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Old 03-18-2005, 12:06 PM   #1
john11v35
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Question Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

I read through several weeks of posts before I decided to post.

I've got a 2004 Ion 3 that tends to really go into gear hard when you move from park to drive.

It only happens right after you start the car. If I wait 5-10 seconds before I put it into gear, it works very smoothly without any lurching.

Anyone one have the same thing? This is my 4th Saturn since 1996 and of course, this one is my favorite.

My garage also houses a 2003 Vue 5 speed. Past cars have included a 1996 SL2 5 speed and a 2000 SL1 5 speed. The 96 finally blew the head gasket at around 200,000. May it rest in peace.
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Old 03-18-2005, 03:05 PM   #2
joecool234
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Default Re: Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by john11v35
I read through several weeks of posts before I decided to post.

I've got a 2004 Ion 3 that tends to really go into gear hard when you move from park to drive.

It only happens right after you start the car. If I wait 5-10 seconds before I put it into gear, it works very smoothly without any lurching.

Anyone one have the same thing? This is my 4th Saturn since 1996 and of course, this one is my favorite.

My garage also houses a 2003 Vue 5 speed. Past cars have included a 1996 SL2 5 speed and a 2000 SL1 5 speed. The 96 finally blew the head gasket at around 200,000. May it rest in peace.
Dude, you totally should be waiting far more than 10 seconds to shift after starting the car. When the engine first starts, it goes up to a very high RPM (I think 5k in my car at least). You need to let that settle before putting it in gear. Also, no matter what the temperature is outside you should always let the car warm up a bit to get the juices flowing.

Also, make sure you are stepping pretty hard on the brake before shifting. If the car is moving at all, the result would be a very hard shift.
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

I have the same situation with my ION-3, but I don't really think of it as a problem or an issue anymore. The ION, unlike any other car I have ever driven does rev high at start-up, and tends to idle down much slower than other cars too. A thread on here some time ago stated that this was due to some air quality issues of the computer not allowing the throttle to slam shut, which if it did, would allow less than fully burned fuel to exhaust out the tailpipe. I don't know, but it did make sense as to why it works that way. I think the person that gave that opinion was a Saturn Tech, or at least someone that knew what he was talking about.

What I did learn to do to avoid slamming the transmission into "Drive" after a start-up, is to start the car and then fasten my seatbelt while the engine is idling down. After I release the key on start-up and by the time I reach for the seatbelt, pull it out, click it into the buckle, the engine is at idle and ready to shift. I sure would have to agree that the ION doesn't lend itself very well to quick takeoffs! Bank robbers...take note!
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by john11v35
I read through several weeks of posts before I decided to post.

I've got a 2004 Ion 3 that tends to really go into gear hard when you move from park to drive.

It only happens right after you start the car. If I wait 5-10 seconds before I put it into gear, it works very smoothly without any lurching.

Anyone one have the same thing? This is my 4th Saturn since 1996 and of course, this one is my favorite.

My garage also houses a 2003 Vue 5 speed. Past cars have included a 1996 SL2 5 speed and a 2000 SL1 5 speed. The 96 finally blew the head gasket at around 200,000. May it rest in peace.

My 04 ION 1 used to do the same thing, even after warming it up for a few minutes (which I do every morning). It was most noticeable on the first drive of the day, ie. going to work at 6 a.m. I believe this is 100% normal for that japanese (Aisin?) transmission, and you don't have a thing to worry about. Like others have said though, if your shifting into gear 5 seconds after you start the car, you may have bigger things to worry about than the transmission later on down the road. At a very minimum, even in a hurry, I start my car, buckle up, adjust my tunes and my climate controls as required, then shift. Most of the time I start my car, go back in the house for about 5 minutes, then go out and leave for work.
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLAPSHOT
At a very minimum, even in a hurry, I start my car, buckle up, adjust my tunes and my climate controls as required, then shift. Most of the time I start my car, go back in the house for about 5 minutes, then go out and leave for work.
Anything over 20 seconds and you're just wasting gas.
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Old 03-20-2005, 03:06 PM   #6
bobwill
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Default Re: Ion Automatic transmission shifts hard

Actually, the guys (as in the editors responding to technical corespondences) at road and track recommend 30 seconds to a minute for warm up times, and longer in the cold, or if you have a steep hill within a mile or two of your house.
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