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Saturn transmissions & drivetrains repair questions and answers

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  • Bill
    Bill - 2004 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/15/2011
    Can I use an addative in the Honda transmission in this car to smooth out shifts a low rpm?
     
    • Spoon Sports
      9/15/2011 Spoon Sports
      Aftermarket products like transmission seal conditioner/stop leak can cause you thousands of dollars more in repair costs than you really needed to pay, if you had fixed the true problem first.

      The manufacturers of these kinds of additives are often correct in what they advertise the products they sell will accomplish for you, but are extremely misleading in how they do it. For example, if you have an old clunker that keeps dumping fluid from an old dry or worn seal, pumping a bottle of stop leak in may temporarily solve the problem but the long term effects can be disastrous if you use it in a vehicle you plan to keep around for a while.

      Here's what happens. The additive is absorbed into the o-rings and seals which then causes them to soften and expand. Good deal right? Expansion means a slighter tolerance between the seal and the components it was intended to seal right? Not always. What works for a short time actually becomes a bigger problem once the additive has had time to sufficiently penetrate the seal material. A high number of transmissions treated in this way will leak FAR MORE than they did before, after the seal has overly softened, in essence turning to jelly and falling apart. Another problem is that the seal swells so much that the moving part it was intended to protect will literally render it useless by ripping the softened seals to shreds due to the reduction of tolerance between the two parts. Imagine lightly placing your finger against a turning fan belt. No big deal right? There is light contact, some transmitted vibration and it really doesn't hurt your finger. Now try grasping the belt tightly in your hand or pressing your finger firmly against it. Different story isn't it? Now you see the difference in the reduction of tolerance between a seal and a moving part.

      Even if the seal is retaining fluid between two non-moving parts,(Which is far less common)the additives in stop leaks and conditioners will eventually just eat the seal up by turning it to jelly until the seal has dissolved to the point where it can no longer withstand the heat and pressure contained in an automatic transmission. In either case what you end up with is a seal that used to work at 80% now works at 20% or less and you have a much more serious leak than you started with.

      Another factor is the automatic clutch packs inside the transmission. Many of these additives will attack the friction material that is adhered to the steel discs that make up the clutch packs inside your planetary gear sets. Even using the wrong automatic fluid can ruin a clutch disc so imagine what a penetrating petroleum solvent can do. I've seen transmissions that have been treated with an additive end up completely without forward or reverse gears due to all of the friction material on the clutch packs being weakened to the point where they can no longer withstand the pressure and heat they must endure even during mild driving conditions. Some transmissions I've disassembled have been completely stripped of friction material and ended up clean and polished when they should look more similar to a sanding disc.(To use a commonly known comparison. In reality they don't look like a sanding disc but you get the gist of the comparison.)

      In many cases the additive doesn't fix anything at all because the problem wasn't really the fault of a seal to start with. Often the true cause of your transmissions fluid loss is a worn driveshaft end, torque converter neck or worn case bushings in the front or rear of the transmission. In all cases it's much cheaper to have a qualified technician replace a faulty end bushing/seal or other damaged part in the beginning than to end up having the entire transmission overhauled because all your interior seals, o-rings and clutch discs (At least all of them that aren't made of plastic or metal)have turned to goo. What might cost you $100.00 to $300.00 now will certainly cost you hundreds, if not thousands more later. For most people their vehicle is the second biggest investment they will make in their lifetimes, don't take chances with it. Fix it right and it will thank you with relatively trouble free operation if you do.
  • jbcorix
    jbcorix - 2003 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/13/2011
    CENTER DRIVESHAFT BARRING (AWD) IS THAT PRESS ON OR DO I NEED TO TAKE AWAY
     
    • RC
      9/13/2011 RC
      It's a press on
  • Alice Domzalski
    Alice Domzalski - 1997 Saturn SL2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/13/2011
    Lost transmission fluid and use of the transmission.Has 82,000 miles in fair condition.
    Is it worth being repaired?
     
