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Old 07-21-2021, 11:27 PM   #1
Fractus89
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2008 VUE 3.6L
Default 2008 Vue XR 3.6 FWD Transmission Problem

I've read SaturnFans for a while and it helped me with many upgrades but this is my first post as a new member desperately seeking professional advice.
I'm dealing with an insanely complicated problem so brace yourself for a novel.

I have the '08 Saturn Vue XR with 3.6L LY7 motor and dreaded 6T70 transmission. Roughly 250000km on it but well maintained.

Previously owned by a family member who had the 3-5-R waveplate failure, rebuilt by a reputable transmission repair shop about 100000km ago and has been excellent ever since. Until now.

Basically, the ol' gal got into some pretty deep water about a year ago on a fishing trip (into the front doors and over the pedals, almost the the OBDII plug), and I had no immediate evidence of damage. A few days later it threw P0723, P0722 (output shaft speed sensor intermittent or no signal) and P0700 (generic trans malfunction). Limp mode stopped me right in the middle of the road but I always carry a code reader. Cleared codes, good to go.

A couple months later it threw P0716, P0717 (Input speed shaft sensor performance or no signal) and P0700 (generic). Erased codes, and didn't reoccur for another 3 months. It threw P0717 and P0700 again. Cleared those and pretended it never happened.

Three days later, it threw P1516 (throttle actuator control module - position performance) and P2101 (Control module throttle actuator position performance). Throttle totally stopped responding, cleared the codes and drove the rest of the way home.

Three months later it throws P0716, P0717, P0700 again, as well as P0756 (Shift Solenoid B Stuck Off) and P0796 (Pressure Control Solenoid C Performance or Stuck Off). Again, I erase the codes and monitor behavior waiting for something consistent.

One month later, P0752 (Shift Solenoid A Stuck On) and P2714 (Pressure Control Solenoid 4 Stuck Off). I believe when this happens it lets me limp in 2nd gear but showing BLANK in the cluster until the code is cleared. Weeks go by without another code as a daily driver.

NOW IT GETS INTERESTING.

Seemed like there may have been water/contaminants in the transmission all this time so I paid $250 for a flush at the GM dealer.
All codes previously mentioned mostly go away except P0752 (Shift Sol A), P2723 (Pressure Control Sol 5), and P0700 would show up on a daily basis, until finally 2nd gear and (I think) 6th gear would always force the transmission to throw codes and limp. I put it into Manual shift mode and skip 2nd and drove it for like 5000km this way because I was poor and nothing seemed to get worse at this point.

Once I could afford to fix it, I bought the SONNAX pressure switch repair kit and rebuilt my TEHCM. Put it back together and all I could get was Reverse. And when I put it in Drive, it would hesitate for a few seconds, then throw P0752 and Drive spun the wheels in Reverse. WTTTFFFF.

So I buy a new valvebody from RockAuto and install it and replaced a couple gallons of fluid and no change.... Replace fluid, Put the factory grommet/rubbers instead of the SONNAX ones, no change. Electrical test each solenoid and pressure switch, they all pass. So I buy a new TEHCM anyway, pre-programmed to my VIN and install it. Basically no change. I take it apart a total of 6 times and re-inspect and re-torque and clean connectors and try everything I can think of. Fluid is a little dark but still translucent red and clean (I fine-filtered the drained fluid, and reused it for these 6 attempts, found nothing in the screen)

Yesterday, I had DRIVE working, and did laps around the block, I hit 140kmh and feels like 1st thru 6 worked amazing, full torque, but had no reverse. Woke up this morning, and I have no DRIVE, but reverse works perfectly. Neutral and Park are good. Manual shift mode sounds like it's trying to engage but won't turn the wheels. I disconnected the main TEHCM harness and reseated it, without tampering with anything else, and temporarily got Drive working, until engaging Reverse, then I couldn't get Drive back again, and if I leave it in Drive for more than 10 seconds, it throws P0752 or P2723 (but never both) and then starts to roll in reverse until I clear the code. Reverse has full torque right now, and drive is completely slipping and throwing P0752 consistently even though all solenoids, TEHCM, pressure switches, and valve body are brand new.

So far I have been unable to find any corrosion on pins or any damaged wires in my harness between PCM and TEHCM and I have a deep scan tool that shows me the truth table of solenoid action, IMS and TFP statuses all reading properly for each selected gear. Nominal pressure control solenoid in Park/Neutral is 41.99 kPa and in functional Drive or Reverse ranges from 80 to 140 kPa. Once the P0752 kicks on, pressure while engaged in the failed gear shows upwards of 700kPa.

I feel like I have a shorted pair of wires, engaging solenoids that are intermittently blocking different pathways, causing this high pressure, and Drive-Reverse are fighting each other.

This is likely all due to the initial water damage messing with my wiring but I can't find a diagram to help me verify my theory. I have a strong electronics engineering background so I'm open to trying advanced diagnosis tips if anybody has any wild theories or things I can test to eliminate things.

Thanks in advance to anyone who took the time to read this ridiculous experience. Also I do not have equipment to drop and overhaul the entire transmission, which means access to inspect/replace filter for me is impossible. Also I used an 'equivalent' ATF and not GM certified DEXRON VI when I refilled but I was told by multiple people this should not be a factor.
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