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Old 03-04-2009, 11:26 PM   #1
smcclellion
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Dizzy 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Need Help! My speedometer does not work unitl the car warms up. Eventually it will work but it slow to react to speeds. I am also having transmission issues and wonder if it could be related. After driving awhile (45 minutes) the tranny will down shift and stick. It seems to happen most often in traffic when I am braking alot. The check engine light will turn on and I have to pull over and turn the car off then restart. This clears the code and and it seems to shift fine again. I have checked the code and it indicates the problem is the TCM (transmission control module)? Does this make sense to anyone?
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Welcome to the forum.

First things first as I know you will be asked anyways. Have you replaced the ECTS? May not be the exact cause of your issue but it can play havoc trying to diagnose a satty with a bad ECTS.

While you are checking on that ECTS have your charging system checked. Should have about 12 volts on battery with car not running. About 14 volts on battery with car running. Reason being is these auto trannys are very dependent on voltage to operate correctly.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:16 AM   #3
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Idea Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

No I haven't... I will pick one up this weekend and see if it does the trick... hope so. I have been reading the forums and it suggests the tranny valve body seems to be a recurriing issue. Just trying to get a reliable vehicle for my 16 year old daughter. Thanks for the help, I will post again when I replace this sensor.
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:22 AM   #4
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Thumbs Up Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Oh... should I check the voltage with the cables disconneted? Should a good battery, fully charged read... 2.2 volts per cell x 6 = 13.2 volts?
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Old 03-06-2009, 01:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

you can check the batt either way. when you do check the batt check it with the car off and your doors shut. The dome light will make it drop a doink. Your batt should read 12v and when the car is running anywhere between 13.5-14.5 volts.
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Old 03-06-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Quote:
Originally Posted by smcclellion View Post
Oh... should I check the voltage with the cables disconneted? Should a good battery, fully charged read... 2.2 volts per cell x 6 = 13.2 volts?
Yes. Brand new a fully charged battery should read 13.8 just off the charger and very slowly drop down to 13.2vDC. This is with no load at all. A used battery will quickly drop to 13.2 and then sag down to 12.8vDC. You will find a good battery in the car will read 12.8vDC to 12.6vDC.

If you are going to try assessing battery - alternator performance then the "about" measurements have no value. An actual value of 12.0vDC is a half dead battery.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Thumbs Up Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Thanks for the reply
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Old 03-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

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Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Yes. Brand new a fully charged battery should read 13.8 just off the charger and very slowly drop down to 13.2vDC. This is with no load at all. A used battery will quickly drop to 13.2 and then sag down to 12.8vDC. You will find a good battery in the car will read 12.8vDC to 12.6vDC.

If you are going to try assessing battery - alternator performance then the "about" measurements have no value. An actual value of 12.0vDC is a half dead battery.
12.0v for a fully charged battery might be a problem, but a battery that's had a bit of a load on it for a while might easily read 12.0v. If it falls off quickly from 13.8v just off the charger to 12.0v in just an hour or so, it's definitely got a lot of internal leakage.

A battery reading under 11.0v, even after fully charged likely has a shorted cell. This is a common failure mode. Such a battery is nominally a 10v -- five 2 volt lead-acid cells. It may actually work in the car, but not for long, and the extra heat from charging via a 14 volt alternator will kill it in short order.

I once had a small battery in a riding lawnmower that was giving me fits needing to be put on the charger all the time. Finally put a voltmeter on it and it read about 8 volts -- TWO shorted cells. Replaced it and haven't had a problem since then.
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

An automobile sized battery that is reading 12vDC in ther car is not going to start the car reliably and is a half charged state or severely sulfated from many quick charges. Its to all practical intents and purposes junk.

A good relatively new battery that is disconnected from all loads should hold 13.2 at 77F for a very long time.

In a Saturn, which is the actual topic of discussion without getting involved in battery temperature corrections should read 12.8vDC if everything is in good condition after the car sits overnight. And the point of beginning a battery/alternator condition investigation would be a reading of 12.6vDC or over 13.2vDC coupled with any other problem that might be power related.

Those values, 12.8 and 12.6, comprise the "easily understood workable falsehood that explains a complex incomprehensible truth".

