2001 Saturn SL2 Transmission

Tiny
LUIES01
  • 2001 SATURN SL2
  • 1.9L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 180 MILES

Started as "reverse slam" I would put it in reverse and about 5 seconds later BAM. Into gear. If I held the brake and E-brake it would "sink" into gear. In drive, problem started sliding into overdrive then one day I came to a stop sign and when I tried to go nothing but rev. Revved again and slowly started moving, gradually got up to 40 and worked just find after that. No problems. Going up hill and thru 3 stoplights, 2 stop signs and 3 stores later(20 miles or so) Again I came to a stop and the same thing happened. Up to 40 mph and back home. Next morning backed it out, put in drive 2k rpm and barely moving. Put in park and shut off. 5 minutes later start up, put in drive and works fine. Codes for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Must be valve body?

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 3:14 PM

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Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
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I'm sorry if this is a dumb question but, have you checked the transmission fluid level lately?

If okay, drain the fluid to check for metal, the transmission may have had an internal pump failure which would cause the problem you are describing, We have a Saturn guy here, I will forward this questions to him for a second opinion.

Best, Ken

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
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It for sure sounds like a pressure issue the pumps rarely fail on those cars and I mean rarely. I have never seen a pressure issue caused by a worn and sticking pressure regulator cause no forward gear. The reverse yes because it uses full line pressure to engage reverse. But the forward gears use alot less pressure. But the 2nd 3rd and 4th gear incorrect ratio with that many forward gear codes sounds like a pressure issue. Could be a pressure regulator line pressure actuator transmission connector to the valve body you also have a loose input shaft nut but those usually only effects reverse. The first thing I would do is perform a pressure test. The gauge set is under a 100 for a nice set like I have about 70.

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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So there is no way It's the valve body? From what I can tell nothing burned, all terminals good and reading between 4 and 6 for solenoids. Trans fluid is clean and clear and properly filled. Under hood fuse good (unless there is one inside the car). Will the pressure guage I have work? Its for engine oil pressure cost about 30 dollars. If The pressure is good is there anything else I can check besides the input shaft?

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015 AT 7:50 PM
Tiny
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I never said it cant be the valve body I just said I have never seen one cause you too loose the forward gears.A oil pressure gauge wont work the pressures in the transmission go over 200 psi the set I have has two pressure gauges a oil gauge and transmission gauge plus the adapter to hook up to your transmission. I dont trust solenoid ohm tests there not always accurate your ohm meter puts a very small current into the solenoid. There is something I would check on the back side of your inside fuse box there will be a gray 68way connector. Unbolt it its a 7mm bolt then pull it over to you so you can see the terminals that touch the fuse box. You will see a big fat red wire going into terminal f5 that feeds power to all the transmission actuators. That terminal can become open over time causing intermittent power to the actuators. You will be able to see the difference if its open compared to the other terminals. Post a picture of the terminals for me if you need help figuring it out. Also like I said before one of the first things I would do is perform a pressure test on the transmission. You can also tell if the line pressure control actuator is working with test. Plus what the line pressure is in drive reverse etc. Also if there is a delay in the pressure getting to the reverse gear. Indicating possible a loose input shaft nut or just low line pressure. Also there is air checking the clutch pack pistons to see if they hold air to make sure there not leaking.I do that when I remove the valve body usually if iam dealing with a pressure regulator issue in the valve body. I actually rebuilt my valve body with the sonnax sure cure kit.I bored the pressure regulator bore and put in there sleeve installed the sonnax pressure regulator a sonnax regulator spring and sonnax boost valve. It fixes a couple of issues the valve body causes it takes a special kit from sonnax to bore it to get the sleeve in.I got a used install kit on ebay years ago. My 1999 shifts better then new now then a year after doing the valve body repair my input shaft nut loosened up lol.I have 268,000 miles on my transmission now. Let me get you the part number of my otc transmission gauge set.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 8:17 AM
Tiny
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Its otc 5610 its 57 on amazon right now I really like it someone got it for me as a birthday gift a few years ago.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 8:19 AM
Tiny
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Also when you set transmission codes like that the transmission can go into limp mode and the transmission will take off in 2nd gear and wont shift out of 2nd. It will take a lot of throttle to take off and wont go that fast. Also 2nd gear and reverse share a clutch pack reverse doesn't have its own clutch pack.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 8:26 AM
Tiny
LUIES01
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OK. That's why it would take off so slow. I will check the terminal and the pressure as soon as I can and get back to you. It may take a few days to get the pressure guage unless I find one around locally that's moderately priced. I hope that is ok. I need to keep cost down especially if I will end up needing a rebuild. Thanxalot. I will post as soon as I know.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 10:52 AM
Tiny
LUIES01
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IS it a major deal to replace the pump if it is pressure issue?

