1998 SL2 Automatic Transmission Problem

Discussion in 'Saturn S-series' started by Erick Carpenter, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Got a bit of weirdness going on.

    The transmission has always been a bit slow when kicking into reverse.
    If the car has just been started or has been idling for a bit it'll take
    a quick second to kick in, but not a delay I would call out of the
    ordinary for changing gears.

    After it has been running for awhile (an hour or more) it seems to take
    several seconds to get into reverse. It's longer than I would typically
    expect it to take, but has yet to not pop into reverse and work.

    Any ideas?


    Erick Carpenter, Sep 8, 2004
  2. Erick Carpenter

    Blah Blah Guest

    I would start by checking the fluid level. Not sure if you ever changed
    the fluid or filter. Most likely its the valve body thats wearing out.

    Heres a good place to get started


    Its been discussed many times. If you have any more questions let us
    Blah Blah, Sep 8, 2004
  3. Since valve body appears to be a fairly common problem and the few
    experiences I've had are much like those described is there any way to
    go about wrenching Saturn into paying for it?

    Any advice?

    Erick Carpenter, Sep 8, 2004
  4. Erick Carpenter

    Blah Blah Guest

    Blah Blah, Sep 8, 2004
  5. Erick Carpenter

    Blah Blah Guest

    Actually now that I look at that link it doesnt say anything about
    having to buy a reamer like you usually need. (reamers are 50 bucks or
    better) I just noticed they had o-rings on the valves. You might be able
    to just buy those parts. I'm not entirely sure... No one here ever
    mentioned using a Sonnax kit as a fix.
    Blah Blah, Sep 8, 2004
  6. Erick Carpenter

    jdoe Guest

    You know there is a similar issue on GM's 4L60E trans. Only it causes the
    torque converter to malfunction and burn up. I believe it's the same co.
    that makes a "kit" for this but the kit is something like $450 as I recall.
    Seems Gm can't figure out how to make a valve body.
    jdoe, Sep 9, 2004
  7. Erick Carpenter

    Blah Blah Guest

    Yeah its namely the TCC valve on the 4l60e. GM knew how to make a valve
    body and they got things back in order now I think... They just didnt
    bother to take into account that when you went from iron to aluminum you
    have to make changes at that time. (such as making valves larger and
    longer to reduce wear) The cast iron valve bodies held up great. I think
    once you paid for every VB fix from sonnax for the 4l60e you would of
    been better off to of bought a upgraded replacement VB from GM. Not
    pratical for the diy'er but if you have a trans shop it would pay off.

    Blah Blah, Sep 9, 2004
  8. Heh, is there ANY GM tranny that DIDN'T have TCC issues with it?
    Though, they poped up on a few other cars too. IIRC, Ford used a
    centrifugal setup on the C5, I have no idea how well it works, but they
    dropped it. The AOD had a real assinine setup on it, which made it easy
    and fun to blow up...
    Yeah. They're complex as heck, though :( But they do work very nicely.
    Interesting, when did they change? ISTR Ford used aluminum long ago, at
    least, I think they do. The C6 I did for a friend was from the 70's and
    the VB seemed to be light enough to be aluminum...
    Powerglide! :)
    Philip Nasadowski, Sep 10, 2004
  9. Erick Carpenter

    steve Guest

    go to saturfans.com. do a seach on the forums for reverse slam. there is a
    fix that has a good success rate.
    what you do is change the trans fluid, add a bottle of prolube trans
    treatment. put the car in reverse with the e-brake on and let it run for
    1/2 to 1 hr. this seems to clear out the valve body. it worked on my saturn.
    steve, Sep 10, 2004
  10. Erick Carpenter

    jdoe Guest

    FWIW allmost all VB are aluminum and until I bought my 1st GM product in
    over 20 years (suburban) I never had a VB problem. Now I've had 2 'burb and
    jdoe, Sep 10, 2004
  11. Erick Carpenter

    Blah Blah Guest

    1993 for the 4L60 I think.
    TH350's and TH400's were pretty decent.
    Blah Blah, Sep 10, 2004
  12. Ahh yes. The Turbo 350 kills bushings hard, though. Good tranny, but
    kills bushings. They had a stabalizer ring in front of the seal rings
    on later ones to help this.

    I'm not too familiar with the 400, other than it's a funky neat design,
    and early ones supposedly had center support troubles. But it's
    supposed to be a really good tranny after that.

    Beats most Mopar stuff, though some people swear by the A727....
    Philip Nasadowski, Sep 10, 2004
  13. Erick Carpenter

    Gary Compton Guest

    More weirdness:
    I recently changed the valve body on a 93 SL1 because of extremely hash
    shifting, check engine code, and sometimes a strange squeal. I got a
    factory manual, and following all the steps, replaced the VB with one from
    6th Planet. But when I test drove the car, same problem was there. The VB
    replacement made no change -- until about a week later when I was preparing
    the car for the junkyard I took it for a last test drive. The transmission
    performed perfectly! What's happening here? Did the PCM have to reset
    itself to the new valve body or do I have some other, intermittent problem?
    What does it mean to "reset the adaptives" and how do you do so?
    Gary Compton, Sep 13, 2004
  14. Erick Carpenter

    Bob Shuman Guest

    There is probably an easier method, but I've found that the best way to
    reset the engine and trans computer is to simply remove the battery cable
    for about 5 minutes, then re-connect it.

    On the slow shift to reverse, is the trans fluid full to the top mark when
    the engine/trans is at its operating temperature? Does it have the correct
    fluid installed? When was it and the filter last changed?

    Bob Shuman, Sep 13, 2004
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