SaturnFans.com
saturnfans.com - classifieds - forums - webmail


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn Astra > Astra Tech

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-25-2017, 01:04 AM   #1
Cobytm
Junior Member
Cobytm is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Jacksonville Fl
Posts: 16

2008 Astra XR
Default Automatic transmission failure

Fearing my Astra might be getting close to the end, but would like to turn here to see if anyone has any input. Recently took a 10 hour trip when the CIL warned me of the torque converter was having issues and set the transmission in a safe mode, finished my trip no problems. I had put it in the shop and was told it's was an electrical problem with the valve body as the culprit and that they'd need to put in a new factory part and all would be well. After it's repair I needed to do another 10 hour drive to get home, about less than 100 miles in I'm now experiencing transmission failure with transmission fluid all over from an overheated transmission. The shop was willing to tow me back and look at it to see if it was their workmanship. Not sure how electrical turned into full on failure so any input would be nice. Sorry for the long story, needed to vent and I know this community is helpful.
Cobytm is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 08-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #2
mtbrdad
Junior Member
mtbrdad is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 11
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobytm View Post
Fearing my Astra might be getting close to the end, but would like to turn here to see if anyone has any input. Recently took a 10 hour trip when the CIL warned me of the torque converter was having issues and set the transmission in a safe mode, finished my trip no problems. I had put it in the shop and was told it's was an electrical problem with the valve body as the culprit and that they'd need to put in a new factory part and all would be well. After it's repair I needed to do another 10 hour drive to get home, about less than 100 miles in I'm now experiencing transmission failure with transmission fluid all over from an overheated transmission. The shop was willing to tow me back and look at it to see if it was their workmanship. Not sure how electrical turned into full on failure so any input would be nice. Sorry for the long story, needed to vent and I know this community is helpful.
Wow! How many miles on it? After having just gone through a manual trans swap that we did all by ourselves I know the pain of working on this car. The most important thing I learned is that there are very few replacement parts available for this car in this country.
mtbrdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2017, 02:35 PM   #3
Cobytm
Junior Member
Cobytm is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Jacksonville Fl
Posts: 16

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

It's just gotten over 87000, I feel like there should be a lot more mileage in her. You are correct about finding parts, the only reason I agreed to such a high cost repair was because I've searched before. It was close enough to just saying throw a whole new transmission in. I don't like to point fingers and blame but I really feel like this was workmanship. I've never had any major problems with this car other than the catalytic converter being replaced.
Cobytm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2017, 03:37 PM   #4
rb6667
Advanced Member
rb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to beholdrb6667 is a splendid one to behold
 
rb6667's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 767
 

2004 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
2004 L-Series 3.0L Wagon
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobytm View Post
Fearing my Astra might be getting close to the end, but would like to turn here to see if anyone has any input. Recently took a 10 hour trip when the CIL warned me of the torque converter was having issues and set the transmission in a safe mode, finished my trip no problems. I had put it in the shop and was told it's was an electrical problem with the valve body as the culprit and that they'd need to put in a new factory part and all would be well. After it's repair I needed to do another 10 hour drive to get home, about less than 100 miles in I'm now experiencing transmission failure with transmission fluid all over from an overheated transmission. The shop was willing to tow me back and look at it to see if it was their workmanship. Not sure how electrical turned into full on failure so any input would be nice. Sorry for the long story, needed to vent and I know this community is helpful.
Yes, I would agree that obviously there was some faulty workmanship here. The shop should make this right up to and including a new trans.

Keep us posted. We feel your pain!
...
2004 L-Series Wagon 2.2
2004 L-Series Wagon 2.2
2004 L-Series Wagon 3.0
rb6667 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2017, 06:27 PM   #5
Cobytm
Junior Member
Cobytm is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Jacksonville Fl
Posts: 16

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Bittersweet news but I'll be able to sleep much better tonight. They didn't admit straight fault for what happened, instead blaming it on the transmission being a complex and intricate part. They are going to credit my $1800 for the original repair back and charge me $558 for a used 40k transmission in its place along with the same warranty as the first time. That's a big deal and backing your word up in my book. My biggest concern at this point is the Astras lovely cooling system, I'm afraid with that much pressure it's gone and ruptured into each other and now I have coolant and oil mixing. I believe that they will take care of that as well if it comes up. What else should I be looking for at this point when this repair is made, I don't want to drive off and all this testing they've been doing blow some gasket in there.

As an extra question, when preforming a service on the Astras transmission needing to drain all and then refill transmission fluid, just how much fluid is needed? Our book says for a change it's 4.2 Liters max, the shop says it's 7.2 for the procedure they did which did include dropping the pan. However the bill quoted me for 6 quarts added so either way I see a math problem either to much or not enough. Again sorry for the length of my post.

Last edited by Cobytm; 08-25-2017 at 06:36 PM.
Cobytm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 01:21 AM   #6
AstraFasta
Advanced Member
AstraFasta has a spectacular aura aboutAstraFasta has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 715
 
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Ok - I have also been through a similar auto transmission failure on the Astra at 60k miles. Terrible GM engineering.

GM paid up for a very good Japanese auto transmission by Asin. But GM definitely did not have their "A-Team" working on the installation.

A major engineering failure is the shared cooling between the engine and the transmission. GM issued some service notes and I heard a few people got new transmissions in warranty. But as far as I know, the radiator was never redesigned or recalled.

*** You should look to see if a redesigned radiator was ever sold. Transmission shop just installed a separate transmission cooling system with the "rebuilt" transmission. You need to address that weak point one way or another and I would pay the mechanic for this regardless of cost.