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 10:53 AM
Tiny
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Again its very rare for a pump to fail and the pump would require removing the transmission and splitting the transmission case and replacing the pump. The is really basic like the only pump for your engine on that car. Its two gears spinning one inside the other making fluid pressure. The pressure regulator bore in the valve body is the weak point for line pressure issues on that car. Which is a in car repair let me know when you get the gauge and I will tell you further instructions and I want you to do.

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Sunday, February 15th, 2015 AT 2:05 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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Hello again. Ok, I was able to get a gage but I need to know what size or type of brass adapter I need. The one I was able to get does not come with any. Does it connect via the sensor right next to the filter?

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 AT 6:07 PM
Tiny
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Yes the temp sensor by the filter is where you hook up the pressure gauge.I think the sensor is 1 8" pipe thread but dont quote me on that one lol. My pressure gauge set came with the correct adapter.

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
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Ment to say 1/8" pipe thread.

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Saturday, February 21st, 2015 AT 7:33 AM
Tiny
LUIES01
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Yes. Unfortunately I can find everything but.I had to order another one to be delivered by the 26th I hope. When I get it could you tell me what exactly I have to do so I can post the results as soon as I can?

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 AT 1:31 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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Correction. Could you tell me what I have to do so that "when" I get the tester I can post the results as soon as I can.

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 AT 1:34 PM
Tiny
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Alright remove the transmission temp sensor then hook up the pressure gauge. Start the engine let it get up to operating temp. Then need pressure readings at idle in park. Then idle in park with the trs lp fuse pulled in the underhood fuse box. Your fuse might say line pressure then put the fuse back in if the pressure doesnt go back down cycle the key. When you pull the fuse if the pressure is under 175psi then rev it up to about 2000 rpms or so and see what it reads. Then I need readings at idle in reverse let me know if the pressure goes up rapidly or it lags a little going to its highest reading. Also at idle in drive I need readings. Did you order the gauge set like mine?

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 AT 3:23 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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I think so. Its a dual guage set for oil and trans in a case with all the fittings for about 90 bucks. (I hope its the valve body). As soon as I get it I will post the findings. By the way, When you say "cycle the key" what do you mean. Just want to make sure we are on the same page

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 AT 3:31 PM
Tiny
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I meam shut it off and restart it the gauge I suggested was only 57 on amazon the same set I have I posted the set number it was otc number 5610.I love my set and have checked plenty of transmissions.

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 AT 3:35 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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OK. Sorry it took so long, stress makes you stupid sometimes. So.
Warmed up in park the pressure is 60, remove the fuse and it shoots up to 250 put the fuse back in and pressure dropped to about 60 again. I put it in reverse and it lags a moment and then goes to between 2-250 (fluctuating rapidly in between, the flywheel grinding type noise gets louder and coincides with the pressure fluctuation) When I take it out of reverse the pressure drops and noise goes away) When I put it in drive the pressure stays at 60 lags a little and goes to 90 as it goes into gear. Each pressure change coincides with going into gear and both reverse and drive lag.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 3:25 PM
Tiny
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The pump is good thats for sure I wish you had the scan you could do a step pressure test where the computer commands different pressures from high to low. You compare actual pressure verus commanded pressure.I have seen the pressure at idle with the fuse in and out be good like yours. But the pressure regulator bore be worn and causing issues.A loose input shaft nut will cause the delay bang but to loose the forward gears have never seen that when you had to rev it up high to take off it could have been in fail safe mode and it will take off in second and stay in second if it has issues with the forward gears. What troubles me is noise you hear in reverse can you have someone in the car holding the brake in reverse. While you listen where you hear it? That could be something coming apart inside the transmission. I have also seen input shaft nuts loosen bad enough where the first gear clutch pack scrapes on the end cover.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 4:44 PM
Tiny
LUIES01
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As far as we can tell it seems to be coming from underneath the battery over the valve body. The noise is loudest in reverse.

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Sunday, March 1st, 2015 AT 5:56 PM

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