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Old 02-16-2010, 01:01 PM   #1
Hidalgo
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Default Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Wow ... what a NEGLECTED car I purchased.

I did the transmission fluid this morning, and it "looks" like it was the original fluid and filter ... and this is after 105,000 miles. The fluid was more black than red.

The car shifts through all the forward gears beautifully (it wasn't bad before).

BUT ... when I started it and drove it a little, testing the transmission in every gear at the stop signs .............

I NOW have the "Slam".

After 20 miles at interstate speeds, and then about 25 sequences of P-R-D-P-R-D shifting in the driveway, it "seems" to be getting better.

Hope I didn't screw the pooch by changing the fluid. I used Valvoline universal Dex/Merc and a Wix filter. I guess time will tell ........
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

A wolfman remedy may be all that is needed.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Possibly. It seems to be getting better the more it is driven. I'm going to give it 100 or so miles and if it doesn't improve, it'll be sitting in the driveway in reverse for a while ...
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

That's a shame, one of the selling points for the automatics was the screw-on oil filter, easy to change the fluid, etc.
Oh that only works if the owner ACTUALLY DOES IT.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeNW View Post
That's a shame, one of the selling points for the automatics was the screw-on oil filter, easy to change the fluid, etc.
Oh that only works if the owner ACTUALLY DOES IT.
Well, I out some of the blame on whoever did the oil changes on the car. A "good" dealer service writer or mechanic would have encouraged them (with the threat of a $1500 repair) to do the transmission also.

Of course, you can't MAKE them do it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Go drive it till it's really warm. Say a good 30 miles at 70mph and then quickly change the fluid again. There is still about 3 quarts of the ancient fluid and dirt in there. You don't want to just hope it will get better. Doing the Wolfman cure with dirty fluid is counter productive.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

/\ What he said. Years ago, I bought a 70 Olds used, and had to change the oil about 4 times before it finally started draining out a normal oil color. Neglect is unexplainable sometimes.
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Go drive it till it's really warm. Say a good 30 miles at 70mph and then quickly change the fluid again. There is still about 3 quarts of the ancient fluid and dirt in there. You don't want to just hope it will get better. Doing the Wolfman cure with dirty fluid is counter productive.
Probably good advice, and I'll definitely do just what you recommended.

BTW ... WHY does new fluid cause this? If I am correct in my understanding of the reverse slam, it is caused by a stopped-up valve body on the reverse side. Why would new fluid cause that to act any different.

Obviously ... I don't understand ANYTHING about valve bodies ...
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

its caused by a bad oring seal in (or after) the pressure booster pump. which causes a bit of a loss of line pressure. This puts the tranny on the edge of having enough pressure to shift into reverse.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidalgo View Post
Wow ... what a NEGLECTED car I purchased.

I did the transmission fluid this morning, and it "looks" like it was the original fluid and filter ... and this is after 105,000 miles. The fluid was more black than red.

The car shifts through all the forward gears beautifully (it wasn't bad before).

BUT ... when I started it and drove it a little, testing the transmission in every gear at the stop signs .............

I NOW have the "Slam".

After 20 miles at interstate speeds, and then about 25 sequences of P-R-D-P-R-D shifting in the driveway, it "seems" to be getting better.

Hope I didn't screw the pooch by changing the fluid. I used Valvoline universal Dex/Merc and a Wix filter. I guess time will tell ........
black fluid isn't a good sign, it usually means burnt clutch plates. does it smell burnt?
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
black fluid isn't a good sign, it usually means burnt clutch plates. does it smell burnt?
Well, perhaps "black" was a little harsh......

But it was definitely extremely dirty. There was no odor at all except the normal smell of ATF.

