine. The sound definitely gets louder when I am driving...the faster I accelerate, the louder the whining gets.

When I put the front end on jackstands, put the trans in 'D', and get underneath to listen, the whining is definitely coming from the area where the trans meets the engine...so the bellhousing essentially.

This is not a drivebelt sound. The sound does not come from that area and the idler pulley and belt have been replaced to remedy a squealing noise.

The best diagnosis I could find online was that there is air in the trans fluid pump. This made sense to me, so I assumed the fluid was low. When I set out to replace the fluid and filter, I found that the filter was NOT original and the magnet was not present when removed. The fluid I drained was not brown or burnt smelling.

Currently, I have new Dexron III fluid in it and a new Wix filter. I put in a bit over 4 quarts but it still seemed a bit low. So I added a bit more to bring the fluid up to the O.K. region on the dipstick.

What could this be? I have a theory that the starter gear is not retracting and the noise is the starter motor winding up at the same speed as the flywheel. Is this possible?

...
'97 SL1, 136K, Auto, Mint Green (SOLD 146K)
'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
'97 SL1, 136K, Manual, Burgundy (Gifted to Brother 138K)
'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 11-11-2017, 06:38 PM   #2
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2001 SL1
Default Re: Automatic Transmission Whine

Is this a new car for you, or someone you know?
Is there a way for you to record the sound, since it happens even in park?

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Old 11-11-2017, 06:42 PM   #3
bachands
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Automatic Transmission Whine

It's mine. Not sure how I'd record it and upload though. Would be helpful I'd admit.

But if it helps, it sounds like the trans is always in Reverse. That "winding up" noise the trans makes while in reverse is what it's similar to...only it's not quite as loud.

...
'97 SL1, 136K, Auto, Mint Green (SOLD 146K)
'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
'97 SL1, 136K, Manual, Burgundy (Gifted to Brother 138K)
'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 11-11-2017, 07:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Automatic Transmission Whine

When it is up on the jack stands, if it was summat with the starter, it sure would be an obvious noise right there, and that spur gear would be so hot it would heat up that starter casing and that would have been obvious....
I have never opened up the tranny, but presume that whatever attaches to the crankshaft to the tranny is at fault.

It must be a recent purchase for you, or else you would have known when the last filter was changed out I'd guess. Good find with low miles.

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Old 11-12-2017, 12:29 AM   #5
bachands
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Automatic Transmission Whine

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
When it is up on the jack stands, if it was summat with the starter, it sure would be an obvious noise right there, and that spur gear would be so hot it would heat up that starter casing and that would have been obvious....
I have never opened up the tranny, but presume that whatever attaches to the crankshaft to the tranny is at fault.

It must be a recent purchase for you, or else you would have known when the last filter was changed out I'd guess. Good find with low miles.
Yeah, I was thrilled about the low miles as well. Engine runs damn good and a lot of the parts are original still working well....entire exhaust, all struts, radiator, etc.

I'd also agree that it's probably something to do with the torque converter. It shifts fairly well and the noise occurs even when the trans is not in gear, which is why I say torque converter.

The only thing I can think of to do is check the solenoids to see if any are out of spec. My guess would the LP solenoid to be defective, if any. The shift from 1-2 has a distinct buzzing sound, and the 3-4 shift can get hung up frequently. Other than that, shifting is smooth.

Could a bad solenoid cause whining? I'd assume not since I've never encountered that before, but I'm hopeful since I know that's something I can fix.

...
'97 SL1, 136K, Auto, Mint Green (SOLD 146K)
'99 SL2, 126K, Auto, Silver (SOLD 149K)
'97 SL1, 136K, Manual, Burgundy (Gifted to Brother 138K)
'02 SL2, 149K, Auto, Light Gray/Silver

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Old 11-12-2017, 08:18 AM   #6
Tom Walsh
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Automatic Transmission Whine

Pretty sure the pressure pump is in that area. I also think there's an internal filter in there. Never been in there myself. I had a diff pin levitate but not leave the area at 96K. But it'd probably be pissing fluid. Had a flex plate completely crack, but what you got sounds like a pump. I be at the pick and pull , if it was me.

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