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Saturn transmissions & drivetrains repair questions and answers

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  • Tony
    Tony - 2001 Saturn LW300 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 11/25/2011
    Transmission is OK when cold, shudders when hot.
    The automatic transmission fluid is full and looks OK. I don't know about the state of the filter. When the engine is cold, it runs fine. Once the engine is hot, the car "jerks" when changing gear. Especially when in the low gears. The "service engine" light ...
    • Spoon Sports
      11/25/2011 Spoon Sports
      Usually that's torque converter clutch shudder. New MERCON V fluid or the equivalent for your car often will fix it. If it doesn't you need to replace the torque converter to fix it.

      Service engine is lighted up huh. CEL is different from Service Engine by the way, Service is more of like preventive maintenance, CEL means something is wrong.
    • HouseCallAuto
      11/25/2011 HouseCallAuto
      Read the codes and post the code here. Update the same post. How can you know for sure that the transmission is the cause of the jerking? Maybe the engine has a misfire.
  • ignacio becerra
    ignacio becerra - 1997 Saturn SC1 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 11/11/2011
    Where do i find the neutral switch on a saturn 1997
    • chinasinoy
      11/11/2011 chinasinoy
      it should be on the passenger's side of the transmission
  • Sidney
    Sidney - 2006 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 11/7/2011
    Hard to shift manual transmisson first thing in morning.
    After warmed up its fine.
    • Spoon Sports
      11/7/2011 Spoon Sports
      If it's a manual it's possible you are getting close to needing a clutch. Or it can be that oil is cold and thick due to ambient temperature as transmission heats up oil thins out
  • kenneth
    • HouseCallAuto
      10/28/2011 HouseCallAuto
      At the very least you have to try to bleed the air from the slave cylinder. worst case is replace the clutch master and slave cylinder and bleed it. Your clutch pedal is not completely disengaging the rotating ass'y when you are driving but when the car is off these parts are not rotating, that is why it shifts with the car off.
  • Deborah Stachowski
    Deborah Stachowski - 2001 Saturn SL1 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 10/16/2011
    Only when driving in rain and water is getting in underneath the car begins to make a loud rumble and grinding noice.
    85,000miles While driving in rain only. I notice it after a fuel censor was put in when they go an evape diagnoises. Took out gas tank an line. Yes check engine light was on then. No warning lights. This started after they tookthe bottom of my car apart. Water is ...
    • Bill
      10/16/2011 Bill
      I would guess it is getting in where the front bottom engine shroud is supposed to be and water is hitting the fan blades
      10/17/2011 Deborah Stachowski
      Thank you for your answer. I think you just might be right because it sounds like it is right in that place. Thank you, now I have something I can tell my mechanic.
  • simon
    simon - 1996 Saturn SL - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 10/12/2011
    Need to know how do i bleead a clutch slave ciylinder
    my clutch has no pressure because i dont know how to bleead the clutch slave cylinder
    • Spoon Sports
      10/12/2011 Spoon Sports
      Slide the box end wrench over the top of the bleeder valve on the clutch slave cylinder. The slave cylinder on many Saturn vehicles will be on the passenger side down by the wheel well, although the exact location will vary according to the model. The bleeder valve is a small screw with a hole in the top of it.

      Place the tubing over the top of the valve opening. Make sure it fits snug and won't come off.

      Place the other end of the tubing into the catch pan or glass jar.

      Have an assistant pump the clutch several times and then hold the clutch pedal to the floor.

      Open the bleeder valve by turning the screw counterclockwise. You will notice some fluid and air bubbles coming out of the valve. This is normal.

      Close the valve by turning the screw clockwise.

      Tell the assistant to let their foot off the clutch pedal.

      Repeat steps 4 through 7 until all of the air is out of the lines (no more air bubbles coming through the plastic tubing). Periodically, check the fluid levels in the clutch master cylinder on the firewall. The cap on the cylinder should be marked as clutch fluid. Make sure that the fluid levels do not drop below the lower mark on the reservoir tank.
  • Gary G
    Gary G - 1998 Saturn SL1 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 10/10/2011
    What transmission line goes where?
    which line from the radiator goes to what port on the transmission.
    0 answer
  • pat
    pat - 2006 Saturn Vue - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/28/2011
    What could cause my vue to be extremely loud when i am driving it?
    approximately 41000 miles,i first noticed it about a month sounds loud under the hood while i am driving. no warning lights are on
    0 answer
  • Dewey
    Dewey - 2001 Saturn LW200 - Transmissions & Drivetrains - 9/21/2011
    163,000 miles! When accelerating, tac reaches 3,000 RPM's but will not shift gears until I let up on the gas pedal.
    Motor runs fine-just changed plugs. No engine lights are on and this happens when the car is cold and seems to let up after it heats up (the problem still dosen't go away, though).
    0 answer
  • 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
    • 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.
      8/25/2011 budley
      thanks I will get it checked