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kalamykid, shop owner/tech
Category: Transmissions
Satisfied Customers: 4441
Experience:  I have owned my own trans shop for 6 years.
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Well, the transmission is starting to slip, especially when

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Well, the transmission is starting to slip, especially when cold. If Im going down the road at say 55 the rpm tach dances a little, I was wondering if its a simple fix, like a relay or something or should I start shopping for another vehicle?
JA: How many miles are on the car? Has the car been starting normally?
Customer: It has 206000 and the engine still runs beautifully! I dont want to get rid of her, I want to do a water pump and timing belt, otherwise, perfect shape. Starts normally.
JA: What is the model of your '55 Saturn?
Customer: 04 Saturn Vue, AWD
JA: Are you fixing your VUE yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No, I will take it to a shop, I havent tried anything yet. Was trying to decide whether or not to fix and drive another year or trade it in.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I dont think so. It just started this a month or so ago. I dont wanna be left sitting in a Michigan winter on the side of the road!

When you say the tach dances, how far up and down do the rpms go?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Just maybe three or four marks

When it warms up does it still dance? If so how far does it go when it is warmed up?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Same, especially if Im pulling, doesnt have to be a steep grade. But if its on cruise control it doesnt do it.

Can you test drive it for me but this time put the shifter in 3rd gear instead of over drive at 55 mph and see if the tach still dances?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Mines automatic...

I under stand that. But the shifter should have park, revers, neutral, od, 3 and 2 on it. Put the shifter in*****it please.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Oh, i can do that! Im at work rigjt now tho. If when i first start it and cant get it to move i put it in I and drive about 25 mph for a half mile or so and then its fine.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Mine is p r n d I

Let me know how it acts.

Do you have a button on the shifter to turn over drive off?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, sure dont...

With what you are telling me, there is a problem in the lock up converter. It is not holding pressure to keep the clutch in the torque converter locked in. This can be due to a bad tcc solenoid, leaking seal to the converter, or the clutch in the converter is bad. When was the last time the fluid was changed in this transmission?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I don't know that it ever has been. I bought it used for years ago.

Try this and see if it helps the transmission any. Go to your local auto parts store and get a bottle of lube guard in the black bottle. Add the bottle to the trans and drive it for about 30 miles and see if the tach stops dancing.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you! I will certainly try this.

If that does not work, you may need to have the converter replaced.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Do you know what that generally runs?

Around $1200. parts and labor.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Oh geez.... thanks

You are very welcome. I hope the lube guard works and you do not have to go that far.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Me too! I love Ol Bess, i dont want to trade her.

Have a good night.

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