The oil and coolant mixed on my Astra and the original transmission shop did not do a good job of flushing the coolant 100%. You can read about the failure of modern hoses when oil is circulated inside. After about a month, my hoses were swollen, soft, sweating. The Gates website has some good information about damage signs and consequences. I suppose the longer oil is circulaing in the hoses the worse but I don't know. My local mechanic said modern rubber hoses are typically lifetime items but mine were toast thanks to the oil. He also warned that gaskets can suffer but though that probability was lower if the oil contamination was shortlived and fully addressed.

Mechanic replaced all the rubber hoses (except the two heatercore hoses are NLA but looked to be in good shape). Then flushed the system several times. He put some cleaner fluid in and I drove the car for a week. Then he flushed again. 4k miles and no issues. He is a good Saab specialist and recommended Dexcool.

The transmission fix, coolant reflush, OEM hose replacement was very expensive. None of that should have ever happened.

Finally, I don't think you should throw your mechanic under the bus. I think he is being quite generous and I am not sure he is at fault. Your failure mode sounds very similar to what happened to my Astra. My transmission shop tried a "low probability" fix but that only worked for a few days. Then the transmission started to fail more. No overheating or transmission fluid on the ground but would not shift into some gears. So we replaced the transmission.

Good luck!

Last edited by AstraFasta; 08-30-2017 at 01:26 AM. Reason: typos and a bit of clarification
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 11:15 PM   #7
Cobytm
Junior Member
Cobytm is on a distinguished road
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Jacksonville Fl
Posts: 16

2008 Astra XR
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Thank's for sharing that info AstraFasta, now I'm not dealing with a transmission specialist shop. I was out of state when all of this was happening so I took it to a general mechanic with good ratings and reviews. However, they are doing right by me, I was wondering how I would go about them first testing to make sure that the shared cooling system isn't compromised. I've mentioned it to them but they don't seem to worry or rather know what I'm talking about, I believe this is the first Astra they've had in their shop. There weren't any signs of coolant mixing with oil whenever I left my Astra there. I'd rather not have a new transmission thrown on to have it flooded with coolant. I will be going for a transmission cooling system after, if the current one is still in good shape, though I have my doubts.

Last edited by Cobytm; 08-30-2017 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Missing info
Cobytm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2017, 01:54 AM   #8
AstraFasta
Advanced Member
AstraFasta has a spectacular aura aboutAstraFasta has a spectacular aura about
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 715
 
Default Re: Automatic transmission failure

Based on the good quality of that Asin transmission design and low mileage of the transmission you are receiving, there is a high probability that your "new" transmission will be fine. My mechanic said US shops never rebuild transmissions now (due to labour costs and complexity) but try to source lower mileage used transmissions and hope for the best, with maybe 5% failing.

Before installing, the mechanic in this situation would normally take a look at the transmission to see it looks ok or if the oil is compromised. And after buttoning up the car he would also take the Astra on a good test drive.

The Astra radiator is a faulty design for auto transmissions. So you need to get that sorted. As GM was not so forthcoming about the defect to prevent recall costs the mechanics will need some massaging. One idea is to print out a few posts here discussing the defect. A vague GM technical note is also here somewhere.

I think paying your current shop to do the transmission cooler would be the best as the car is already apart and it will be some easy cash for the shop. It won't cost a fortune but will give you some peace of mind.

==> I was just thinking about another item you should replace while the car is apart. The Alernator pulley on the Auto transmission cars is also defective. I suspect GM designed the serpintine belt system with a high-tech pulley but at the final moment changed to a crappy steel pulley to save money.
Saturn issued a technical note and has a high-tech alternator pulley part to replace the crappy metal disc. I think what happens is the big alternator and big AC units can overstress the accessory belt causing excessive vibration and sometimes squealing. You can read how these fancy pulleys smooth belt operations particularly during startup, acceleration, deceleration. I think that the vibration from the original pulley killed my AC compressor ($900 repair). I orginially tried to fix the vibration by replacing the accessory pulley; that worked for a few weeks only.

The new pulley is about $50 and with the car apart should take a a few minutes to replace. It will make your engine run smoother and per manufacturer increase life of the belt, alternator and AC compressor. You should also replace the accessory belt and have mechanic look at the tensioner in case. Both belt and tensioner are subject to excess wear due to that cheap pulley. I will say the accessory tensioner is a bit more difficult to assess but its days will be numbered and it is about $25.

If the car is not apart, the alternator is very difficult to access. A mechanic might refuse to do it. It took one guy here 12 hours DIY. A few others took 10 hours. One expert took a few hours. Do a search here for the fix, part number and GM note.

Because this guy is providing you good service, take a look at other maintenance items you can pay him to service, like tires, brakes, oil change, etc. You can look at your book to see required maintenance items. I have a post with all the work I did at 40,000 miles for some ideas.

==> If you have not changed your timing belt and related pulleys, they are coming due so might be cheaper and easier to have the mechanic do those whilst the car is apart. You can do this in a day if you have the right tools but you need to have solid DIY skills. If the timing belt breaks, the engine will stop working and likely die as it is an interference model.

EDIT - Shop did not replace main radiator. The fix was to install a dedicated transmission radiator.

Last edited by AstraFasta; 08-31-2017 at 01:56 AM. Reason: see below
AstraFasta is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What relays control the transmission shifter on an automatic transmission kd183 L-Series Tech 1 02-25-2014 11:13 AM
VTI Transmission Failure- No GM Help jprice30 Community Center 0 09-01-2011 11:05 AM
Transmission Failure tamccain Outlook General 2 10-30-2009 10:28 AM
HELP! SL2 @ 37K Transmission failure & more Annabelle General Saturn Discussion 5 06-28-2005 08:40 AM
Sl1 TRANSMISSION FAILURE Wayne Smith S-Series Tech 6 01-11-2003 09:32 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:35 AM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.