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Kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 3365
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2001 Saturn: diagnostic procedure..code reader..check engine light

Customer Question

Is there a diagnostic procedure to read 2001 Saturn engine codes without a code reader? Such as blinking check engine light?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Saturn
Expert:  Kalamykid replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry to say nothere is not a way to read the codes with out a scanner on this car. If you have n auto zone, advance auto parts, or an oriellys near you they will read the codes for you for free.
Kalamykid, Shop Owner/ Tech
Category: Saturn
Satisfied Customers: 3365
Kalamykid and 4 other Saturn Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
More questions about our 2001 Saturn model SL, 1.9 litre engine with electronic transmission:

I've got transmission issues and fault codes coming up. The transmission codes are:

Saturn transmission codes:
PO732 Incorrect gear 2 ratio
P0333 Incorrect gear 3 ratio
P0766 Shift solenoid D performance or stuck off
P0783 3 to 4 shift problem
P0789 Shift timing solenoid intermittent

Trying to interpret what this means. It has been sitting at the garage for a while as we try to figure out what this means.

Am coming to the conclusion we're best off to change transmissions. But are there any tips to help ensure we get and install a problem-free transmission? Is this a common fault of the S-series vehicles? Is there a serial number range or manufacturing date range or some such of S-Series transmissions that were known to have manufacturing/assembly faults? An updates to the transmission that correct the problem when remanufactured/rebuilt? Any service bulletins that address this issue? Is the problem likely to the be in the valve body? Shift solenoids?

(Our daughter has a Saturn, also 2001, but I believe L200 model and 2.2 L engine. Very nice, no problems. I understand the L200 series is an entirely different and non-interchangeable transmission.)

History of the symptoms are like this:

Purchased the 2001 Saturn SL 1.9 L in November.

On one occasion this past December I drove into the city, about a 1 1/2 hour trip one way, parked the vehicle; came time to leave I started the car, was about to put it into drive and as I began to move the shift lever the engine roared and revved like a stock car racer about to take off from a standing start (the vehicle was not in motion). I rammed it into park and it quit revving and seemed to be ok after. That was sure weird. (Actually, on one other occasion it had done something like this revving experience, but those are the only two occasions it did that. This may have been related to the intake manifold gasket issue - see below).

Some time after we were on another trip of about 1 1/2 hour duration one way, and as we neared the destination and I slowed for the turn at the intersection, there was a "bang". i.e. it seemed to be a bang, much like if one were braking on ice and suddenly you hit bare pavement and the wheels gripped. Except there was no ice. But seemed to be ok, and we drove another quarter mile into town and parked. Later that evening we left for home and about a half hour into the return trip and slowing down for a stop sign, it did the "bang" again (we realize now it was a slam shift). Stopped at the stop sign. Found it would not shift down into 1st gear. So we just labored at the take-off and carried on home. It would not shift into first gear the rest of the trip home. Took it to the shop and wouldn't you know it won't reproduce the problem and seemed to shift fine, but there were the fault codes.

I think it was about that time that we had it serviced for rough idling, which we originally thought was spark plugs. But the rough idling showed up again. This time the rough idle it was traced to a bad intake manifold gasket. Engine ran great after that. I don't think this would have any bearing on the transmission shifting?

But every so often it continued the slam-shift action. Seems to be a matter of trying to shift into 1st gear at high speed.

We had the transmission flushed and filter changed. The oil still looked good, but can't say how recently it may have been changed prior to that. Refilled with Dexron III.

Still occasionally doing the slam-shift thing. Added half a can of "Sea-Foam" trans-tune treatment to the transmission. Noticed a marked improvement in the shifting pattern, especially the shift-up points seemed to be more normal and not so high as before. Did notice that on coasting to slow down for stop signs or turns at intersections that there was a fairly noticeable down-shift bump at about 60 kilometres per hour (just below the 40 mph point). Shifting seemed to be really good for quite a while, then periodically began doing the slam shift thing again.

Latest occasion it did a slam shift and again refused to shift down into 1st year. I notice those times when it won't shift down that there's a noticeable low-pitched whine to be heard when shifted into the forward gear positions.

There's never a problem in reverse, as I've seen other complaints.

What do you think? Should we just change out the transmission? What cautions/suggestions can you offer to make sure it's done right and we get a good one?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Other. Original expert doesn't seem to be available.
Going to re-post the question elsewhere.

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