    • Jimm
      9/13/2011 Jimm
      It depends, compare the cost of the rebuild or replacement transmission for your vehicle, along with the overall condition. Then, compare the cost of a new or used vehicle - and add in the maintenance items and cost of repairs on another vehicle. You are the best judge of whether to repair or replace the vehicle.
  • Jon
    Jon - 2004 Saturn Ion-1 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/6/2011
    Is there a beraring where the transaxial enters the transmission housing?
    I have a 2004 saturn Ion and there is a grinding noise when I go slow where the transaxial enters the transmission. Is there a bearing there that could be bad.
     
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      The transaxle has bearings inside but i doubt that the noise comes from the transaxle itself. It could be coming from a defective wheel bearing which is more noticeable when the vehicle is moving slowly.
  • CourtneyRae
    CourtneyRae - 1999 Saturn SL2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 8/25/2011
    What could be wrong if my gears 2 and 3 ratio are incorrect???
     
    0 answer
  • budley
    budley - 1993 Saturn SL - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 8/25/2011
    When quickly shfited to reverse, an occasional loud clank as it shifts
     
    • Bill
      8/25/2011 Bill
      On this year I might suspect a worn transmission mount.
      Bill
      8/25/2011 budley
      thanks I will get it checked
  • Kurt
    Kurt - 1995 Saturn SC2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 8/18/2011
    Gearshift is loose and moves in any direction.
    The vehical is stuck in one gear (I believe 3rd). Gearshift will not change gears to any other gear. I can drive the vehical in this one gear, there is no grinding noise or anything. Is there a gearshift cable that could have broke? What do you think is the ...
     
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      Yes you could be right with your suspicion. The gear shift linkage may be out and dislocated. Get a mechanic to check this.
  • keithp
     
    • Nissan Technical Advisor
      Check suspensions. Could be shock and strut failure. Shocks are created with hydraulic dampening valves much like struts and can fail causing a clunking or popping noise. If shock oil is leaking the shaft seal has failed and will cause a rattle or clunking noise. To test for this condition inspect shock assembly and check for leakage, if shock is easily moved (low resistance) replacement is needed.
  • gaby
    gaby - 1998 Saturn SC2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 8/12/2011
    Have problems with the shifter get sock , have change shifter bushing and still get stock
     
    0 answer
  • Teeb
    Teeb - 2005 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 8/9/2011
    Vibrating noise in front end when gas applied at low speed. 20 mph range.
    Sympton happens when vehicle warm while driving. (crawling along in traffic congestion) most times. In slow moving traffic. front end of car, starting from transmission console to front of car.
     
    • yboy82
      8/9/2011 yboy82
      Did you already check out the TSB below?

      2005 Saturn Vue Power Train Service Bulletin 162799
      NHTSA: Action Number: 10019424 Service Bulletin Number: 162799

      Report Date:
      Feb 09, 2006Component:
      Power Train

      Summary: Torque converter shudder. *tt
    • yboy82
      8/9/2011 yboy82
      2005 Saturn Vue Power Train Service Bulletin 288015
      NHTSA: Action Number: 10004486 Service Bulletin Number: 288015

      Report Date:
      Oct 01, 2004Component:
      Power Train

      Summary: Low speed coast grinding noise and/or hesitation at vehicle launch - technical service bulletin. *tt to include 2005 saturn vue. *eh
  • gaby
    gaby - 1998 Saturn SC2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 7/26/2011
    Manual transmition shifter is loose
     
    0 answer
  • monique
    monique - 2003 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 7/17/2011
    car wont shift to 3rd gear
    i just had the clutch and slave cyclinder replaced and now teh car wont shift to third gear,what should i do?
     
    0 answer
  • fundwayne
    fundwayne - 2000 Saturn LS2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 7/14/2011
    How do i check the transmission fluid
  • yoop
    yoop - 1996 Saturn SC2 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 7/9/2011
    I need to disconnect the traction control to get emissions done.
    I remember unplugging something under the hood a few years ago for the testing last time, I just don't remember what I did. The switch by the radio is broken.
     
    0 answer