The wife is going to have the car daily for the next 5 days commuting to work and back, 36 mile round trip mostly interstate driving. So after 180 miles or so I'll make a decision (with everyone's input) as to what the next step is going to be.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
its caused by a bad oring seal in (or after) the pressure booster pump. which causes a bit of a loss of line pressure. This puts the tranny on the edge of having enough pressure to shift into reverse.
If "the slam" is caused by an O-ring, then how in the world does running fluid thru it backwards (aka "the Cure") do anything to fix it?

Not contesting your statement, I just don't understand.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... UPDATED QUESTIONS

Wait a minute .......

I'm reading these posts and did searches about this issue. From what I can tell, this is mainly a slamming when going INTO reverse, right? If so, then I have another issue going on. My transmission "thumps" when coming OUT of reverse. And when in drive going forward it is smooth as silk. Is this the same situation as others are having?
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Here's some info thanks to 2Saturns: This forum and a FSM were instrumental in helping me figure this out so I put it all together in this posting. Feel free to correct where I am wrong.

Begining stage: My 95 SL1 would do the reverse slam only when the tranny was at full operating temperature, and only when shifting from drive into reverse. A brief pause in neutral would usually prevent the slam. All other shifting was fine. The wolfman cure, faithfully followed 2 times, did not work. The reason this happens is there is a design defect in the upper valve body, presumably of all S series automatics. The pressure regulator wears out its bore and when the fluid warms up it will flow easily around the regulator piston, causing improper control pressure leading to slam. The lasting cure is to "Sonnax Sleeve" the regulator bore. The sleeve is not prone to wear like the aluminum valve body. Since down time was an issue, I went with a remanufactured valve body for $300, about $100 more than I could do it for. Saturn wanted almost $600 for a factory reman. I highly recommend you re-torque ALL bolts according to factory specs. The operation took 2 hrs and solved the problem for me.

Middle stage: Repeated slamming into reverse WILL cause the input shaft nut to back off. You will know this has happened when you must rev your engine to get into revese at all. The check engine light may come on. Because you have waited too long to take care of this, you now will have to remove the end cover to re-torque this nut. This procedure is not for the uninitiated and at this point you may want to get out the checkbook and let the specialist do it.

End stage: You now have no reverse at all. The check engine light is on. Forward gears, especially second as it shares its clutch with reverse, are not working right. You have let it go on so long that the second clutch is worn out and/or broken. You have also stressed the hard parts and your CV joints. Good work. You now need a total rebuild.

One last point of interest: The OEM tranny filter I took off the '95 says "Manuf'd for Saturn Corp by Fram". I cut it open and found Fram's trademark cardboard end caps. This is crap and not acceptable to me, especially from Saturn. The one I bought from Napa has steel end caps on the filter element and I think is made by Wix. It cost $2 more than the Satty filter and was well worth it. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Thanks for the info lewdwig, but my problem isn't going INTO reverse, but rather when you shift OUT of reverse. Wondering if this is the same situation??? I want to make SURE of this situation before I do anything else.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hidalgo View Post
Thanks for the info lewdwig, but my problem isn't going INTO reverse, but rather when you shift OUT of reverse.
And go which way? To Park or Neutral? Or does it not matter
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Pickup this thread at #17
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=150383

I would plan on changing the fluid a couple more times and hope you get the munge out of the clutch packs.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:55 AM   #18
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnsctwo View Post
black fluid isn't a good sign, it usually means burnt clutch plates. does it smell burnt?
yeah, I also thought changing the black fluid would just cause more problems down the road (slippage, etc)..
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

If it is original fluid it will be black but not burnt. Your oil is black and its not burnt. An oil will look black if it has any appreciable particulate in it and even with a filter you eventually end up with enough fine particles to make it look black. The issue here is the odd deposit in the clutch packs that is causing problems as the junk will collect in places like that. new fluid will act as a solvent and get it out with several changes.
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:04 AM   #20
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Default Re: Just did the trans fluid .... EEEEEEEKKK !!!

Normally it is only the band on drum design of automatics that do a good job of burning fluid. The clutch pack design just quits working.
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