2004 Saturn L300 Possible Transmission Problem

Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 SATURN L300
  • 64,000 MILES
Hello, I recently started having problems with my 2004 Saturn L300. I think it must be the transmission because I notice the problem when I am on the highway and when the car is shifting from 3rd to 4th gear, The car seems to get stuck in the shifting process and shudders a great deal. If I'm traveling at the speed where it downshifts/upshifts frequently between these gears, the problem is even more noticeable. This is also noticeable on normal road driving (not only highway driving) but on a lesser basis. I just had the trans fluid changed last week (at 64000 miles) hoping that would help but it seems even worse now. Could this be something other than the trans, like a clogged catalytic converter perhaps? Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 4:54 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Have you checked the computer for codes yet?If you have a clogged convertor on those cars what I have seen is the wont shift until you let up on the gas a little.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 7:02 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
Thank you for the response. I have not had the computer codes checked yet since there hasn't been any warning lights showing on the dash at all. The last time I took the car in to check codes, I was told that if no warning lights were activated then there would not be any codes registered for the computer to obtain. Is that true?
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
There is still codes that set that don't trigger the light. Do you ever have a hard shift when shifting gears?Then turning it off and then back on again it shifts fine?
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 7:50 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
No, I have never experienced that issue which you described. The car shifts ok going through first, second and third gears but seems to have the shuddering hesitation problem going into fourth gear. Should I take it to one of those auto parts stores that do the free code checks to see what they come up with?
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
You can try them but some of the codes stored are deeper in the system and diyer scan tools can't read them.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 8:53 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
Ok. Thank you again for your reply. I guess I would be better off just taking the car to a GM dealer so they can look for the correct codes. I certainly hope I don't need a new transmission. I appreciate your comments.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 9:04 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Most of the repairs on those transmissions I have done were in car repairs.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 9:08 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
I'm sorry, I didn't get the meaning of your last post. Did you mean they were in car repair shops?
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 9:23 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
In car repairs meaning the transmission was repaired without removing it from the car or replacing it.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
Hello again, I have a follow-up question for you. I took my 04 Saturn L300 to a Multistate Transmission repair facility today for an estimate and they said they would first try to replace a solenoid for $650 to see if that fixes the problem but if it doesn't, then they said they would have to rebuild the trans for another $2,000 which they say will guarantee to fix the problem. If I spend the $650 for the solenoid and then still have to spend another $2,000 for a rebuild, then I will be out $2,650. In your opinion, should I gamble with the solenoid repair or just pay the $2,000 up front to rebuild the trans? The car only has 64k miles on it so I don't know why the trans would need a full rebuild. When I had the fluid changed last week, there were no signs of metal shavings or debris in the pan. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 12:51 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Did they find any codes?If so what are the exact code numbers they found?I need all the details? Also which solenoid?Why Are they suggesting to replace it?
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 1:04 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
I don't think they even checked for any codes because they asked if any of the service lights came on and I sad no, then they said they will just road test it then (not sure why they couldn't check in on the computer either way). They said it might be the "shift solenoid" inside the trans that affects 3rd and 4th gears, possibly something to do with the clutch. I don't have a great deal of confidence in them at this point.
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 1:14 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I don't ether because the first thing I always do is check for codes.I have never replaced a 3-4 solenoid on those cars.I have replaced a lot of line pressure solenoids and a few tcc solenoids also a few valve bodies. The min thing on those is check for codes check the fluid pressure in the transmission also check the pressures at different commanded pressures with a scan tool. To rule out valve body etc.
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 2:08 PM
Tiny
JEFFR
  • MEMBER
Ok thank you again. I agree with what you're saying so I am just going to bring the car into an official GM dealer tomorrow and pay for the diagnostics because I trust them more to determine the problem correctly and hopefully fix it correctly too. I appreciate your help.
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 2:16 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your welcome keep me posted doesn't make sense to spend 600 on a hunch.
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Monday, September 16th, 2013 AT 2:31 PM

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