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Old 05-10-2021, 09:06 PM   #1
Shrocky5
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2002 SL2
Default P0733 2002 sl2

I have a 2002 SL2. The past few days the transmission has been acting up. Harsh shifting through the gears usually during acceleration. If I'm going like 65 on the interstate, when I hit the gas to speed up... when it down shifts it slams really hard. 2 days ago it was having trouble going from 3rd to 4th gear. Today when the SEL light came on it was not downshifting into 3rd from 4th. It would go from 4th to 2nd and then Rev up. Fluid and filter has been changed religiously every 30k since the car was new. It has 227,000 miles on it now. All trans parts are original. Never had a valve body, solenoids, etc. Fluid is full and clean. Would it be worth changing any solenoids or the whole valve body, or does this usually mean the transmission is shot?
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

First, check the three fuses for the trans. And swap the fuel-pump relay with a similar one from elsewhere on car.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:48 PM   #3
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2002 SL2
Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

Thanks. Will check those things tomorrow. I must admit that it's had intermittent harsh shifts for quite some time. But it's been intermittent enough I just kind of ignored it. Until the past few days I've never had any codes and it's never had any trouble going into gears like it has the past couple of days. The P0733 is the first code it's ever thrown for the incorrect ratio on 3rd gear.
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Old 05-11-2021, 12:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

The later years of the S-series had a few issues with the main line pressure solenoid as well. Usually it would make the transaxle shift hard. If you don't see any issues with fuses it would be worth checking resistance on those five solenoids and comparing the resistance to each other. As little as 2 or 3 ohms difference can make the difference between shifting right or not.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:53 AM   #5
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2002 SL2
Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

Inspected all fuses, and changed the fuel pump relay. No real difference that I could tell. All fuses were intact. Car was slamming into 3rd gear pretty hard until it warmed up. Once it warmed up it was driving almost normal. Still kind of a hard shift when in 4th gear, and you get on the throttle where it has to downshift into 3rd.
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Old 05-11-2021, 01:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

OK, then check the solenoid resistances; that is easy to do.

If no joy with the solenoids, we have to start talking about checking line-pressure with a gauge, checking the ISN, and then the valve-body and air-checks.

Do you have live-data available? That isn't a "magic bullet" for problems with this trans, but may help eliminate some remote possibilities.

In many (most?) cases problems with this type trans (TAAT) are from the valve-body (VB). The VB is what causes the ISN to loosen, and the solenoids are part of the VB (but are the only part of VB that can be reasonably replaced separately). There seems to be no definitive way to prove the VB is bad, you have to check everything else and then throw a VB at it if nothing else is found wrong.

Oh, and check the car's system voltage; it should be in the 14-15V range when the engine is running. Some feel those solenoids are finicky and don't always operate properly if voltage is a bit low.
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Old 05-11-2021, 02:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

I do have access to live data. I have a couple of scan tools. Nothing like a professional scan tool but ones that can pull codes and show basic live data.

I will check the battery later. The current battery in the car will be 5 years old next month. Never really gave it a thought that it could be on its way out since I haven't had any other typical battery related issues.

I am at least somewhat tempted to pickup a VB with the sonnex fix from ebay for $209 and throw at it. I wouldn't be able to replace the transaxle myself if it's not the valve body. Which means I'd probably end up having to get rid of the car. It'd cost way to much to get fixed at a shop. I can do the VB myself I belive after watching the youtube videos and reading through all the info on here.
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Old 05-11-2021, 03:43 PM   #8
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

The battery won't be an issue, unless it is so bad it sucks down the alternator; but in that case I think you would have noticeable cranking problems. the alternator should be keeping voltage well above any possible battery voltage when the engine is running.

If you get a VB, I recommend you be sure it has both the important Sonnax upgrades; the Booster and Pressure Regulator. Many vendors only do one or the other, but can advertise is has the "Sonnax upgrade". Central Valve Bodies near Tulsa, OK is one that I know does both.

Before going for a new VB, I would remove the VB and do air-checks of the clutches/servo. If the air-checks are OK, you can put the VB back on to continue using the car as-is until the new VB arrives. R & R of the VB is very easy, you usually can re-use the cover gaskets and you don't need to drain any fluid. It is well worthwhile to check out the basic trans internals, via the air-checks, before throwing that VB at it.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

Checked the battery voltage. It's perfectly normal both engine off and running. Do you know if central valve bodies sells on ebay, or do you have to them direct to order. The ones I see online are from a vendor in Illinois. Looks like they only do the sonnex upgrade on the pressure regulator valve.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

CVB does sell on ebay, but I don't see a VB for the TAAT listed there. Call/email them for price.
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Old 05-11-2021, 09:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

Ive had good luck with https://www.kenpartintransmissionparts.com/ if you contact them tell them devin recommend them
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Old 05-13-2021, 08:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

After I pulled those fuses for the solenoids, and put them back in, I haven't had any more issues so far. Drove the car around did 2 hours last night and it shifted perfectly. I'll play the wait and see game before I go any further. I'm nervous about taking all that stuff apart since the car is so old.
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Old 05-13-2021, 11:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: P0733 2002 sl2

Good plan. There is strong hint now that the problem is/was in the fuse panel connections; no need to look elsewhere unless the problem comes back.

Want to "tease the bear"? Remove the LP fuse and drive it with that fuse out; see if the problem returns. Then, re-install the fuse and see if it is cured again...

Eventually, you may have to remove that plastic top "mask" over the fuse panel sockets and check/tighten the wiring and sockets under there.
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