2007 Sky Automatic Transmission

Discussion in 'Saturn Sky' started by Gyzmologist, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Gyzmologist

    Gyzmologist Guest

    We bought a Sky for my wife last December, with the standard engine and
    automatic transmission. Shortly after we got it I couldn't help but
    notice how badly the transmission is programmed.

    1. Half the time it takes off in second
    2. It's really wishy-washy with the torque converter clutch
    3. It up-shifts too soon, requiring a lot of throttle to keep it in gear
    in order to obtain a reasonable acceleration rate.
    4. It feels like ignition timing is retarded in 1st as a form of
    traction control which makes it sluggish when launching.

    I like the car, but the first two items bug the crap out of me every
    time I drive it. I haven't taken it to the dealer yet to see just what
    and how much they can tweak it.

    I tried to order a factory service manual for it but I'm told it is not
    available. Anyone know where I can get a factory service manual for the Sky?

    After seven months and over 5000 miles I have this to say about our Sky:

    + Engine power is adequate for my wife.
    + Engine power curve and transmission gearing are well matched.
    + The engine starts instantly and runs smoothly.
    + The top is really easy to raise and lower.
    + It has a firm ride and handles very well.
    + Excellent braking.
    + The dash and controls are laid out very well.
    + The MP3/CD stereo has a good sound and is easy to use/adjust.
    + It is fairly quiet on the highway with the top and windows up.
    + Fit and finish is very good.
    + AC works well even at 110F
    - The fuel gage is hard to see in bright sun light.
    - The radio and message displays are impossible to see in sun light.
    - There are too many shiny surfaces on the dash and console which
    reflect sun light (top up or down).
    - It is very difficult to see when backing up (top up).
    - The transmission is slow to respond to conditions that trigger gear
    - Storage is minimal.
    - Gas mileage is disappointing, the worst of the three cars we own (26 HWY).


    07 Saturn Sky
    98 Dodge Status ES
    94 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    Gyzmologist, Jul 3, 2007
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  2. Gyzmologist

    BläBlä Guest

    (edited from GM's bulletin #02-07-30-002A)
    The Hydra-Matic 5L40E/50E automatic transmissions have some unique
    operating characteristics with which customers may not be familiar. They
    have been designed to provide more of a manual transmission feel than
    other Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions.

    -Normal Mode Operation
    During normal mode operation, drivers may notice increased powertrain
    braking after releasing the accelerator pedal. The vehicle will not
    coast freely when the accelerator pedal is released but will start to
    gradually slow down as if the brakes were lightly applied. This feels
    very similar to releasing the accelerator pedal on a vehicle equipped
    with a manual transmission.

    -Sport Mode Operation
    Typically, Sport mode delays upshifts. The Sport mode simulates the
    performance driving of a manual transmission. Under certain conditions,
    the vehicle will maintain specific gears longer than a traditional
    automatic would. When driving in Normal mode in 5th gear, depressing the
    Sport button causes an immediate 5-4 downshift, which will be maintained
    for ten seconds. In any other gear, no downshift takes place when Sport
    is engaged. In Sport mode, the vehicle has firmer shifting and increased
    performance, and the transmission may remain in a gear longer than it
    would in Normal mode.

    -Driver Shift Control (DSC)
    The driver manually overrides the automatic gear selection. Various
    mechanization options for input device and degree of override are

    -Performance Algorithm Shifting (PAS)
    PAS overrides normal automatic gear selection during closed throttle
    high lateral acceleration maneuver. Lower gear is accompanied by near
    synchronous engine speed control for quick response upon re-opening
    throttle (enable threshold bias in Sport mode).

    -Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL)
    PAL prevents liftfoot upshifts while maintaining engine braking during
    repeated aggressive cornering.

    -Winter Mode
    The vehicle launches in 2nd or 3rd gear instead of 1st, to avoid wheel
    spin in snow or ice, if selected by the driver.

    -Shift Stabilization
    Shift stabilization is used to minimize shift business, or hunting
    between ranges. Based on several inputs and a map of engine torque at
    various RPM and throttle position, the TCM determines before making an
    upshift whether the engine will be able to maintain vehicle speed in the
    next higher range. If it calculates that it cannot maintain speed, it
    will prevent the upshift from occurring.

    -Downgrade Detection Brake Assist
    Shift to lower gear with braking on downgrade based on fuzzy logic rules
    calculated from a thermal brake model, terrain detection, desired
    acceleration, vehicle speed, and mass detection.

    Adapts continually compares actual shift times to desired shift times.
    The transmission controls make hydraulic adjustments to assure the
    actual shift times approach the ideal shift time the next time the shift
    is made for similar operating conditions of vehicle RPM, engine load,
    and road load conditions. The adaptive shift process continues for the
    life of the vehicle to provide consistent and optimized shifts.

    BläBlä, Jul 3, 2007
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  3. Gyzmologist

    Gyzmologist Guest

    Doesn't seem to describe the transmission in our Sky at all. I was told
    the Sky has a French transmission, not German. I am French and German
    and don't like either.
    Our transmission feels like it was programmed to mimic a CVT, not a manual.
    Our Sky takes 7 seconds to initiate engine braking on the highway --
    another very annoying characteristic.
    It takes 50% throttle to get it to upshift at a decent RPM.
    This would be nice feature, but I was told it is not available. I have
    this on my Stratus and love it. The one feature missing is torque
    converter clutch control. If it had that then it would be the perfect
    automatic transmission (for me).

