Service light and maybe transmission mystery on a 2000LS

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by byrdsfan, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    Hate to follow another tranny question, wouldnt want to give anyway
    wrong ideas about Saturns.
    I have well over 250,000 miles on my 2000LS, automatic, six cylinder.

    I recently got new tires at my local garage and mentioned the service
    light was coming on. He did a check and said it was the coolant
    sensor. I said order the part and I'll come back. So i did and the
    light came back that night.

    I have a long commute into Mahattan (hence the mileage) and that's
    enough to wreck any car. When the light returned, i noticed what I
    would call a bucking (or a thud) in the transmission. This came after
    a long drive at like 65-70. I hit the sidestreets and after a while
    the light comes on and a thhe bucking starts. The tranny had been
    somewhat rough at times recently but now a light went off in my head.
    These two are related.

    I drop off the car at night with this guy so i left a note explaining
    that i thought it might be related. The next day he didn't mention the
    note, just said the car was ready and that the codes had been cleared
    out. I didn't mention the note either. This is the only service
    station within walking distance of my house and that is a big help.

    That night, tonight, same thing. After a long a drive, when I hit the
    side streets, it starts to thump and the light comes on. The thump is
    not horrendous but i fear it will get worse. Meanwhile I feel I paid
    like $150 for nothing.

    So ... what make the tranny make a loud thud going from first to
    second (less noise after that), but only after having driven for a
    while, and with it the service light goes on? The problem is i cant
    duplicate this during the day time and mechanics don't want to take
    your word for anything. If I had a detailed theory, it might help.
    Also, perhaps a guess on what it would cost to fix. I cant put too
    much more money into this car but that's what i say every time i put
    too much money in it.

    byrdsfan, Dec 20, 2007
  2. byrdsfan

    Oppie Guest

    For what its worth, on my '01 lw300 6cyl, when the MAF sensor started to go,
    the SES light came on and shortly after the shifting got very harsh.
    Resetting the code caused all to run nicely for about 5 miles and then the
    light came on again and the shifting got rough. Replaced the MAF sensor,
    reset the code and all good.
    Don't know if they purposely make it seem like your car is about to blow up
    when in limp-home mode just to get you to repair it quicker. All sorts of
    forced modes of operation are possible with computer driven systems. Some
    are good and others just plain devious.
    btw- code reset on my car is simply done by pulling the Controls B+ fuse in
    the UHFB for 20 seconds. Codes are stored in RAM and power loss erases them.
    Oppie (White Plains, NY)
    Oppie, Dec 20, 2007
  3. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    Is that MAss AIr Flow? It relates to the transmission?
    do you pull the fuse while car is running or not?
    I just wish whatever is happening would happen full time so i can
    bring it in and point to it.
    byrdsfan, Dec 20, 2007
  4. byrdsfan

    Oppie Guest

    Yes, MAF= Mass Air Flow. The bad MAF (diagnosed by seeing lean bank 1 and 2
    in the codes) caused the Check Engine light to come on. I would guess that
    the ECU then enters a limp-home or limited open loop mode. In any case, it
    caused the transmission to shift very roughly.
    Fuse was pulled with key off. It will reset the ECU and should make things
    run nice for a while till a code gets thrown again. Not sure if this resets
    the drive cycle so don't rely on this if you are ever trying to get a
    vehicle past emissions testing.

    This is where connecting a scan tool (not just a simple code reader) to see
    what codes or data are presenting is needed. There is (very luckily) a very
    good independant garage next door to where I work. The owner looks more like
    a computer geek than a grease monkey and he really knows his stuff. When he
    gets stumped, has a subscription service to call a guru. I always go to an
    independant service first whenever possible (if I can't fix it myself).
    If you're anywhere near Hawthorne, NY look up Auto Action on Brady Avenue.
    Tis not the season to be riding a bicycle
    Oppie, Dec 20, 2007
  5. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    I'm on Long Island.
    There's a new Saturn place near me (imagine that). If this persists,
    i'll go there. However i did pay a different Saturn place $90 last
    summer to tell me there was nothing wrong with the engine fans only to
    have my local guy fix it.
    byrdsfan, Dec 21, 2007
  6. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    I'm on Long Island.
    byrdsfan, Dec 21, 2007
  7. byrdsfan

