Author Topic: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard  (Read 4252 times)

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2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« on: January 02, 2008, 01:17:08 PM »
Hello, car has 60,000 miles.  Recently under hard acceleration like during passing or going up a steep hill the car downshifts but the car does not speed up and it will not shift until you let off the gas.  It appears that the transmission is slipping.  Could this be from low fluid level?  Dirty filter?  Where is the plug to check the transaxle fluid level and where do you put in additional fluid?  Thanks, Steve

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discretesignals

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 07:15:44 PM »
GM/Saturn got retarded with the transaxles on those.  It doesn't have a dipstick and you have to check the fluid by jacking up the vehicle or use a hydraulic lift.  It has to be level, so that means if you use jack stands, you have to raise the front and rear.  With it in Park, the engine running, and the fluid to operating temperature you have to remove an oil level control plug. The oil level control plug is located on the torque converter side of the transmission.  The fluid level should be level with the bottom of the hole.  You can also stick a small screwdriver in the hole to check the condition of the fluid.  As long as the transaxle doesn't have any leaks it shouldn't be low.  If you have to fill it, use Dextron/Mercon III.  Adding fluid is a pain in the butt if you don't have a tool.  You might be able to use a turkey baster with a hose to fill it, if it is low.

Usually, if the transaxle is slipping, the engine computer will pick this up and set an P1870 or some other slip code.  You should check for trouble codes also.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by discretesignals »

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2008, 09:11:32 AM »
Discretesignals, thanks for the tips.  We changed the fluid and filter last night but it did not fix the problem.  I also did a basic computer check and there are no codes and none have ever been.  To provide more info on the problem, when I stomp on it the engine revs to 4,500 RPM's and the rev limiter kicks in before it shifts.  It actually won't shift until I back off the gas.  Under normal acceleration there really isn't a problem.  Could this be a transaxle system sensor and if so is that part internal or external?  Thanks, Steve

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discretesignals

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2008, 05:59:12 PM »
Usually when you floor it, it will hold the gear longer to let the engine rev higher for more power.  If you back off, it will shift into the next gear.  If the transaxle was slipping, the engine would rev high but there would be no acceleration.  If you are moderately accelerating, the transaxle will shift sooner.  The engine computer takes information such as vehicle speed, engine load, and throttle position to determine when to shift the transaxle to the next gear.  There shouldn't be a rev limiter once the vehicle is in gear.  The computer compensates for the rev limiter by shifting to the next gear before the engine grenades.

From your description is appears to be operating as per design, but it is difficult to determine that without driving it.  If there was a sensor failing the engine computer should set a trouble code.  You could check with the dealer to see if there are any technical service bulletins, but you might have to pay a diagnostic fee.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by discretesignals »

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 06:15:55 AM »
Discretesignals,

    Thanks again.  It is strange that the car doesn't have any codes because I would say that the car does not accelerate as it should.  I guess I'll have to take it in.  The dealer told me that the diagnostic charge would be $170 which seemed excessive to me, but I guess I'll have to bite the bullet.  Thanks, Steve

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discretesignals

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 06:34:28 AM »
Steve,

Let us know how thing turn out.  Good luck.

Thanks,
Jon

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 11:24:56 AM »
Sounds like a engine power problem, the transmission will only work right with a properly operating engine.

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2008, 11:30:57 AM »
I did overfill the oil last oil change.  I wonder if that might have something to do with it?  DC

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2008, 12:25:58 PM »
How much did you overfill it?

60,000 miles, when was you last tune up?

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2008, 03:05:43 PM »
About a quart I would guess.  Never had a tune up.  DC

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Re: 2004 Saturn L-300 - Transmission Shifting Problem Under Hard
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2008, 10:08:50 PM »
1" on the dipstick is about a quart. I would drain that off. Too much oil and it touches the crankshaft and gets whipped into a froth like Starbucks.  Smile  The new O2 rich oil will burn your bearings up.

I would also give it a complete tuneup. Plugs have to be wore and the engine response might be reflecting on the transmission shifting.

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