1997 Saturn SC2 Automatic Transmission problem

Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 SATURN SC2
  • 124,000 MILES
I just purchased a 1997 Saturn SC2. My mechanic buddy and I just did a head gasket, transmission temperature sensor, new computer (well, a used one but new to me) new headbolts, water pump, and new belt. Car starts right up, and drives fine. Unless I come to a stop for more than about 10 seconds. When I try to take off, it feels like the car is trying to take off in 4th gear. It bogs down, but if I push the accelerator to the floor it downshifts into the lower gears. It doesnt feel like the tranny is slipping, it almost feels like a problem with the computer (maybe it isnt telling the tranny to downshift when I am coming to a stop?). Any suggestions?
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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 AT 1:05 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Why did you replace the computer they rarely fail on those cars?Are there any codes?Also what year model etc did you get the computer from?
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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 AT 4:23 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
The mechanic that I took it to told me the computer was bad (before I did any work on the car, I took it to a mechanic initially). He got the computer from the same year/make/model car as mine.
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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 AT 5:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds like the car is taking off in second gear which it does when the transmission is in default mode when there is a problem. Do you have any codes in the computer?
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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 AT 5:42 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
I havent plugged my tool into the car yet so I dont know (I think thats what you meant by that. Working on cars is pretty new to me). What do you suggest I do?
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Thursday, July 18th, 2013 AT 2:07 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I would see if there are any codes not sure if a basic code reader can read transmission codes. Also do you have a delay or delay bang into reverese?
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Thursday, July 18th, 2013 AT 2:23 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
Now that you mention it, yes I do. It bangs into reverse. Sometimes with a slight delay. I figure I will probably have to at least take it to AAMCO to figure out how to fix it (I know nothing about transmissions). I just hope I dont have to get a new tranny.
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Sunday, July 21st, 2013 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
The funny thing is, when I bought the car it wasnt doing that. It wasnt until AFTER we plugged everything back in, put the car back together and started driving it again once we did the head gasket. Could I have reset the computer or something?
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Sunday, July 21st, 2013 AT 8:38 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
A delay bang into reverse is usually a low pressure issue in the transmission line pressure or a loose input shaft nut. Both are fixable without transmission removal. They like to just say let's rebuild it or put a used transmission in rather than repair it. So please talk to me before doing any repairs also if you find codes which ones.
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Monday, July 22nd, 2013 AT 12:06 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
Okay, Ill see if I can get my friend to see if we can find any codes. Would the problem with taking off in high gears be a side effect of the problems you just mentioned?
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Monday, July 22nd, 2013 AT 2:22 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
If the transmission see a problem slipping gears etc it will go into limp mode taking off in second gear to help protect the transmission?
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Monday, July 22nd, 2013 AT 5:27 PM
Tiny
JEED316
  • MEMBER
Ok, sorry for the delay but I finally was able to hook the computer up to my car. No codes, save for one telling me I have a weak battery. Heres another thing. The more I drive the car the less it does this. When I first started driving the car it took off in 2nd gear all of the time. I just drove it all day the other day and the car only did it about 2 or 3 times. And when we had the computer plugged in we looked up what the transmission module was doing when that happened. It said the car was in reverse when I had the car in drive. But that only happened once. My friend says I probably need to replace the transmission module, and that actually my weak battery could have something to do with it. But other than that no codes.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 4:52 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
As far as the reads reverse on the scan tool when your in drive that would be more likely a bad selector switch not a transmission module which is part of the computer you already changed. Also I have seen selector switches go back and not set codes and cause the transmission to act crazy.
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Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 AT 5:55 PM

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