    What's funny, when Dodge first introduced the Auto-Stick in 1995 all of
    the car magazines slammed them and dismissed the feature as lame. What
    car manufacturer doesn't offer this feature now? If Dodge does it, it's
    crap; anyone else, it's golden. BMW 7 series transmissions are to be
    rebuilt at 100,000 miles and that's acceptable. If a Dodge transmission
    fails at 120,000 miles, it's crap. Mine has over 137,000 miles on it
    without having to rebuild anything (knock on wood).
    The shift pattern hasn't changed from the day we drove it home.

    All of this sounds nice, but in reality the TCM & ECU are guessing what
    the driver would want based upon conditions, and too often guesses wrong
    (like Microsoft & Windows). I say forget all this stupid BS and give the
    driver the option of commanding the car -- what a concept!


    07 Saturn Sky
    98 Dodge Status ES
    94 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    Gyzmologist, Jul 4, 2007
  4. Gyzmologist

    BläBlä Guest

    Yup. Made in Strasbourg, France.

    Getrag generally make good transmissions but nothing else Euro appeals
    to me at all.
    Sorry but the DSC was for Cadillac. I wasn't sure if the Sky had a
    'shift mode button' or performance button which it appears it does
    No, to them, if it is any "American car company" it is crap. :-\
    They do, its called a MANUAL TRANSMISSION! lol


    2007 Hydra-Matic 5L40 (M82, MX5)

    2007 Model Year
    Hydra-Matic 5L40 five-speed electronically controlled automatic Car /
    Truck transmission
    (M82 rear wheel drive, MX5 all wheel drive )


    ? New Applications: Saturn Sky And Sky Red Line, Pontiac Solstice GXP


    The Saturn Sky and Sky Red Line roadsters, and the Pontiac Solstice GXP,
    use a unique adapter ring to adapt the driveshaft to the 5L40.


    The unique assembly procedure aids the long-term durability of the
    Hydra-Matic 5L40. No maintenance is required and there is an elimination
    of any potential contaminants entering the transmission since it is
    assembled in a "clean room," which was the first of its kind for
    transmission assembly. In addition, the components are not inserted into
    the case, which is conventional assembly practice, but the case is slid
    over the assembled components with visual sensors monitoring parts
    alignments and component quality. The Hydra-Matic 5L40 uses the new
    DEXRON® VI fluid and is filled for life, requiring no maintenance. The
    fluid is added at the transmission plant eliminating the chance of
    contamination at the vehicle assembly sites.


    The Cadillac CTS sport sedan, STS rear-drive luxury sedan, and the SRX
    rear-drive sport utility use the 5L40; the RPO for this application is
    M82. The all-wheel-drive SRX sport utility and all-wheel-drive STS use
    the 5L40 with a modified rear flange for the all-wheel-drive unit; the
    RPO for this application is MX5. The internal components of the 5L40
    remain identical in the STS and SRX applications, which use the 3.6L V6
    VVT. In the CTS, the 5L40 is mated to either the 3.6L V6 VVT or the 2.8L
    V6 VVT.

    The STS sedan powered by the 3.6L V6 VVT engine uses either the rear-
    drive or all-wheel-drive versions of the 5L40, as does the SRX crossover

    Part way through the 2006 model year the Solstice roadster was available
    with the 5L40 with a unique drive flange to adapt the transmission to
    the driveshaft.

    For the 2006 Model Year, the CTS added the Driver Shift Control (DSC)
    feature, which allows the driver to manually select gears using the
    shift lever in a special console gate position.

    The 5L40 is designed with a three-piece case. All upshifts and
    downshifts are accomplished with one-way roller clutches (which lock if
    rotated in one direction and run free if spun in the other) and are
    therefore "free-wheeling." This eliminates the need to synchronize the
    applying and releasing of clutches or bands and provides superb built-in
    shift quality. The 5L40 uses a single electrical connector to minimize
    potential leak paths for fluid, and all electrical sensors and switches
    are internal or are connected internally to simplify vehicle assembly.

    The 5L40 uses GM's Electronic Controlled Capacity Clutch (ECCC)
    technology, which dampens engine torque pulses. Other sophisticated
    electronic controls enable shift mode selection, shift patterns that
    adapt to driving conditions and driver style, traction control
    capability, engine torque management during shifts, and powertrain
    protection capabilities. There is also a reverse lockout safety feature,
    which inhibits the transmission from engaging the reverse gear when the
    shift lever has been inadvertently moved to reverse while the vehicle is
    still moving forward above a certain speed.

    The Hydra-Matic 5L40 is produced in Strasbourg, France.
    BläBlä, Jul 4, 2007
  5. Gyzmologist

    Gyzmologist Guest

    Of course you're right, but my point is an automatic transmission
    doesn't have to be programmed so sucky. I would love to get my hands on
    the equipment to reprogram the transmission in this car, then develop a
    performance upgrade package. I'd bet it would sell!

    Gyzmologist, Sep 4, 2007
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