Acceleration issue

Tiny
JMFRITZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 SATURN SL1
  • 180,000 MILES
I drive a 1999 Saturn SL1 (automatic). It drove fine for about a year after I bought it, although the radiator did need to be replaced when it suddenly blew. We had that done, and it continued to drive fine.

After awhile, it would "slip" or "double-tap" when I accelerated quickly, such as when entering the highway. We took it to a shop for a diagnostic, and the mechanic put some anti-slip fluid in the tank (free of charge). The slipping stopped for several months.

Then one day, I stopped at a stop sign, and when I went to proceed, I realized I was barely accelerating even though the gas pedal was floored at this point. I could hear the engine revving, and the RPM gauge went nearly into the red. I quickly stopped and turned the car off, then restarted it, and the problem stopped, for a bit. On the way home, it started to do the same thing, but corrected itself.

I've had oil changes done regularly, and the fluids all seem fine. The check engine light is not on, however, it was on not long after the radiator replacement, and we cleared it because the mechanics told us that it was just "stuck" on. I cannot remember the exact numbers, but I remember that they were listed as "Incorrect Gear Ratio" ( for second and third gears).

I've only driven it a couple more times, and the issue has only happened once more. I was entering the highway and it simply would not accelerate or shift, even after stopping, shutting down, and restarting. Not wanting to exacerbate the issue, I got it home, parked it, and have not driven it since. It always starts up fine.

What could be causing this, and how to I go about testing possibilities?
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 1:16 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
JMFRITZ
  • MEMBER
**ALSO I forgot to mention that the car DOES occasionally pause then bang hard into reverse - which I've heard is a common issue.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 1:28 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You have a transmission issue. I have no idea what anti slip fluid is or what tank you mean, the fuel tank or is this something he added to the transmission. Also, overheating shouldn't set a trans code (incorrect gear ratio codes). Make sure the trans fluid is clean and full to start. Then I would recommend having the computer scanned to see if there are any codes related to the transmission. That is where your problem is coming from.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 2:08 AM
Tiny
JMFRITZ
  • MEMBER
I meant that it was added to the transmission! Sorry! I looked in the trunk since we were given an extra bottle. It's called "TransMedic" - it's supposed to stop slippage, according to the bottle.

The car shows NO CODES AT ALL now. The check engine light was on before we replaced the radiator, and stayed on afterward, at which point the mechanics claimed it was "just stuck on". I knew I should have written the codes down! When we cleared it, it definitely showed incorrect gear ratios for second and third gear, but nothing else.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 2:19 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It sounds like an internal transmission problem. The trans medic may have helped the clutches for some time, but may be done now.
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 3:14 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Just to add to this first and for most never ever add anything like that to the transmission. Also take it to auto zone and have it scanned for codes. Post the exact code numbers not code descriptions. From your delay bang into reverse that tells me the pressure is too low inside your transmission. Because reverse requires full line pressure and when you get a delay bang pressure is too low. From pressure being too low it can cause no gear codes slipping etc. Sounds like you need a new person to work on your car if he pours in a can to correct a pressure issue. To diagnose this yourself you will need tools for valve body removal air compressor with rubbwr tipped nozzle. Also a transmission pressure tester gauge set. Do you have these or plan to buy them to do this yourself?
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 AT 3:50 AM

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