1995 Saturn SL2 transmission shifting problem

Tiny
LAINIEGIRL
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 SATURN SL2
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 245,000 MILES
Hi! I have an amazing 1995 Saturn SL-2 I love lthis car- but I have a problem- when I start driving everything works okay- then at some point the check engine light comes on and at that point I feel a sluggish sensation in the velocity and the transmission slips out of gear or has trouble upshifting to the next. If I pull over, turn off the engine and restart it, the car works okay again until the light comes back on and the problem returns. I suspect an electrical/ sensor related problem but don't know which one it could be. I want to fix this but don't know where the problem is. I'm not sure if this is related, but lately my coolant/ transaxle fluid (either means low coolant or too hot transaxle) light has been coming on as well- at first there was no coolant leaking and the light would come on every couple of days. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 10:29 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
So do you have low coolant?What codes do you have in your computer?Let me know.
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Saturday, May 29th, 2010 AT 10:35 PM
Tiny
LAINIEGIRL
  • MEMBER
The coolant issue started a little after the transmission shifting problem. The light would come on every couple of days even if the coolant wasn't low. Now as time has passed there actually is some sort of dripping right under the reservoir, which I think has to do with the engine getting very hot due to the trans. Not shifting up as it should. I think I am losing coolant for that reason, but in the beginning I was getting this light on with no obvious loss of coolant. At first, Checking the coolant, it would not even be low. I thought perhaps it was a degraded mixture as the coolant also looked muddy and gross as well. I had one guy who said I was getting a "no third gear" code, a few months ago someone said it was a sensor, but he told my mech. Not me and the mech. Never fixed it. Now I can't get that code to come up again. I have a strong feeling that this is an electrical issue as the car works so well at night after driving awhile, and horribly in the a.M. When the eng. Is cold. Turning off the car and restarting always makes a difference too- clearing the computer I guess until the problem presents itself again.
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010 AT 5:24 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Your transmission is not heating up your coolant it doesn't work that way. If your transmission fluid was getting really hot the fluid would be coming out of your dipstick/filler tube have seen it happen. You probably have a coolant leak or a bad coolant cap or possibly your car is running too hot. Now for your transmission concern a code 23 which is no third gear is usually caused be incorrect fluid pressure in the transmission or a leaking 3rd gear pistion not a sensor. So tell me this what codes do you have right now you should have some from the way your saying your transmission is acting. Let me know.
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Sunday, May 30th, 2010 AT 8:47 PM
Tiny
LAINIEGIRL
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the info! So, I noticed you mentioned fluid pressure- what would cause the incorrect fluid pressure if the fluid level is okay? I got hooked up to a computer twice recently- once it said 23 No 3rd gear, and the next time another mechanic said it was these 4 items: Torque Converter, Band Adjustment, Shift Shaft, and Solenoid Circuit. He didn't write down the actual code numbers. So, does this sound like a recently rebuilt transmission, or did I just get taken for a ride? (It will be the last ride my much beloved Saturn will ever take- I can't afford to fix her anymore)
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Friday, June 4th, 2010 AT 10:08 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Let's do this before we start putting parts in the car. On the on Do this for me so I can answer your question's on the drivers side
bottom of the dash there's the obd1 connector where you would put a code reader on. Look at the top row of it far right side there's two pins side by side. Turn the key to the run postion don't start it and jump those two pins together and leave it that way. Watch the service engine soon light flash. You will see it flash once then two faster flash's. That's a code 12 that means the computer is good it will do this 3 times if it repeats the code 12 after the 3 times you don't have any codes. But watch the light for example if u see 3 quick flash's then 2 quick one's that would be a code 32 it would repeat 3 times then go to the next code when it gets back to code 12 then the code's are done. Let me know what you find and we will go from there.
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Saturday, June 5th, 2010 AT 8:11 AM
Tiny
JAMES CRIDER
  • MEMBER
Keep getting the 12 it only happens when it gets hot it won't shift into drive I do have a small leak in radiator but I keep water level up
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 5:44 PM
Tiny
JAMES CRIDER
  • MEMBER
I have 187000 have small radiator leak I keep fluid level up ill be driving and it shifts out of drive and revs high in 3rd and won't shift back into drive got to pull over then start it shifts fine a few miles down the road it does the same
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Saturday, April 8th, 2017 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
It sounds like you have a shift solenoid that is sticking, I would service the transmission first to see if that helps.

Here is a guide to get you started.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-service-an-automatic-transmission

Please let us know what happens.

Best, Ken

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Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 AT 10:18 AM

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