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Old 07-29-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
vectad
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Wrench Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

Hello everyone. I'm having a problem with my 97 SL1 that I hope someone can help me with. It's an auto transmission sohc with 82,000 miles. When it shifts from 2nd to 3rd it sometimes will slip and act like it was kicked into neutral. After letting up on the throttle it goes into gear. My ses light comes on during a downshift as an incorrect 3rd gear ratio message. I have checked the TRS fuses. I checked each actuator in the valve body with a voltmeter and a 12-volt transformer. They all seemed to be fine, but replaced them with actuators from a junkyard car with a blown head gasket which also passed my tests. The 2 springs I noticed in the lower section of the valve body looked fine and intact. After test driving it didn't fix the problem, but the shifting seemed much snappier and I notice that when I slow down and it kicks down from 3rd to 2nd, it will jerk into 2nd briefly then go back into 3rd. This is also when the ses light comes on. I have disconnected the alternator, but the test drive reveals the same problem. So to the best of my knowledge I inspected and replaced actuators in the valve body, checked the TRS fuses, added an anti slip fluid to the trans and changed the filter, and checked the alternator but the problem still persists. I did break off part of the outer gasket that protrudes out of the valve body and ends by the outer bolts. It's not the inner portion. I'm out of ideas and thinking it's something internal to the transmission. Does anyone have any ideas?

Greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Dave

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Old 07-29-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
Dr B
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

I think the trans gets its ratio data from the speed sensor which operates the speedomiter ,then the computer matches that data to the turbine sensor
in the front of the trans ,the big one by the trans. filter
these probably should have been checked carefully before doing any valvebody service.
There are several small parts in the valvebody ,any of these being missing
could cause problems .
The valvebody can't by any means operate correctly without good gaskets.

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Old 07-31-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

Thanks for the reply Dr B, and for the welcome. My speedometer has remained accurate and acts normally. Wouldn't you think if the speed sensor was faulty, it would reflect on the speedometer? Outside of replacing it, how else could I test the speed sensor? You say it's by the trans filter?

I know what you are saying about the gasket, however it was completely intact while this problem occured. Now with an outside edge broken off, it still has the exact same problem.

I will look into the small parts of the valve body. The original was rebuilt from another unit, so I can compare the two.

Thanks,

Dave

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Old 07-31-2007, 02:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

There is also a TSS - turbine speed sensor - on the tranny (over by the filter and the tranny temp sensor). It might be the one "reporting" the gear ratio problem.

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Old 07-31-2007, 03:10 PM   #5
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

yes the V S S that operates the speedo is on the back side of the trans,
the turbine speed sensor is on the front side by the trans. filter
it is the larger of the two sensors,and is usually black plastic.
the P C M monitors both sensors to evaluate gear ratio operating perimiters .

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Old 08-01-2007, 01:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

Ok, thank you. I will change both the VSS and the TSS and see if that helps before looking further into the valve body. I would think I would get a code
P0716, P0717 or P0500 ( TSS range/no signal or VSS malfunction) if they were a problem, but maybe not.

Dave

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Old 08-01-2007, 08:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

AFAIK, the PCM uses only the TSS, not the VSS, to "jive" the tranny. Think about it -- in a one-wheel spin, the VSS is not gonna report a speed that's a "predictable" multiple of the turbine speed (tranny output) or the engine speed (RPM). This is why the TSS needs to exist. Besides, if your speedometer is not acting hinky, the VSS is probably okay. The TSS might be reading/sending _some_ signal (thus, no code associated with the TSS), but just not correct to the gear ratio.

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Old 08-06-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Incorrect gear ratio problem-not resolved

Unfortunately replacing the VSS and TSS did not correct the problem. What I should have done first when this started happening is to check the voltage coming out of the connection wires. According to my service manual if the voltage is less than 10 volts then the PCM is faulty and I should take it into a Saturn dealer. I'm assuming that would be with the key in the on position and not running the engine. The voltage from both sensors is only 1/4 of 1 volt!! Since I had the VSS and TSS sensors, I replaced them anyway just in case. I'm not about to take it into the dealer. Do you think there is another fix for the PCM other than replacing it? Maybe a fuse to replace or a wire to jump?

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