    Oppie Guest

    That does happen even to the best of shops at times. If you read my posts
    back in August, I was up against the wall needing to drive to my son's
    wedding. The week before, the engine would die on me intermittently. My
    thoughts were that it was the crank angle sensor. Not enough time for me to
    do the job myself and my regular tech was closed for vacation so I took it
    to Saturn. They mis-diagnosed a leaking fuel rail test port as the cause and
    charged me $95. Yes, the port would leak slightly if you took the cap off
    but with the cap on, no leak. I disputed it and said that it would happen
    again. It happened again the next day. Dropped off the car at Saturn told
    them I now had to rent a car to get to the wedding. When we came back (it
    was a wonderful wedding), they still had not fixed the problem. In fact,
    since it was an intermittent, they couldn't get it to fail at all. Having
    had enough of this, I bypassed the service desk and walked into the shop to
    talk the the tech working on the car. They had wanted to replace the MAF
    again based on the codes they were getting (turned out to be phantom codes
    caused by a timing error). Told them that the MAF was replaced 4 months
    earlier and showed them a saturn invoice - and that if they insisted on
    replacing it, it would be a warranty...they didn't replace the MAF. Anyway,
    in talking to the tech, I gave reasons why I thought it might be the crank
    sensor and we both agreed that that was a reasonable thing to do next. It's
    been running fine with nary a hiccup since.

    There are diagnostic codes for the crank sensor but only for very specific
    conditions. Since this sensor gives the master timing for the engine,
    ignition and all tests are synchronized to it. If there is an erratic
    signal, phantom codes can be thrown. Also explains why engine backfired on
    acceleration earlier which killed the sensitive MAF.

    Long Island, eh? So the Silver Snail* is not an option for you?


    * For those outside the area, the Long Island Railroad is known as the
    Silver Snail.
    Oppie, Dec 21, 2007
  8. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    I've heard of Dashing Dans but not Silver Snails.
    Yesterday the light and the thumps appeared during the day but not at
    I work nights and the area where i live (fairly far out) doesn't get
    much service that late. I do it when the weather's iffy, more now than
    before. Basically i would get home an hour later if i took the train.
    Besides there's nothing like driving around Manhattan looking for
    parking. I'm getting to know the people at the tow pound.
    byrdsfan, Dec 21, 2007
  9. byrdsfan

    Oppie Guest

    Why did I recall hearing on the NY radio, something about the silver snail
    related to the LIRR? Maybe my mind is starting to go. Dashing Dans does ring
    a bell.

    Ok, so I google for silver snail LIRR and get a few hits.

    December 14th, 2007 Perhaps the dreadful LIRR could learn from this. Its
    president, Helena Williams, has stated that customer service is a priority.
    Why then, did she eliminate express trains on the Babylon branch on the
    weekends? This takes away from the service for everyone east of Babylon.
    They now have to change to a "silver snail" which takes 70 minutes instead
    of the previous 52 minutes from Babylon to Penn Station. Welcome back to
    1910! - Posted by Robert Huemmer
    on page
    Oppie, Dec 21, 2007
  10. byrdsfan

    Guest Guest

    Guest, Dec 21, 2007
  11. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    I remember the logo, never realized it said "Dashing Commuter." Not
    too catchy. Dan was the man, i guess unofficially. Never saw the
    Dashing Dottie before. That seems to be official. In those days very
    few women commuted. Now every household has two paychecks to maintain
    what used to be done on one. Progress!
    byrdsfan, Dec 24, 2007
  12. byrdsfan

    byrdsfan Guest

    In an attempt to get this back on track and i dont mean railroad

    Other day my friend and his wife were in the car. They have the same
    2000 LS as me, they liked mine and bought one. They have had problems
    with the service light and transmission for some time. The symptoms
    are a little different. It doesnt happen as regularly as mine and it
    usually happens when the weather changes. Repeated visits to Saturn
    service did not help. She even waited until the light came on and then
    drove it to Saturn and even then they could not figure it out. I had
    thought of doing that but now i guess i wont.
    With me it's car runs fine until service light comes on, then the
    transmission starts to buck (for lack of a better word). This only
    happens after the car has run at highyway speed for at least a half
    hour and the hits the side streets. That's when light comes on and the
    tranny gets rough. With my car this doesnt happen every time but close
    to it. Car is still driveable, obviously. Just hesitant.
    byrdsfan, Jan 7, 2008
  13. byrdsfan

    Oppie Guest

    One problem is to determine whether the transmission bucking is due to
    engine being in limp home mode (which makes for rough and abrupt shifts at a
    higher than normal shift point) or something actually with the transmission
    or powertrain control module/senosrs/valves. Any service organization worth
    their salt should be able to repeat your drive cycle with a scanner attached
    to record data that preceedes any code.

    Aside from that - Happy New Year <Hic>
    Oppie, Jan 7, 2008
  14. byrdsfan

    BläBlä Guest

    If you don't ask for the codes, and you don't provide us the codes, then
    no one here can even begin to help you...
    BläBlä, Jan 7, 2008
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.