The art and science of the automotive storage battery is neither very straight forward or simple anymore. Using those values as an initial go no-go test is easy for the electrically challenged to deal with the process. Dirty batteries (parallel discharge paths), shorted cells, and other internal contamination related failures are beyond most peoples sphere of interest.

As the AGM/SLA type battery is fast becoming more common it is important to realize also that the beginning of the battery death spiral can manifest its self in those designs as a higher than normal expected voltage right after the car is shut off. What you see is a slightly high voltage 12.9vDC or above and the battery has no capacity to power a load, the starter drags and ther lights dim at idle etc. The Optama/Orbital/Hawker batteries are of the AGM/SLA type.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

I have checked the vehicle speed sensor. It is reading 746 Ohms. Haynes says it should be between 700 and 900 Ohms so I am confident the speed sensor is OK. I have also checked the DC voltage at the sensor with the ignition switch on and I get minimal voltage. Haynes states I should see at least reference voltage of at least 10 volts?... if not check the PCM? I don't understand because after the car warms up it reads correctley although it(doesn't react as fast as most speedos). Any thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Haynes is generic. The functioning of the VSS and speedometer has changed with the various models and i do not have a 95 vintage drawing. When you have this problem again. Check the How-To Library, search for "paper clip" and retrieve the code. That will point in the right direction. This could be a bad connection at the VSS or a failing wire.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

I get a code 11? Then it flased a 23 indicating the air intake temperature sender? I removed the sensor and conducted a resistence check with an Ohm meter and it appears to be operating normally 6K when cold and drops off when warming up. I also checked to ensure it had reference voltage of at least 5 volts and it was good? It is 10.00 I will go ahead and replace it.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

The 11 means to consider the code that flashes on the other lamp is a transmission code. Its not the IAT sensor. The 23 is a transmission code for No 3rd Gear. http://saturnwiki.org/index.php/Main_Page That will give you both lists. Check the fuse in the UHJB first and then carefully clean the plug and socket in the center of the transmission cover. Be very careful with the plug holding bolt, do not over tighten.

The 23 is not related to the speedometer so it is a real possibility that the speedometer problem is all located in the instrument cluster and everything else ids working fine.

There is probably one of those lovely printed circuit connectors inside the cluster that gets the signal to the speedometer or the internal lubricant has dried out. Does the odometer 0.1 mile wheel function like its supposed to?
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:58 PM   #14
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Dizzy Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

I may have mis-diagnosed my problem. I believe the intial code was 12, which triggered my temp sensor to indicate a code 23. I have replaced the IAT sensor and reset my PCM by disconnecting the battery. I will find out if it re-appears tomorrow. Thanks for your input I will reply if I still have the same symptoms.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

If the temp sensor light is the one that blinked the 23 then its a transmission code and it was telling you that 3rd gear was missing. If the SES is still illuminated check it again. You can search here for transmission codes and read the details of what all happens but basically you get an 11 flashed on the SES and then the trans code on the temperature light.

If the SES is out then that problem has gone back into hiding.

Is it starting to warm up where you are yet? Warm weather will help to identify the speedometer problem.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:30 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

That is odd you mention temperature. The speedo doesn't work until the car warms up? I have replaced the VSS and it didn't appear to help. I noticed a similar shaped sensor located below the transmission filter??? I cannot determine what sensor that is?
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:48 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

The one on the transmission is the transmission speed sensor. If it shifts its working fine. I think your speedometer problem is all inside the instrument cluster.

The reason I asked if its cold where you are located is related to the speedometer issue.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

Yes... it is cold. I am in Washington State and the temps are in the 30's. This morning I went to work and the speedo seemed to respond after the temp gauge reached 1/4.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

I bet the spedo problem did not show up until it was already cold outside either. If that is the case then it is either a ribbon cable that is a bit dirty or a lack of lube in the mechanism or both. If you decide to disassemble the cluster let it warm up real good first so that it comes apart instead of braking and use a synthetic watch oil to lube the spedo and odometer pivots and gears. Also would be an outstanding idea to buy the real FSM section for the 95 instrument cluster. Or have a good spare ready at hand.

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Old 03-11-2009, 10:33 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1995 SL2 Speedometer

one thought here - when was the last time you changed your trans fluid?
gunky trans fluid can mess with the vss/tss signal, if i'm not mistaken.
on an auto, this should be done every 60k.

where in washington are you located? there are a couple washingtonians on here (myself included)
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